Interview with Amanda Clay, author of the YA novel “Rebel Song”

Amanda Clay

Amanda Clay

Amanda is a fellow independent author, with a penchant for travel.  She was good enough to answer a few questions about herself and her work.

You can read my answers to her questions at: Interview with Robert Krenzel

Amanda, what is it about writing that keeps you coming back?

Writing is just something that’s a part of me. Even before I could read I would dictate stories to my mom and have her write them down for me. Words just come to me and I have to get them down on paper or I feel like I’ll explode. And really, I just love to read. I love a great movie. I binge watch HBO dramas. In short, I absolutely love the art of storytelling. Writing gives me the chance to weave my own story—or rather the story that my characters want you to know.  It’s also a way of sharing my passions and living vicariously through my characters experiences. Writing is the freedom to inject yourself into any world you could possibly dream up. Writing is a world of endless possibilities. If I couldn’t write, I might actually wither up and die.

You have two hours to spend at any location on earth, sharing conversation and the beverage of your choice with any author, living or dead. Who is the author, what is the beverage, where would you choose, and why?

Hmm…It might have to be George R. R. Martin, a bottle of wine on the bank of the Seine River in Paris. I have SOO many questions for that guy! And I’m practically foaming at the mouth for the next Fire and Ice installment (I read Game of Thrones circa 1996—before it was cool J ). Besides, he’s such a wonderful story teller I’m not sure the conversation would ever get old. I’m sure he would find me so fascinating that he’d want to stay more than two hours, haha. As to the wine? Well, duh, wine. And location? Sunsets on the bank of the Seine River—next to a 1,000 year old bridge—is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any city. It’s a place that inspires art.

If Tolkein wanted to join the party, I’d be the happiest little girl in the world.

You seem to have a “global” mindset. Tell me about your travels and how they affect your writing.
Second to writing, travel is perhaps my biggest passion. I have always been a student of the arts and history and of course those studies often take your mind to a place across the world. I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures and places. So far I’ve been to 13 countries outside the U.S., and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Every time I visit a new place, it changes me. We become extremely centric in our thinking if we don’t have our paradigm shaken up from time to time. Seeing a village in Guatemala without running water, police opening fire on a political protest in Madrid, or being stung by an African Killer bee in Belize—things like this frighten me, shock me, but make me want to write it all down.

Anyone reading your bio and blog is likely to notice that rebellion seems to be a recurring theme. To what do you attribute that?

The key conflict in Rebel Song is that the country is on the verge of civil war due to years of political abuse, poverty and wars. Again the inspiration here comes from countries all over the world experiencing revolutions and war even right now. To me, it’s a very real issue affecting millions. Governments across the globe mistreat their people in various ways. Sometimes a great hero stands up to them. Sometimes a rebel leader rises to power with an agenda no better than the current government. I’ve always loved the very basic struggle of good versus evil, but knowing that it’s rarely that black and white. War is a nasty thing and rarely does anyone come out of it with their hands clean.

How do you deal with negative feedback about your writing?

With a bottle of wine and the whole wheel of cheese. Kidding…sort of. One of my weird exercises is to look up my favorite books on Goodreads and read the negative reviews. This reminds me that writing is art and art is subjective. You can’t please everyone. Even the most acclaimed books of all times are going to have their haters. I’ve been fortunate to have received fantastic feedback so far on Rebel Song. But, as it will happen, sometimes I get a comment that shoots me right through the heart. After all, your book is really a piece of you. When someone doesn’t like it, it feels so incredibly personal. So I have to take a step back, consider the merit of their comment (Are they just being mean? Do they maybe have a good point? Was the genre just not their cup of tea?) and then re-read the positive comments I’ve received. I’ve had some less than stellar feedback that I’ve actually turned into a positive by taking it as an opportunity to improve my writing. But, in the end we as writers have to have thick skin. This isn’t a profession for the overly sensitive. We put ourselves out there, bare our souls, expose our wounds—we have to expend those wounds to sting sometimes.

If you could read only one more book, ever, what would it be?

Ooohhh…what a cruel form of torture. I think Lord of the Rings—it was originally one book so I’m going with that. That book is like a bible—chalked full of wisdom, soul, and guidance. And it’s just the best damn story ever written! I could read it over and over and probably still find nuances I’ve never noticed.

You can find Rebel Song at: Amazon

You can follow Amanda at:

Amanda Clay Rebel Song

One thought on “Interview with Amanda Clay, author of the YA novel “Rebel Song”

  1. Pingback: Author Interview Series- Robert Krenzel, author of The Glorious Cause | Amanda J. Clay

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