Amanda Summerbell Author Interview³
1) Tell us 3 fun facts about your writing history
I started writing because I loved telling stories as a kid and read everything I could get my hands on. I would type up stories on my Smith-Corona and sell them to our neighbors. I sent a short story in to Bantam Doubleday and got a rejection when I was just a kid, and was crushed. (I saved that letter for a long time).
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
Gothic, character-driven, unique
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
Daphne du Maurier, Mary Higgins Clark, Heather Graham
4) Share your 3 favourite books
Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier), Dracula (Bram Stoker), and A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
My lap desk, my favourite pen, and a glass of wine
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
My bedroom, with my lap desk (since I handwrite all my stories first), but my dream spot would be the beach.
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
One: I would like to land an agent, since it seems to be an impossible task. Two: I would like to complete a riveting horror novel. Three: I would like to muster the courage to have a book signing.
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
One: Write for the love of writing. Don’t get caught up in what you are going to do with the story. Two: Write in a way that challenges you. Three: Pay no attention to the haters!!
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
To finish the novella I am currently working on, to find a publisher for it, and to start working on that riveting horror novel I mentioned in number 7!!
10) Tell us about your latest release
In my latest release, Family Sins, Kat Meninger is a teen living a hard knock life. Her mother died when she was seven, and her father is a verbally and physically abusive alcoholic. When Kat gets caught stealing food from a local mart, the cop gives her the choice of juvie or entering a program in which at-risk youth assist the elderly. She chooses the latter, and is paired with a colourful former Vegas showgirl, Delilah Grand, with whom she quickly forms a bond. But as Kat is learning the value of change, she realizes that someone is out to sabotage her, and cause her harm.
Although Family Sins is geared toward a Young Adult audience, it is a good read for anyone. It is full of hard lessons, some humor, and a great plot twist.
You wouldn’t think a kid who was kidnapped and sold for drug money could have her life turned around when she tried to steal a can of survival supper from a convenience store, but this one did.
Sixteen-year-old Kat Menninger’s mother died when she was seven, leaving her in the care of an abusive, drunk father in a shack in Longview, West Virginia. When Kat is busted shoplifting dinner at a convenience store, local cop Ed Stein gives her a choice: do time, or enter a program for troubled youth, assisting the elderly. She chooses the latter, and is paired up with Delilah Grand, a former Vegas showgirl with crippling arthritis.
Kat begins to feel safe in Delilah’s home. She changes her dark, grunge look back to the original bright, blond girl she was, and stops skipping school. She also lands a part-time job at a local bookstore and befriends a co-worker who eventually asks her out. Her newfound confidence is lost, though, when a routine locker search at school yields a copious amount of marijuana. Will running away land her in more trouble than Delilah or even Ed can help get her out of this time?
About the Author
Amanda Summerbell is a native Northern Virginian (Fairfax). She received a Smith Corona for her ninth birthday, and would write stories to sell to her neighbors. At the age of 10, she got her first rejection from Bantam Doubleday.
She now has a BA from George Mason University, is a West Virginia wife and mother of four daughters. Amanda enjoys gardening, and she's a total foodie, so if you have a favorite recipe, she's sure to want it.
Music and old movies are something she enjoys (Dean Martin is her favorite!) and if there's a crime show on, she wants to watch it. Both interests help her with her writing, which is still what she loves doing most. She primarily writes thriller, suspense, and paranormal stories. Her favorite writers are Daphne Du Maurier, Mary Higgins Clark, and Heather Graham.