Interview with Domestic Violence Author Amanda Young

Amanda is a Registered Nurse with a degree in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy. She won the Award of Excellence for nursing assessement from St. Joseph and St. Jude Home Health. Her book, Silent Prisoner, can be bought at Amazon by clicking here.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Amanda. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I have a degree in nursing, homeopathy and studied over the years other holistic modalities such as massage therapy and more. I believe in combining traditional and holistic for the person. I grew up on a farm in Georgia and spent most of my time on a bicycle traveling on country dirt roads and in the forest, alone when I was a young girl. I still do the same when I can now in my fifties.

I have been writing since 2000 when I began having dreams of a sick little girl that I later named Megan. The book is in its second print on demand print and is titled: Megan’s Unicorn.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

I began writing Silent Prisoner in the year 2000. It began as a journal for myself and thought that on the first draft that would be it and I would never look at the sad story again. I have taken it out of the closet and brushed it off close to the twenty times of another draft since then. For, one last draft.

I began the story as a journal and to let go of stored away emotions. Buried deep and carefully hidden. Then a woman read the third or fourth draft and she cried and said to me that she hoped I put it into print. That sent me into dong another draft. I then let a young man read it and he said, “Now I understand what my girlfriend is feeling. Your story has helped our relationship so much.” That sent me into doing several more drafts. On and on until I finally understood that maybe my story could help some people. I only stumbled on this idea after many drafts.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Silent Prisoner”?

I lived it. Every word and every page is my life. Someone said to me that people may check out the story for validity as they did “Millions Little Pieces” – And I say, I hope they do as they will find out I was kind and my life was worse than I wrote. It is difficult for victims of abuse to speak openly of how bad it was. Guilt and shame keep us from doing that. And I left out some of the worse things. Those were too painful to go through.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

One night I dreamt that I could paint and it took me some time to buy paints as I thought the idea absurd. I had never taken a class. But finally as the dreams of that did not stop I bought paints and charcoal. That was three years ago. Last Oct. 2006 I was sitting on my terrace where I lived then and was going through ‘another’ draft of Silent Prisoner and had decided to put into print. Without much thought I picked up a charcoal piece and began to draw on tablet. I wanted to draw so that I could put my feelings into how I felt. The first draft I smudged with my sleeve. The second draft I thought looked “clean” with no smudges. I showed it to a friend and he said, “I see you have drawn the cover for Silent Prisoner. I looked at it and said, “I suppose so but it looks so sad.” He said, “It is a sad story.”

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

I mailed out many manuscripts years ago. I contacted agents and because I am “not known” they would not talk to me. That is fine now. I see people’s faces when they read my stories. I put my books in print on demand because I believe that my story ‘Silent Prisoner’ especially can and will help others. It is my hope that who I wrote it for, will find it.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

There is no contract. I own the copyrights. Booksurge.com put into print.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

No, as I said I tried to contact agents and they said that because I was unknown they could not talk to me. I asked, “And how do I get known?”

Do you plan subsequent books?

I am almost finished with ‘Life’s Journey Home’ – it is to me, Awesome! I am so proud of it. I draw on my experience of growing up without parents because of being born to two alcoholic parents. This story relates to my feelings and experience through a boy named Michael. It was emotional for me. Even though it is fictional the feelings are real. Booksurge.com is to put that out too.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I use to say morning. But I have noticed that it depends on what I am writing about. It sounds odd but deeply emotional things I want to write as the sun is coming up. Why? I have no idea. But that has been with these last two, Silent Prisoner and Life’s Journey Home.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

I have no idea. I think to have Oprah say a word or two on my book because people wait to hear her words on what to read. She does not need money and so money would be useless there. So, I have no idea, really. A large publisher would know.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

I do it all of the time. I have my little business cards and flyers I had made by Booksurge.com with Silent Prisoner info on them. They look great. I hand them to anyone that will let me go on and on. The girl that gave me a massage the other day got several. My dentist that examined my teeth has some flyers. My hairdresser got a book because he loves to talk and has passed it on already. And urgent care doctor that looked at my sore throat (he got several as he sees women of domestic violence) I even gave one to the clerk at the grocery store. Why I even gave a book to a grouchy old farmer that I know because his daughter is a psychologist. He read half of it at least. He told me the cover looked, “Pitiful.” His daughter has read and passed it on already and some of the flyers I sent on with it. My son says I embarrass him.

I have mailed out books to UK, Canada, Scotland and all over the US. Flyers and a book to many shelters. To any place that is related to domestic violence and childhood violence. And a book to Oprah, of course. Heard nothing, yet. But I might.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

I pray before I write and ask for my words to be something that can touch someone. You may write the book that changes the world at least a little. You may have words on paper that I need to read. I want to read them and I cannot if you do not put them out there for me to find. Good luck. I think you are all wonderful and I have such a tremendous respect for writers that I never had before. Thank you for your dedication and words.

Thank you for coming, Amanda! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

I am on amazon.com or Booksurge.com. My books are, Silent Prisoner, Megan’s Unicorn, Tessa Travels to the Great Nature God and Tessa Meets the Tree Trunk Children. And soon to be out, Life’s Journey Home.
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SILENT PRISONER VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on Jan. 2, 2008 and continue all month.

If you would like to follow Amanda's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/.

ATTENTION!!! Buy one of Amanda's books at AMAZON, send US an online copy of the receipt before January 31 and she will send you an autographed bookmark, PLUS other incentives including free ebooks from Pump Up Your Book Promotion! Click HERE to find out what other incentives you can receive!

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Amanda's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and choreographed by Cheryl Malandrinos.
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