I first learned of Author Amanda Washington when we featured her book, Making Angel on Book Cave. She does an incredible job of taking us into the life of a man raised in a crime family. You experience just how much he loves his family, and how good he is at his job, despite how much he hates it. Everyone he cares about becomes a weapon to keep him in line, and he understands there is no way out unless it’s death. Or is there another way?
But long before Angel, his father had his own choices to make, and Amanda has very recently completed Dom’s Ascension, the novel that tells his story.
Books by Amanda Washington
Mariani Crime Family
Linda & Lynda Detective Agency
Dial L for Lynda (Book 1)
Throw Linda from the Train (Book 2)
Rescuing Liberty (Book 1)
Liberty’s Hope (Book 2)
Chronicles of the Broken
Fallen (Book 1)
Cut (Book 2)
Forsaken (Book 3)
Interview with Amanda Washington
Book Cave: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s start off with something totally unrelated to writing but that gives us a peek into your life. What is something you have never done but you believe almost everyone else has?
Amanda: Holy cow, this is the very first question, and it has me stumped. I am a bit of a daredevil and will try most anything, so I cannot think of one thing I haven’t done that the average person has. If you can, please tell me, so I can try it!
Book Cave: Haha. Maybe you can use that as a contest or something on your blog or website. And now that I think about it, your daredevilness comes through in your writing. So, was there a moment when you first knew you were going to be an author?
Amanda: My writing career started with a series of bad dreams my sister convinced me to write down. That sparked Rescuing Liberty, the first book in my dystopian series. I started writing to make the nightmares stop. Now I write to keep the dreams flowing.
Book Cave: How supportive is your family of your work?
Amanda: My family is uber supportive. My husband is my loudest cheerleader, and he brags about my books and encourages me to keep going when I want to give up. I’ve released four books this year so far, and there is no way I could have done it without him.
Book Cave: Four books are quite the accomplishment, and we’re not even through the entire year yet. How do you work it all in? What are your regular days like?
Amanda: Crazy. Chaotic. My husband works from home, and is also a volunteer football coach, and our boys are super active. I am (theoretically) a full-time author, but honestly, my time gets split between playing taxi, writing, household chores, shopping, etc. I write whenever I can, trying to get in at least 1,500 words a day. Sometimes I can get over 4,000 in. I do write or edit every day, even if I have to stay up until the clock rolls over.
Book Cave: That takes a lot of dedication. Can you share the best reader response you’ve ever received?
Amanda: One of my friends sent Making Angel to a prison where an Italian inmate with mafia ties got a hold of it. He said, the depictions were great and the story was well done without being overdone. But the best part was that he thought a man wrote Angel’s point of view.
Book Cave: That’s certainly high praise. Now let’s play make believe for a moment. Say you were stranded on a tropical island and could only bring four things? What would you choose?
Amanda: My husband (not a thing, but I really like the guy and wouldn’t want to be out there without him), a fishing pole, an axe, first aid kit. Did you really think I was going to say a pen and paper? I’m in this thing to survive!
Book Cave: Just testing your resolve! Hopefully, you won’t be going to that island any time soon. Has anyone ever given you a bad review? What do you do when that happens?
Amanda: When my first manuscript was finished I put it up on a now obsolete website called Authonomy, where authors and readers would go and judge your manuscript, suggesting edits, giving advice, and rating the work. At first, the criticism felt personal, like they were ripping into me. But after a while I learned how to distance myself from my work and take their criticism for the learning tool it was. Not all the advice I got turned into golden nuggets of wisdom (some of it was more like steamy piles of cow dung), but I learned a ton from the authors on that website, and walked away with some pretty phenomenal friendships. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a “bad” review, but if someone has insightful input or suggestions for me, I invite them to beta read.
Book Cave: That’s smart, asking for feedback before it’s published, especially if their comments help strengthen the book. Can you share with us the most amazing thing you’ve accomplished?
Amanda: Amazing? I don’t know that anything I’ve done amazes me. Life amazes me. Places amaze me (this one spot I hiked on Kauai sticks out in my mind). People amaze me (I love witnessing acts of kindness, generosity, real beauty). But I can’t say anything I’ve ever done has amazed me.
Book Cave: Who inspired your writing?
Amanda: My sister convinced me to start, paired with my husband and kids who inspire me to keep writing.
Book Cave: What is the biggest writing mistake you ever made?
Amanda: I don’t know that it’s really a mistake, but I wish I would have written my older books under a pen name so I don’t have to claim them. But on the other hand, I know I’ll feel the same way about the stuff I’m writing now in a few years. It’s all part of the journey. Growing, changing, improving. I do wish the evidence was listed under a different name though.
Book Cave: Lol. You know, I think your real fans will enjoy going back and reading those books. So, given that you wrote four books this year, I’m sure you are writing now. Can you give us a peek into what you’re planning?
Amanda: I’m currently working on a five-book urban fantasy/paranormal series. It’s modern-day mythology with a touch of mafia, like Percy Jackson books, but edgier, more integrated with reality, and written for adults. Short blurb: When an enslaved demigod earns her freedom, but loses the one thing that matters more, she'll have to join forces with an old flame and steal from a cast of powerful gods to get it back. The first book, Lucky Blow, will be part of an anthology (Once Upon a Midnight), with twenty other authors, coming out in October.
Book Cave: That is a big anthology. If you had one piece of advice to share with someone you never met, what would it be?
Amanda: Life advice? Take the red pill. Life’s supposed to be uncomfortable, messy, hard, painful, exhilarating, and beautiful. Enjoy the journey.
Thank you for your time, Amanda. We’re looking forward to all your upcoming books.
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