Recently I posted a review on a book titled Merry Me, which I loved, and I am very excited to bring you a Q & A session with the Author of that book, Amanda Siegrist. She is a lovely person who is a romance enthusiast but her passion is for romantic suspense. She is also one of the collaborators of the movement….cough, cough, errr ummm website Love Indie Romance. So if you love Indie Romance you should click that link and and check out what they are all about. In the meantime keep reading and learn more about this great Indie Author!
A conversation with Author Amanda Siegrist
Q. Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids, one is a newborn, so I’ve been very busy and tired these days. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and used to work in that field, which is probably one of the reasons I LOVE to write romantic suspense. Hmmm, something people wouldn’t really know. That’s a hard one. An air of mystery is always fun, right? *chuckles* I’m a very friendly person, and maybe people who interact with me a lot wouldn’t guess it, but I am very grumpy in the morning. Soooo not a morning person. You gotta give me time to wake up and chug down a cup of coffee before talking to me. Just ask my husband. *laughs*
Q. When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
Almost a year into being a stay-at-home mom, I thought about what I was going to do, considering I would’ve had to find a brand new job in a whole new state since we moved so far away. I’ve always secretly loved to create stories in my head. It occurred to me that there wasn’t anything wrong with actually putting them down on the computer. So I did. I just started to write and now I can’t stop. *smiles* The first thing I ever wrote is Sunrise Awakening. It’s a darker romantic suspense that really surprised me the way the story turned at the end. I’m re-releasing that book soon. There were a few things I wanted to change so I took it down from Amazon for a while.
I love it! I am glad that you took that leap into writing. I know I have benefited from that choice 😍.
Q. So I have read your novels Escaping Memories and Protecting You, what else have you written?
Lots! I write all the time. The books I have published as well are Trust In Love, which is the book after Protecting You. I also have a short story that I wrote last year for Halloween. There is absolutely no romance in that book whatsoever. *laughs* Just a nice spooky read. I also write on Wattpad. I have two books on there. A short story romance, Delilah, written for a contest, and a full-length novel, One Taste of Love, which is book two in that series. It’s a romantic suspense. The first one, One Taste of You, I decided to submit to some agents. I’ve written a Christmas story, Merry Me, which just recently published on December 01, 2016. I also just finished another romantic suspense (that has no title yet….grrrr) that I plan to submit to Harlequin. I’ve written a lot. Once I decided to write, I just couldn’t stop! Haha.
Her latest book Merry Me is a cute little Christmas story. It can be viewed and purchased here: ◊ Amazon ◊
Q. Out of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite?
Hmmm, can I say I love all of them? *laughs so hard tears stream down my face* Seriously, though, I do love all my books…but…if I had to choose I would say for non-published books, One Taste of You and One Taste of Love. I just love Zeke and Ben. Their friendship makes me laugh and the way they love their women just makes me swoon. They’re awesome! What more can I say? Haha.
For published books, I would say Protecting You. That one tugs at your heart and makes me wanna cry just thinking about it. When I first started writing it, I never intended to make it soooo sad, it just happened. Ava really struggles as does Zane. I think that struggle made them both stronger and they would’ve never healed without leaning on each other. That’s what I love most about it. It was hard to convey that.
Q. If someone is brand new to your work, what book do you think they should start with?
Wow, hard question. I write in two different sub genres in romance. Suspense and contemporary. Not everyone likes suspense and vice versa. I guess I would say Protecting You because it’s one of my favorites.
Q. What are you working on at the minute?
A lot! Some days I’m working too much. Lol. I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo this year and it’s day three and I have almost 5,000 words done. I’m writing book 3 in the McCord Family Novel series. This one will be about Deja and Emmett McCord. You meet them both in book 2, Trust In Love. I’m also finishing up the last edits in Sunrise Awakening so I can re-release it. I need to submit my latest romantic suspense (That has no title yet….grrr…bugs me I can’t think of a great title. Titles have to be perfect for me.) to Harlequin. When I’m finished writing book 3, I plan to write book 2 for the series, A Lucky Town Novel. Kat and Danny’s story is gonna be explosive. They’re both stubborn people. It’ll be nice to see how they work that stubbornness out together. Haha.
Q. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They all come from my imagination. Sure, some characteristics might be inspired by people I know, or even things within myself, but for the most part, they’re made up. An idea hits me, most of the time out of nowhere, and I just start writing.
Q. If you could spend time a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day or night?
Oooo, that’s a hard one, too. I’ll stick with picking a character with the books I have published and say Kat. She’s strong, tough, funny, and tells it like it is. I like that about her. She loves to play cards. That part is actually inspired by my family. We play card games all the time. I especially love to play poker, so I think Kat and I would have poker night. Grab a glass of wine, deal out some cards, and try to win all the money! *rubs hands together gleefully* Who’s in for some cards?
I am in! I love playing cards, too much fun!
Q. What has your experience been like as an Indie Author? Bruises, Highlights, and lessons?
It’s tough. I’m learning about things all the time. Things not to do. Things I should do. It’s a learning curve. And, honestly, there isn’t a right or wrong, I think. It’s trial and error. What one thing works for someone, may not work for me. And vice versa.
What I do love is having control of everything. Making the decisions. Do I always make the right ones? Lol. Probably not. But you don’t know if you don’t try, right? The one thing I love is to write and to meet people who love to write. I’ve met some amazing people and it’s great getting to know them.
I agree with you there. I think that the book writing community are very supportive and always looking to help out others.
Q. What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?
Just try your best. There’s so much advice out there and it’s hard to decipher what is the best. Who should you listen to? Are they right? I think it’s important to stay true to yourself and believe in yourself. I believe there’s no right or wrong, even though some people will tell you otherwise. Stay strong and stay positive. Try new things. I don’t think there’s one magical way to make it as an author. It’s hard work. Just keep at it. I do what I do because I love writing. If I can touch one reader, then I’ve accomplished my goal. *smiles*
I love it!
Q. Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I would love to see the Bestsellers list! Haha. That’s a high goal to achieve. Will I ever achieve it? Who knows, but it’s fun to try. I just plan to keep writing. That’s all. I love to write, so in the long run, it doesn’t matter how successful I become, because I’m successful now. Success is relative. I’m writing. I’m healthy. I have a wonderful family. I call that success.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just keep writing. Believe in yourself and don’t give up. Taking a break is fine, even I do that at times, but don’t give up.
Q. Any last words?
Thank you so much, Minx, for having me on your blog! I’ve enjoyed answering all these questions. It’s always great to share a little of myself with others. I love writing. I think I said that a lot! Hahaha. I also love interacting with people, so don’t be shy to say hi to me. I’m a huge Twitter fan. Let’s tweet 😁.