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 :)