Ambriehl Khalil

Happy December!

It’s a new month, and that means a new author on my radar! Since the secret is out and you all know about my AMAZING publishing company, I thought I would spotlight one of my incredible new teammates!

PictureAmbriehl Khalil is one of the authors on the 2017 Release roster for Pen Name Publishing with her book 1000 Paper Cuts, but she has actually been with Pen Name for two years now. That’s not even the best part – her first book, Coins in the Coffee Cup debuted when she was ONLY 18! Talk about an impressive resume! Ambriehl is also an advocate for Diversity and joins a long line of rockin’ diverse authors. Want to know more? Of course you do! But I’m going to let you hear it from her! Here she is, the beautiful Ambriehl!
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for literal years, keep in mind I’m only twenty, though. I started writing when I was about 12 maybe? The creative writing assignments I was given during school were always my favourites, but yeah, that’s what kind of kicked it off for me. I’ve always been a very creative person and when I realised I could put the ideas in my mind onto paper, I was so stoked. I remember when I was 13 and I wrote this short story-which was so shocking by the way-about a girl who got drugged and then died. Morbid for such a young age, I know, but i’ve always had a knack for the realism side of stories. I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever written and I went around to every single person I knew and asked them to read it. I told them all I was going to be a writer when I grew up and they were all like, ‘yeah, sure, whatever.’ I had no idea that’s exactly what I’d be doing 7 years later so they’re all probably just as shocked about it as I am.
Who inspires your writing?
If I’m honest, there’s not a singular person that inspires me. It’s more so myself and basically everyone around me. I have so many supportive people that always love my work and all read it without me even having to ask, and that’s something that’s so incredible to have. I push through everyday even when it’s hard because I know that it makes me happy and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Do you have any writing rituals?Picture
Surprisingly, no. I feel like I probably should though, but realistically, I write whenever I want to. There are days where all I do is sit down and write and sometimes I don’t stop until I fall asleep. There are also days where I can’t think of a single thing. There are also those very, very irritating days where you want to write and you know you could probably come up with something, but when you try everything comes out terrible or sometimes doesn’t even come out at all. My books are very sporadic, the first one happened at random and the second was inspired by a singular picture that I found on tumblr. Everything I do is very random and unintentional, but I like it that way.
I’ve had some killer writer’s block lately. do Any tips to kick it to the curb?
Writers block is my worst nightmare, so I totally feel you. It usually makes me feel useless. The few things I can suggest though come in handy. I find getting inspired by different things can help, if I can’t come up with an idea i’ll scroll tumblr or we heart it and look at a few pictures. Sometimes there will be an idea hidden inside of a picture that you normally wouldn’t pick up. Paint = paint fight, or something equally as ridiculously small. If I’m writing my book and I don’t know where I’m going, I go back to the start. That’s some really important advice because while you’re writing it’s so easy to get distracted and lose your way, sometimes it even becomes something you had no idea you wanted it to be. Somethimes that can be fantastic, but in the cases where it’s not, I always suggest heading back to the start, reading through your notes, and just figuring out where you can go from there. You’ll always find something you missed before.
You published your first book when you were only 18! That’s INCREDIBLE! How’d you do it?
I was 17 when I sent in the manuscript [to Pen Name Publishing]. I’d already been rejected from a few companies just before Pen Name and I remember being at work and getting the email asking for the entire manuscript and I just cried. I called my dad and cried even though it was just the next step. A lot of people barely make it that far, though. A few weeks later I got another email confirming my manuscript would be published if I wanted it to be, and it was so crazy. I was really young, you know. When you’re that young you kind of have a false idea of what will happen. As I’ve grown I’ve learned a lot-I’ve been with Pen Name for 2 years now and it’s been a blessing every single day. I still can’t believe it happened, a lot of people don’t publish books until their late twenties, sometimes even older. I feel really honored and blessed every day to have an amazing opportunity.
You write for Diversity. How does it feel to have a voice for underrepresented people?
Oh it feels incredible. I can voice certain things through my writing that speak to people in ways I wish more people did. I feel like when I write, I write with the intention of keeping a certain kind of realism in everything I do. There’s equal amounts of cheese and equal amounts of “punch-you-in-the-face-this-is-real” because I think a lot of people forget about how much stuff actually goes on when it’s not happening to them. There’s a lot of diverse books that sugarcoat certain situations like depression and stuff and that’s not the way it should be. I want people to know these things are real and they happen. And yeah, they can be sad, but it will going to be okay one day. [I want them to see] this is an issue, [and] listen to what i’m saying. It’s easy to get certain things stuck in people’s minds through writing. That’s why it’s so special to me. But yeah, basically, it feels amazing to provide a voice, or to even have a voice at all.
PictureWhere did you get the idea for Coins in the Coffee Cup?
Coins in the Coffee Cup began as a fan-fiction that i posted on Wattpad years ago. It was a mess, really, but it got a lot of hits. The idea for that really just came to me one night. I was sitting in bed when the first line (it’s no longer the first line) just came to me. So, I started writing. It kicked off from there and eventually molded itself into something else entirely.
How did 1000 Paper Cuts come to be?
Shortly after Coins was published I thought to myself, there’s no way in hell I’ll top this. I can’t do any better than this. How does someone even write a second book, it’s impossible! But, as I mentioned before I was scrolling tumblr and I found this picture and the idea just came to me. At first the plot was very very brief, I literally  had no idea what I was going to do with it, I just knew I wanted it done. But after everything, working on it for over a year, nearly two, I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of it. I truly love this story with my whole heart and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

The best advice I can give is to never give up. It’s a hard industry, and some people have the ability to write while others just don’t. That’s not meant in an offensive way, it’s basically just that it depends on how much you’re able to push yourself. You need persistence. It’s not easy to write a book, I’ll tell you that. It’s even harder to write a GOOD one.
It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, you get writers block your story wavers, and sometimes it ends up being something you need to abandon. That’s a scary thing to do, especially after putting in so much work. Persistence is everything and if you’re passionate about it, you’ll get where you want to be. Also, write what you want to read. If you’d be happy reading something that you’re writing, genuinely, if you saw it on a shelf, then you’re doing something right!
Want to connect with Ambriehl? Find her online!

Can’t wait to read her work?
Look What I’ve Got!
Want more? 
Get it HERE


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