hl_blue: Hello Amanda! We have soooooo many questions to ask you. Where would you like to start? The regular? Or the downright knavish?
amanda: There’s a difference? No way.
hl_blue: LOL! Why do you write? Fill in the gap with two words: I write because I _______
amanda: Love words.
naaki: Hey Queen Amanda! Do you believe that anybody at all can be a writer?
hl_blue: LOL this answer should be interesting.
amanda: *this is a set-up, set-uuuuup*
To be frank, no, I don’t.
hl_blue: Please elaborate. Are writers like chicks or baby eagles? Such that once you are born a chick you will not ever be able to soar?
amanda: I think writers are like human beings with talent. 🙂
Anybody can string words together, if you have the time and inclination. But it takes a certain sort of talent to tell a story that people pay attention to.
We’ve kind of lost the definition of the word ‘writer’ with the free-for-all that is blogging, in my opinion.
edgothboy: I agreeeeeeeeeeeeee. 😀
Just here to agree vehemently with Amanda just so you know.
hl_blue: Writer, Artist, Story Teller. Too many branches this could take. But since Eddie the Baddie has shown up to support, let me take this lying low. _lays low_
Amanda do you have fans? How do you deal with attention from your fans? Especially the male ones?
amanda: Lol! I don’t have any fans that I know of.
amanda: I mean, there’s a cat on my street which follows me down the road now and then but I think it does that to everyone.
naaki: I’m a fan! Over here! Over here!
Amanda, what, to you is the best part of editing?
hl_blue: Please add the worst part of editing when you answer.
naaki: That was going to be my next question.
Side eye @hl_blue
hl_blue: :_unlooks_ It is all of us that are interviewing her together. You cannot keep Amanda all to yourself Naaki. Even if you are the king and she is the Queen she belongs to everybody and she belongs to nobody
amanda: lol! Children. Don’t fight. Stay on the queue.
naaki: Is it not Uncle Efe that wants to jump the queue?
amanda: Best part of editing : Reading a story that gives you all the feels and even if it’s riddled with typos, you just KNOW that you have a gem on your hands.
Worst part of editing has to be when people send in pieces with zero respect for punctuation or the verb-noun agreement. Literary cancer.
hl_blue: It’s weird how your worst and best parts are actually close. Thin line between love and hate. You have it, or you don’t. Whatever Amanda says “it” is.
naaki: You forgot to mention the cankerworm that is the will-would disconnect.
hl_blue: Naaki has come with her OCD again. Allow these will-would children to flourish and reproduce.
amanda: I don’t mind typos (much). Happens to the best of us. It’s the punctuation thing that keeps me up cradling a jar of peanut butter and crying bitter tears.
But the will-would children being allowed to reproduce? NEVER!
hl_blue: tears for the beautiful children of mispunctuation
Amanda, have you ever had a piece of yours rejected for a competition or call for entries? How did you deal?
amanda: Ah. I’ve never had the nerve to submit a piece of writing. My talent no reach competition level.
naaki :Amanda, please describe Stories.ng (for the person who’s been living under a rock and doesn’t know what it is).
amanda: Stories is the all-singing, all-dancing – wait. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing so I won’t use that reference. (Sounds awesome, though.)
Stories.ng is a by the people, for the people space where talent is discovered, experiences are shared and diverse expressions are allowed to thrive.
hl_blue: *WE NEED TO FRAME THIS AND PUT IT ON OUR STORIES DOOR*
naaki: Assuming there was an exam, I’d cram this your definition and use it as my own.
*in Elvis’s voice* Thank you. Thank you very much.
naaki: Amanda, darling, who is your favorite member of the Stories team?
hl_blue: Amanda it’s a trap!
naaki: (It’s me, isn’t it?)
hl_blue: Naaki it’s like you came here to fight for teacher’s pet or last born meat. What’s all this?!
naaki: Lmaooo. It’s me, I’m the one. Amanda don’t be scared.
amanda: Of course it’s you, Naaki.
amanda: And you, Efe.
amanda: And you, Ed. And you, Okaima.
naaki: No no no. I refuse!!
hl_blue: No no no!!! Let’s end the interview now! Ha. All of us? And none of us? Is that how it is for you and your authors and books? Surely you have a favorite author or book.
amanda: Hahaha! That’s different, now. You guys are like the cast of Friends. All equally awesome except for Chandler who’s more awesome than the others. (I’m Chandler, of course. I mean, could I BE any more like Chandler?)
hl_blue: Tell us your authors of love please, Amanda. Naaki accept your grief in the corner. I am dealing myself.
amanda: Okay. Jane Austen, who penned my favorite book of all time (Pride and Prejudice). Marian Keyes. Sefi Atta. Oscar Wilde. P. G. Wodehouse. Chuma Nwokolo. Ted Dekker. Chinua Achebe (staple on everyone’s list). C. S. Lewis.
naaki: I love Marian Keyes.
edgothboy: Achebe? :'(
amanda: He has to be on the list. He told my people’s stories. He has earned his spot.
naaki: Achebe is a great writer. A true master of the craft.
naaki: Edwin please follow me into that corner. I want to show you something.
edgothboy: What is your method for editing?
amanda: What feels right. I like to get the feel of sentences and how they fit into the piece as a whole, the tone they produce and the effect they create for the rest of the story. There’s a science to these things. I think.
naaki: Amanda, cats or dogs?
edgothboy: You wound me. Can’t go on.
amanda: Lol! Animals don’t like me, as a rule. Piglets, I like.
hl_blue: But Amanda, you said there was this cat on your street that liked you a lot. And this piglet thing is very disturbing if you also like bacon.
amanda: Unrequited love, with the cat. Because, you know, I’m a heartbreaker and all.
edgothboy: Hahaha. We know from your twitter that your love for literature is strongly intertwined with your love for music. So give us your pick for the five most beautiful songs ever written. Emphasis on lyrics.
amanda: Gosh. This is so hard. Let me amend your question a bit. These are not necessarily the most beautiful songs of all time, but they’re the ones I can think of now. In no particular order:
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies
Dreaming With A Broken Heart – John Mayer
Every track by Otis Redding
A Case of You – Joni Mitchell
Drops of Jupiter – Train
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
Ugh. It’s like Sophie’s Choice. I feel broken.
edgothboy: Switch Maroon 5 for something from Regina Spektor and that’s a pretty spot on list.
hl_blue: Sorry dear Amanda. Come for healing here hugs
Let’s take you back to the beginning of your interview. You said you love words. Tell us how early you started reading, writing, editing… Tell us about some of your own work that’s close to your heart. Any landmark posts you wrote you really liked?
amanda: My parents swear that I was reading before I was one, but they may have had a bottle of Guinness each before that conversation, so. But I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my nose in a book. I remember getting a carton of books for my 4th birthday – Lantern books, Heinmann books, fluffy stuff like that.
As for writing, my sister and I used to do this thing in primary school where we would write novels in 80 leaves notebooks. They weren’t very good, but it was a hobby of ours.
When I was in primary six, I had a couple of stories published in an anthology-type children’s book. That was nice.
Editing – I can’t even say when. I think it’s something I grew up with while reading books – things would jar me in the story and I would write footnotes about how that element could be better/different. I’m a dork. I know.
Landmark posts – I don’t think I’ve ever written anything that’s purely fiction. Everything I write is a retelling of events in my life or that of someone close to me. But the piece I do remember liking is one I wrote for the Hobbing Post called The Office of The President. (Read that here CLICK)
naaki: Adorable dorktitude.
hl_blue: Really adorable. Those glasses. Sighs. Amanda, do we have a dashing young man in the shadows jealously watching over his pretty flower as she gives her interview on this site? This is my last question I promise.
amanda: Haha! No, that mythical creature does not exist.
hl_blue: We will ask you that question again next year but for now, it’s time for your Russian roulette post challenge. Pick any theme from the following: war, loss, romance, and serendipity.
amanda: Ah. Uncle Efe, do you know something I don’t know?
hl_blue: No oh. _evil grin_
So your Russian roulette challenge is to write a 5 line (maximum) story on the spot (by on the spot we mean, put down that cup of tea and face this) involving serendipity but without mentioning the word. Your time starts now.
amanda: Ah. Please I want to change my answer.
hl_blue: It’s not allowed in Story Land
consults greying scrolls, looks up.
Yup. Says it right here in the fine print.
amanda: I didn’t want to say ‘romance’ because I was trying to fight the power.
hl_blue: All this your dancing back and forth is to buy time abi?
You cannot change your answer from serendipity after serendipitously finding out why your answer was needed
amanda: She was waiting for the bus when her phone buzzed and she pulled it out to find that it was a spam email. She looked up just as the bus flew past, and she instinctively dashed after it. She wasn’t looking, so she slammed into something solid and would’ve fallen if not for the strong arm that caught her. She looked up and met his eyes. He looked back into her eyes and smiled.
Lol! It’s still a romance story. I must have my way.
hl_blue: Lovely story Amanda, at least for those of us who are buff and muscle tight. The rest of you lean guys can literally fall back and fall to the pavement and remain there if Amanda jams you with her lorries of blessing.
Thank you very much for your time with us here Amanda. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you!
amanda: Haha! What a backhanded insult. Continue.
hl_blue: LOL. Wait! I didn’t even see what I did there!
I plead the 5th. OK Bye
Phew! Congratulations on making it to the end of this long interview! As usual if there are any additional questions you have for Amanda (notice how many times we called her name in the interview? We love her name) please make yourselves comfortable in the comments section and she will reply as best as she can.
Naaki will be pusblished next here on Wednesday and we hope you are back here to read. See you then!