Let’s start getting your shine on, Amanda. Tell us who you are beyond an author.
Good question. Other than a writer, I’m a wife and proud mother of one very spoiled miniature dachshund named Diva.
Show us when you realized you had a passion for writing?
I’ve always doodled. Back as far as I can remember, I would start and stop stories about nothing in particular. The only thing that stands out in my mind now is the overwhelming angst. I never intended to write professionally, it was just something I sort of fell into. Lucky me, huh?
We understand that uniqueness counts in the literary world, but we equally understand there must be reliability.
It’s very true that an author needs his or her own voice, but the ability to tell a good story time after time is of the upmost importance. Readers either trust you to deliver or they won’t spend their hard-earned money on your work. No matter how good a story someone writes, it’s nothing if no one’s willing to read it.
Tell us an author with whom you share similar writing styles.
I really couldn’t say. I don’t like to compare myself to other writers. I’m just me. J
Tell us your preferred writing genre and the genre you prefer to read.
I write mostly gay romance and erotica these days, although I’ve been known to dip my toes into other genres. As far as reading goes, I invariably have my nose stuck in gay romance, harlequin secret-baby stories, or horror novels. It’s an odd mix, but it works for me.
Show us what your audience looks like.
I would say my audience doesn’t have a specific face. One never knows who might be reading their work.
Tell us an important lesson, on the business side of publishing, that you've learned on your journey.
Just one? J I would have to say, the most important thing I’ve learned over the last three years is that if you don’t absolutely love to write, you have no business in publishing. Writing for publication can be a nagging, time consuming bitch. There’s a heck of a lot more to it than writing a good story, although that’s the most important thing.
Going back to the beginning, show us the day you received your publication offer.
I received my first contract on a Sunday night. At the time, I was still writing on my old desktop computer, so I was in the den. Anyhow, I saw the email and didn’t want to open it. I thought for sure it was a rejection. After I built up the courage and clicked on it, I screamed. My husband thought a mouse was trying to get me. It’s about the only time I’ve ever squealed like that.
Tell us your expectations of an aspiring author approaching you for information about writing/publishing?
I don’t really have people coming to me for writing advice, so I couldn’t say what my expectations of them would be. However, if I were asked to give someone new to the business a tip or two, it would be to a) not to put all their eggs in one basket and b) do plenty of research before submitting anything.
Ready to shine? Tell us the name of your book(s).
Here’s a list of what I have out at the moment:
Furtive Ache (Late March)
Reckless Behavior (April 14th)
Secrets & Lies
The Hard Truth
Missing in Action
Sins of the Past
Tell us where we can find you on the internet.
I’m all over the place, but the best avenue to reach me is through my website. I try to keep it updated with what I’m up to and where you can find me at any given time. www.AmandaYoung.org
Do you really write everyday?
Absolutely everyday. I spend an average of twelve hours on the computer on any given day. Part of that’s spent writing, while the rest of the time is divided between research, promotion, and social networking.
What about writer's block?
I’ve never experienced writer’s block. Even in the down time when I’m taking a break from writing (which rarely happens) I never lack for ideas. For me, it’s more a matter of organizing my time so I can sit and concentrate on writing, without all the other distractions.
What is your normal day like?
Very boring. I get up, check my email, and figure out what I need to get done for the day. Then if I’m lucky, I actually accomplish everything I set out to do.
How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?
Reader reaction means the world to me. I don’t pay a lot of attention to professional review sites, but I do read reader reviews and take them to heart.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
It depends, really. Sometimes I have characters in need of a story. While other times, it’s a story that needs characters to bring it to life. I’d say it’s about 50/50 for me.
Do you have a favorite character?
Not really. All the characters have meant something to me at one time or another. I’d have a hard time choosing one over another.
Why do you write in this genre?
Easy answer: because I love it.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write. I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision to be a writer though. It’s just been there, lurking in the shadows of my mind for as long as I can remember.
Where do you get most of the ideas for your stories?
Everywhere. I’m not trying to be facetious when I say that, but everything a writer sees or does influences their work in some small way. I’ve gotten ideas from music, television, or from something as tiny as passing someone interesting on the street.
Do you have any unfinished projects sitting around?
I have about two dozen stories sitting and waiting to be finished, not counting the folder filled with random bits and pieces.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to become an author?
The toughest thing for me was simply believing anyone would be interested in my torrid tales. I can be a bit of a pessimist at times.
How would you best describe your writing style?
I would say angst-ridden pretty well describes a lot of what I write, not that there isn’t the occasional light and fluffy project snuck in here and there. My writing depends a lot on what mood I’m in on any given day.
What is the big project you're working on now?
Hmm… Well, I’m currently working on the third novella in my Reckless series. However, one big project I have on the horizon is a new series about a male brothel set in my home state, Virginia. I have the first story done, but I have yet to find a home for it.
Thanks for having me, Stormy. I’ve had fun answering all your questions...Amanda