This week’s Friday Author Spotlight shines on Amanda Torrey, author of a YA paranormal series and a contemporary romance series, both set in New England towns. Amanda was also the other half of our fun Journey Into An Author’s Imagination panel back in September.
Thank you so much for joining us, Amanda. Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?
I’m a homeschooling mom of three of the world’s most amazing teenagers. I’m also a part-time preschool teacher, and I own a small business (Stuffing Station- a make-your-own-stuffed-animal business.) I am currently working on a small town, contemporary romance series set in a fictional New Hampshire town. Book three was recently released. Next year I plan to return to the Teen Fury universe-my young adult paranormal series.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from your newest release?
I write young adult paranormal and adult contemporary romance, all set in small New England towns. The common factor, I think, is that all of my books feature characters you can relate to. Even if the teenager has snakes coming out of her head, she’s relatable on multiple levels. I’m also a huge fan of well-earned happily-ever-afters.
My most recent release is the third book in my Healing Springs contemporary romance series.
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?
I rent an office away from my house—otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. (Too many distractions, interruptions, and ways to procrastinate!) I like to write at a desk, which is fully stocked with whichever candy I’m addicted to at the moment (for my most recent work, my “muse candy” was peanut M&Ms!) I decorated my space with inspirational posters, I have a white board with motivational quotes and my weekly goals, and I have a futon with comfy pillows and blankets for when I want to stretch out with my laptop. I also have a shelf with my writing reference books.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
I need silence. I got used to writing amidst the chaos of a busy family life, but I have a much easier time if I’m away from it all. I can’t have music or TV in the background. The only kind of music I can have is instrumental, and my preference is to not have that, either. I can write in a public place (Panera Bread is one of my favorite spots), but if anyone is conversing around me, I’m easily pulled out (writers are notoriously nosy!)
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
I can’t write with my dogs around—they are worse than having toddlers! Constant need for attention, treats, walks, etc. I can’t ignore them—they’re too adorable! (And if I ignore them, they’ll pee on the floor.) I have two Jack Russell Terriers (or Jack Russell Terrorists, as a friend calls them), and a dachshund/toy poodle mix. She’s the easy one. The JRTs are the trouble makers!
What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?
I think the most challenging part is to not give up. It’s easy to think about writing a book. It’s easy to come up with ideas. It’s even easy to get a few pages written. But making the commitment to write an entire novel, to work out any problems you encounter, and to complete the project can sometimes feel insurmountable. I’m at a point now where I understand my process, so working through the problems is easier. It hasn’t always been that way, though! Now that I think of writing as a career rather than a hobby, I don’t allow myself the luxury of “waiting for the Muse” or of stopping in the middle of a tough project.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
I absolutely recommend checking with ABSW first! My books are also available at all of the online ebook retailers. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, etc.)
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
I love to be non-creepily stalked! You can sign up for my newsletter on my website (www.amandatorrey.com) You can also find links to all of my social media profiles on there. I’m most active on Facebook.
Thank you, again, Amanda for being on our Friday Author Spotlight blog!