Oct 31, 2017

Interview with Amanda Clay

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I can honestly say that it’s something that I’ve always known I’ve wanted to do. Even before I could read and write, I was dictating stories to my mom to write down!

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen?
It’s definitely been a lifelong dream of mine. But it definitely didn’t just happen. It took many years of hard work and persistence. While writing is the most natural thing for me, making a living at it is tough!

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
Hmmm…I think it was a short story along the lines of, “Once upon a time there was a cat and a dog. They were friends. The end.”
Haha. I’m actually being serious, but the first book I wrote was in the 5th grade—a story about a young girl who follows her brother who enlists in the American Revolution. It won an award!

What was the inspiration for your book?
When I describe the plot of the Rebel Song series to people, but tell them it’s contemporary, they often say, “Wait, it’s about a princess and a rebellion and star-crossed love? Sounds a little Medieval.” And it does sound like a plot of old. But it’s also a reality of today...Let me explain a bit of history about its inspiration.
The very first incarnation of Rebel Song came about 22 years ago—no joke! When I was 12—possibly suffering some unrequited love of my own—I wrote this short book about a princess who falls in love with a spy from another country and she betrays her kingdom for him. In the end she jumps off a cliff and kills herself so in retrospect it wasn’t a very uplifting story (I was a strange 12 year old, I admit). But I never forgot that tale and I’ve maintained this affinity for the star-crossed lovers since.
So fast forward a couple decades. I’m in Madrid, Spain, reading about the turmoil of Spain’s 20th century—from a monarchy to a dictator to back to a monarchy. And I realized that, while it’s strange to Americans, royalty is alive and well in much of Europe. Additionally, many countries in Europe have undergone rebellions, dictators, civil war and more in the last fifty years alone. Sometimes there’s even a juicy love story thrown in there. I was fascinated by the history there and I suddenly knew I had to bring Rogan and Elyra’s story to life in a fresh new way.

Who is your literary hero?
So many to choose from! Well, the Laura Ingles books (Little House on the Prairie) were what really got me into books, so I must give credit there. Others would include Jane Austen, Isabel Allende, Tolkien and George R.R. Martin (if he ever finishes his darn series!).

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I think every writer bases her characters on being they know whether they mean to or not. It’s difficult not to! Maybe it’s just a personality tick or someone’s appearance. I don’t have any characters that are entirely based on someone I know personally, but I certainly draw inspiration.

Describe your main character in six words.
There are two main characters so…
Rogan: Loyal, Brave, Pensive, Dreamer, Fighter, Resolute
Elyra: Determined, Fiery, Idealistic, Haughty (at times!), Kind, Faithful

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
Broken, Beautiful, Torn, Ancient, Transforming, Renewed

What scene was your favorite to write?
Without giving too much away…there is a scene with Elyra and Pantone that actually gave me the chills.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
There is a scene in which Elyra has to make a very tough choice. And I’ll admit, it was hard to write it!

What are you working on now?
I am finishing Book 3—Rebel Fire, out November 21, 2017!

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
My goal is to have Rebel Fire and then a novella to another series of mine, Lies in the Darkness, both done this year.

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
How long have you got?! 😊 Some authors I’m loving now are:
Tiffany Reiz—adult romance/drama (VERY steamy)
Joanna Penn—Adult thrillers in the vein of Dan Brown (But much better in my opinion, shh…)
In the YA Space, I’m loving series by India R. Adams and Robert Krenzel.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Travel! As I write this, I’m currently in Valencia, Spain.

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