Interviews

Amanda’s ‘Block’

Author Amanda Niblock has been writing stories since she was a child. She and her sister, we’re told, would write long and detailed scripts for a fantasy role-playing game when they were school-going kids. ‘I have always loved stories and have been an avid reader my whole life,’ begins Ms Niblock, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. Having studied literature and creative writing in college, the author says she wrote a lot of short stories for years before she attempted to write a novel. ‘The first novel I started didn’t pan out though,’ she tells us matter-of-factly, adding, ‘but I didn’t stop there. Two years ago, I decided I was going to commit to finishing a novel finally, and I did. Since then I’ve worked on another that is nearly finished and have started a third. They are all part of a series.’

Author Amanda Niblock

Taking the Call, All by Herself

Talking about her only published book Unicorns Are Really Vampires, the thirty-seven-year-old, who holds a degree in veterinary nursing besides an MA in literature, says she decided to self-publish because she likes making all the decisions for her book on her own. She wrote Unicorns Are Really Vampires, a YA adventure/fantasy novel, so that her daughter could read and enjoy it and that it could be part of a series as well. ‘It actually started as a NANOWRIMO project in 2018 and just took off from there,’ she lets on, adding that her second novel is a YA novel too and the sequel to her first. ‘And my latest project is book three, which will be the end of the series, at least for now,’ she states with a smile. 

ENGAGE WITH EXPRESS: Fancy Reading Unicorns Are Really Vampires? Well, you can buy yourself a copy of the book right off the bat by clicking on the book’s cover image underneath.

‘Booking’ Fifty Books Every Year

Upon being asked if she plots out her stories before putting pen to paper, Ms Niblock says that when she sets about working on a project, she has the end of the story in mind besides a few of the main characters. ‘But I don’t do extensive outlines. I prefer to do very rough outlines of only a few chapters at a time and see where the characters take me. To be honest, sometimes I feel like the stories are writing themselves,’ she explains.  

Be that as it may, Ms Niblock goes on to say that she tends to read close to fifty books a year! ‘And I have got too many favourite authors,’ she guffaws, stating that she derives inspiration from every author she reads. ‘I try to read from a variety of genres too although I tend to read more fantasy and sci-fi than anything else. A couple of authors that I try to read whenever they publish something are Jasper Fforde and Pierce Brown,’ she tells us. 

RELATED | ‘I Am Inspired by All Authors’

Up Close and Personal

As the conversation assumes momentum, the author, who also mothers an eleven-year-young daughter, gives us a glimpse of her everyday life. Letting on that she isn’t a morning person, she says she more often than not writes in the evenings. ‘And my daughter is currently being homeschooled because of Covid; So in the evenings, things are the quietest around the house,’ she says. ‘I like to write when I don’t get distracted by other things, and I try to write at least every other day. Sometimes I take breaks, especially when I’m in the editing phase of my books. I can’t write and edit at the same time,’ she explains.  

Nonetheless, was becoming an author a conscious decision she made? ‘Yes!’ she pronounces. ‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I finally made myself commit to finishing a novel and self-publish. I post my short stories online too,’ she shares with us. And how does she juggle writing and other tasks? ‘Well, I basically like activities that involve staying inside,’ she lets us know, adding that her main focus is almost always on writing and reading. ‘I read every day,’ she states. ‘Another hobby that I devote time to though is cross-stitching,’ she adds.

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‘Humans Aren’t the Only Creatures That Live’

The author also shares with us that once she finishes the series she is currently working on, she will write a book and try getting it published via traditional routes. And is there something that she would like to tell budding authors? ‘It sounds cliché, but don’t give up is what I would say,’ she stresses, adding, ‘Anything worth doing takes time, but breaking into the publishing world is challenging. I truly believe that writing is one of those things that gets better the more you practise it. Some people may have a knack for telling stories, but there is always room for improvement.’ 

As the discourse draws to a close, we ask her if there is something she would want to see changed in the world we dwell in. ‘This is a tough question,’ she admits with a smile, ‘because there are a lot of things about our world that need fixing right now.’ Emphasising soon after that a topic that has always been near and dear to her is that of animals, she says she wishes people would stop hurting the wildlife of the world. ‘Humans are not the only creatures that live on Earth, but most of the time we act like all the other animals don’t matter. I wish we would change our mindset and learn to protect them more,’ she says, ending the interaction on a thoughtful note.  

DO READ | ‘The Only Way to Improve Your Writing Is to Write’

PS: Author Amanda Niblock can be contacted through Twitter. You can also subscribe to her personal blog.

Thank you, Ms Niblock!

We would like to thank you from the bottom of our heart for the generous donation you’ve made, Ms Niblock. We wish you all the very best for all your future endeavours!

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