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Interview – Amanda Minaker, author of Nora Waite

Amanda Minaker

Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Amanda Minaker, author of Nora Waite. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Amanda.

Amanda Minaker: Thanks for inviting me. I am thrilled to discuss Nora and writing in general.

SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?

AM: I have been telling stories and writing from a young age, but it wasn’t until I came across the NaNoWriMo in 2013 that I decided it was time to write a full novel. I teach and have three young children so it was a challenge but I loved the experience! 

SPS:  What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?

AM: I am not sure what perfect writing conditions are- I write whenever I can. I am usually interrupted so I have to stay flexible and focused. I have always wanted a cabin by a lake. That would inspire me!

SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?

AM: I have always been shy of sharing my work. My husband kept saying how much he liked it. So finally I decided to go for it. It was liberating! It was empowering but I did it just to finally get the story out of my head. I came alive when I was writing Nora’s story.

SPS: Why do you think it is that you have found yourself writing in the style/genres that you do?

AM: I read stories with romance and history, but sometimes the heroine is an idiot and I wanted to write a story about a more realistic yet flawed character. Someone I could look at and be proud of while also cheering her on.

SPS: What would you say best differentiates you from other authors?

AM: So many things and nothing.

Nora Waite

SPS: Can you take a moment to tell us all about how your debut novel Nora Waite came about?

AM: I had this dream that I couldn’t shake and the story just glowed. I could barely keep up with it. I was outlining it in my notes app and it just flew! It was usual for this to happen but rarely did I feel as compelled to complete a story. Then I just got so into the world and the characters… I had to write Nora’s story down. She gently insisted.

SPS: Where did the inspiration for the story come from?

AM:I read a lot and have very vivid odd dreams,

SPS: What can you tell us about your protagonist Nora and the challenges she faces?

AM: Nora is strong and very young. She just wants a family and a home. Her journey is not perfect and neither is she. She is a good person though and she grows up a great deal through hard circumstances.

SPS: Which other characters can be found in Nora’s tale?

AM: Sadie, her mother-in-law. Jade, sister-in-law. Cameron, husband. And others…

SPS: Is there scope to continue to tell Nora’s story, or have you said all that needs to be said?

AM: I have written another side of the story. A different character’s chance to tell. Jade Thomas is the related story.

SPS: Can you tell us about your current work in progress Jade Thomas?

AM: Jade is not a favorite character. She is tough, a little rude, but she has a deep heart- very strong as well. More to learn about kindness than Nora.

SPS: Have you found the process any different second time around? Did you learn anything from publishing Nora Waite that has helped?

AM: it was harder! I had more expectations for myself. My students cheered me on so much during the writing of Nora’s story. Spring is much busier at our school so it was a little extra challenging. Plus, I had a different format and more research to do.

SPS: What’s next on the self-publishing horizon for yourself?

AM: I have two other completed novels in editing. I would love to find a small house to publish with and get an editor who gets what I am trying to do. 

SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?

AM: No. I wrote the novel in hopes of making extra money. We were so broke and I was desperate. That dream sailed early in- I started just writing for the love. Always better!

SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?

AM: That and more! It’s cathartic and yet torture. I love the challenge and the process. Editing? Not as fun.

SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?

AM: Write often with good music and great story- the rest will happen if you know a marketing genius and like social media and libraries.

SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…

AM: Oh man… Well, a favorite is Diana Gabaldon. She’s like the high priestess for me. I want to write like her when and if I grow up. So many great new authors like Bell Andre, Jasinda Wilder, Monica McCarthy, JR. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon… Too many to be fair here. Love reading! My all time favorite- Harper Lee. Total class act.

SPS: Thank you for joining us today, Amanda, and all the best for the future.

AM: thank you s much for being so kind to new authors like me. I am thrilled each time you send me a shout out. My Facebook and Twitter feed have grown due to the love I get from the Showcase. Thanks again!

SPS: For more information on Amanda Minaker and her work, please do visit her Showcase Author page here.

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