I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Ballard, of A B Books. I hope you enjoy reading her author’s insight.
I am a devoted mother of two beautiful girls, Ailynne aged seven and Ekko aged eleven. I have been married to John for fourteen years. I am currently studying criminal forensics and hope to work for the FBI once graduated. When I’m not working on my bachelor’s degree, my attention turns to my stories. These stories are a mixture, inspired by both dreams and real life. The Shadow Case Series was actually a dream I had and reflects my love of criminal investigation. I had written a few short stories here and there. One day, a close friend suggested I did something substantial with my takes, and four novels later, here I am a successful published Author. What does the future hold for me? We’ll have to wait and see.
- When did you first realise you wanted to write a novel?
The first time I ever tried my hand at writing was almost four years ago. It was just something I was doing for fun. I never thought I would ever do anything with it, nor did I really plan to finish it. Then one day about a year and a half ago I had a vivid dream that I couldn’t shake. So, I started writing. I then turned that into the first book to my first series. After that first book, anytime I had vivid dreams I would write them down and see whether I could make it into something more than a dream. Now I have five books fully written with plans for many more.
- What do you hope to achieve from your writing?
Writing these books has become a godsend for me. A refuge if you will. I love my books, and hope that at least one person can enjoy them as much as I do. What’s important to me is if I impact on one person then I have done my job. One person is all it takes to show you that you didn’t make a mistake by writing and publishing your works.
- Who are your novels aimed at?
My books are more geared towards women. Although I have had a few men say they enjoyed them. My stories take on many diverse types of relationships with all different types of sexual preference. All of my stories are romance, although alternative sub genres of romance rear their head. I have tried writing without romance and it doesn’t suit my voice. Subsequently, I stick to something I am confident in and hopefully it shows in my writing.
- Is your literary voice male or female?
I am not sure I can answer this one. No one has ever told me which way or the other. I can tell you that my literary voice is very sassy, but that is as far as I can go. Either way, both men and women like my stories.
- What is the title of your latest book, and is it part of a series?
My latest book is Shadow Case Darkness, and although it is the second book in a trilogy, it was my first novel to hit the book shelf forcefully.
- Do you write under your own name for your novels?
I write under my own name. I had considered a pen name, but decided against it for the time being. This doesn’t mean I won’t use one on a book one day.
- Other than novels, do you write a blog?
I do not have a blog right now, although would like to start one at some point in the near future to help promote my books and other aspiring authors.
- What is the blurb for your latest novel?
The blurb for my most recent published work is from Beautifully Broken ‘At what point do you fight? At what point do you give up? How do you know you’re good enough to someone? How can one have everything in life, but feel like something is missing? That’s me. I have everything I could ever want or need in life. I broke the mold and followed my passion, but at what cost?’
- Are your characters demanding, and do they have a mind of their own?
A little of both. It’s all about balance. I may bring them to life, but they decide their fate.
- Do you find that although you have a set route/plan, your lead goes where he/she wants?
Quite frequently. Sometimes this annoys me and other times it ends up becoming something amazing.
- Do you trust your reader? Alternatively, do you feel compelled to explain everything in detail?
I try not to use so much descriptive detail. I want my readers to be able to use their own imaginations and creativity to decide how my characters look to them. I find that the reader can enjoy it much more if they see them in an appealing way.
- Are you capable of killing your darlings, or do you protect them endlessly?
Both. Throughout the books I have written I have killed several characters. Sometimes it is a necessary evil.
- Do you have e view or independent publishing, versus the agent route?
I am Indie-self-published Author. I would have loved to be with an agent and major publishing company, but for now this is the route that works for me. I have complete control over my books and covers. Maybe one day I will get noticed by the right people and then an agent will come knocking at my door. Self-publishing is a great way for new authors to get their works out without any boundaries, but they shouldn’t take it lightly. You can still end up hurting your work more than not if you don’t at least have outside help for certain things.
- Do you have any advice for those considering joining the literary world?
The best advice I can give anyone who wants to write. Do it! Write! Do not let self-doubts or insecurities keep you from writing. Embrace your creativity. There will always be at least one person out there who will fall in love with your chronicles and that’s all it takes. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
- How important do you think your cover is?
I think a cover is very important and should a considered, thought provoking reflection of your tale. It should fit your story. You can design a very simple cover that still attracts readers, while others can be more extensive. There is no wrong way. Only you can know what is perfect for your book.
- Do you see your novel as a film and if so, who would be your lead?
I’m not sure if I would say movie or tv show. It really depends on which book. I honestly don’t know who I would want to be my lead. I know I would want them to at least emanate, but not a specific person.
- Which genre would best describe your novel/novels?
Romance/ Fantasy/ Action/ Sci-Fi. Romance is the main genre and the other’s are sub genres.
Non literary questions:
- Where in the world do you live?
I currently live in Idaho, USA. A cool, vibrant, relaxed state in the north part of America.
- Where do you get your energy from, i.e. Mother Nature, Family, and Friends etc?
Other than the obvious of caffeine, I get my energy from the sheer force that drives me to write. It’s an intoxicating addiction for me. Writing keeps me sane while allowing me to express myself in secret.
- If you could be remembered for something, what would it be?
I would like to be remembered for being that friend that people could always go to for support in their dreams. The person that would go above and beyond to make sure no one ever felt that they didn’t know what they were doing or that they were a failure. I don’t think anyone should ever fear or abandon their dreams just because someone is trying to dim their creative light.
Amanda’s novels are available through Amazon world wide