Interview with Author Amanda Kidd – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Amanda Kidd

“Maltese Author Amanda Kidd is rapidly becoming a favourite children’s book writer” – Grady Harp, Amazon’s Hall of Fame Top 50 Reviewer.

Originally from Marsascala, Malta – Amanda now lives in Suffolk, England, with her husband and two children. This year, she released two books and is currently working on the third one, which is due out in November 2020.

Tell me more about your latest book

‘Pip Saves Christmas’ is about a gerbil who rescues Santa’s elves from a sticky situation. It’s written in rhyme, which is my favourite style of writing, and it’s a fun story about kindness and helping others. I love hiding surprises in my books and this one is no different: Three of my readers are currently being illustrated as elves in the story – the winners of an international competition I held recently. One of the winners is from England, one is from the Philippines, and the third child is from Zurrieq, Malta! It is such an exciting project, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

This book is an amalgam of two stories which I’ve had to take apart and assemble into a third. The other two stories were quite different: One was about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the other was about a gerbil’s trip to the North Pole. The original plan was to publish the story about Rudolph, which my children loved – until I discovered that Rudolph is actually trademarked and I cannot use it. Despite my initial disappointment, I decided to turn the situation to my advantage, so I picked apart the other two stories and assimilated them into a third storyline. I love the end result and hopefully my readers will too!

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

After the first draft is finished, I edit it as best as I can, and then start working on another story. A week later, I take another look at it and edit again. I repeat this process and correct and polish until I think it’s the best it can be. Then, I send it to my editor, who makes her own recommendations. After that, it goes to my illustrator in Jordan, along with a set of instructions, and she sends me the initial sketches. Once we agree on everything, she starts colouring. When all the illustrations are done, I then send the work to my book designer, who checks everything and places the text on the pages. I have three versions of the digital files: One for Kindle, one for Amazon’s printers, and one for my local printer and distributor, Faraxa Publishers.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

It definitely keeps me sane! I find that having a creative outlet is therapeutic. The fact that I write fun, upbeat stories for children, means that I’m thinking happy thoughts most of the time, and once those thoughts take shape on paper, there is a feeling of elation and satisfaction.

How many books have you written so far? List and name them all here

I have loads of stories on my laptop, but so far, I’ve only published two: ‘Ellie and the Cupcakes’ and ‘Sam the Sneezing Scarecrow’. As already mentioned, ‘Pip Saves Christmas’ is due out next month. All of my books are available on Amazon, both in paperback and ebook format. They are also available in Malta directly from Faraxa Publishing with free delivery, and from Selections Stationery in Marsascala.

What’s the best way to market your books?

Before the whole pandemic happened, my intention was to visit schools, read my books to children and sell them there. Things are slightly trickier now, but not impossible. Some schools are accepting virtual author visits, so that’s on the cards. I also like to use social media to keep my audience updated with the progress of each book. It’s nice to have the engagement, and I usually get pre-orders even before the books are published.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Anything that’s worth doing, takes time and effort. I meet a lot of people who tell me that they’d love to write, but they don’t have the time. In this day and age, who has the time? We’re all so busy. Having said that, you will never climb a mountain unless you take the first step. If you write a page each day, you’ll have written a whole book in less than a year, and your own story will take you on an incredible journey. Chances are that you will not be able to quit your job straightaway to become a full time writer, but persistence and perseverance will go a long way towards making this your career.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Know your genre, read a lot and write even more. Join author communities, be they in your neighbourhood or online. Being with like minded people is crucial in terms of information and support. The last major piece of advice is to support other authors. Make friends and be their cheerleader. Not only will it make you happy, but you will get it back in return.

Visit Author Amanda Kidd book links:-

www.amandakiddstories.com

www.facebook.com/amandakiddstories

www.instagram.com/amanda_kidd_stories

www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B088SYS885

Amazon book links:

mybook.to/ELLIE-AND-THE-CUPCAKES

mybook.to/SAM-SCARECROW

Faraxa Publishing book links (with free delivery):

https://www.faraxabooks.com/product/ellie-and-the-cupc akes

https://www.faraxabooks.com/product/sam-the-sneezing-scarecrow

Alternatively, you can buy both books together for €14

instead of €15:

https://www.faraxabooks.com/product/ellie-and-the-cupcakes-sam-the-sneezing-scarecrow

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