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Interview with Amanda McCarter

Amanda McCarter

She is a science fiction and fantasy author based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the US. She started her writing career sixteen years ago and has written a variety of works, from dystopian to urban fantasy to cyberpunk. Her stories tend to the weirder side of life. When not writing, she can be found gaming, knitting, or reading a good book.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I’m a pretty big metalhead. Rammstein, Spiritbox, Electric Callboy. I love it.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
 Absolutely. I’m working on the next books in the Houses of Bone and Smoke, and I just finished the first draft of book 5 of my Stitch Witches series.

Q.3 What inspired you to write Houses of Bone and Smoke series?
 A few years ago, when HBO was announcing all the spin-offs from Game of Thrones, there was a video of what appeared to be a trailer for a “modern” version of Game of Thrones set in 20th-century type London with Parliament and all the houses. Well, it turned out to be a joke, and I was so upset it wasn’t real that I decided to write my own. I pushed mine further into the future and gave it a cyberpunk twist.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
 Not making them into stereotypes. It’s easy to get lazy with writing the opposite sex. It takes care to make them dimensional, real people.

Q.5 What challenges did you face while writing this series, and how did you overcome them?
The scope. There are so many moving parts, so many characters. It’s a huge story, so there’s a lot to carry. I ended up hiring an editor to help me keep the story on point without going too broad with everything.

Q.6 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
 A lot of it is just scribbling notes and writing out random thoughts until it starts to form into something I want to use.

Q.7 How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
 The rough draft usually takes a few months.

Q.8 What’s your writing schedule while working?
 Well, I work a full-time job, so a lot of my writing is done in fifteen-minute bursts where I can find or make time.

Q.9 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
 I don’t know if it’s unique, but I’ll often have conversations out loud with my characters to work through scenes. While driving, getting ready for the day, or just out for a walk.

Q.10 What do you think are the main reasons for the popularity of science fiction? To what extent has the film industry helped in popularizing the genre?
 I think, at its core, science fiction gives us hope. Look at shows like Star TrekRoddenberry imagined a better future. Sure, there are a lot of grim science fiction stories out there, but each one has a grain of technology or lifestyle we could aspire to.

Q.11 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
 I try to point my efforts towards the groups I think will appreciate it most. For Stitch Witches, I posted in my knitting groups.

Q.12 How do you select the names of your characters?
 The names usually go through a few iterations until I find one that “fits.” Part of it is their personality; another is what name I think reveals who they are. Whether that be due to culture, personality, or foreshadowing.

Q.13 If your book was made into a movie, whom would you like to play the role of Evin and Ortega?
A. Nathalie Emmanuel
 and Oscar Isaac.

Q.14 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
 I went through Get Covers. I’ve used them before, and I like their style. I knew they could get the feel I wanted for this series.

Q.15 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
 Seventeen. Frostbite and Fire, the first book in Houses of Bone and Smoke, is my favorite so far.

Q.16 Who is your favorite lead character from your books, and why?
That’s hard for me to choose. So many of them are strong, intelligent, tenacious women.

Q.17 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dearest to you and why?
 Probably Joseph Arthur from my Stitch Witches series. He starts out as a bit of a coward and really becomes someone respectable over the course of the books.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Brie Larson
. I absolutely loved her in Captain Marvel, and I’d like to tell her as much.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. Dragonsong
 by Anne McCaffrey. My mom read that book to me as a bedtime story, and I’ve always loved dragons.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
 I started writing sixteen years ago, right when ebooks were taking off. I’ve had some good moments and some slow times. I even stepped away from writing for a bit. This can be a difficult business, and sometimes you need a break. Once I got things figured out, I was back at it, and that’s when I started writing Stitch Witches. The inspiration for Houses of Bone and Smoke hit shortly after that.

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