Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interview: Amanda McNeil (Author of Waiting on Daybreak)

Today I am interviewing Amanda McNeil about her book Waiting for Daybreak.
If you haven't read the book yet, you may read my review here:

GR - How long did it take you to write & publish Waiting for Daybreak?
AM - It took me a year and a half from the idea in my head to available for readers to purchase.

GR - Who was your inspiration for writing a character like Frieda?
AM - There was no one person who inspired me. I've been friends with and date people with a variety of mental illnesses, plus I was working in a psychiatric medical library at the time. I find the complexity of mental illness, as well as the strengths and weaknesses that come with that territory completely fascinating. Plus people with this particular neurological difference are extremely underrepresented in literature, particularly with genre fiction, and when they do show up they are often demonized. I wanted to give people a more well-rounded representation of mental illness.

GR - What are your thoughts about having your book turned into a movie?
AM - I honestly hadn't thought about it at all until a friend after reading it said something about a movie to me, and I was like..."Really?" But now I of course love the idea. How amazing would it be to have a move, indie or not, with a kick-ass, differently abled, main female character? Plus we need more cats in movies. That's just a fact :)

GR - If you had your druthers, who would play Frieda?
AM - I've given it some thought and I think Elizabeth Olsen would do a great job. She's about the right age, although her looks aren't quiet right, that could be addressed with hair/makeup/wardrobe. More importantly, she showed in Martha Marcy May Marlene an ability to play a character with a mental illness with a real depth.

GR - Can we expect a sequel to Waiting for Daybreak?
AM - At this point, I am saying yes, although I will have to see how it goes when I sit down to work on it. Currently there's another, unrelated book, ahead of a Waiting for Daybreak sequel, so it's at least two years off (one year to write each book). I do have a clear idea of what happens next, though, so, in all likelihood it "will" happen.

GR - Off the cusp question # 1, what is your favorite genre and why?
AM - Sci/Fi! It's just so...creative and full of many different possibilities and options. There's a lot of freedom for the writers to explore other ways of doing things, to think about where technology might lead us, to do almost anything essentially. And the fact that is' based in science lends it a certain amount of "what if" credibility that makes it chills-inducing.

GR - Do you have a favorite place you like to chill out and write?
AM - On my couch next to the window, generally with my cat either on the arm of the couch of lying right behind my head. Not super-exciting, I know, but the excitement happens in my head! (Trust me, it's scaaary in there).

GR - Off the cusp question # 2, what is your favorite book of all time?
AM - Oh gosh, you know no book lover can choose just one! I supposed I'd have to pick The Call of the Wild by Jack London if forced to choose one, but To Say Nothing Of the Dog by Connie Willis is a close second.

GR - If you were given a choice of supernatural abilities, what would you choose?
AM - Absolutely the ability to apparate. I wish for it every time I have to commute!

GR - When did you finally decide to become a writer?
AM - Well, I think most writers are born writers, but when I decided to get serious about putting my stories out there was after I finished grad school. I worked full-time while in grad school, so after finishing that I finally had time to think and breathe. Plus, now that I have my day job sorted out, I can relax and write in my free time.

GR - Off the cusp question # 3, what is your favorite temptation? IE food, drink, entertainment
AM - Absolute Whiskey

GR - Last question, you are on a blind date, and all of a sudden what actor/celebrity walks in and takes your breath away?
AM - Robert Downey Jr. In addition to being completely gorgeous and also Ironman, he has the fascinating addition to history that lends him some depth.

And that my friends is my interview with Amanda. Before I go I want to say how much fun I had discussing writing and other nonsense with Amanda over Twitter. She gave me the inspiration to dig out my buried book I wrote several years so that I can try to reformat and edit it for publication. It's nice to have someone to cheer you on by your side. Thank you Amanda!

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