Time to meet another guest blogger and this week it’s Amanda Uhl…
When did you begin writing?
I’ve always written—poems, short stories, a column for my high school newspaper, publication in a national magazine and a local newspaper—but never considered myself a writer. I was a theatre major in college but ditched that career shortly after graduation, realizing it wasn’t quite the right fit for my more introverted personality. After graduation, I needed to earn a living and landed a job as an administrative assistant in the advertising department of a roof coating manufacturer. While there, I began to produce marketing materials and take on writing assignments and continued to do that throughout my career. Today, I manage communications and training for a major Fortune 500 company.
As I advanced up the corporate ladder and was recognized for my writing, I began to gain confidence. As my confidence grew, so did my desire to write fiction. In 2015, I decided to challenge myself to write a full book—a fantasy romance. It was a personal challenge, like running a marathon. I would train by writing a book and wouldn’t tell anyone what I was doing until I had finished. Well, I’m happy to report I did finish the book, MIND WAVES, and it was eventually published by the Wild Rose Press in late 2016. I’m currently finalizing the second book in the series, CROSS WAVES, due out later this year.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Writing fiction is not for the faint-of-heart. It’s a crowded marketplace—something like one book is published every five seconds on Amazon. It’s not easy to build an audience and get recognized for your writing. There are as many tactics to write, publish and market a book as there are writers. To be successful you have to produce new material quickly, enter contests, promote your current work, and continue to find a home for your novels—either by publishing traditionally or self-publishing. Since I work full time in addition to being an author, I have limited time to work on all of these things.
Why did you choose your genre?
I write in two different genres—paranormal romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I write paranormal because I’m a bit “paranormal” myself. I have always had a knack for all things mystical—palm-reading, tarot cards, hypnotism, dream interpretation, hand-writing analysis, astrology. I call it my “hidden” talent because I don’t use it in my everyday life but have a lot of knowledge and personal experience that comes out in my writing.
On the contemporary side, I enjoy Hallmark movies and romantic comedies, and like to tap the more lighthearted side of my personality. While I was pitching MIND WAVES, I wrote CHARMED BY CHARLIE, my first contemporary, which was published by Boroughs Publishing Group in 2017. Last year, I wrote another contemporary romance, SWEET STUFF, which finaled and won the unpublished category in the 2019 Stiletto contest. In January, that book landed me a literary agent, who is currently busy pitching it to various publishers.
What writing tips would you like to share?
If you are an author, I highly recommend doing an immersion with Margie Lawson. I do not have a degree in creative writing but I do have an MBA in marketing. I learned more about writing in the time I spent with Margie than in all my years of English class in college.
If you are not published but would like to be, don’t rush the process. I would write many books, enter contests and learn from the feedback. When you final and win in contests, you’ll know you are ready for publication. Hopefully, by this point, will have a lot of material to work with. Once you publish a book, you’ll need to market them to get readers, which requires a massive amount of time and energy, and you’ll need to produce new material quickly. You’ll be in a much better position to tackle these items if you have great material ready to go.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on two stories: Cross Waves, the second book in the Mind Hackers series, and a new paranormal romance called Healing Kiss. You can read excerpts on my website at www.amandauhl.com.
Check out Charmed By Charlie!! amzn.to/2nbURFG