Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
I recently discovered Amanda’s Tide series as I was browsing Instagram. It was actually the third book in the series, King of The Tides, that caught my eye and had me going, “hmmm, that looks interesting!”
After reading the blurb and realizing it was about Atlantis, I was sold. (Something about that mystic underwater city has always fascinated me.) When I reached out to Amanda, I knew I wanted the whole series in paperback, so I was grateful to get them beforehand and get to take them on vacation with me. Who doesn’t love an action-packed and romantic beach read? Moontide was just that: the perfect beach read. So I wanted to ask Amanda what inspired it!
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Amanda, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Amanda: Hi, Shanna! Well, I’m a Colorado native. My husband and I both are, and we live in a rural area of the state with our five kids, a Dauchsy / Bassett hound and a mini pot-belly pig. When I’m not running around with the kiddos, I write paranormal and fantasy romance.
I started writing at a very young age and even proclaimed that I was going to be an author when I grew up when I was around six. I would sit at my mom’s old typewriter and plunk out stories on it and use this really cool stuff called “whiteout”... it was great. Lol. Around age ten or so, I started to get seriously obsessed with ballet and so I left my writing interests by the wayside to hard core train as a classical dancer which I acquired some now-long-since-forgotten accolades at and even went on to teach the discipline and choreograph up until I had a family of my own. Around baby number four, I said enough was enough and stopped dancing only to realize that one of the things I missed about that artform was the storytelling it involved and so I took up writing as a hobby. Around 2017, I finally made good on my six-year-old self’s declaration and self published my first book.
Me: That’s awesome. I always wanted to be a ballerina myself. Now, what inspired you to write The Tides series?
Amanda: I’ve always loved fantasy and fantasy romance, in particular, as well as having a huge, nerdy interest in mythology and folklore. I’m super intrigued by the different writings and theories surrounding Atlantis and thought it would be a fun idea to build a story world around.
Me: Yes! I’m a big fan of mythology and folklore myself. So, how many books will be in the series?
Amanda: Oh, boy, well, there are ten original sons of Poseidon that ruled the kingdom of Atlantis back in the day and my Lost Kings of Atlantis from the Tides series are descendants of theirs so there could potentially be ten books. It’s a wacky, ever changing story world though so you never know what will happen. The exact number of books is up to the gods. *wink, wink.
Me: Haha! Love it!!! Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Amanda: This feels like picking a favorite child! I don’t know. I get very invested in the characters as I’m writing them, but if I had to pick a favorite main character, it would probably be Marley. Her book is such a roller coaster ride and she deals with a lot emotionally. I really liked writing her journey. Whole series-wise, overall, I have to say, I also really love Krav. He’s shown up in every Tides book so far and it’s always fun to write his scenes.
Me: Yes, he’s awesome and I’m excited to read Marley’s book too. Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters?
Amanda: Absolutely. There are little bits and pieces of personalities I’ve come across throughout my life in all of my characters. Cindy’s character (from Moontide) has a lot in common with my sister, who’s one of my best buds in the whole world.
Me: LOL! Awww. That’s great. I do the same. Put pieces of myself and my family into my characters. It’s what us writers do I guess LOL! What are you working on now?
Amanda: Right now, I am hard at work on the fourth book in the Tides of Atlantis series, titled Storm Tide. It’s set in Iceland and I think it will be a lot of fun. I’m also getting the rough outline started for a fifth book in the series and am editing a little novella for my mailing list that will fit into the Tides world as well. Beyond that, I’m hoping to find the time to write another fairy tale for my Enchanted Lands collection, which will all be medieval, fantasy romances.
Me: So cool! Exciting stuff coming our way… Now, tell us a little about your writing process?
Amanda: I spend a lot of time, initially, just thinking about my story world when I have a new idea and am getting a feel for the characters. Sometimes, I’ll write down short scenes as they come to me.Then I go through and map out a rough outline which I go through later and add more detail to. I basically always have a notebook with me so that I can jot down any little thought as it comes to me. This is how I get myself started anyway. There’s always a whole lot of research involved as well, but these are the steps I take leading up to the actual writing.
Me: Oh yes, research, research, research... and notebooks are MUST-HAVES, LOL!. What drew you to the fantasy romance genre?
Ever since I was little, I’ve been drawn to fantasy. I just have always been carried away by stories with magic and impossible happenings in them.
Me: Agreed!! Fantasy is my go-to! So, who are your favorite authors/books?
Amanda: Probably my first fantasy favorite was the story of King Arthur and his Knights. I have a bunch of favorite authors though: L.M. Montgomery, The Brontes, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Tolkien from among the classics. I also used to love reading Morgan Llewellyn and Orson Scott Card. My favorite fantasy romance authors from today include people like Karen Moning, Sherrilynn Kenyon, Grace Draven and C.L. Wilson. If we’re talking the romance genre in general though, oh my gosh, there are too many to count!
Me: Sounds like I got more books going into my TBR pile... LOL. Now, what do you personally love about writing?
Amanda: I love the idea of creating a world that readers can escape into and be invested in. There’s something delicious about being sucked into a story and feeling like I’m a part of everything going on and like I actually know the characters personally. I hope to someday be able to create a story world that does the same kind of thing for my readers.
Me: Ummm, you have, lady. I’m totally engrossed in these swoony, muscled kings!!! Last question: What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Amanda: Honestly, we’re taking it one day at a time this year, as I’m sure so many people are. Having a young family right now, as I do, I think the idea that we need to not take any one moment for granted has really hit home. I feel truly blessed each day for all the small things. As for my writing, I’m really looking forward to bringing more of the Tides series journey together and am excited for whatever new adventure that leads me into.
Me: Aww, yes, agreed. 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year. Well, wishing you safety and time to write, my friend. Thanks for joining me on my blog today.
Amanda V. Shane is a Colorado native and fully admits to being a library dork growing up. To this day, she loves the smell of book paper on an almost fetish level (okay, maybe not, but that gives you a peek into the dark and twisted mind of this author). One of her first book romances came at the age of nine when, in a far back aisle, she found the story of King Arthur and was entranced by the blood purple canvas cover with gold leafing (she likes shiny things.)
Since then, she's been hooked on stories with magic, mythical beings, daring heroes and, of course, desperate romance. She started writing at a very young age, but somewhere along the line, she left the creation of tales on the page for those on the stage and enjoyed a short career as a professional ballet dancer and an even longer one as a dance instructor and youth company director / choreographer. Nowadays, she is happy to be bringing fantasy and romance together in written form again and has had a wonderful time writing about some of the more obscure characters from the world's most renowned story ballets such as, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. You can read these timeless romances in her Enchanted Lands novels.
She writes paranormal and fantasy romance from her home where she lives with her family and a Bassett hound that she routinely has to fight for the "soft" end of the couch to set up with her laptop. She likes chocolate, wine, coffee and kids, in no particular order ;)
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series and Gods of the Gridiron series
Where swoony hunks are awaiting to take your breath away.