Years ago when I first started writing, I came across Amanda's story and her work as an indie author. I thought, "WOW!" what a cool chick she is. She was working hard on her dream of publishing her stories. I really love it when people follow their dreams and encourage others at the same time. Amanda has a fantastic grasp on storytelling and an imagination that truly engages her readers :) When she agreed to do the Big Ten, I was stoked to say the least. She's an animal lover and advocate for all things Batman. Ladies and gents...it's Amanda Hocking :)
1. What is the first thing you remember about writing that made you realize you were a writer?
I have a cassette tape of me at about two or three telling this long elaborate story to my grandma about the Muppets and werewolves and giant monster bugs, and I think almost as soon as I could talk, I knew I wanted to be a storyteller. About the time I started kindergarten, it became apparent that writing would be the most efficient way for me to tell stories, and I knew I wanted to be a writer.
2. What sparked your muse for your Kanin Chronicles? I love this world you’ve created. And the covers are so beautiful. Do you have sticky notes all over your desk or on the wall? Who is your favorite character? Who speaks loudest in year ear?
The base of the Kanin Chronicles is based on the Trylle series which it’s spun off of, but the specific set up of this book came from two places – a trip I took to Alaska, and the movie Haywire. I actually didn’t care for the movie that much, but I absolutely fell in love with Gina Carano, and I thought, “I want to write about someone as tough and strong as her.” So that’s where Bryn came from, and the rest of the story fell in around it.
I actually do have sticky notes all over my desk! I’m crazy about Post-Its and I’m meticulous about note taking and outlining.
My favorite character from the Kanin Chronicles is probably Bryn, but I also have soft spots for Ember and Tilda and Konstantin and Ridley. I’m also really quite fond of Linnea. She grew on me.
I don’t know who speaks the loudest in my ear. Maybe Bryn, because she’s so demanding.
3. I notice you like Game of Thrones...This show makes me crazy and I could talk about it for hours, so...Who is your favorite character? What are your predictions for next season? What has been your favorite scene so far?
Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna Tyrell are my absolute favorites. I love everything about them. I love Varys and Tyrion, especially when they’re together, and I like Sansa a lot. I especially liked her turn as dark Sansa toward the end of season four, and I hope to see more of that in the future. And Ser Pounce. We need more Ser Pounce.
I’m putting SPOILER ALERT, just in case people aren’t all caught up on Game of Thrones, because I’m talking about it now.
I didn’t like Jon Snow for about three-and-a-half seasons, because he was boring. But now I’m quite fond of him, and I also do no for a second believe that he is dead and gone for good. Will he come back as the Jon Snow we knew and loved, or more like a Mountainstein creation? Probably somewhere in between, but he’ll definitely be back.
I doubt they’ll do it, but I would also like if Khal Drogo came back somehow. Or maybe it turned out he had a twin brother so Jason Momoa has to come back. I don’t know. The writers can work on the logic. I’d just like to see Jason Momoa again.
And I would like lots more Dark Sansa. Even Darker Sansa would be better.
4. You recently got married and congratulations! Can you tell us your “How you met story?” And how has married life been integrated with your writing? What’s been your biggest adjustment? What has been your greatest joy so far?
We met a mutual friend’s birthday party, and one of my now-husband’s friends told me that he was a total cad and lady chaser before I really talked to him, so my first impressions weren’t good. He tried to ask me out a few months later, but I still wasn’t interested. Finally, after knowing him for over two years, he asked me out again, and I said yes, and it was wonderful, and six months later were engaged.
The biggest change in my writing routine is when I write. I used to start writing late at night, like six or seven, and I’d writing until the early morning hours. My husband is a morning person, and he has a seven-year-old son. So me staying up all night and sleeping all day wasn’t very conducive to being part of a family, so I’ve started writing during the day, usually from about ten in the morning to five or six at night.
I don’t know what my greatest joy has been so far. My husband makes me laugh a lot, and when I get stuck in a video game, he can always get me past the part I’m stuck at. He really is always surprising me. My greatest joy is just getting to hang out with him.
5. I noticed you posted a lot about Batman. When and how did you come to dig this man in black? Any thoughts about the new Batman movie? Who’s your favorite Batman? Favorite Batman scene?
When I was seven, my dad took me to see “Batman Returns,” and I think I was smitten at that moment. I love Batman because he’s just a guy. Yes, a super rich genius with lots of toys, but he’s not endowed with special abilities from another planet or spider bite. He just made a decision to be the most badass man on the planet, and then he followed through.
I think Ben Affleck will do a fine job as Batman. My problem with it is that I don’t feel like we need another Batman movie right now. I would’ve loved to see a Nightwing movie (perhaps Joseph Gordon Levitt carrying on the torch from the Christopher Nolan movies), or other characters brought to life from the DC cannon.
With that said, I am SUPER psyched for Jason Momoa as Aquaman.
My favorite Batman is Christian Bale, but he’s only very slightly above Michael Keaton, Adam West, and Kevin Conroy. They’re all excellent Batmans.
6. What fascinates you about life?
Everything. The great thing is that there’s the internet, so when I decide I need to know something, like what’s the largest butterfly in the world or how come rivers aren’t salty, I can look it up.
I would say that I am most fascinated by human nature. We’re fascinating creatures, because we’re just animals with basic animal instincts, but because of language skills and our ability to be self-aware, it changes everything.
7. Why do you write?
I definitely write as an escape, but I also think I write to solve something for myself. I don’t always know what it is when I start writing, but something is nagging me, and I need to create a fictional scenario to work my way through it.
With the Kanin Chronicles, for example, I think the biggest themes involve love, guilt, redemption, and death. I think those are emotions that I struggle with, and my ways of handling them and working through them were changing, and the Kanin Chronicles helped me redefine those terms for myself.
8. If you could bring ONE character to life from any of your novels, who would it be? What would you talk about? Why that character?
That is so, so tough. Marcy from Watersong is the character I’d like to most hang out with, but if I’m going through all the trouble of bringing a character to life, I feel like it should be more substantial than “I just like her.”
So I guess I would pick Ezra from My Blood Approves, because he’s so old and he’s seen so much. I think he would have a really interesting perspective on life, and it would be fun to pick his brain.
9. If you could only read one book over and over again stranded on a desert island, which book would you choose? Why?
Something by Kurt Vonnegut. Probably Cat’s Cradle, but maybe Slaughterhouse-Five. Or Mother Night. I really love Vonnegut, and I’ve re-read his books so many times already. I’m also a big WWII buff, so two of the three books are about WWII.
10. At the end of all days, what do you think is the only thing that’s real?
This moment and only this moment. I know that what’s happened can’t ever unhappen – a tree falls in the woods no matter if anyone hears it or not. But your perception is often distorted, your memories fade, your mind can fail you, and eventually your body gives out. So the only thing you ever really have, that you can ever really be sure of, is the moment that you’re in. Everything else is entirely intangible and could disappear in an instant.
Looking for Amanda...
Book Shop: www.hockingbooks.com/all-books
Because Amanda loves Game of Thrones too :)
Celestino closed his eyes and took her kiss with more urgency. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her against him. I am not meant for God's heaven. My heaven is here.
Imagine a love that is forbidden to you by design, yet you need it like you need air to breathe. Could you resist the temptation? Would you be willing to suffer the consequences, when it crumbles through your fingers...because these kinds of passions burn hot and quick, consuming themselves and everything in its path.
We all know we can't chose who we fall in love with...that on some level love whether it is a chemical connection, a visual smack in the head, or some other inexplicable phenomenon that takes us by the short hairs and scatters us to the four winds we are slaves to it. When you fly so high, and burn so fast it's easy to forget yourself and the life you lifted off from in order to soar with the wings of the phoenix. And forbidden love, the love you need so badly that you are willing to betray all to hold for a moment...well, that's the kind of love for the ages. Burning hot, bright and fast...At some point we land on back on Earth and must pick up the pieces, putting some semblance of the life we used to know back together.
This kind of love burns us to the core. It changes us forever. There is never truly a way to go back to the status quo...the stain of it lingering as ash and dust in our mouth, haunting us with what might have been and what will never be.
Iseo and Celestino burn bright in BIRTH...book one of the Livingstone Saga. Will Celestino obey the required oath written in the Codex of Gargoyles, or betray everyone to follow his own desires?
Available at Amazon and soon everywhere else...
In Book One of the Livingstone Saga: Birth, Iseo and Celestino share a very passionate kiss. It's just a "kiss"...so no reason for concern because kisses are innocent...or are they? You can steal a kiss, take a kiss, blow a kiss, kiss back, or just peck a kiss. But, I have been thinking a lot about kisses, and not because it was just Valentine's Day (which I celebrated solo style in the company of two dogs and one cat). This is what I thought about: kisses are probably the most dangerous thing of all. The simple act of leaning in, pressing lips to lips is how the very first line is crossed. It's the line that separates the safety of where you are with the excitment of the unknown and where you're going. A kiss is the doorway to passion. A kiss is the first truly intimate thing that lovers do, and the one thing they notice first when it's missing-in-action. Consider this painting by Gustav Klimt entitled, what else? The Kiss.
It's a magnificent painting. The embrace and the cloak exude passion, ignition, and all that glitters in the sparkling shower of love. This piece was recently featured in the movie This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon and the sexy Tom Hardy. Check out this KISS montage by Mira. I think her selection shows exactly what I'm talking about.
A KISS is when you begin to give in...to everything. It is hard to stop, to pull back the emotional tidal wave once it starts to crest over your body, mind and soul. The kiss is the beginning of the end for many of our favorite fictional characters, meaning they fall head over heels...to their utter joy or destruction.
Remember when Carrie kissed Aiden in Sex in the City 2? If Mr. Big hadn't called off the wedding in the first movie, I think he might have walked off and said forget it at that point. But, I'm pretty sure, the cancelled wedding and "the kiss" were never brought up again...a "kiss" trumped being jilted. Think about it. And Carrie did pull away...it could easily have gone the other way, as it usually does.
Which brings me to my characters, Iseo and Celestino. A girl and a gargoyle...they are forbidden from loving each other, yet they do. And they share a KISS...
"Celestino waited until he felt her reach toward him. It was a slight movement on her part, but it was all the permission he required. Without taking his eyes from hers, he allowed his mouth to descend. Gentle at first, he tasted wine and honey on her lips. “You are the nectar of God and earth,” he spoke so close to her that she felt each word as his lips brushed against hers."
You'll have to read they rest in the book one of The Livingstone Saga: Birth. This kiss lasts about two pages...it's sexy, sweet, and you'll have to decide how innocent it really is... (re-posted from previous site).