First a little background information; Amanda has been writing sci-fi/fantasy for the past 15 years, beginning at age16 in high school. She grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature, hunting, fishing and hiking. A lot of these experiences formed the basis for her writing. Growing up she was inspired by several different books including; Nancy Drew mysteries by Keene, Hardy Boys mysteries by Dixon, Jacques' Redwall series and the fascinating R.L. Stine books.
Now time for a few questions-
Tell me about your book? "Neiko's Five land adventure is about an 18 year old warrior who is the Chosen One from the hidden Indian land called Hawote, which unknowingly coexists with the US, Canada and Mexico. The Indians are constantly at war with their enemies, the Crackedskulls. They plan to remove her from command and abduct her, but things go wrong when she gets trapped in Qari, one of the Five Lands. She must get home and turn the tables on her enemies. What she finds out in Qari can change her life forever."
What appeals to you most about fantasy books? "What I like about fantasy books is the ability to be able to build a new world. It covers a broad area and so it can suck up parts of other genres in addition to it. In fantasy anything can happen, but I always try to make it as believable as possible, even in another universe."
Have you taken any writing classes, workshops or attended any conferences? Do you belong to any writing groups? "I took the basics from school: grammar, parts of a story, the writing process and basic dialogue. I also knew what kind of a book I liked and looked at how they were constructed and how they moved, but I still had my own way and design in mind. The only writer's conference I have ever been to was when I was 21. There I met Dr. Dennis Hensley, whom inspired me to attempt publishing."
"I do not belong to any writing groups per se, but I do engage in writing activities with bloggers, my blog, and participate in author groups on the Internet."
How are you planning to publicize your book? "I plan on doing blog tours, a virtual book tour, talking with other bloggers, reviews whenever I can, networking on and off the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, book signing parties, local businesses, word of mouth, utilising programs my publisher gives and anything else I can come up with."
Do you have an agent? Is this self pub or indie pub? Why did you decide to go that route? "No, I do not have an agent. I am a self published author. I went this route because I was left with no other choice if I wanted to publish, and it is a good thing and not a bad thing. My work was not accepted by a publisher or agent when I was 21. I had to put it away to go to college and decided to try later. I had also heard that it was harder than ever to get a contract and I would still be left on my own, with the same cost involved and the same uphill battle. I had the risk of never making it or getting that contract just to enter the market. I didn't like those odds."
How long has it taken to get your novel from writing to print? Was it a hard process to finally get published? "It has taken me thirteen years to get my first manuscript and character sketches into a book. The journey to getting my book off of the computer and out of the sketch portfolios has been long and hard, spanning years before I said 'success' at last."
Do you want to use your book to further your career? "I want this book to take me to the next level as a writer. I have now become an author, so now I want to keep writing the saga and publishing it. I'm hoping that it will open the way for the other books to the readers who want to go on adventures with Neiko."
You can find author Amanda Taylor on twitter at @A_K_Taylor. She also has a fan page on Facebook- www.facebook.com/AKTaylorsBooks .
If you'd like to purchase her book, please click on the Amazon banner below.
Thank you for the interview Amanda!