Monday, May 18, 2020

Intervieing Myself!!

1. Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc. 
- My name is Amanda Leigh. I'm a multi-genre author with twelve books published so far, as well as work in several anthologies. I have three poetry collections, one Contemporary Romance (which is going to be Historical Romance soon), a Women's Fiction novella. But I'm best known for my Beauty of the Dark series. A Mature Young Adult Paranormal Romance series.

2. Favorite book you’ve published so far?
- I think that would have to be Angel, the last book of the Beauty of the Dark trilogy. I can't say too much as to why, because it's the last one, but I liked how it all wrapped up. I felt like it went where it was meant to, and I adore it.  The cover is my favorite, as well.

3. Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write? 
- The most fun character for me to write. I want to say that is Trent from my Beauty of the Dark series. He is quite complicated, and a total smart ass, so that makes him quite fun to write. However, John from My Heart is Yours was also a lot of fun to write. He's Samantha's older brother. He ended up being my favorite character in that book. Hardest to write? Well, there was a character I wrote for a novel I finished last year. I haven't said much about this novel yet, but I had to go to some dark places (even for me), so he was the hardest to write. You might meet him in the near future.

4. Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
- Oh my Goodness, YES!! Well, I actually couldn't read on my own until I was eight years old. This always seems to shock people since I'm such a bookworm. I remember favorite books at different phases of my childhood. In fifth grade it was On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. In seventh grade it was  The School Story by Andrew Clements. Then in eight grade I read The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, and I started the Harry Potter series. And those books have stayed favorites since then. I reread them, for sure.

5. Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
- I most definitely have. When I was two years old, I would tell stories to my mom. She would write them down and I would draw the pictures. We still have my first "book".  With pink construction paper for the covers. It was about Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Who else loved Sailor Moon?

6. Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
It varies, actually. I make playlist for all of my books. Sometimes these playlists change a lot by the time the book is out. I always have them in the back of the book, too. If I'm not listening to them as I write the book, then I listen to it before I start writing to get me in the right mood. Then I'll put on a movie score a lot. One that has the right mood/vibe I'm looking for. The two movie scores I listen to the most while writing are Crimson Peak (which is also my favorite movie ever), and The Village. As for what kind of music, that is so varied. However, it is often moody, angsty, sometimes eerie or dark music for my books.


7. I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
- Yes, this one!! Haha, finally!! SO: I was in the car with my mom. We were driving to my Godfather's birthday dinner. At the time I was writing Angel, the last book in the Beauty of the Dark trilogy). I was stuck on some character stuff. Realizations, reasons why they did things certain ways. Then "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake came on. As I was listening I realized "Oh my God, this is Trent and Kiara!! They are the mirror image of each other!!" And I found it so hysterical that I hadn't realized it earlier, that it took that song to draw it out that I couldn't hold it in, I busted out laughing hysterically. My mom was driving, and she looked at me like she was genuinely worried for my sanity that time. I explained it to her, and kept laughing. When we got to my Aunt's house, I whipped out my journal and wrote pages worth of realizations and epiphanies because of that song. So, I am forever grateful to Justin Timberlake for the song "Mirrors". Which, yes, is on the playlist for Angel

8. Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…) 
- I put on whatever music I'm listening to. I often have a cup of tea or hot cocoa. I always have water with me (even when I'm not writing.) I have a notebook next to me. I have separate notebooks for each project. And I have this wooden turtle my best friend brought back for me from Europe. Turtles are supposed to be good luck, so it's often near me while I write. I write at my desk, or on my little purple chaise lounge like thing (lol), or sometimes on my couch (but not often.)  I would LOVE a typewriter, though!!

9. Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
- First one that comes to mind is Hermione Granger, definitely. My mom called me Hermione a lot when I was younger. Still does sometimes. I loved that Hermione was bookish, intelligent, academic, but also a total strong, girl power, badass. Who grew into an amazing woman. She still inspires me to this day.

10. Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to? 
- Least want to? Either the demon from the Beauty of the Dark series or that character I mentioned above that you haven't met yet. Most want to? If it's just one, that would have to be Trent. It might be a little rocky, but I imagine it would also be a lot of fun. He's very....impulsive, lol. Plus he's about two hundred years old, so he'd know a lot of history about wherever we went, I bet. It would be fun if Kiara were there, too, though, since those two are always bickering. ;)

11. Top three favorite books and authors right now. 
- I'm sorry, but this is pretty much always my answer. The hard part is keeping it to three, because there are a few more I could tack on there. I'm already sort of cheating with Harry Potter.

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontè
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

12. Favorite writing craft book?
- This was harder than I thought. What I'm going to go with is the book we used as a textbook during my Fiction Writing Class in college. It's still on my bookshelf, highlighted and dog-eared. It had so many good exercises and examples. For example, in the back it had a short story before it wwas edited, and then it showed the story with all of the edits scribbled on it. Honestly, I should definitely give it another read through. Not to mention, I need to read more of these books. I have several sitting on my shelf!! This is the book:

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Eight Edition) by Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, and Ned Stuckey-French.

Oh, and another amazing one is Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. I want to reread this right now! haha I highly recommend both of them!

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate
Poetry vs. Fiction
First draft vs. Editing
T. V. Show vs. Movie
Book vs. Movie
Hero vs. Villain
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero
Witch vs. Vampire
E-book vs. Physical Book
Tea vs. Coffee

13. Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
- Right now, I am in the editing process for another book in the Beauty of the Dark world. This one is told entirely from Kaleib's Point of View, and it is a prequel novella to the trilogy titled Forbidden. It should be releasing this summer. ;) <3 

14. Any last comments to share? :) 
- Well, it was a lot of fun to answer the questions I came up with for other authors. Some were pretty hard!! Which I'm quite glad of. I hope you enjoyed reading my answers (and finally hearing that story about the Justin Timberlake song.) Remember, if you want to write a book, the first thing is to get something written down. Editing comes later, but you can't edit nothing. To quote William Forrester from the movie Finding Forrester (highly recommend): "You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head." 

Amanda Leigh is the multi-genre author of numerous titles, including the Mature YA Paranormal Romance, the Beauty of the Dark series. She’s made up stories all her life, and written them down since she was eight. In college she got her degree in English and Communications, and worked as the Assistant Managing Editor on the literary magazine. Amanda advocates for mental health, cystinosis/rare disease awareness, and literacy. Strength: Lives Touched by Cystinosis is an anthology to raise awareness and money for cystinosis. She has a cat she adores and loves cooking, music, art, Psychology, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Elvis Presley. Not necessarily in that order. Find her online at and feel free to get in touch with her. 

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