I’m excited to welcome Amanda Shofner, author of ELUSIVE MEMORIES, to the blog today! As one of Amanda’s beta readers, I may be a little biased (nah!) but I have to say, Great story! Y’all need to check it out. Amanda also runs a writing community, The Writing Sidekick, and the blog, On A Book Bender. She’s one busy chickadee!
Amanda’s also got a Google+ Hangout going on this evening at 9pm EDT (you can find the info here). She’s a lot of fun to chat with so grab a drink and join the party! Oh, and that gorgeous cover? Designed by the fabulous Jenny at Supernatural Snark. The perfect package for Amanda’s book!
ELUSIVE MEMORIES (Hunted #1) by Amanda Shofner
164 pages, ebook
Available now (June 2014)
Publisher: The Path of Least Revision
The Northern Alliance Betterment Society, better known as the Hunters, has persecuted the Gifted for years. When Sam Benson is taken and her memory stolen, she certainly isn’t their first victim. But she’s determined to use her family’s influence as memory-bringer elders to make sure she’s one of the last.
As soon as she escapes the Hunters’ compound, anyway.
Two Hunter guards claim to be working to get Sam free, but only one has her best interests at heart—and holds the key to mounting an offense against the Hunters. With her memory fractured and the Hunters set against her, can she choose the right person to trust?
Sam, the main character, has her memories stolen by an anti-Gifted group called the Northern Alliance Betterment Society. What are the challenges of writing a character who has no memory of who or what she is?
There were three main challenges:
1. Remembering what Sam knows and doesn’t, especially as I got into edits and events changed.
2. Attempting to walk the line between not enough and just enough information for the reader.
3. Making the lack of memory believable/having a explanation and reason, whether it’s explicitly stated or not.
The third was probably the most difficult because I created the rules after I’d written everything, so I had to make sure everything fit (and change what didn’t). One thing I learned: rules are easier to create before you write. You can always change them, but man, it’s easier on a couple levels to have the world rules hashed out beforehand.
ELUSIVE MEMORIES is self-published. How did you choose that route to publication?
I’m shifting my editing business into book coaching, which includes offering advice on the self-publishing process, so I had to know what it’s like to self-publish. And I mean know every step along the way, including writing, editing, dealing with feedback, formatting, cover design, and marketing. I already had a couple non-fiction titles out, but I wanted to get the fiction side too. And I like the control that self-publishing gives me, not just creatively, but time-wise too.
How has your publishing experience been so far and what are your goals for the future?
I’ve sold books and learned a lot about the whole writing and publishing process. I count that as a success. I’ve wanted to write fiction since I was 10, so living out my childhood dream is pretty cool, especially since so many people never follow their own writing dream. I’ve also had help from pros: Jenny, who gave Elusive Memories an amazing cover, and Christi Snow, who’s shared some of her publishing secrets and saved me a ton of headaches.
And, because I’m here on Book Swarm, I do have to give a shout out to my beta readers, like Mary, who helped me mold Elusive Memories into a better book (woo-hoo!). Publishing isn’t something you can accomplish on your own, and I’m so, so thankful for everyone who had a hand in my publishing journey.
As for the future, I think everyone who publishes secretly hopes they’ll be the next overnight sensation, but the truth is, most successful authors — whether they’re traditionally or self-published — are successful because they have multiple books, great marketing, and strong fan bases. I plan to keep writing, improve my craft, and build a community of readers. I have five books I know I want to write, one of which I’m working on now.
You run a writing community on Google+ called The Writing Sidekick. How did it come about and what’s the benefit to being a part of a writing community?
The Writing Sidekick started as a way to test the viability of a paid writing community. Though I’ve abandoned the idea of a paid community, I do like having the private community as a way to bring writers together and provide support and motivation. Writing is an intensely lonely activity, and it’s easy to think that no one else could possibly have the same struggles that we do. The opposite is true, actually. I love to see people interact and work toward their writing or editing goals. The Writing Sidekick makes that happen.
Do you have any required writing supplies?
Not really. I don’t eat or drink while I write (unless it’s alcohol), but I do require food before I write. If I’m hungry, nothing happens and that includes general human functions.
Scrivener, one of my computers, and background noise seem to be the only constants. I can write with music or TV. I write in different rooms. It all depends on my mood when I sit down. And for me, the fewer “must-haves” I have, the easier it is to write because I’m more flexible with my habits.
Thanks for joining us today, Amanda!
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