Mostly I try not to put any of myself into my characters. I like them to be their own people, you could say. If I succeed, I hope my characters seem like a real person with a personality a reader can predict and recognize on sight. I hope no character I write is the same as any person I meet, because no person is completely the same. Some of myself does creep into my characters at times, though—my creativity and my stubbornness mostly.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
One quirky thing that I do is mimic voices and sing in strange tones. I can pull off an uncanny copy of Gollum’s voice from Lord of the Rings as well as Susan from Narnia. I like to sing in a “chipmunk” voice, too, but these are things most people will never see me do. I’m pretty shy about showing other people these . . . talents.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m not sure there was a time I discovered I was a writer. Writing was always very difficult for me as a child, and I struggled to become the writer I am now. There was never any ‘ah ha!’ moment, I just gradually came to enjoy it and wanted to share my work with others.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The range of books I read is pretty vast. It might even be easier to say what I don’t like to read! I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and faerie tales. I also have enjoyed steampunk and dystopian novels.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I keep my sanity by making sure I take time to step outside of our world. I read a book, do some writing, take a walk, or spin some yarn on my spinning wheel. If I’m not on a book tour promoting my novel, I’m pretty much a recluse. Of course I do enjoy seeing my friends and talking to them, but they all live a long, long way away from me, so I just hang out with my family instead.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Often I don’t choose my characters’ names. They just pop into my head, and I write them down. Does that sound weird? However, if that doesn’t happen, I’ll think of the sound I want the name to start with and then make it up from there.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
One of the accomplishments I’m very happy with is winning a state level sewing competition. I’m a seamstress, and when I was sixteen, I entered a 4-H sewing contest with some of my work and won 1st place at the state level. It was great to have my many years of study of sewing finally come to fruition and be recognized.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a cat. Then I would be much more graceful than I am now (I’m pretty clumsy). The downside to that, though, is that I would also be allergic to myself. Maybe I’d better be a horse, then I could be graceful and a fast runner and not be sneezing all the time.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is ice cream. Some people would argue that that’s not really a food, but I say it is, and it’s definitely my favorite. Unfortunately, it’s also not very good for me!
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock with writing is definitely dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to learn how to read and write. I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was nine years old and was starting the first grade for the third time, still unable to read. Even when I was 15 I couldn’t write a cohesive paragraph. It took me a long time and many hours of lessons and practice to be able to write.
I overcame it with a lot of perseverance, tutoring at a learning disability center, many writing lessons from my dad, and maybe just a hint of stubbornness, and not willing to give up even though writing didn’t come naturally. I had decided I wanted to write, and no disability I was born with was going to stop me. Dyslexia isn’t curable, and I’ll always have it, but I can work around it and never give up.
Tell us about the featured book.
Precisely Terminated is what people call a “dystopian” novel. Dystopian, in short is the opposite of utopian (A perfect world).
It is 800 years in the future, and the world is being oppressed by the ruling class. Millions of slaves toil under the Nobles’ oppressive thumb, but because of microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, there can be no uprising. Monica, a young slave girl, escaped the chip implantation process. She is able to infiltrate the Nobles’ security and travel where no one else is able, but can one girl free the world?
Also, the chips control everything, food, showers, etc. If a person doesn’t have a chip, he or she cannot access these things. This is one reason Monica looks so haggard on the cover. She never gets to eat.
Please give us the first page of the book.
How nice it must be to sleep so peacefully when doom awaited at dawn. Letting out a sigh, Faye pulled a threadbare blanket from a top bunk and surveyed the many beds and sleeping bodies lined up in the cramped room. How little they all knew, these poor, ignorant laborers. Perhaps they would die unaware of the tragedy about to befall them.
As she folded the blanket and laid it back on the bed, tears welled in her eyes. Why did it have to happen this way? She was only a nursemaid, one slave in the midst of thousands. Why should she die because of one man’s actions? It simply wasn’t fair. No, it was cruel, inhumane, tragic . . . evil.
She slowly clenched a fist. Fair or unfair, the time had come. The plan had to proceed.
A child cried out from across the room. Faye turned to locate the sound, knocking her elbow against a bunk beside her own. She squinted into the darkness and across the rows of similar bunks along each side of the narrow room. Thin sheets hanging around each one offered the only privacy to be had by the overworked slaves.
Faye pressed a hand on her forehead and blinked away her drowsiness. If only she could have slept for more than a couple of hours. Would she be able to complete her part of the plan? Was there really any choice?
The child yelled again, and the noise rose above the snores of others. Faye weaved through the maze of people lying about the room’s floor, trying not to imagine the horror they were soon to face. Each and every soul here would die, including herself.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me on the internet by:
My website: www.amandaldavis.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandaldavisEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Amanda, for the interesting interview.
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Precisely Terminated (The Cantral Chronicles) - paperback
Precisely Terminated (The Cantral Chronicles) - Kindle
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