Author Interview & Giveaway: Amanda Harvard - The Survivors Series



Today we are happy to share with you our interview with Author Amanda Havard. Amanda's latest release is Point of Origin which is the sequel to The Survivors from her Survivors Series. If you go to book conventions, Amanda is usually in attendance, so make sure to stop by and say Hi!


Amanda Havard Links: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
Chafie Press Links: Website / Immersedition

Author Bio: Amanda Havard has been telling stories since before she could write. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her first book was published in her elementary school library at age 7. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Vanderbilt University. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her baby grand piano and more story ideas than she could tell in one lifetime.

Amanda and Music: Not only a brilliant writer, Amanda Havard is a musician and songwriter and has written several original songs which are on each book's soundtrack. You can see the videos of three of the songs HERE.

OUat: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your book?

This question is actually more complicated than it seems for me. On the one hand, I’ve written forever. Told stories, written them down, written songs, books, collections of essays — you name it, I’ve written it. The first book I dedicated my life to is one that I’ve rewritten about seventy-nine thousand times, and it’s still not finished.

But all that practice, let’s say, seemed to pay off. When I wrote The Survivors, the first book in the series, I was ready. I wrote it in 27 days and revised it even faster than that.

OUaT: How did you choose the genre you write in?

There were many factors that went into this series falling into the genre it does. For one, I always describe it as “supernatural YA” but since that’s not technically a genre, people describe it as anything from sci-fi, fantasy, horror (we’ve won awards in all those categories…), paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, magical realism… and who knows what else. But to me, it’s supernatural, and that’s the place I chose to write. I wanted supernatural creatures — all of them – and I wanted a story that existed in the world around us with the same history and mythology we know in our own world. I made those decisions because of my own interests and my own sources of inspiration. I knew I wanted to write YA because I’ve always been drawn to the forming of a person. Formative experiences are usually the most interesting ones. Why do you think people talk about them in therapy? They’re what make us who we are.

OUaT: Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from everywhere. Every single thing I see, read, touch, taste, hear, notice, feel, listen to, buy, wear, want, or anything leads me to a head space in which I feel inspired. And in that inspired place, I am capable of anything. Stories come from those inspired places. They come from having all your senses turned on and ready to go. After that, the pieces just fall into place.

OUaT: Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Never. I once heard Alyson Noel say there is no such thing as writer’s block because there’s always more to research. And that’s true. There is always more research to do, more ideas to find, more puzzle pieces to fit together. There is always way more to create, more story to tell. There is no writer’s block when there is so much inspiration.

OUaT: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

I think our experiences — environment and upbringing included — greatly color the way we write because they greatly color the way we perceive the world around us and, thus, the way our characters do. For me, I grew up in the South, so it felt comfortable to start the story there even if it didn’t stay there. Beyond that, I live in a world of travel, fashion, fast-pace, and crazy, of academia, and of figuring-things-out. And isn’t that the same world my characters live in? Even if their circumstances are different?

OUaT: Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

The Survivors: Point of Origin is the second book in my series of what will be five books. In the first book, you learned about Survivors of the Salem Witch Trials who have been hiding among us ever since, and you followed the story of Sadie, one of their daughters, who was living among humans on her own. Only she found her way back to her family on less than the best circumstances, and in Point of Origin, she’s got a war to prepare for in every sense of the word. Now you get to see Sadie in action, following a trial, piecing puzzle of her heritage and history together, and looking for the one thing that started it all.

OUaT: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In this installment in the series, I was excited to explore some of the actual magic and witchcraft elements in the story, so writing those scenes really felt great for me. Also, the search for the Point of Origin, which the whole story is about, was really gratifying. I’ve had all that in my mind for a long time, and to see it fleshed out was wonderful.

OUaT: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

People often say I write in a very puzzle-pieced way so that you are constantly trying to solve whatever I’ve laid out. I don’t dispute this, but it can present certain challenges. Exactly when do I give you that detail? When is the right time to hear this information? Have I given you enough to figure it out but not so much that it’s obvious? Have I provided twists that are interesting but not so crazy that they feel wrong for the story? These are careful balances to strike, and I think they’re the most challenging.

OUaT: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I do travel a good deal. I travel for my research whenever I’m able to. I do signings and appearances at conferences, libraries, schools, and the like as well as more typical signings at bookstores. I’ve spoken at app conferences and flown all over for a lot of fun PR. Plus there are a lot of trans media pieces to the story in Survivors world that keep me moving a lot, whether it’s recording original music, meeting with artists, shooting videos, working with app developers on the Immersedition interactive book apps… I keep busy. A lot. It’s safe to say I’m always on the go.

OUaT: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

You have to find the story in everything because everything has a story in it. Start asking what if? to everything you see or do. Start wondering what if things were just a bit different. What if that myth were true? What if they did love each other? What if she wasn’t who she says she is? What if we did know what really happened in that room? What if there were a reason that song was playing at that moment? Start asking yourself. And start letting the story find you.

The winter is upon us. The Survivors are in chaos. The war is coming. One year ago, Sadie Matthau was living among humans, existing as one of them. But now she wakes each morning in a house in the Survivors City, listening to the invocations and insults of her family members as they cope with their new future. A war. Rogue abandoners turned monsters. Sadie and the icy Winters living in their midst, bringing the outside world in. The Survivors: Point of Origin is Sadie's quest to save her family. But can she find what she is looking for when she can barely stomach the Winters wintry demeanor and finds herself distracted by Cole Hardwick's warm heart? Will she be able to uncover her family's history even as the elders grip tightens around her throat? In an action packed ride full of magic and misery, terror and triumph, Sadie Matthau seeks the Survivors beginning just in time to face her end.

Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Trailer: Click Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

23 comments:

  1. Sounds great! Thanks for the interview/giveaway. :)

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  2. Great giveaway! Thanks for having a contest ! Would love to read it!!

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  3. Love the premise of these stories. Salem witch trial survivors hiding and living among us. Very cool.
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    lisa at vetteklisa dot com

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  4. Thanks for the giveaway! These sound like books I would really love to read! I'm adding them to my TBR wishlist now! :)

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  5. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Awesome interview!

    This series sounds great, and I love hearing from the author and getting her opinion.

    Thanks so much:)

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  6. Thanks for a great giveaway! This book sounds awesome :)

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  7. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

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  8. Great interview, thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    fantasybookchick@gmail.com

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  9. Great story line, love the mix of history and paranormal fantasy. Thanks for offering these cool books.
    carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

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  10. Great story & interview!!! Thx 4 the chance.

    ctymice at gmail dot com

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  11. Nicely done interview and thank you for this giveaway :)
    Siiri

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  12. Love the interview and thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  13. Great interview! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  14. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! This whole series is for sure on my TBR list.

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  15. Book sounds great
    thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  16. Thanks for this amazing giveaway! These books sound great and I would love to win them!

    Suz Reads

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  17. Oh, wow! I love the sound of this series.

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  18. These books look so amazing!

    ♥Jessica(:

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  19. Both stories sound great. I would enjoy reading them. Thanks for having the giveaway.
    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

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  20. These sound great. Salem Witch Trials are a weakness of mine. The thought that they are living amoung us is awesome. Thanks for the great giveaway. ;-)

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  21. this one sounds amazing thanks for the giveaway

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