1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I always wanted to be a writer. I remember writing stories in elementary school to go along with the drawings I would create. One particular teacher in the 6th grade really encouraged me when I wrote five pages in twenty minutes on a two paragraph creative writing project. I was upset that I had to turn it in because I wasn’t done yet. He took it anyway to grade it with everyone else’s. Then he asked me to turn it in again for extra credit when I was done with the story because he wanted to know what would happen to the characters I’d created. He told me I’d be a published author someday. Sadly he passed before I could make that happen, but I think he’d be proud.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Too many people talk about human trafficking as they know without a shadow of a doubt what it means or why it looks like. Even when I stand on stage and tell my story of survival, I still can’t fully show or explain to someone the levels of fear involved, nor the torture I lived though to make it to the other side. I knew that if I was ever going to really move forward in my own life, I needed to get it all out in the open. Ironically, less than two months after my book was published I got engaged to the man of my dreams and I have finally, fully, totally moved on.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Human trafficking can happen to anyone, regardless of upbringing, age, gender, race, religion, personal beliefs or relationship status. Nobody is immune, and it will NEVER look how you think it will or should.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve lived a strange and amazing life. I also wrote science fiction post apocalyptic takes (who better to predict the end of the world than someone who already lived through it?) but this venture of nom-fiction autobiography seems to be what I get asked the most about. Truth is stranger than fiction. The fact I’m still alive is a miracle to be celebrated, and if it can help even one other person to do the same then my story deserves to be in the open.
5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Lately I seem to have more following on Facebook, though my social media skills haven’t been focused heavily on other platforms to really expand the following in other ways. I hope to do more of that in following months.
6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
It’s impossible to edit nothing. Getting started can be so intimidating for everyone, including the seasoned writers. Don’t let that hold you back. Get stuff written down to start, even if it’s just ideas. You can edit and add later.
7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
I actually have my next book in a series being published on October 1st. My first book was published in January of 2018 and this next book will be book eight for me. I’m averaging two books per year right now while also balancing a personal life and full time job. I don’t plan to slow down anytime soon. I’ve had people tell me that I’m too ambitious and that this is an impossible pace. I just want to remind those people that it’s not impossible, and if they want to write a book the only thing holding them back is themselves. They just have to decide how much they really want it. Apparently I want it badly enough twice a year that somehow make it happen.
About the Author
Amanda Blackwood is a survivor of human trafficking and an avid writer. A portion of every book sale goes to local organizations in the state of Colorado to help rescue other victims of human trafficking and offer them a better chance at life.
Check out more books by Amanda Blackwood on Amazon.
– Detailed Pieces of a Shattered Dream
– The Miller Miles
– Twisted Fate – poetry from a survivor
– Thirty Synchronized Woodpeckers
– The Shack in the Woods
– The Unlikely
– Custom Justice
– New Hope
…More coming soon!