Silent Prisoner synopsis: Silent Prisoner is based on a true story of how one woman, through faith, survived childhood abuse, and later, domestic violence. April follows life’s road as best she can without the benefit of having parents or siblings along the way. On this road of life she encounters a loving aunt, a spiritual mentor, a proper grandmother, and a stoic therapist. Even though these people are only in her life for a brief time, they have planted the seed within her that will sprout forth an inner strength and faith in God and the Angels.
Beth: Tell us about your life, where you grew up, your interests and hobbies.
Amanda: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up on a farm with my aunt and uncle and their children. I worked mighty hard to get rid of my southern drawl early on in my life. But then I have found it to become easy to become reacquainted with much like a familiar friend when I am around others from the south. The deeper into the south I go the more I let go and drawl, just like they do. It took some time to finally let go and sound like a country girl from the south when I want to. I don’t always, but I have begun to accept my accent as a part of me just as my birth parents are a part of me, even though they did not raise me and are no longer alive. Just like the country girl that is inside of me that comes out sometimes when I ask a stranger “What is your dawg’s name?”
I was born to two alcoholic parents. I use to try very hard to forget the abuse and abandonment I went though as a child. Being left alone sometimes for days at a time with no food or sheet or blankets on the bed to keep me warm are memories that will never leave me. I live mostly in warm climates and I have come to realize in recent years it is as I do not want to feel the cold. I have a closet full of jackets and coats even though I may never wear them, but I know I will at least not be cold. The days in the orphanage and foster home and living with relatives and not being wanted are a part of me and that little girl that was abandoned lives inside of me. I know she is there.
My life is constantly evolving. I have watched others on television and they seem to be detached from the awful events that happened to them when they speak of them. I want to stay a part of those events so that I can continue to review them and grow stronger.
I continue to buy jackets and blankets that I do not need to keep me warm and that little girl that is me inside, I send her love.
My interest is anything to do with nature. I enjoy hiking, fishing, sitting on a beach or staring out at a sunset or sunrise.
I enjoy painting with acrylic and drawing with charcoal. I have done all of the covers for my books and am very proud of them.
Beth: Tell us about your writing journey. Did you always want to be a writer?
Amanda: I thought for a brief time when I was in my teens and read books that created emotions within me that it would be wonderful to do such a thing. But I never thought I would even try to put my words or thoughts onto paper and put them into print. Until I began writing down words in my journal after dreams and they took on a life of their own.
Dreams began my journey to write. I began writing down my dreams and this began my journey of letting the words flow onto paper. My life journal became the book Silent Prisoner.
Beth: Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?
Amanda: The people who have read the manuscript. I have given the manuscript Silent Prisoner to many people over the years and they have been so supportive of me putting my story into a book for others to read.
Beth: What is your favorite movie? Favorite book?
Amanda: Favorite book: Grapes of Wrath – I enjoy reading books on the topic of alchemy when I have time.
Favorite Movie: House of Spirits
Beth: Tell us about your novel and the emotional journey you took while writing it.
Amanda: I could write another book about that. It has been a roller coaster ride. I have cried more than I thought possible. It has stirred memories that I wished that could have stayed buried. But then I feel freer now after bringing them up and looking at them and letting them go. I have gone through so much with this book. It has been a seven year journey and I have put Silent Prisoner on the shelf more than once. I even threw away the one and only hard copy and disk I had remaining and said that I never wanted to see it again. One year later a woman who had tracked me down mailed to me her copy of both the disk and hard copy that I had given to her to read. Inside was a short note that said, “Please put this into a book.” You can order the book today on amazon.com.
Beth: What is the message you hope to get across in this story?
Amanda: You can overcome and be triumphant. That you must keep going and not give up and believe that you can be a wonderful person that deserves the very best that life has to offer.
Beth: What does your typical day look like?
Amanda: Watching the sun coming up. Meditation and prayer. Coffee. On the computer. Coffee. Watch news. Coffee. Work/writing. Later in the day, watching the sunset. Herbal tea. Computer/writing. Herbal tea. Meditation and prayer. Sleep. In the middle of the night awakened when the idea finally arrives. Up and writing. Two hours later, watching the sun coming up. Coffee…
Beth: What would you say was the toughest part of the writing craft for you to learn? Any tips for others who struggle with this same element?
Amanda: Letting go and letting the words flow. Patience. Finding that ‘place to go to,’ to let my mind and words flow. Patience, to go through another draft! Letting go of the fear of what others think of my writing or even of me. I have to work on that all of the time and I am better.
Beth: Any marketing tips?
Amanda: I have been very pleased with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Also Booksurge.com has great marketing ideas. I hand out postcards that have my book cover and description on it. I talk my book up to anyone that will give me a minute. I even handed over one of my books to a motorcycle officer that was parked not far away from where I was parked one day. He thanked me and seemed very grateful that I wrote of how a police officer helped me in the book. I have been pleased with the response from people and how they say they are proud of me writing my story and projecting that life can be wonderful. If we believe we deserve wonderful.
Beth: Closing thoughts you’d like to share?
Amanda: Hold onto your dream and idea that your book will be the next book that everyone will want to read! And it just may even be on Oprah’s book of the month club.
Good luck to all of you and thank you for having me here today.
Thank you, Amanda.