We start writing stories because we have stories to tell. Those stories can begin from a huge array of sources. Amanda Jayde is my guest today and her stories stemmed from what may be a surprising source for some. Ready to meet Amanda?
Amanda Jayde has been telling stories for years. Urged on by one of her close friends, she entered an erotic story competition sponsored by Romantic Times Magazine and much to her surprise she became a finalist and her dream of becoming published was born.
She left her hometown of The Bronx, NY, to move to a decidedly warmer climate and slower lifestyle in a small town in Florida. She usually has one story completed, one in various stages of completion, and one or two in her head, and when she’s not writing you can find her curled up with a book.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Amanda: I started writing fan fiction waaaaay back in the early 2000’s that was when a friend told me about a contest Romantic Times was having for short stories. I had always played with the idea of trying to get published and with a little push entered the contest. I became a finalist and attended my first convention. That was 2004 or so. I continued to toil away at it and got my first book published in 2010.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Amanda: YEARS. LOL, I am still working on it.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Amanda: All of the books I’ve published have been paranormal and I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward in that genre.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Amanda: I loved to read as a kid, and that helped me want to tell stories. I started with fan fic because I loved the idea of what if. The feedback I received there made me want to write my own stories.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Amanda: LOL, fan fiction – it was western fan fiction which is so far away from what I currently write. I may one day go back to those old stories and rewrite them maybe release them as free reads.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Amanda: I do love Paranormal, you can make your world as close to reality as you want or build a new fantastical version of it. It’s fun to take these established character types and make them your own. Plus I love making people fall in love.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Amanda: I took a class a long time ago that Barnes and Nobel offered for writing and then I bought craft books and read a LOT. I still will buy books on writing because I think you can always learn to be better.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Amanda: How crazy it can make you. Trying to find that perfect blurb, the right cover, slaving over each decision you have to make on top of finding the time to write. It’s maddening, but I love it.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Amanda: Sherrilyn Kenyon was a big inspiration, I met her a few times and she was always so supportive when we spoke. There are lots of fantastic writers on Twitter that are also supportive in general – Romancelandia can be a great place to live in.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Amanda: I wrote a short story for a charity anthology (which is now released as part of this series) and there was a throwaway line in there about the heroine’s cousin who’s been cursed and I thought I would reeeeeeally like to tell her story someday, so I did a quick plot and shelved it to work on my shifter books (which are currently unavailable). Then about 18 months ago a new opportunity to join a collective of authors popped up to write common elements themed stories and I thought I could use my witch idea, turns out that due to the parameters for that story I couldn’t so instead I used my common elements book to start the series and that led to this one so here we are!
Emily Caswell has secrets. Witches, curses, death–she’s lived with them all, but the one thing she’s wanted above all else is the one thing she can’t have. Love. She thought her life was just fine if a little lonely, but if this was the price to pay, she could accept it. Until the one person who held her heart, the boy she once loved, returns.
Ex-Navy SEAL Greyson Caulfield is coming home. Forced to retire after an injury, he is returning to civilian life. Back to his family, his best friends, and to face the one that got away. His one regret in life was how things ended with Emily, but now that he’s back maybe he can set things right again.
When love means courting death can these star-crossed lovers find a way to be together? And if death doesn’t drive them apart, then the secrets Emily is keeping just might.
For the first time since realizing he was back, Emily allowed herself to get a good look at him. He’d always been tall, he’d grown to six-foot-four by the time he’d graduated high school, but now he seemed even bigger. Not taller, just broader, his time as a SEAL had bulked him up, the muscles outlined beneath his thin royal blue tee-shirt evidence of that. The decade away had matured him. There was a hardness to his features she’d never expected to see, but as he looked down at her, she saw a glimpse of the boy she’d loved within the man he’d become. It was there in the softness of his gaze and the slight upturn of his lips.
“I don’t think that would be a good idea.” She said quietly. Thankful that her voice didn’t quiver.
“It’s been over ten years, Em, are you still angry about what happened on prom night?”
“You broke my heart, Grey, made me feel like a complete idiot. You betrayed me. Can you blame me for not wanting to rehash the past?” She said, jumping at the chance to push him away no matter how ridiculous her reasoning was. She needed to get away until she could find some time to put all of this and what it meant into perspective.
He seemed surprised by her admission. “I see.” He stepped away from her car. “Don’t let me keep you then.”
Emily looked down the street Grey had gone. For eleven years, she’d been free from the fear that their love would cause her death, and now that he was back, what could this all mean?
I’ll bet there’s some fireworks about to happen in Bewitched! Thanks for sharing, Amanda!
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