Speed Dating for Readers 2020 From Comedian to Author
Each year I like to introduce you to some new authors you may not have come across. These folks have led interesting and adventurous lives even before they became an author. This week I’d like for you to meet Amanda Caldwell and Valerie Gilbert. Okay, ladies!
Hello! My name is Amanda Cadwell and I have written two books. I love understanding relationships, learning what makes people tick, and discovering how they relate to one another. Growing up, I was constantly daydreaming, creating characters in my head, and designing challenges for them to face. Those thoughts remained as thoughts until I faced infertility as a married adult. That’s when I took action and focused my thoughts into words. Writing became an escape from reality into a different world. It gave me control of the outcomes of my characters at a time I had very little control over my world. My passion for writing grew as I explored the depths of personality traits and how the characters related to one another. I enjoy writing books with characters that challenge my own opinion. I look back at their choices and often wonder if I could be as brave as they are to cut ties or completely forgive someone. At the end of the day, my hope is that my readers will connect to the characters in my books.
Book II of the Loch Ridge Series is “Bending the Rapids”
Refusing to let her physical limitations interfere with what she loves to do, Sidney negotiates terms with the owner of the local white-water rafting company, The Raging Beast. Lucky for her, she has been assigned to Thatcher Sutton’s week-long rafting trip. But something from her past will expose hidden secrets that test the boundaries of relationships for everyone involved. Can Thatcher and his new love interest, Sidney, survive the truths that will be revealed.
Amanda if you could get a free all-expense paid trip where would you go and why?
Ireland because it seems mystical to me. It has history and beauty that would likely inspire my life and my writing. I am particularly drawn to the appearance of the simple way of life that is enjoyed there.
Tell a little something about what led you to this new story?
“Bending the Rapids” was inspired by a white water rafting trip I took in high school. I had originally started writing this book as a stand-alone novel, but eventually found a way to use it as the second installment in The Loch Ridge Series and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
I was an actress, and when a spiritual channel told me 20 years ago “someday you will write” I couldn’t have cared less. Because I’m funny and a good storyteller, people encouraged me to do stand up comedy and one-woman shows, neither of which appealed to me. But in order to date after my divorce, one friend suggested I get out of my “box.” I perused a course catalog to meet people and froze when I saw a listing for stand up comedy. It petrified me. After I read the description, I was electrified. I signed up, and took to it like a fish to water. 5-minute routines became 8 minutes, then 10 or 12 over time. Later, I saw an ad for “self-contained 15 minute solo shows” and auditioned with my 5 comedy minutes. I was booked immediately. As terrifying as it was, it was also incredibly gratifying to do the work. I eventually worked up to a 45-minute solo show.
I’d been encouraged to blog, which also had no appeal. Until I did it. The writing flowed. My stories, so easily expressed in person, were being committed to written format. A sassy astrologer I followed, Bridgett Walther, had stories on her website, and, on a lark, I reached out to her with one of my funny, mystic pieces about my ongoing argument with a tarot deck. She regularly published me, and suggested I submit my work to Black Opal Books. The rest is history.
I’ve written four non-fiction books, starting with RAVING VIOLET. My latest is BRILLIANCE BREWING: A Meditation On Change. All four books are in short story format, but they’re sequential, so if you really want to get to know me, start with the first. I write about mysticism and personal growth, via my personal lens, so there is poignancy as well as humor in the tales. Topics range from sex, politics, and philosophy to spirituality.
Best writing tip: Start.
Best writing advice: Continue.
The only way to get anywhere is to put the rubber to the road. Doesn’t matter if what you write sucks. Keep writing. Keep re-writing. You carve out a written piece just like a sculptor does with stone. It’s messy at first. It gets better as you keep refining, learning, growing and expressing yourself. You have to get in the trenches. I write about the importance of being a person of integrity and “action” in all my books. If you want something, do something about it.
I’m also an audio book narrator (that’s a whole other story) and I have a home studio. So, I go to the gym, walk my dog, meditate, cook for myself, go online (I don’t have TV) and read, write, or record a book. I am very self-contained, and very happy.
There are always so many books to read! Then you find a new author that just strikes a cord inside you. I hope you’ll find new books to read through this experience. If you’d like to join my reader group on Facebook we have a pretty good time. There are some pretty funny scenarios and even prizes. If you are an author you can post one link to your book on the 15th of each month. Know that politics and snarkiness is not allowed. Making friendships and talking all things books, family and a better world is where we’re headed.