Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guest Post: Amanda McNeil, Author of Waiting for Daybreak

Early Memories
When Ang told me the theme for her month-long blogoversary, I was excited.  As a writer, reader, book blogger, and librarian, a love for reading is close to my heart.  Developing and encouraging literacy has been a big focus of my life.  The written word is more than just a hobby (and my career) to me, it’s one of my first loves.
I always remember being utterly fascinated by books.  My parents kept as many books as they could afford in our house, and we also went to the library every other week (the loan periods were for two weeks at the time).  Interestingly, my small town in Vermont didn’t have a good library.  It only had an incredibly small one with very little selection, so my parents paid a nearby town in New Hampshire for a non-resident library card.  We were taught to respect books, even if you don’t agree with or don’t like what’s inside the book.  I don’t remember not having this reverence for books, ever.
I do recall, however, when I first started to beg to learn to read.  I got tired of constantly having to ask somebody else to read to me, and I also had a typical little sister issue of wanting to do everything my big brother could do.  So I asked to learn to read, and my parents agreed. I was three.  By the age of four I was curled up with Little House on the Prairie, my favorite series and one we actually owned.  Reading is like breathing to me. I only vaguely recall not knowing how to do it, and I find myself incapable of not reading words when they are in front of me. 
It really isn’t surprising then that I quickly wanted to create these worlds that I so enjoyed losing myself in.  At about the age of four I started to write my own “books,” illustrate them, bind them (three hole punch plus string), and force them upon my family.  I’ve known since then, since the age of four, that I’m a writer. I wanted to tell stories, to give people that gift that others had given to me. 
My greatest joy since publishing Waiting For Daybreak has been the readers who say things that make it clear they have had the same swept into another world experience that I had from such a young age. Things like how much they related to Frieda or how concerned they were for her cat or how it made them realize something new or even just how fun it was to see a zombie apocalypse imagined in Boston.  I tell people that I don’t write to make money or to boost my self-worth or anything like that. I write because I can’t not write. And I write because I want other people to read and enjoy my stories. That’s all there is to it.      
Thank you so much for sharing your story Amanda! It is great how those early experiences shape our loves and lives later in life!
Amanda McNeil lives in Boston in a funky attic apartment that used to be a servant's quarters. She, alas, must write by night and work by day. She writes scifi, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and horror and has been strongly influenced by Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, and Chuck Palahniuk.

Her first book, Ecstatic Evil, was released on July 7, 2011. Its sequel is set during American Thanksgiving and the release date is not set yet.

Her second book, Waiting for Daybreak, about a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder attempting to survive a zombie-like virus outbreak in Boston, was released on June 4, 2012.
Please take a moment to visit Amanda on her blog where she reviews new books that influence her or you can follow her on Twitter @amandamcneil
Please continue to celebrate my Blogoversary and enter the giveaway & stop in for more author interviews and guest posts! 

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