- Guest Author -
Welcome to an interview I conducted with an award-winning author, who is also an ambassador for the State of Nevada for Board on Books for Young Readers, - AMELIA PICKLEWIGGLE.
Welcome, Amelia ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
Amelia: I started writing in the year 1980 as a full time writer. Even though I was on the HS news paper and later moved on to magazines and newspapers, I never thought about novel writing until 1987. I wrote my first romance trilogy, became published until that dream was wiped out by a larger publishing company buying out the one I was contracted with. I wrote many books, novellas and short stories. I had my own magazine and newspaper columns over the years. I was senior editor and Acquisitions editor for several publishers, then finally changed genres and moved into children's books as a professional author.
WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
Amelia: Most of my books are written months in advanced, then distributed to my Illustrators. As far as my Young Adult and Middle~grade books are concerned, I sit and plot the stories then write.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Amelia: Everything! It gives me great pleasure when I write, especially books for children that teach life's lessons, grab their attention and really push them to read. I enjoy the freedom of being able to write what I want, write as much as I want, and being home keeping my own hours. The best part are the school and library visits when I see the faces of the children light up when I begin reading my books to them. It's all about the readership and the dedication and loyalty they show.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Amelia: Not being able to sit down and write when life gets in the way. I can't really say for as long as I have been an author, that I had anything really hard to dissuade me.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Amelia: I was a Teacher. I taught Elementary, Special Education and Pre-K
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Amelia: I don't just have one, I have many. I am a number one best seller, award winning. I am the Ambassador for the state of Nevada for the United States Board on Books for Young Readers, which is an association that promotes children's literacy around the country and the world. I am an honorary member of the American Library Association, a member of RIF~Reading is Fundamental, the National Summer Reading Association. An active member in Society of Book Writers and Illustrators, national and local chapters. A board member for the Association of Independent Authors, a member of the Horror Writers Association, Reading Rockets, Writer's Guild; The National Association for Autism, a Judge for PBS television station in Las Vegas, and the very first Author in the history of the world wide KIDS GO contest to present the awards to the winners. And lastly a Professor.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Amelia: many different books for both young, middle~grade and Young Adult
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Amelia: Many things. I can't really generalise this, but it could be something I have seen on television, in a mall, or as simple as a painting.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Amelia: READ READ READ. Do your research on the industry and don't take any shortcuts.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Amelia: Never. My muse is always active
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Amelia: Not at all. As a full time writer, I am able to sit down at any given time of the day to write whatever is pulling me. I usually write between the hours of 10 am through 9pm. That's a normal day for me.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Amelia: yes, my office is now in our home library. It's very comfortable and cozy and smells of books.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Amelia: I love everything about it. I eat and breathe it. I believe I was born to do it.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Amelia. Well, anyone who knows me can tell you my favourite author is Diana Gabaldon. She knows how to craft a story that brings the reader into a realm where no one can touch them.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Amelia: Wow...there are so many, yet too many to list here but I remember one where my reader suggested one of my books become a show.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Amelia: Not at all. I keep my personal life out of my books.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Amelia: relaxing with a good book, watching great movies, Winter sports just to name a few. Oh and I LOVE chocolate!
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
Amelia: My co-author Andrew. Because he has always been my Knight in Shining Armor.
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Amelia: Oh absolutely, but I will not go into any detail.
DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
Amelia: Not on your life. I love what I do and will continue until I am unable to.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
Amelia: Discipline, hard work, honesty and loyalty.
HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
Amelia: I have thirteen Illustrators who are allowed to create what they see. A great deal of artistic thought and creativity from the brilliant minds who work with me.
ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
Amelia: Yes and I wouldn't have it any other way.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Amelia: Intelligent, Honest, Loyal, Compassionate, Independent,
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Amelia. Wow, you are very confident, and so fortunate to have great illustrators and a co-author. Go, Andrew!