When I think of an author being successful I don’t necessarily picture the New York Times Best Sellers list (which is a massive accomplishment, don’t get me wrong), what I believe to also be a huge success is the utter dedication of Indie authors. An Indie author has the heart of a warrior, continuously fighting to promote their books on their own dime and time all the while continuing to find time to write their next novel. Until recently I never really understood the struggle of the indie author and the hoops they have to jump through to get their books out into the universe, and while meeting some of these amazing humans I’ve discovered a whole new world of heroines and heroes. I’ve reviewed many of these authors books and not because they gave a new blog a chance but because this new blog wanted to help them on their journey. One of the super humans I’m speaking of is Author Amanda Siegrist. I “met” Amanda on Goodreads group Romance Writers & Readers , from there I reviewed one of her books and just quietly read behind my screen the discussions between her and the many authors she interacted with and gained true respect for this author who always had an encouraging word to offer to other indie authors, she even saved me one day by rolling up her sleeves and tackling a Facebook issue I couldn’t solve. So without further ado let me introduce you to the real Amanda Siegrist!
I love anything that has to do with romance. As long as there’s a happy ending, I’m a happy camper. I love baseball (Go Twins!) and creating awesome crafts. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, working in that field for several years before I became a stay-at-home mom. When I’m not hanging out with my wonderful family, I’m writing a sweet contemporary romance or a romantic suspense that keeps you guessing until the end.
What authors have acted as inspiration to you ?
I love to read. Like a lot! Some of my favorite authors are Linda Lael Miller, Diana Palmer, Heather Graham, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I wouldn’t necessarily say they inspired me to write, though. I found that inspiration within myself. I’ve always had the urge to write in the back of my mind, but life was too busy for me. As soon as I became a stay-at-home mom, I knew I didn’t want to go back to work in the criminal justice field. I wanted to write. I wanted to unleash that passion I kept inside for so long. I’m sooooo glad I did.
What are some of your favorite books?
So, I think I mentioned I love to read. A lot! *chuckles* And I can even re-read books like I’m watching a movie. I just love to dive back into a story I know so well and get the happy goosebumps all over again .That being said , I don’t really have a favorite book. I love reading so many books that it’s difficult to pick just one that I love. I do LOVE reading so much. If I’m not writing, then I’m reading.
What are some of the things you need around you when you write ? Coffee? Chocolate?
Great question! I don’t really need anything to write, just my lovely computer in front of me. I do tend to write a lot in the mornings,so a cup of coffee is normally next to me. Although,the darn cup gets cold sometimes because I forget it’s there I’m so immersed in my writing. I also write a lot at night.I get comfy in my seat on the couch (my spot, that everyone knows not to touch (*chuckles) and I tap away at my laptop like a madwoman. A nice lovely glass of wine goes will with that picture. But again,as long as I have my computer, I’m good to go!
What are you currently working on?
My mind is constantly working, which I guess translates into me doing everything at once. Haha. I’ve decided to try NaNoWriMo for the first time ever. I know I can write 50,000 words in a month, but it is a nice way to help motivate me. I did start the second book in the series, A Lucky Town Novel, which will star Kat and Danny, but I set it aside for now because I was already 20,000 words in. I needed a new book to do a NaNoWriMo, so I’ve started the third book in the series, A McCord Family Novel, which is going to be about Deja and Emmett McCord. It’s day three and I already have close to 5,000 words done.Woo hoo! And because I can, (*chuckles*) I’m doing the last edits on a romantic suspense novel, Sunrise Awakening, that I’m planning on re-releasing soon. Oh, and how could I forget. I just finished editing another book, you could classify it as a romantic suspense, that I plan to submit to Harlequin. I need a title, though. One of the hardest things to do. *laughs* It needs the perfect title. I guess you could say I have a lot I’m working on right now.
(Good gawd super-woman you are buuuuusy !! Remember to eat and sleep in between!!)
What is your favorite book that you’ve written?
I tend to love all my books. *laughs so hard* But let me think about it. *taps chin* I really do love One Taste of You and One Taste of Love. I just LOVE Zeke and Ben. Such great guys. They have a great friendship and they love their women so much. And they’re very protective of them. One Taste of Love is actually still on Wattpad, but I took down the other one. *crosses fingers* I submitted that one to a few agents.
For the books I have published, I would say my favorite is Protecting You – A McCord Family Novel. It just tugs at your heartstrings and makes me wanna cry thinking about it. I never intended for it to be so sad, especially in the beginning, but that’s how the story went. Ava is such a brave, tough woman, but has to work her way through such tragedy. It was hard to show that progression. And Zane’s her perfect match. He’s struggling just as hard as her, but pushes his emotions aside to help her heal. In the end, it helps them both heal. That’s what I love about that book.
How long have you been writing?
Not that long, but it feels like a long time. I first decided to sit down and write my first book, I think, around August 2014. I wasn’t working, for less than a year, just taking care of my girls. You could call it boredom, or missing the action of not working, I don’t know. I needed something else to do. I needed a little break from motherhood from time to time. Being a stay-at-home mom, you don’t get a lot of time to yourself as you do when you’re a working mom. Maybe to some people that won’t make sense, but it’s true. I have a horrible memory. I can’t remember when I actually sat down to write. *laughs as tears stream down my face* No joke! My memory is so bad.
When I was younger, like a teenager maybe (there’s that horrible memory again), I used to write tiny little stories. I actually pulled them out a few months ago and laughed at how horrible they were. But I had so much fun writing them at the time. They were like a whole ten pages, double spaced, and actually written in first person, which I’m not a fan of. It surprised me that I did that. Maybe I’ll fix them up one of these days and make them an actual novel. They need lots of work, though! Haha.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers.
This is a hard one. Maybe you’ll wonder why, but there’s so much advice out there that it can get overwhelming at times. Whose word do you listen to? Should you listen to them? What I truly believe is, people need to follow their own heart, listen to their gut, and do what they wanna do. Sure, there’s lots of rules for writing and the publishing world, but people are going against the grain all the time. There’s nothing out there that’s says you have to do what everyone else is doing. Be who you are and be confident in what you do. That can be really hard. But you’re awesome. Believe in it.
I just want to say thank you to Amanda for answering all my questions, I’m nosey what can I say!! As a surprise, Amanda has been gracious enough to give us her recipe for Grape Nut Pie !!!! Yes, you heard me right I’m sharing a recipe. Why, you ask? Well I want each author to add something a little personal to them that ties into one of their books. Amanda wrote about her Grape Nut Pie in Trust in Love and I personally can’t wait to try it, possibly at Thanksgiving since it’s right around the corner. Did I mention this is a personal recipe of hers ? Enjoy !!
Grape Nut Pie
3/4 cup of grape nut cereal
1/2 cup of water
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
dash of salt
3 tbls of melted butter
1 tbls of vanilla
9″ deep dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put together grape nuts and warm water into a small bowl and let soak. Grab another bowl and mix together all remaining ingredients. Then add soaked grape nuts to that bowl. Put into a 9″ deep dish pie pan. Bake for 50 minutes.(Varies by how your oven works. Seriously, ovens are so finicky, they’re all not alike. *chuckles*) Do a quick check around 40 minutes to see how it’s looking. When it’s done, it should look firm on top with a golden-dark brown coloring.
So yummy! I want a piece right now.
As an added bonus I’m hosting a giveaway of Amanda’s Books, Protecting You and Trust in Love A McCord Family Series !!! YES!! 2 Books. Just click on the link below to enter. The books will be e-books.
Please take a moment to check out Amanda’s sites and books!!!