Please welcome Amanda Guilliams to the blog today for this week's interview!
1. Have you always had a passion for writing?
I have always had a passion for writing. As a teenager, I would write to clear my head or to pass the time. I mostly wrote short stories and poems back then. I always wanted to write a full length novel and finally found the courage to do so last year.
2. Does what you read influence what you write and what are some of your favourite authors/books?
What I read hasn’t really influenced what I have written. My characters and music influence me the most when writing. Picking my favourite authors is going to be tough because I have so many. I will name a few though. Kate Benson’s The Promise Series, Sarah Elizabeth’s The Misjudged Series, Jay Crownover’s The Marked Men Series (my favourite is Rule), Katy Evans’ The Real Series, and T.K. Leigh’s A Beautiful Mess Series are some of my favourites.
3. What are your biggest inspirations?
My children and boyfriend are who inspire me the most. They have been there since the beginning of writing my first book and they have been my biggest cheerleaders. I do everything that I do for them!
4. Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings?
I don’t have a technique per say. The characters just come to me, sometimes at the most inopportune times when I can’t write anything down. Luckily I have a voice recorder that stays with me at all times and a good memory. As for the location settings, the characters usually tell me. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s their story that I’m telling so I stick with what they want.
5. Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces?
I always listen to music when I am writing. It helps me stay in the zone. I usually listen to the songs from the playlist for the book so that I have inspiration for what I’m working on.
6. What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?
I set myself time frames for what I want accomplished so that I stay on track. When a particular scene is giving me a hard time I read the chapter I worked on before to get me back on track. I haven’t fully been able to avoid writer’s block though. Sometimes it just can’t be avoided.
7. How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?)
Becoming an independently published author has changed my life in positive ways. I have more confidence in myself and that confidence has allowed me to continue working to reach my goals. Publishing my first book, Beautifully Tainted, has been an adventure and was more than I thought it would ever be. I have “met” some amazing people and fans along the way.
8. What are your biggest challenges as an author?
My biggest challenge is finding the time to write. I work full-time as well as have 3 very busy children, so sometimes it’s hard to find the time to write. That’s why I always keep a notebook and my voice recorder handy. Scenes usually come to me in the car or while I’m out and about so it’s been a lifesaver to have those items handy 24/7.
9. Do you have any pets?
I have 3 pets. I have a 9 year old German Sheppard named Dixie, a 6 month old Chocolate Lab named Champ, and a 9 year old ferret named Psycho (his name really suits him). They are my other children and a big part of my family.
10. What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing?
I love going to the park and the beach with my family. I also love anything adventurous, including riding rollercoaster’s and sky diving.
11. Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world?
The most memorable would be our trip to Disney World last year. The whole family had a blast and it will be a trip that I’m sure that I will always cherish. The most exciting place would have to be Nashville, Tennessee. I love the area and how music has influenced it.
12. Tell us about your latest work in progress or most recent published work…
I am working on the second book in The Beautifully Series, Beautifully Together. It is the continuation of Matt and Emily’s story, which I will be releasing later this summer. Books 3-5 of the series will be standalones of characters who are mentioned in the first two books.
My first book, Beautifully Tainted was published in February 2014 and is currently available at Amazon. It is about two people who are running from their pasts who come to realize the best thing for them to do is rely on each other.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1flZtxI
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/RJrmuI
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1i6Mrcg
Page Links: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-AM-Guilliams/262892013869353?ref=hl