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Interview with Autobiographer Amanda Young

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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. She is also the author of the biography, Silent Prisoner.

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Amanda! Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Print on demand publishing with Booksurge.com, now. I have done print on demand in previous year.

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Megan’s Unicorn. I was rejected by more than I could remember of publishers. I then decided to with that story in 2001 do print on demand. It was my dream to see my book in print and with cover and that way I did fulfill my dream. Not in a big way but I was able to give to friends as a gift, my book.

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I can’t remember. I stopped counting after, I think, 15. Then I went to print on demand, iuniverse.com in the past.

I use Booksurge.com now and I have liked them. I have learned lots through the process and glad I did.

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

At first, because the idea of the story came to me in a dream I had this idea that I had something special and grand given to me by some mystical source. Then I was shocked to find out that so did everyone else out there. I began talking with people and found out that there was a writer in everyone. I really did not have any idea there were so many writing and then I knew why I was rejected. Plus I did not have an agent as they told me I needed. I still believe in my story ‘Megan’s Unicorn,’ and they all are wonderful to me. So I published with print on demand. To do as I said, to still fulfill my dream of seeing them in print and maybe someone out there is suppose to read my words. This way I know they will have a better chance.

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

Iuniverse.com — to put books in print

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

As I said I published with print on demand and put them out for gifts for friend’s years ago. It was an odd feeling when I opened the box the first books came in. I had ordered several to give to friends. Seeing my name on the books with my words inside was like an out of body experience. I sat on the sofa for a long time holding the book and stared at it. Almost like the way a mother looked down at their child. I wished then that my aunt was alive to see my book that I thought was grand. My aunt loved to read and she thought that I was special.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Again, this is back in 2001. Those books then were the beginning of a long journey for me. ‘Silent Prisoner’ has been a seven year journey for me of putting that into print. I have put the first books done for gifts back into print with Booksurge.com. They have a lot of good resources and I liked them very much. I highly recommend anyone looking over their sight.

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

As I said, I tried but for me without an agent for me print on demand was the only route I could go.

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

I have put ‘Silent Prisoner’ out November 2007 with print on demand with Booksurge.com and some other books. I had sent the story to publishers over the years and will patiently wait and see what will come back my way. Rejection does not bother me so much now. I am proud of what I have done and glad to see my words out there anyway. Someone may need to read especially ‘Silent Prisoner.’

Have I grown as an author? Oh my goodness, I cannot begin to say how difficult this process has been and how much I have grown. I would like to say that it has been a pleasure and a wonderful road. It has been harder than I could have ever imagined and yet, I love it. I never thought I would say that but, oh my gosh, it feels so good when I can scream at the computer when I am writing. My words my not find their way on your lap in a book but they have given me more therapy than I ever got on my therapist sofa. That is the truth.

If anyone feels that they have a desire to write. I say, do it! It may not go onto a best selling list. It may be only to clean out the carefully hidden dark spaces in the soul where a sad and wounded little girl was hiding and holding onto old memories that needed to be let go of. And for that, I am thankful.

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

I have made so many mistakes but that is how I have learned. I still have no idea of what I am doing quite a bit of the time, to be perfectly honest. So I don’t how I could have avoided my wrong turns. As far as speeding things up, can you speed things up with publishing?

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

That I did not hit ‘delete’ when I had highlighted all of the manuscript of ‘Silent Prisoner’ and instead click “accept print.” I did not know if I would be able to put my life out there for everyone to read. It was so awful and sad and I wanted to just bury it but then I told myself I had worked too hard on the manuscript and myself to throw it away.

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I am a nurse and that is my chosen career and writing chose me not the other way around. But I love nature and so would I would like to work with helping to save nature and animals.

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

Again, I do not call myself an author. I do not know when one has the right to call themselves and author. I put my books in print on demand. Does one have to be published by a large house to be called an author? Is it that I have words in print and that is how I am an author? Or is it a college degree in writing that makes one an author? My words are my passion. I schedule my life around time to write now. I am looking for an apartment that will suite my writing needs and comfort. In the past it would have been for only me. Now, my computer has first dibs. A bed to rest and a table to write on is all I need now, correct?

How do you see yourself in ten years?

An urgent care doctor told me the other day when I was in his office and handing him some flyers on my book ‘Silent Prisoner’ that I will not change people with my story. He is a bit bitter I would say as he sees so much abuse and domestic violence.

A mother then walked by and was holding onto her sick little girl’s hand. “I will affect that little girl’s life,” I told him. He smiled at me and said, “I understand what you are doing now.”

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Do it! Put your words one paper. It will touch you in ways that I cannot begin to tell you. When someone reads your words that you painstakingly put on paper and then gives you ‘that smile’ and ‘that look’ and for goodness sakes if they ask in a surprised way “Did you write this?” You cannot even imagine the feeling that is. It is truly, awesome! Good luck to everyone! Keep writing.

Thank you.

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4 Comments

  1. Welcome to Beyond the Books, Amanda!

  2. ccmal says:

    Great advice Amanda. I think it’s wonderful the way you’ve decided to share your story to try and help others.

    All my best!

    Cheryl

  3. Amanda Young says:

    Thank you so much for having me on your sight and allowing me to share my words. I share my story in the hopes of helping others through awareness. For then is when we can be better able to help those that suffer, in silence. Thank you again.

    Amanda Young

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