I don’t know about you, but May was an ABSOLUTE whirlwind for me! And to be honest, I’m not sure that June is going to slow down much at all. But, if you know me, you’ll know that as much as I may whine about it, being busy is generally how I roll.
We’re only a couple days into June and I’m already well into my June events, including Armchair Book Expo! I’m really excited about this event since I’m so far away I don’t get to meet new people very often. I love that this event helps to connect bookish people on a large scale from the convenience of their own home–wherever that may be! I love the collaboration between readers, writers, and bloggers. Sharing the love is something I can really get behind.
Conveniently enough, one of the topics for the Armchair Book Expo is collaboration and for me, this month is ALL about collaboration. Between launching a new BookTube channel, creating a new author event, and working on my own writing, I already have a solid pack of authors that I’m going to be collaborating with, and one of them is this month’s Author Radar pick, the lovely Amanda Gernentz Hanson!
First, I should probably say, I’m a little biased with this interview. Amanda happens to be one of my favorite people in the world (shoutout to my Pen Name bestie!). She totally gets me and supports me and helps roll with my antics (which may or may not be of benefit to you all–you’ll have to decide ;D ).
BUT on top of being just an all around awesome person, she is also a PHENOMENAL writer! I was lucky enough to be able to read an advanced copy of her debut novel, Something Beautiful, and I was absolutely blown away. Her book is diverse, beautifully written, and has all the feels. So good.
So whether you are looking for your next favorite author, or just a super great person to add to your writer’s tribe, you definitely should look Amanda up. But don’t just take my word for it! You can learn a little bit more about her now!
Friends, I gladly to introduce you to my friend, Amanda Gernentz Hanson!
When did you start writing?
I started writing in 3rd grade! I know that sounds really specific, but I remember because my hometown has this art showcase every year for elementary school students called Arts Alive!, and I submitted a short story in the very first year that we were allowed to.
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t writing?
Oh gosh. My husband often accuses me of having too many hobbies. I read (A LOT) and I like to blog about books and what I’m reading. I like to run and completed my second marathon in February—now I’m going to start working on my speed so I can hopefully qualify for the Boston Marathon in the next year or two. Those take up quite a bit of my time!
Have you ever ‘killed off an enemy’ in your writing?
Uhh. Can I plead the fifth? Haha. I don’t think I’ve ever had a true enemy, but I’ve killed a lot of people in my writing, so…
How do you pick character names?
A lot of times, I plot out my character’s backstories before I pick their names. I love exploring stories of immigration and ancestry, so the names I choose are often culturally specific. That is the case with Declan in SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL—he and his siblings are first generation Scottish, so they all have traditionally Scottish names that I found in an online baby book. For one of my other completed WIPs, the main character’s name is Calliope, who is a muse in Ancient Greek lore. That story is all about her finding herself and realizing that she inspires and influences more people than she knew. In my bruja WIP, it was the last name that I wanted to get right—I did research into Aztec surnames before choosing the MC’s name. I don’t take choosing character names lightly!
YOUR DEBUT NOVEL IS COMING OUT THIS MONTH!! Tell me what’s going on in your world!!!
Oh my gosh, I know!! My world is in chaos, but I’m loving it. I’m trying to build hype and anticipation, and I’m just ready for it to be out in the world!
Can you give us a sneak peek of what to expect?
Sure! You can expect a cute high school love story, a high-tension coming out scene, a suicide attempt, a car accident, some sexual fluidity, and a sometimes toxic relationship between two people whose lives are forever intertwined.
What is YOUR favorite part of SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
My favorite parts are when Cordelia (the female MC) gets sassy. Those pieces of dialogue were my favorite to write. There are two scenes in particular where she claps back at guys, and I love those scenes.
What scares you most about writing?
That my family and/or friends are going to hate it. It’s probably my biggest insecurity.
What is one thing you wish people knew about you as an author?
I’m many different things, and my books are all different. SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, in particular, is not like any other books that I’ve written, but I love that about it. It’s different, it explores some topics that a lot of people don’t like to touch, and I have a very special place in my heart for it. But the books that are (hopefully) up next for me? They’re very different.
What is your biggest writing challenge?
I’m a serial multitasker, which is bad when I’m trying to get one specific thing done. I get distracted a lot and end up doing something else that isn’t what I was supposed to be doing. This makes it hard sometimes to just sit down and write! Plus, the internet is a time-suck. I do a lot of research for the things I write, and sometimes I end up going down rabbit holes.
Who inspires your writing? Why?
I get inspired by lots of different things, but it’s usually the people closest to me. SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL was inspired by two close friends of mine, and my untitled WIP was inspired by my mom and her side of the family, where my Mexican heritage comes from (it’s about a bruja and I can’t wait until I have time to write it!).
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write, write, write, and never give up on what you want to accomplish. Very few people succeed from getting a lucky break—most have to work really hard for what they achieve.
Want to know more about Amanda? Connect with her on Social Media!
Can’t wait to get your hands on Something Beautiful?
Want to hear about all the other amazing authors I know! Follow my BookTube channel Author Confession!
(Amanda will be making a guest appearance later this month!)