One thing I have enjoyed this blogmas is the authors I have got to work with.Today the author feature is Amanda Summerbell the author of Sins.I have done a cover reveal Day 9 of Blogmas:Cover Reveal.and now I am interviewing her.How great can it be?
You wouldn’t think a kid who was kidnapped and sold for drug money could have her life turned around when she tried to steal a can of survival supper from a convenience store, but this one did.
Sixteen-year-old Kat Menninger’s mother died when she was seven, leaving her in the care of an abusive, drunk father in a shack in Longview, West Virginia. When Kat is busted shoplifting dinner at a convenience store, local cop Ed Stein gives her a choice: do time, or enter a program for troubled youth, assisting the elderly. She chooses the latter and is paired up with Delilah Grand, a former Vegas showgirl with crippling arthritis.
Kat begins to feel safe in Delilah’s home. She changes her dark, grunge look back to the original bright, blond girl she was, and stops skipping school. She also lands a part-time job at a local bookstore and befriends a co-worker who eventually asks her out. Her newfound confidence is lost, though, when a routine locker search at school yields a copious amount of marijuana. Will running away land her in more trouble than Delilah or even Ed can help get her out of this time?
About the Author
Amanda Summerbell is a native Northern Virginian (Fairfax). She received a Smith Corona for her ninth birthday and would write stories to sell to her neighbours. At the age of 10, she got her first rejection from Bantam Doubleday.
She now has a BA from George Mason University, is a West Virginia wife and mother of four daughters. Amanda enjoys gardening, and she’s a total foodie, so if you have a favourite recipe, she’s sure to want it.
Music and old movies are something she enjoys (Dean Martin is her favourite!) and if there’s a crime show on, she wants to watch it. Both interests help her with her writing, which is still what she loves doing most. She primarily writes thriller, suspense, and paranormal stories. Her favourite writers are Daphne Du Maurier, Mary Higgins Clark, and Heather Graham.
Here is the interview
What inspired you to write your book Family Sins?
I wrote Family Sins during Nanowrite two years ago, literally putting pen to paper and letting the story tell itself. So my inspiration was literally to get 50K words on paper in 30 days but it ended up being one of my favourite stories because it has a positive message.
Did you have any other names for your book?
Titles are very difficult for me usually, but this one came to me right away, and considering the plot, was very fitting.
What character do you think you relate to the most?
I can relate to Kat in a lot of ways. Mainly because she feels like she never fits in, though her circumstances are far different than mine. I have never felt comfortable in a group setting or felt like I fit in with anybody.
What is your favourite book to read at Christmas?
My parents had bought me a beautifully illustrated version of ‘The Christmas Carol’ when I was little, and I remember every year right before Christmas, sitting with my dad in our living room by the Christmas tree and reading it to him. Awesome memory.
What is your favourite book of all time?
‘Rebecca,’ by Daphne du Maurier. Well written, disturbing, macabre, incredible.
What advice do you have for young writers like me?
I would advise young writers to just put pen to paper. You never know what you’ll come up with. Family Sins was a first for me – first time I wrote in the first person, and the first time I attempted to write a Young Adult/Chick Lit. I believe it was successful, but had I not made the attempt, it never would have happened. My other piece of advice would be not to focus on anything but getting the story written. Don’t worry about what you’ll do with it later. Just do what you love and the rest will fall into place.
What is your favourite Christmas movie?
Of all time, would have to be The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant, but on a funnier note, Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase is hard to beat.
How do you think family sins will help with social issues now?
I think there is a lot of pressure on young adults, maybe more than when I was one myself (which feels like forever ago). This book puts some of that into perspective. There is always that teen out there who is misunderstood, trying to find their own way, pressured or bullied, and most of the kids around them don’t know their circumstances. That is Kat in a nutshell. She is dealing with a horrible home life, has no direction, and meets that inevitable crossroad – where she can choose to continue down a path festering negativity and destructive thinking or she can take the blessing she’s been given and run with it.
What were your aims for Family Sins?
My main goal for Family Sins was to be a book that tells an “average person” story. Kat could be anybody. But even an average person can do extraordinary things if given a chance.
What is your favourite genre to write?
My favourite genre to write is suspense with a bit of paranormal or horror mixed in. I find it very challenging.
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