Tag Archives: book chat

Triple A Book Blog Interviews Amanda Marsico

19 Mar

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(Interview originally published on Triple A Book Blog in two parts and republished here with permission. https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTripleABookBlog%2Fposts%2F1361588037321439&width=500)

Shay: Amanda, thank you for being with us today. I know you met Corry and Lia at Authors Invade Columbia. So it’s been a few months and I know you’ve been busy; especially with the newest kids book you’re getting ready to release soon. We are so excited you were able stop in on the blog today.

Amanda: I’m glad to be here. It was nice to meet your team and they kindly invited me to stop in. I can’t wait to have your readers learn more.

TA: So we met you at an author event…logically we can start with: what was the first thing you say you wrote as an author?

AM: I was prolific as a child and teen. I was always a writer, and it would be hard to say which piece was my first. But the first time I wrote something that made me feel like an author, like a professional, was the publication of my first novel Humans In My House, which started out as my master’s thesis. This book wasn’t my first work published. There were freelance editorials, poetry, and short stories in web journals here and there. But, there was a distinct feeling of legitimacy that came with a book–something I might see on a store shelf that was mine from cover to cover.

TA: I read your Humans In My House to a third grade class and they asked the book. It may have been their favorite read I’ve done this year….Who are some of your favorite books and authors? Both now and for youthful readers.

AM: This isn’t an easy one to answer but I’d have to say that when it comes to adult and literary fiction, I’d have to say:
°River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
°The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
°Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
°The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bradbury
°Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I occasionally enjoy true stories so for Non-fiction, Bio, or Memoir, it’d be:
°The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
°Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz

Young/New Adult:
°The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (and her other series)
°The Fallen series by Lauren Kate
And for children or the young at heart, my children’s and Middle-Grade picks are:
°Corduroy by Don Freeman
°This Is Not My Hat; I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
°One by Kathryn Otoshi
°The Geronimo Stilton series by Thea Stilton and released Scholastic Books
°The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

TA: Wow, you are really well read. I know many use reading to escape from work (or chores) Was there another field of work you saw yourself doing, other than writing?

AM: More like there were many fields of work I distinctly saw myself not doing. Writing was it. It was my sole purpose in the educational choices I made and how I spent my creative free time. I dabbled with ideas like international relations and translation as options that would incorporate language and writing with other interests, and I have varied subjects of interest outside of writing, but they were never viable career considerations. So, when I’m not writing, and to finance the novels, I teach composition at the college level, and I own Red Ink Enthusiast, a writing services company. Whether it’s my own text or someone else’s, it’s all writing all the time.

TA: That kind of determination and love is inspiring. Who is your biggest inspiration?

AM: The indie and self-published community as a whole inspires me to keep plugging away at my dream. To see authors like me become best sellers, some even multiple times, to see them get movie adaptations of their books, win awards, etc. is proof that there is just as much legitimacy in non-traditional publishing routes as any American Classic or traditionally published new release has.

[Come back at the half hour for part two of our chance to sit down with Amanda Marsico]

[Welcome back to our interview, where we’ll get to know more of Amanda]

TA: After that quick break to stretch our legs and grab fresh bottled water, let’s get back into this. Let’s start this part with getting to know more about you as a person…What is your favorite food and beverage?
AM: I love sushi and will never turn down an opportunity to have it. I drink mostly water, and tea and coffee (decaf only, sue me) if I want something with flavor.

TA: Shay is a big tea drinker. She says one of her favorite guilty pleasures is hot tea, Danish butter cookies and a good book to end her day. What guilty pleasure or quirky ritual do you have to have while you are writing?

AM: I guess I’m boring in this respect. I don’t do anything special or odd. At least, it’s not odd to me. I will write anytime, anywhere if there is something I need to get accomplished. I’m great at tuning out the world around me, so I don’t have a writing soundtrack or anything like that. Typically, it’s me, a laptop or notebook, and a cat or five on the couch around me. Netflix is usually on in the background, but I don’t pay it much mind. Coffee, tea, and chocolate seem too typical a guilty pleasure to consider as quirky and, well, I don’t feel guilty about those treats at all.

TA: You mentioned sitting on the sofa with the cats. What is your favorite place and time to write?

AM: I prefer to start writing first thing after waking up and to go straight through until my goal for the day is met. Typically, this happens on the couch. However, I found during a recent trip to San Diego that I am especially productive in airports and on planes, writing by hand because a notebook is much easier to travel with than a laptop. When writing by hand, there’s no constant word count reminder. It feels like I don’t write as quickly as I could in type, so I keep writing. By the end, I’ve written more in one sitting than I would have on a computer. Any instance where I’m unexpectedly productive is a favorite.

TA: I hear you on how great it feels to be more productive than expected. I noticed that when I’m busy doing stuff is when i get some of my brightest ideas but by the time i get to paper, they’re gone. What is the oddest place or time that a book idea has come to you and you just had to stop and write it down?

AM: Most ideas come as I’m trying to go to bed, but I think that’s pretty normal for creatives. I use a memo app to keep track of ideas that come while I’m out and about. I’ll stop in the middle of the grocery store or during a hike if I have to.

TA: Hiking? That’s an interesting activity, i know some do it for fitness while others like the quiet communion with nature that’s possible during a hike. What do you like to do to relax?
AM: Hiking might not sound relaxing to some, though it sounds like you understand. I do love a physical challenge and enjoy routes that require mountain scrambling. I feel most at ease in the middle of the woods with a pack on my back. And, of course, if I’m just going to sit around, I like to read.

[Speaking of reading; next up is Shay’s reviews of Amanda’s two middle grade books, followed by the conclusion to our interview]

(Find the review of Humans In My House here and Humans In My House and the Stars Above It here.)

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