• Rebecca Yelland

Author Interview with Amanda N. Butler

Updated: Aug 28, 2018

For this week's interview, I'm featuring a new Twitter friend of mine, poet Amanda N. Butler @arsamandica. Amanda is the host of #StanzaSpeak and an active member of the writing community on Twitter.

I'm excited to learn more about this author/poet. So let's get started already!

1. Why do you write?

I have felt the need to write since I was 14. I need to write like I need to breathe. I need to express myself with words.

2. What’s an interesting fact about you?

The first time I got published was in the local newspaper. I wrote a book report for a contest by the local library (the librarian thought I was too young to understand the concept) and I won! My book report was on the book Owly by Mike Thaler.

3. Do you have any other artistic talents beyond writing?

I love photography, both digital and with my instant film camera. I occasionally paint, but usually in those group classes that come with wine.

4. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Depends on what I’m writing. If I’m writing poems or stories that make me happy, then they energize me. But the poems that are about the demons in my past, or when my characters are suffering – those exhaust me.

5. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

A big ego definitely hurts writers. Confidence in your work and abilities are must-haves, though.

6. What is your writing Kryptonite?

My writing weakness is em dashes. I just – love em dashes – so much.

7. Have you ever gotten writer’s block?

Yes! That’s usually a sign to play some video games or read some books without writing for a week or two. I’m back to my usual writing self after some rest away. That’s why it’s good to have multiple hobbies or passions.

8. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I do write under a pseudonym!

9. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Art is unique in that everything is original because no two people are alike, but nothing is original because every story has been told before. It’s all in the intricacies of the plot and the details provided along the way.

10. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Without the emotion behind art, it is dry and without much detail; undercooked.

11. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I love all the poets behind the #poetrysquadlove hashtag! We support each other and our work. To name a few, Isabelle Kenyon, Nicholas Trandahl, Fida Islaih, Sahira Javaid, and so many others!

12. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar?

My Patronus is a dolphin, but the mascot of what I’m writing changes with every project.

13. How do you select the names of your characters?

I think about what they stand for and their personalities. Sometimes I imagine myself having a conversation with them to get to know them better.

14. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I’m definitely a planner, so if I get stuck in the planning phase, then it’s a struggle to finish. I like to have a road map before I travel.

15. Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes, definitely.

16. Tell us about your new book?

The Mermarium is a fantasy verse novel; a book that tells a story with poems. There are four stories in the verse novel, ranging from a mermaid falling in love with a human man to mermaids loving mermaids.

17. Who’s your favorite character?

My favorite character in The Mermarium is Havis, because she is the catalyst that transforms the mermarium itself from a place of hurt to a place of healing.

18. Why should we read it? Give me your best elevator pitch.

Sisters Brigid and Havis are kidnapped from their ocean home and brought to the mermarium, a place where mermaids are forced to perform for human entertainment. The sisters have to make choices that affect not only their own future, but the futures of other mermaids who need help. The Mermarium tells the stories of four different mermaids and from their perspectives, tales are told of freedom and love.

19. What’s your idea of success about this book?

My goal is to reach as many readers as possible, to give them a great beach-read experience while spreading awareness of ocean conservation and the exploitation of marine life for the sake of human entertainment.

20. Where can we find your book?

The Mermarium: A Verse Novel can be found only on Amazon Kindle: Click here.

21. If someone wrote a book about your life what would it be called? Who would play you?

A book about my life would be called The Rotation of Constellations with Emma Watson playing myself.

22. Epitaph on your grave?

Here lies Amanda, a lover of the written word. Maybe with a nice engraving of a pen.

I hope you've enjoyed this interview. Don't forget to say hi to Amanda on twitter and pick up a copy of her book!

    © 2020 by REBECCA YELLAND