Hello everyone! Welcome to another Author Spotlight! These spotlights are for showcasing author’s (predominantly women and people of color) writing talents and published works. So without further ado let’s get on with the Author Spotlight!
About the Author:
Amanda Ross is an indie author who writes speculative fiction that tackles social issues through magical, witchy tales with a little bit of politics and a whole lot of campy humor. Her first novel, To Astera, With Love is an urban fantasy novel that was self-published in June 2020. She is currently working on its sequel, To Ilaris, In Desperation, as well as a short story for the fantasy anthology, Girls of Might and Magic, to be published in the summer of 2021. When she’s not writing, Amanda is reading, baking, or walking along the beach.
What and when started your love for writing?
It was a combination of playing with Barbie Dolls and getting told bedtime stories from my dad, who was an excellent world-builder. When I became a teen, I realized writing could be an outlet for all the emotions I was feeling. Writing became my therapy and my greatest passion.
Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?
It’s my favorite genre to read, so it was a natural progression for me to start writing it. Speculative fiction allows you to be the master of a universe. You create the rules, and in times where things feel so out of control, it’s nice to be able to control something. Plus, I’m constantly in awe of the work other spec fic authors, especially BIPOC authors, are creating and it makes me want to keep creating new worlds.
If you could meet your favorite author who would it be and why?
There are so many authors who I’d love to meet, but I think the author whose book made a huge impact on me last year was Leigh Bardugo. Her book, Ninth House, inspired me so much in terms of the ease with which she featured this magical world in the confines of Yale. I also loved her writing style and how gritty she was because that’s what I strive for in my work as well.
What characteristics do you think a book needs to be classified as ‘good’?
I think a good book is one that affects the reader in some way. Do you look at the world differently? Do you approach writing differently? Did you feel a deep sense of catharsis when you put the book down? Even some books that I necessarily haven’t liked but have stuck with me for one reason or another I consider good.
What makes your book(s) special?
I don’t shy away from the difficult things, but I temper it all with magic and humor. In To Astera, With Love, you’ll see a lot of things that are all too familiar, especially to Black and Brown Americans. But I wanted to highlight the grief and the anger and injustice but also our resilience and ingenuity. Also, there are a lot of musical and pop culture references, which is why this book is perfect for Millennials and Gen Z.
So…what are you working on now?
I’ve got three projects in rotation – I’m finishing up the sequel to To Astera, With Love, called To Ilaris, In Desperation. I’m working on a short story to be featured in the Girls of Might and Magic anthology that I’m working on with my co-admins and other members of the Diverse Books With Magic FB group. Finally, I’m outlining a novel called In The House of Transcendence, about gothic Black witches, found families, a murder, and a small beach town.
Amanda is an exceptional writer and author. I mean three projects in rotation?! Wow! I’ve heard great things about Ninth House, it’s definitely going on my TBR list! If you want to get in contact or connect with Amanda you can follow her on:
Thank you all for reading and remember: