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Author Spotlight: Amanda Tru

ImageIsn’t it great when you read a book, and you absolutely love it, when you contact the author to interview them and they are a lovely, warm, sweet, funny person? Well, I read Amanda Tru’s ‘Tru Exceptions’ series and absolutely loved every minute of it. The first book of the series, Baggage Claim, is one of the best books I have ever read. It grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you turn the last page. The second book of the series keeps you guessing even more, then in the last book when everything is revealed it’s all so clever and unexpected. Amanda Tru is a master of suspense. I’m so glad I interviewed her because she revealed that ‘Tru Exceptions’ is in fact not a trilogy, and that another book will be out in the summer. I can’t tell you how excited I am. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Amanda Tru…

 Me: Thanks, Amanda, for agreeing to do this interview. First, I’d like to ask a personal question. What are your hobbies?

Amanda: I have a wide variety of interests, though with three young boys, my life currently revolves around the world of boys. We love camping, swimming, and fishing. I love to read (I know, big shocker!). I’m artsy and like to bake and do creative, crafty projects. (I’m a whiz with duct tape). I love drawing and painting, and I play the violin.

Me: Any interesting facts about yourself?

Amanda: Overall, I feel pretty boring. 😉 Although, once upon a time, I competed in scholarship pageants and was Miss Boise!

Me: That is not boring at all! Tell us about your family.

Amanda: My family and I live in a small town in Idaho where our closest neighbors are a pack of coyotes. I spend my days chasing after three smart, sweet, and thoroughly exhausting boys, ranging in age from 7 to 1.  I’m married to the most wonderful man in the world and am blessed to have my parents nearby. I am happiest when my entire extended family is together, and I consider it a vacation if I can sneak some form of chocolate without three little hands coming to take their share.

Me: How did your interest in writing begin and what inspired you to write your first book?

Amanda: I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a writer. Though it has been my life-long dream, it had always seemed out of reach. I wrote my first book for my sister. She loves to read but is very picky. I wanted to write something that she would like and give it to her as a special birthday present. Driving home one day, I wondered what it would be like if someone started driving in one time, and when they reached their destination, they were in another, without any sign they had traveled through time.  Thus, the idea for ‘Yesterday’ was born. I intended to write it as a short story, but it lengthened into a full book, and then another one. Now I’m currently writing book 5 in that series!

Me: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

Amanda: I think my books appeal to a variety of readers. I write Christian fiction, but I wouldn’t call it classic. It’s a lot more edgy. A book isn’t fun for me unless it is different or unexpected. In some ways, my books are written in a young adult style. They are action-packed with lots of twists. I think they would appeal to young adults, Christian readers, but also people who just enjoy a good, exciting book.  My books are not preachy or overly-evangelistic in nature, but they are all clean and often have spiritual angles. I think people should read my books because I write good stories! They are pretty unique and full of surprises that people might not see coming. It’s nice to know that my books have a wide appeal. I receive messages and reviews from readers ranging from teens to retired. The common thread is that they can identify with the characters, love the suspense, and can’t wait to see the next plot twist. Let me surprise you!

Me: What books have influenced your life most? 

Amanda: The Bible—no contest.  As far as fiction . . . ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ series.  How is that for a combination!!!

Me: I love the chronicles of Narnia too. What is your writing process? Do you outline your book before writing it, or make it up as you go?

Amanda: I usually write a rough outline before beginning a book, and then I typically never look at it again.  I keep most of the details and storyline in my head, though sometimes I write notes in simple phrases to remind myself where I’m headed.  The end product usually bears little resemblance to the original outline, but the outline at least cements the plot in my head.

Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? 

Amanda: Time. With a busy family to care for, I have little time to write. I can actually write very quickly.  I wrote my book ‘Baggage Claim’ in about six weeks from start to finish. The challenge for me is that the only time I get to write is at night when I’m already dead tired.  I spent my days caring for my kids and usually only write after they are in bed. Trying to manage my time to get things done when I’m already exhausted is definitely the most challenging part of writing for me.

Me: I totally agree with that. Finding time to write is tough with kids running around and getting up to all kinds of mischief 🙂 What time of the day do you write?

Amanda: Between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.  With those hours, it is a complete miracle that any of my writing makes sense!

Me: Name one person that you feel supported you with regards to your writing.

Amanda: I think my parents should count as one person!  They always raised me with the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to. Today, my mom reads and helps edit all of my books. My dad is my ‘technical advisor’ as far as details.  He is a ninth degree black belt, and when I was writing ‘Baggage Claim’ and the other books in that series, he helped me choreograph all of the fight scenes to make everything accurate. For who I am, my wonderful childhood, and my current endeavors. Any success should be attributed to my parents and the grace of God.

Me: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Amanda: No, I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced writer’s block. I think I have more book ideas than I could ever write in one lifetime. If I’m ever struggling with a problem, my mind goes on overdrive and won’t shut off until I’ve figured it out. Sometimes my mind gets muddy and I may struggle with how to word a particular scene. My trick, in those instances, is to take a shower!  Something about taking a shower gets my mind to flowing, and by the time I’m done, I have it figured out. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas in the shower!

Me: I get great ideas in the shower too. Bizarre. What book are you currently working on?

Baggage ClaimAmanda: I have so many projects going on right now!  I’m working on ‘Tomorrow,’ which is Book 5 in my time travel romance series, ‘Yesterday.’ but I’m also working on writing my first children’s chapter book!  I’m really excited about both books. After these two  books, I’m hoping to have Book 6 in the ‘Yesterday’ series available in the Summer and Book 4 in the ‘Tru Exceptions’ / ‘Baggage Claim’ series available in the Fall.

Me: Oh, wow. There’s going to be a book 4? I can’t wait. I guess you better get back to writing. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

About Amanda Tru:

With a lifelong love of reading and writing, Amanda Tru loves to let her imagination paint pictures in a wide variety of genres. Her current book list includes everything from a Christian time travel / romance series, to an action-packed suspense, to a romance involving a mysterious department-store Santa.

Amanda is a former elementary school teacher who now spends her days being mommy to three little boys and her nights furiously writing. Amanda lives in a small town in Idaho where the number of cows outnumbers the number of people.

Find out more about Amanda Tru and her upcoming books at her website amandatru.blogspot.com 

Check her out on Amazon!!