Author of the Week, Amanda Dick

Right off the cusp of her debut novel I bring to you the author of the week Amanda Dick.


Amanda Dick was born and raised in small-town New Zealand. She left home at the tender age of 16 and spent the next ten years living in Auckland and dreaming of seeing the world. 

At the age of 27, she travelled extensively through Western Europe, lived for a short time in London and then settled in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she met her husband.

After the birth of their daughter, the family moved back to her native New Zealand and settled in the same small town she grew up in. Their son was born three years later.

She divides her time between an administration day-job, her jewellery-design hobby and her writing.


1: Have you always wanted to be a writer, or is it something that just sort of happened and you fell in love with?

I’ve actually been writing since I was in Primary School, on and off.  I stopped for about 10 years when I went travelling in the UK and Europe, and then I came back and settled in Scotland and met my husband and had my first child.  Time was just too scarce, so I didn’t write for a long time.  Plus, I’m a really private writer – I can’t write in public, I need to be in private to allow myself to fully let go and relax.  I picked it up again when my second child was a couple of years old (he’s now nine), and have kept at it ever since.

2: Are any of your characters based on people you know, if yes who and how??

Not really, no.  My friends and family can relax!

3: What time of the day do you like to write?

At night time – definitely!  I’m a real night-owl.  I come up with my best work when everyone else is in bed and I can concentrate.  I often work through until 2am if I’m really on a roll (which messes with my mornings – soooo not a morning person!).

4:  What's your fave way to tackle writers block?

It’s taken me years to realise it, but walking away from the problem to get some perspective usually helps. If that doesn’t help and I get to a point where I’m truly stuck, I have a few tricks – change character perspective; take it back to before the issue and try to write around it, or skip to after the blockage and see if I can work backwards (or re-route completely!).  I don’t normally get writers block these days though, as I tend to plan out each chapter, scene by scene, to see if the plot works.  Just a few words for each scene to give me an idea of what I’m aiming for.  Then I go back and flesh out each chapter based on these notes.

5:  How many physical books do you own? (Under 100? over 500?)

Physical books – somewhere between 200-300.  Not counting the books on my Kindle, though.

6: What do you listen to when you write? Silence? Nature sounds? Music?

Totally dependent on my mood.  If I’m deep into it, only silence will do.  If I’m trying to block out the family, then I have a rainstorm I play through my headphones (kind of like white noise - works a treat!). If I’m looking to get myself into the right mood before writing a scene, I have a playlist on my iPod that I listen to (and add to, as the process continues).  The story is like a movie playing in my head, so I guess it makes sense that I need some kind of soundtrack!

7: Where do you do most of you writing? Do you have a home office/studio?

If I’m writing during daylight hours, usually my studio because it’s quieter.  I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated space to go to.  If it’s late at night and everyone’s in bed, I normally gravitate to the living room instead.

8: What do you write with? Pen and paper, laptop, typewriter? Do you write notes as you go?  If so what on?

I use my laptop, exclusively.  I write notes in my notebook as I go – usually reminders so I can get my continuity right, or things I want to change in the next edit (I try not to edit as I go, as it impedes the whole process).  I used to write longhand, in notebooks, when I was younger (and hide the books under my mattress!) but my laptop is my go-to method these days.  Far easier to edit and move stuff around (which I’m always doing!).

9: Your favorite book?

The “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon (particularly the first four books).  I remember reading the first one, “Cross Stitch”, as I was on the plane to Edinburgh from London.  When I met my husband (who is Scottish), we did a lot of travelling in weekends and holidays.  Everywhere we went in Scotland, I would insist on checking out standing stones, just in case (LOL!).  Never did find Jamie Fraser though.

10:What is one of your favorite quotes?

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel

11: What other crafts do you dabble in?

Hmmm…where to begin!  I make jewellery (www.pallinadesigns.com), mainly with sterling silver, gemstones and seed beads.  I cross-stitch.  I sew (clothes and soft furnishings).  I’m into DIY in a big way, especially around the home.  I upholster furniture.  I quilt.  I mosaic. There are very few crafts I haven’t tried - I love working with my hands!

12: What were you good at at school, and what did see see yourself being as an adult?
I loved English and Geography, those were my best subjects.  I was also pretty good at accounting (although hopeless at maths and science!).  As a 6 year old, I wanted to be a race-car driver.  As a 16 year old, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter or a pharmacist.  I ended up modelling for awhile when I was 16-17 years old, but I never saw it being a career for me (I’m too gabby to stand there with my mouth shut for long!).  Since I left high school, I’ve pretty much made a career out of administration/support roles, which plays into my obsessive need to organise things/people.  I think that’s one of the reasons I love writing so much – I get to control everything *evil laugh*.


Toilet paper over or under
Considering I’m such a neat-freak around the house, I really don’t have a preference here! 
Beer, Wine, Sprits?
Wine.  Or cider.  Although I’m not a huge drinker (really cheap date!).
Pjs, Nighty, Nothing?
PJ’s
Rock or Pop?
Rock.  Every day, all the way!
5 Star resort or Camping?
Camping (although I wouldn’t say no to a 5 star resort either!)
Cats or Dogs?
Both.  We have 2 dogs and a cat.
Morning or Night?
Night!  With an exclamation mark!
McDonalds or Burger King?
Tough one – Burger King.  I think.
The Simpsons or Family Guy?
Family Guy.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke (Zero).
Batman or Superman?
Superman.  Especially if that Superman happens to be Henry Cavill…
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate.  With chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles.  I like chocolate.  Mmmm…chocolate.
Summer or Winter?
Winter.  I’m a redhead.  Pale skin and sun don’t mix!
Shower or Bath?
Shower.
Countryside or Big city?
Countryside.
Fame or Money?
Money!  Wait - does that make me shallow?  Moving on…
Piercings or Tattoos?
My ears are pierced.  Not very bad-ass am I?
Mac or PC?
PC.
Mermaids or Unicorns?
Mermaids.
Hermoine Granger or Bella Swan?
Hermione Granger!  She brings out the feminist in me – she’s a great role model for girls.

Comments

  1. "Explanation mark"?? I think I must've been tired when I answered these LOL! Thanks Jennie - they were fun questions and I had a great time answering them :)

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  2. Gotta love anyone who prefers Hermione over Bella!!!

    ReplyDelete

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