Release Blitz + Author Interview: Begin Again by Amanda Leigh

Release Blitz

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Title: Begin Again

Author: Amanda Leigh

Release Date: October 14th

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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When Tori’s house burns down with her abusive husband inside, she flees with her six-year-old daughter to start anew. They leave town and stay in a motel.

It doesn’t take long for Tori’s small savings to run dry, and they find themselves struggling once more. One day, they meet a kind stranger who pays for their meal. The purse this stranger leaves behind could change everything…but not how Tori imagines.

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Now available on Kindle Unlimited

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Interview

 

Thank you for being on Aly’s Rockin’ Romance Reads! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?

Hi!! I’m so glad to be here. My name is Amanda Leigh and I’m a multi-genre author of Paranormal Romance, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, poetry, and more. I love Harry Potter, Marvel (especially Loki), and Elvis. I constantly fall in love with fictional characters. Especially the more morally ambiguous ones (like Loki lol.) I love “meeting” new readers and authors and talking all things books!!

 

How long have you been writing? When did you become a published author?

I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. I’ve been making up stories longer, since I was two. I would tell the stories to my mom then she’d write them down and I’d draw the pictures. Then once I could write them down I just never stopped. My first published poetry collection came out when I was 21. But I actually had an essay published in a local newspaper when I was 11. 

 

What is your writing ritual?

Hmmm. I tend to write in the afternoons. I usually write at my desk in my room (I’m lucky to have a big room so I have my room and office in there). I have a cup of tea with me most times and like to write in sprints. I put on music or ambient noise and pull up an online timer. I start with a very short sprint and then up the time. I also put on my diffuser and have this little wooden turtle figurine my best friend brought back for me from Europe that I usually keep by me while writing. Turtles are meant to be good luck. I also have a small purple chaise lounge and sometimes write there. And my cat, Sawyer, is often nearby. 

 

How long does it take you to finish the first draft?

Wow, this one has varied immensely over the years. As for my trilogy, book one took me six weeks to draft. Book two took me four weeks. And book three took me twelve weeks. The most recent book I drafted took me eight months!! 

 

What is your latest published work?

My latest published work just came out on October 14th!! It’s called Begin Again and it’s a women’s fiction novella about a woman starting her life over when her house burns down with her abusive husband in it. She takes her six year old daughter and leaves behind what they know to start anew. To begin again. 😉 

 

Can you tell us about your current WIP?

My current WIP is a companion book to my Beauty of the Dark series (mentioned below.) The Beauty of the Dark trilogy is a Mature YA Paranormal Romance mostly following Kiara and Trent. But another character, Kaleib, is a key player and a lot of his history is left shrouded in secrecy. We learn in the trilogy that he and Kiara’s mother were good friends before her mother was killed but the true nature of the relationship is murky. When my friend texted me to ask what their relationship was, I sat down and started to write about it to find out. I thought it would be a 10k short story. The first draft is 35k. I’m working on editing this now as I would LOVE to release it in 2020!! 

 

What is your favorite female character you’ve written?

Kiara!! From my Beauty of the Dark series. Kiara is tough, intelligent, powerful and yet vulnerable. I loved bringing out all of those sides of her. Sometimes the powerful and vulnerable all at once. She’s also quite sassy and stubborn. And with Trent being her love interest and vice versa, things get very interesting. 😉

 

Favorite male character?

Trent!! Also from my Beauty of the Dark series. Yup, Kiara’s love interest is my favorite male character I’ve ever written. Trent and his story kind of just poured out of my brain like it had been there for years waiting to get out. He has a tragic past which is one of the ways he and Kiara connect. He’s a bit aloof, snarky, and definitely has a dark side. But he isn’t nearly as bad as he seems in the beginning. He’s also intelligent, tough, and vulnerable. I really enjoyed writing all of these sides of him. Writing him and Kiara together is the most fun I’ve ever had. 

And because I’m a rebel, my second favorite male character I’ve ever written is Kaleib. Also from my Beauty of the Dark series. He’s loyal, protective and a little rigid but he’s an amazing character, as well. The three of these characters together is something to see, so to speak. And they will always hold a special place in my heart. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever run out of things to write about them. I can’t let them go. 

 

If you had to list one of your biggest/weirdest quirks while writing, what would it be?

I had to think about this one. Since I’m alone while I write I don’t think about these things as weird too much anymore. I suppose the weirdest thing I do is talk to my characters out loud. But, I mean, actually have a conversation. Ask them things and “hear” the answers in my mind, then just keep talking until we figure it out. Wow, that sounds very odd seeing it written out….lmao. 

 

Do you listen to music and/or make a playlist while you’re writing?

Absolutely!! I make playlists for almost every book or story I ever write. Sometimes I listen to them while I write the story but sometimes it’s more for inspiration before, and while I write I listen to instrumental music or ambient noise. But I try to have what I listen to match the tone of the story. 

 

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh man, what a question. Almost as hard as asking about favorite books. J. K. Rowling, S. E. Hinton, Emily Bronté, Maggie Stiefvater, Neil Gaiman, Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, Trisha Wolfe, Amanda Lovelace…. I’m sure I’ve missed some. 

 

What inspires you to write?

I write because I can’t NOT write…there are all these stories and ideas running around in my head and I just have to get them out. I have to write them. Basically, that’s it. I have to. But I do love it. I’m not sure if this was also referring to ideas but I heard Neil Gaiman say that story ideas are mostly taking two things we know and meshing them together. And/or asking “What if?” Some of us just seem to do this more regularly than others. And characters sort of just burst into my mind, too. That’s a big part for me. 

 

Where do you interact with your readers the most? (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, newsletters, etc.)

Hmmm…good question. This is actually something I’m working on because I’m so naturally introverted and get so caught up in my fictional worlds. But I think I probably interact with readers the most in my Facebook Group. I would like to interact more through my blog, newsletter, and Instagram, though.

 

Can we stalk you? (hey, at least we asked nicely!) If so, please provide your Amazon, Goodreads, and social media links.

Only online!! LOL 🙂 Here’s just about everywhere you can find me. 

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yFTasy 

GoodReads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/amandaleighauthor 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaLeigh 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmandaLeighsLounge/ 

Blog: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandaleighya/ 

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/j96zclw

Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2mcaJJH  

Website (Signed books available): https://www.authoramandaleigh.com/ 

 

Thank you so much again for being here! Any advice to aspiring authors before we let you go? (we know you’re busy!)

Thank you so much for having me!! Honestly, it’s incredibly difficult for me to give advice because all I can think to say is “Sit down and write.” And honestly, that might be the best advice I can give you. If you never write a word, nothing is going to happen. Stop worrying about it being perfect. The first time you get those words down on paper it will be so far from perfect. (Here’s a little secret: It will never be PERFECT.) But if you never get anything down on paper then there’s nothing for you to polish and make the best that it can be. If you have a story in your heart that you need to tell, you have to sit down and write it. I can give you all the little tips in the world, but if you never do that, you’ll never get anywhere. So go forth and write!! ❤ 

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Amanda Leigh has had a love of words since before she could write them herself. Once she learned to read and write herself she just couldn’t stop. She reads any genre as long as the book sounds interesting. Which may explain why she can’t and never will be able to stick to one genre in her writing. From Contemporary Romance to Women’s Fiction to Paranormal Romance to Poetry and more to come. When she’s not writing or reading she enjoys getting swept away in a great TV show, going to the theater, listening to music, cooking and many different forms of art. She has a cat she adores and also loves Psychology, tea, coffee, chocolate and Elvis Presley. Not necessarily in that order. Feel free to get in touch with her.

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Website (Signed books available): https://www.authoramandaleigh.com/

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/j96zclw

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/amandaleighauthor

Blog: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaLeigh

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmandaLeighsLounge/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandaleighya/

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