Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Interview with Amanda Meuwissen, Author of Life as a Teenage Vampire

What made you decide to be an author? Once upon a time when I was writing a piece of fanfiction for one of my favorite video games in middle school, Final Fantasy VIII, I had a reviewer contact me about how much my story had inspired them. I’ve known I had to be a writer ever since.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? Involvement with fans. I adore those moments when you hit your stride and the story just flows so beautifully, but reading what people thinking about your work and seeing how your joy for a story can be shared with others, makes it even more worthwhile. What I like least are the moments when we inevitably falter. Not really writers block, just the opposite of momentum, when you struggle to get a certain scene to come out the right way.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I grew up watching movies and TV, and reading like mad, and then proceeded to always love essays over multiple choice tests. Now my day job is filled with non-fiction writing, so my skills never have the chance to sit on the shelf and collect dust; I am always improving. That is the most important thing. Then combine all of that with a life of traveling and having some very interesting family and friends, and I just never want for good content and ideas.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? Every time. If anyone ever asked me why I made a certain character a certain way, I’d have to say…because that’s who they are. I don’t feel like I make these stories up, but have the characters tell their story to me. It always amazes me as I’m writing something when certain foreshadowing and ideas sneak in well in advance of even me knowing how it’ll all tie together, and then that aha! moment hits. I get the same feeling from my own writing that I do when reading someone else’s work that I enjoy.

You’ve written 5 novels and are working on a 6th. What’s your favorite time management tip?
Never stop writing at a moment of catharsis. Too often writers get to the end of a page, a chapter, a scene, and because they feel accomplished, they stop there for the day. DON’T. Push yourself to write at least one more sentence starting that next page, chapter, scene, and I guarantee, not only will you likely write more than a sentence, it’ll make it easier the next time you sit down to continue with that momentum you built up.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I’m an even mix. I tend to have a plot and pages upon pages of notes, but I keep that loose and let the nitty gritty come to me as a write.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Write every day, and with my little tip from earlier about never ending a writing session on the end of something. Even if you only manage to write some notes, a couple lines of dialogue, the name of a new character, get something down every day.

Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? Not at all, haha. I can’t listen to music while I write, and for this book, it really didn’t play any role. Music was very inspirational in my last book series, The Incubus Saga, but not as much here.

Tell me more about Life as a Teenage Vampire.

The last thing Emery expected at the end of his senior year of high school was to become a vampire and fall in love with his best friend…

Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.

How about an excerpt from Life as a Teenage Vampire?

“What about Lucky Number Sleven,” he said. “Lucy Liu is totally the romantic lead in that one.”

“Correct,” Aurora nodded, “but that’s first and foremost an action move, not rom-com.”

“Why does it have to be romantic comedy?”

“Because that is the tried and true genre for romance, Con-Man. Admit it, without looking it up or doing an impressive online search, you can’t think of any mainstream American romance movies with Asian leads. It doesn’t happen! I am forever shunned to the stereotyped role or cute Asian best friend.”

“Well, you are cute,” Connor said thoughtfully. “And one of my best friends.”

She mimed shoving a ketchup and cheese covered fry in his face, but he took advantage of the gesture to snap his jaws and swipe it from her fingers. She snorted and shook her head. “If this is your romantic comedy, Connor, you are doing something terribly wrong. Your leading man is completely unaware of the plotline.”

The memory of Emery’s warm hug that morning sent a shiver through him. “You think you have it bad never being cast in leading roles? Where’s the gay romance box office hit I’ve been waiting for all my life? And if you say Brokeback Mountain to me, I will punch you in the boob.” 

Aurora responded by punching him in the boob, which—ouch—really hurt. She was freakishly strong for someone so tiny. “Anyway, that isn’t even what we were talking about. I said I hate how half the time female roles are only written in to be romantic interests. No substance. No purpose. Just a tight ass and a pretty face to dress up the movie poster and give the guy some arm candy. Where’s the action film with the girl as the kickass sidekick or partner—or hey, as the hero herself—without needing to make it about sex? Why does there have to be romance in everything? Girls are just shoved into the supporting role, Asian girls even more so.”

Connor stole one of the fries from her plate while he tapped his feet on the seat he should have been sitting in. They were seniors; if they wanted to sit on the tables, they were allowed. Unless a teacher walked by. “It’s kind of funny, right?”

“What’s funny?”

“I’d give anything to be typecast as the love interest. Frankly, I’d trade spots with any girl in this school to have some of those stereotypes instead of my own.”

Aurora cocked her head at him, another fry suspended between them, having come dangerously close to getting ketchup in the long braid over her shoulder as she gestured. “You want to be an object?”

“I want to be an option.”

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
Amanda Meuwissen has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and has been posting content online for many years, including maintaining the blog for the digital marketing company Outsell. She spent a summer writing screenplay script coverages for a company in L.A., and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).

Buy Link:
Amanda, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Tour giveaway
3 eBook copies, format of the winners’ choice, of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for a wonderful interview as part of my stop along this log tour to promote my new title. It was a blast to be here! I hope all of your great readers checking things out consider entering the raffle for a free eBook, and check out the book and my other titles in general. Thanks so much again!