I’m excited to welcome Amanda Thompson to BookEnds! Her YA contemporary pulled me in right away with its unique opening scene meet-cute and layers of family, friendship, and the focal point of questioning one’s religious upbringing and faith when surrounded by loved ones who do not. I can’t wait for you to read her story, but in the meantime you can get to know her better below! ~Rachel
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I write when I can. Having small children has meant that I’ve had to be flexible. Sometimes, it means writing in the evening or on the weekends and sometimes it means getting up early in the morning when everyone is asleep. I find time just about every day so I stay in the habit and I keep moving forward.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
I’ve been really getting into using Pomodoro timers. Working in intervals has really helped me become less distracted and a lot more productive.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Right now I spend a lot of my time taking care of my two kids. They’re little and wild and require supervision. I try to also find time for my visual art, which right now includes a good bit of oil painting.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
“I confess I have been a rake at reading. I have read those things which I ought not to have read, and I have not read those things which I ought to have read, and there is no health in me — if by health you mean an inclusive and coherent knowledge of any body of great literature. I can only protest, like all rakes in their shameful senescence, that I have had a good time.” -Robertson Davies
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
It’s not exactly writing advice, more like advice on being productive. Chuck Close, an American painter said, “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Plotter or pantster?
Pantser. I have yet to find a plotting method that works for me.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Love to hate them? Hate to love them? I guess it’s complicated for me.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Since most of my writing happens in the morning or early afternoon, I generally drink coffee while I work.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
At any stage of the writing process, when I would feel discouraged, I would remind myself that the only way I could predict the future was if I stopped. Stopping was the only way I could be absolutely certain that I would fail. As long as you keep moving forward, you leave the door open for all sorts of possibilities.