Author Interviews

* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), the main items being the interviews (new ones posted there 7am UK time daily) as well as author spotlights, guest posts, flash fiction or poetry 7pm.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Author interview no.440: Marc Nash (revisited)


Back in July 2012, I interviewed author Marc Nash for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...


Welcome to the four hundred and fortieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with novelist and short story author (and Flash Fiction Fridays contributorMarc Nash. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Marc. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Marc: Hi there. I'm Marc Nash, London born, bred and resident. I've just always resorted to the written word, I think I'm an observer by temperament. After a brief adolescent delusion that I could write lyrics, I passed over into writing stage plays for 10 years from University onwards and then when my twin boys arrived in the world and meant I couldn't really hang around theatre bars at night, I tried my hand at prose fiction.
Morgen: And if you’re like me, you’ll have been hooked ever since. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Marc: I'm not terribly comfortable with the concept of genre, but I guess my work would be tagged either literary or experimental, though the latter suggests that one's work is somehow unfinished or unpolished. I'm interested in what can be done with the novel form that has stayed pretty fixed for over 200 years and that means I play with both narrative and language. I have written one novel which takes the genre form of a Police Procedural (with elements of the paranormal), but actually its purpose is to subvert the genre!
Morgen: I’d be an agent’s nightmare; I’ve written four and a bit novels and they’re all different genres. :) What have you had published to-date?
Marc: I've written four novels and a novella, of which I have so far published two. The novella is with a designer who is doing some remarkable things with typography and design. The genre novel I mentioned above is being submitted to agents. I've also published an anthology of 52 of my flash fiction stories.
Morgen: I love flash fiction, most of my 5pm fiction pieces are flash. :) Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Marc: Well if you add my playwriting ones to my fiction ones, I've had about 26 years worth of rejections! How do I deal with them? I pin them up on the wall of my study and use them to drive me on! I'm fully comfortable with the realisation that my work may well not be for the mass market. So I can kind of see where the agents are coming from.
Morgen: That’s the best way to think… onwards and upwards. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Marc: I don't, but am trying for one. I don't know if in this world of self-publishing and author self-marketing whether an agent would still be judged as vital. I'm pretty open-minded on the question.
Morgen: Me too, never say never but continue eBooking and see what happens. Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Marc: I originally published my debut novel in print, but currently my three titles are all only e-published. I did everything for this process other than the cover design, since I can't even draw stickmen properly! I gave my designers a brief and we collaborated from that.
Morgen: They’re very striking. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Marc: Everything. I only started writing flash fiction as a form of helping maintaining visibility while promoting the debut novel. A year later and I found I had enough for the anthology and that became my second published book. I always imagined marketing was far from creative, but have learned that it isn't, it's just a different sort of creativity. I've made videos, do live performances, neither of which I ever anticipated doing before I started out.
Morgen: Videos are on my ‘to do’ list, I’m going to have to pick your brain on that one. :) Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?
Marc: Oooh I love this question!
Morgen: Why, thank you. It’s a fairly recent addition. :)
Marc: I do like writing unreliable narrators, because that allows me to consider the nature of storytelling and fiction itself. But Karen Dash from my debut novel "A,B&E" is a scary character and was great fun to write. The novel is written in such a way as she addresses the reader directly, like a conversation. She bullies, seduces, wheedles, teases, as she goes through the emotional ringer of her story. She is a very powerful woman indeed, although she has little power within the society she finds herself through the novel.
Morgen: I love strong women. :) Did you have the full say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Marc: They were the process of an active collaboration with the designers. I'm unsure as to their importance given that for ebooks they are effectively reduced to a thumbnail. Titles I think are very important. I like mine to have a couple of resonances behind them if possible.
Morgen: Like you, I try to go for unusual titles and invariably write the story first then pick a phrase from it. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Marc: I'm doing a novel based on the physics of Einstein and quantum mechanics, which is all about objectivity! I want to collaborate with a video designer to make one of my flash pieces into a video of kinetic typography (animated script). I also have two completed graphic novel storyboards which one day I'll find time to find an illustrator to collaborate on.
Morgen: That sounds like fun. :) Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Marc: No, not every day, but I have so much material to catch up on I'm never really blocked. I think my long journey as a writer has taught me not to waste negative energy bemoaning days where I haven't been able to write. I often end up writing on the London Underground or in the bath, so even if I'm not formally sitting down at my desk to write, I probably have written something that day that I can transcribe later.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Marc: Seems to happen for me that every story has its genesis in a central image or metaphor and the main character's voice. Once those two come together, I just let it bubble away in my sub-consciousness for about six months, doing nothing but making the odd note. I don't plan it. I don't plot it, but when it's ready to emerge after those six months, then I sit down to write it all out of a piece. That simmering process seems to put much of the plot structures in place and it just seems to emerge as I progress through the first draft. Of course then the hard work starts with editing in order to knock it into shape.
Morgen: “bubble away” I love that. You mentioned Karen Dash, do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Marc: For me it all comes down to voice. Getting that right produces the character for me (maybe a legacy of my playwriting days?) Voice involves how a character sees the world, how they express themselves, their level of education, their quirks, everything.
Morgen: The character has got to be the most important element; if a reader doesn’t connect with the protagonist then the plot can be strong but the reader is less likely to care. You write flash fiction and novels, do you write any in between length short stories or non-fiction?
Marc: I have a few short-stories. I don't write any non-fiction, though I regularly contribute to a book-review site. I have a blog, but don't consider myself a blogger. I mainly use it to upload pieces of fiction.
Morgen: Me too… and a few other pieces here and there. :) Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Marc: I write my flash really quickly. I did one earlier tonight with barely a word changed once I set it down on paper. But the longer works need plenty of editing, because the layering and interconnections are far more intricate and extended.
Morgen: It’s all practice isn’t it. Most of my daily stories have little changed to them, unless I’m not happy with them then they get pulled apart (usually at the last minute). Do you have to do much research?
Marc: No. I like to underscore the fictional nature of my fiction if that makes any sense! Places I write about have only ever been visited in my mind, rather than me trying to describe an actual location. They are symbolic for me, rather than a need to fix a specific reality.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Marc: Nearly always first person for me, as I like its intimacy with the reader. I have written one story second person, it was about linguistic programming of a cyborg; the borg was denied the concept of "I", referring to its human master as "thee" and to itself as "it". It was one of my favourite flash stories and was published in "Speech Bubble" online.
Morgen: Ooh, I love the sound of that. :) Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Marc: Ha yes. Another work in progress which is about the schizophrenic nature of our English language, drawing on its Anglo-Saxon and Norman-French roots. It's very dense and unless I've built up a serious reputation, no one is ever going to take a chance on it! I do want to finish it however, whatever ends up happening with it.
Morgen: If no-one will take a chance then there’s always the eBook route. I like to think that if a story is well-written then there’s a market for it somewhere. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Marc: When I'm immersed in writing that first draft, I resent anything that takes me away from it and breaks the momentum and the mood the writing is taking place in. That can be breaks for food or sleep. It's completely preposterous to resent these things of course!
Morgen: We do need both. I love going to bed but the sleeping part is such a waste of time. :( What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Marc: To believe in your own artistic vision, but also to know what it is you want to achieve as a writer. Is it a level of sales? Is it the validation of being published by a publishing house? Is it to fill a venue to do a Q&A? Is it to tell an entertaining yarn for someone on their commute to work which they're reading on their phone? Whatever it is, you need to be realistic, unflappable and fixated on bringing it about. Oh and of course, remaining flexible too! But I do think any author has to ask themselves what the written word and fiction itself means to them. Why for example do you want to write novels rather than say TV scripts? What is it that is uniquely intrinsic to novels that draws you to the form?
Morgen: ‘Fixate’ is my middle name. :) I had a go at a TV script for the now defunct Script Frenzy but didn’t like the bittiness of it… give me solid prose any day regardless of length (I’ve written from 27 words to 117,540 :)). Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Marc: I've got a competition to win a hand-made artist's sculpture used as a prop in one of my trailers and all the reader has to do is tell me which is their favourite word from the novel and why! I love words, both for their imprecision and the new meanings they make when brought together with other words.
Morgen: Great! Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Marc: I am quite keen to perform a couple of my flash pieces with live music accompaniment. I did that a long time ago, but now feel I have the perfect pieces that lend themselves to it. That way I can also realise my adolescent fantasy of being a rock star up on stage!
Morgen: :) What do you do when you’re not writing?
Marc: For my sins and it causes me way more aggravation than anything to do with writing, I used to manage my twin boys' football team. Luckily this season I've been able to hand it over to a qualified coach, but I'm still very involved.
Morgen: Isn’t that why people have sons? :) Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Marc: I've been a member of both YouWriteOn.com and Authonomy.com. Both are potentially useful for those relatively new to writing, but they also are partially dangerous in seeming to offer a honeypot of publishing treasures to very hungry authors which can lead to untrammelled behaviour on the forums. The sites reward you what you are prepared to put into them, but like publishing itself, they offer only the slenderest of opportunities to land an actual book deal.
Morgen: I was on both sites for a while but just didn’t have the time to read everyone else’s work which is part of the deal to get yours (mine) read. It’s great if you have nothing else going on but take some of the feedback to heart (it can be unnecessarily cruel). What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Marc: I think it's all in a state of flux with self-publishing and e-readers and total free access to publishing. I'm not really bold enough to make any predictions on how it will all shake out.
Morgen: Better for the authors these days I think. :) Where can we find out about you and your work?
Marc: My blog is www.sulcicollective.blogspot.com, on Twitter I'm @21stCscribe and am very active there.
Morgen: You are. :)
Marc: I have a couple of websites on the novels, http://marcnash.weebly.com and http://marcnashNIMN.weebly.com. I also have a YouTube channel with 17 literature-related videos, just type in sulci collective into the search function.
Morgen: Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Marc: Yes, would you consider running the British publishing industry because I think you'd be its saviour! Writers need love and nourishment and you provide that to the maximum! Thanks for this interview opportunity and all the best for your brilliant blog.
Morgen: <laughs> You’re very welcome. If someone could magic an extra 36 hours in each day (so I could sleep more) then maybe I could do what I’m doing plus that. I do think the future is eBooks but pBooks won’t go away. People still love paper… they’ve told me so. :) Thank you, Marc.
I then invited Marc to include the synopsis for A,B&E…
From the black market economy of the 1980's through the gangsterism behind the Clubbing scene of the 1990's, to today's decade of drift and low cost airline hedonism, one woman in exile has lived it all. On the run from her gangster husband, Karen Dash is hiding out in a Club 18-30 resort in Kavos on the island of Corfu. A home from home as the neo-colonial horde of hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists turn mythical, Classical Greece into Little Britain. Meanwhile, back in the UK, an NHS nurse decides she has had enough of being assaulted by the patients she is trying to help heal...  "A,B&E"
Wish you were anywhere but here?
***
TimeAfterTimeUpdate December 2012: Marc has released another novel, 'Time After Time', a sci-fi dark romantic comedy, available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, and you can watch the Trailer. :)
***
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Author interview no.439: Amanda McLain-Young (revisited)


Back in July 2012, I interviewed author Amanda McLain-Young for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the four hundred and thirty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with paranormal romance and fantasy author Amanda McLain-Young. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Amanda. Please tell us something about yourself.
Amanda: I moved a lot over the years, from Texas to Mississippi to Louisiana. I finally settled down to marry my soulmate in a beautiful renaissance themed wedding in 2006. We now have two sons. I have a degree in English from the University of New Orleans and have worked in a variety of jobs, including accounting, marketing, physical therapy and sales. I learned something from every job and every place I've lived.
Morgen: I’ve only moved one county but took various evening courses when I moved to Northampton (computing, languages, car maintenance!) to meet people, then I spotted creative writing in the prospectus and the rest, as they say, is history. :) How did you come to be a writer?
Amanda: I began writing when I was twelve years old. I was always drawn to artistic endeavours. I like to draw, paint, sew, etc. When I was twelve, the summer between sixth and seventh grade, I started writing a short story. Unlike many of my other projects that remained unfinished, I finished my book. It was short, only 30 pages, and I did the artwork myself. When I finished that story I knew I was a writer. All my questions of what I was meant to do were answered. This was the first thing I ever started and finished. This was my destiny. I wrote scenes and dialogue for random books, and a sequel to my first story, over the next five years. Then, when I was seventeen years old, I saw a Halloween show on T.V. and came up with an idea about a story with werewolves. That was the beginning of "Wolf of the Past".  My original concept changed many times over, but the story began there. I expected to jot down a few notes and move on to the next idea, but I kept getting ideas for this story. Over a decade later, and I am still following those characters I met that Halloween night.
Morgen: “When I finished that story I knew I was a writer.” I love that. Even reading back-to-back Stephen King in my teens didn’t make me twig that writing was an occupation. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Amanda: I prefer to write paranormal romance and fantasy. That is what I usually read, as well. I am a fan of Star Wars books and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series.  I also read a lot of Jayne Castle and Maggie Shayne.
I doubt I will ever write horror or tragedy. I may have some horrific elements in my stories, but I generally like everything to have a happy ending. It may not be a perfect ending, but if I am creating this world I write, I want to create a world where good matters and things eventually turn out for the best.
Morgen: :) What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Amanda: I published "Wolf of the Past" in 2006 and "Wolf of the Present" in 2010. I write my paranormal romances as A.D. McLain. I just published my fantasy book "Suriax" through Smashwords and Createspace eStore. It is a joint project with my husband. For my fantasy books, I write as Amanda Young.
Morgen: Both every popular genres. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Amanda: I've had my share of rejections. They were disappointing, but I just let them encourage me to keep trying. I know I'm meant to write. Now, with the ebook revolution, I don't have to wait for a publisher to choose me.
Morgen: It has certainly opened a lot of doors and I love the whole process of eBooks. Have you had any competition success?
Amanda: I won a short story contest at a local bookstore when I was in high school. I also won an essay writing contest my freshman year of college. I don't really enter many contests anymore. I'm too busy writing my books.
Morgen: That’s what we should be doing with our time. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Amanda: I have an agent. They helped me get my second book critiqued, which helped me a lot with learning how to edit properly. An agent may be useful if you are dealing with movie deals, but at far as just publishing, I don't think they are really necessary anymore. Authors can easily self-publish now without the stigma doing so once carried.
Morgen: They can although I see, almost every day, talk online of the market being saturated with substandard books. It’s true that there are bound to be a lot out there (there was a LinkedIn thread recently where someone had said he could self-edit but was quickly overruled :)) but that’s what reviews are for. Are both your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Amanda: "Wolf of the Present" is available as an ebook. I had to pay a one-time fee to my publisher for the conversion. My first book, "Wolf of the Past" is not currently available in ebook format. Once I am out of contract with that publisher next August, I plan to re-edit it and re-release it. I will self-publish as an ebook. I prefer to read paper books. I'll read stuff on my computer, but to sit down and enjoy a good book, it has to be paper.
Morgen: eBooking isn’t that hard; once you have a template you just slot the text into the shell (that’s how I do it anyway), and I love designing the covers. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Amanda: I do pretty much all my own marketing.
Morgen: Most authors (if not all) do which many say is a “necessary evil” but it does mean we speak directly to our (potential) readers. :) Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Amanda: Most of my really favourite characters haven't been introduced yet. I've got outlines for around 16 other books I have yet to sit down and write. I never really think about which actors would play my characters. I don't really see them as name actors. I wouldn't want the hype from famous actors to distract from the characters of the story.
Morgen: 16 books… wow wee! Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Amanda: I designed my first two covers and sent the proof to the publishers. They used my proof in the covers they created. I came up with all my own titles. I feel it is very important to have a say in how your books are presented to the world.
Morgen: I agree and that the great thing about small presses; you’re bound to have more of a say. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Amanda: I am working on "Wolf of the Future", book 3 in my werewolf series.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Amanda: Even when I can't physically write, I'm always thinking about my characters and getting into their heads. I think that is just as important as actually putting words on paper. Occasionally I get stuck on a scene. I usually skip to another scene or work on another book for a little while until that scene works itself out. I also like to throw in other little projects and chores to break up the monotony. I maintain my husband's art website, posting pictures of his creations. I am also currently helping my mom edit one of her books so I can help her publish that one. Between all that and two small children, I have a lot to keep me busy. My husband's art website is www.goblinjester.webs.com.
Morgen: How lovely to have your family involved. :) You obviously think a lot about what you’re going to write, do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Amanda: Both. I generally start out a story by getting ideas for a random scene or plot elements. I write down all my ideas as they come to me, whether they are out of order or not. Then I gather together all those random scenes and put them in order. From there I see what is missing in the story and work from a plot outline.
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Amanda: My characters tend to develop themselves. As I write, I learn who they are. As for their names, some I make up off the top of my head. Other times I pull out the old baby naming book and start flipping pages until I find something that sounds right. When I am unsure what name to chose, I look at the meanings and try to find something that fits the character.
Morgen: Do you write any non-fiction, poetry or short stories?
Amanda: I wrote essays in college. I was pretty good at it, but that isn't really my passion. I've written some poetry over the years and a couple of short stories, but I really enjoy writing longer books and having the time to really develop the characters.
Morgen: And don’t they feel like real people… I love that. :) Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Amanda: Since I worked with the critiquer on "Wolf of the Present", I learned a lot about editing. I actually want to go back and re-edit "Wolf of the Past" with all the things I now know. I have found that the more I write, the more I correct myself as I'm writing it the first time, and the less I have to go back and correct later. I still go through my rough drafts and edit once myself before sending it around to my close family and friends who serve as beta readers for my stories. Then I take in all their comments and go through the book again.
Morgen: Me too (plus I have a great editor). :) Do you have to do much research?
Amanda: I do some research from time to time. It varies. I did a lot of research early on in this series for some things that haven't even been revealed yet in my books. Of course, I am always learning and always finding new things to look up and incorporate into my writing.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking?
Amanda: I prefer third person, but I tend to shift to multiple points of view in my romances. I shift from one person to another character in the same scene. Basically whoever has something relevant to observe, that is the head I want to be in.
Morgen: :) Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Amanda: I hope not. Even my first science fiction story I wrote when I was twelve has a place in my heart. I would like to revisit that story once I am done with my wolf series.
Morgen: I’m the same with my older pieces (she says “old” but I only started writing properly seven years ago). One day I’ll go back to them and whip them into shape. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Amanda: I love the freedom of writing and the experience of having someone read something I wrote and love it. I only wish it was easier to market writing. I grew up before the internet age and believed that once I found a publisher I could sit back and write and they would do the rest. Having to learn to market and the disappointing setbacks that can entail have been tiring. I was very surprised this past year to learn about how easy it is to self-publish now. It is very exciting to think I can get my work out there and have it read without having to go through a publisher first.
Morgen: Marketing is usually the answer to “what’s your least favourite aspect of writing?”… it’s just so time-consuming. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Amanda: Write. Write as much as you can, even if you don't have a publisher or aren't ready to self-publish yet. That way, once you have the connections and website or blog or fan page all set up, you can jump right in and grab your readers. Don't just write one book and wait for it to succeed to write another. You may not be successful until the third or fourth or fifteenth book. But when it does happen, you will have all those other books already available for your fans to find.
Morgen: C.S. Lakin recently wrote a guest piece for me entitled 10,000 hours can feel like 10,000 miles in which she mentions Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’ referring to Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer and The Beatles, as some who put in the requisite 10,000 hours into their field or craft. I’m not sure how many I’ve done over the years but four NaNoWriMos, a Script Frenzy, two Story a Day Mays and a short story a day since June 1st (plus 100+ shorts and three years’ worth of fortnightly writing workshops) must be a fair chunk. :) If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Amanda: Jesus, George Washington and my dad. I would hire a private chef to cook whatever my guests want. Everyone could eat whatever he wanted.
Morgen: I’d have my dad too. :) Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Amanda: My favourite quote comes from "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. "I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference." That is what I live by. I don't let anyone tell me I can't succeed at writing. Other people live their dreams. So can I.
Morgen: Absolutely (and I am). Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Amanda: I used to write articles for newsletters and such, but lately, I'm trying to put as much focus as I can into my writing career so I can spend more time with my children.
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Amanda: What don't I do? I like creating photo projects in photoshop, from party invitations to scrapbook pages. I love photos and capturing important moments with my family.
Morgen: Ah, then you can design your own covers. :) Are there any writing-related websites and/or books that you find useful?
Amanda: I'm met a lot of great people who have helped me through shelfari, linkedin and facebook.
Morgen: I think I’m registered with Shelfari but not done anything with it yet (ditto Klout and Goodreads)… a lack of time thing at the moment. What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Amanda: Ebooks will greatly shape the future of writing. It is exciting and a little sad. I will still always buy paperback and hardback books. I like the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper. I love seeing my name and my cover in print. I miss walking up and down the isles at the bookstore, looking for covers that catch my eye. A digital copy can't match that. But this is an exciting time to be a writer. Ebooks reach readers quicker than print ever could. It has freed writers to be in control of their art. We don't need access to a printing press or lots of money to publish a book. All we need is a computer and an idea. The future is whatever we chose to make of it.
Morgen: Very few authors I’ve spoken to have said they favour eBooks over pBooks completely, most (myself included) are reading both. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Amanda: I could never have accomplished half of what I have without the love and encouragement of my parents and husband. When the rest of the world wanted me to pursue a practical career, they never did.
Morgen: :) Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Amanda: How did you develop your blog and get such a high readership?
Morgen: A lot of hard work. They say you get out what you put in and I’ve put in over 1,100 postings over the past 15 months and many visitors (I get 200-300+ a day) find me through keyword searches so I guess I have lots of keywords. :) Of course it wouldn’t be what it is without all the guests so I’m grateful to every one. Thank you, Amanda.
Having completed her first story at the age of twelve, Amanda knew at an early age that writing was her passion.  She attended South Jones High School in Ellisville, MS and graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2003 with a degree in English. She currently resides in Louisiana, where she is married to her soulmate, Raymond. They married in a magical, Renaissance-themed wedding ceremony in 2006 and had their first child in May 2008. They welcomed a second child in 2011.


Update December 2012: "I'm working on two books at once right now.  I also helped my mother to publisher her first novel, 'Rich Man's Daughter', and was able to help my uncle publish a book of short stories before his recent death to cancer. Learning to self-publish has been a blessing to me and my family. I am just grateful I was able to be there for my family and help them to fulfill their dreams. My mom's website: http://www.bettyjeanmclain.webs.com, My uncle's book: https://www.createspace.com/3984638."
Amanda McLain-Young

Morgen: Thank you, Amanda and congratulations on your collaboration successes. :)
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If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.