Meet Amanda R. Woomer Author in Vintage Love Stories
Blunder Woman Productions, with the help of eight talented authors and nine equally talented narrators, have released a remarkable volume of short tales set before the age of the internet and cell phones. Vintage Love Stories features Amanda R. Woomer’s story, To Love is to Burn.
We were able to chat with Amanda, and we’d love for you to get to know her, too!
NOTE: To Love Is To Burn is performed by Laura Jennings, and she'll be highlighted in a future blog.
What inspired To Love Is To Burn?
Playwright and friend, L. Don Swartz, first told me the story of the Peshtigo Fire in the spring of 2017 and that summer I decided to visit Peshtigo, WI where I noticed a pie tin at the fire museum. Despite the fact that it was America’s worst wild fire in recorded history, very few people seem to know the story, and it was one I felt needed to be told.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell myself to write harder and start sooner! I first began writing when I was 11 but I didn't start sharing my writing until I was in my 20s, and I didn't begin sending my work out until 2016. I feel like I lost so much time due to my lack of confidence.
Which character in your story would be worst to take on a road trip? Why?
I know it's going to sound terrible, but I'd have to say Margret, but only because she's a little girl and I'm not the best with kids. But I bet she's a great singer so she'd be good for Hamilton sing-a-longs!
Hear more on Audible, by clicking here: VINTAGE LOVE STORIES audiobook
What books have most influenced your life?
I attribute my love for reading and writing solely to Bruce Coville's Into the Land of the Unicorns--it was a hand-me-down book from my cousins and I devoured it my first week of 4th grade. I am a huge fan of children's books and YA literature so my other favorites that I always encourage others to read are Ella Enchanted, Stargirl, and Inkheart.
Can you tell us about your current project(s)?
I'm currently working on several projects, some fiction and some non-fiction. I'm currently working on transcribing my diaries from my brother's cancer treatment. On a lighter note, I'm also working on a fun faerie tale mashup which will be for kids, young adults, and those who consider themselves kids at heart!
How do you develop your plots and characters?
Usually it starts with a dream. I either dream up a simple concept or a specific character and build the story off of that! I am a hardcore planner: I plan out the whole story and then break it down chapter by chapter, too. Of course, sometimes the characters take matters into their own hands, and that's when things get really interesting!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you hold the reins of the story?
See above ;)
Would you call your main character to hang out? Why or why not?
Honestly, I don't think I would with Clarice from the beginning of the story. I'm not sure if we'd have too much in common. However, I would TOTALLY want to hang out with her at the end of the story just to sit down and hear what she had to say. I think she goes through quite a transformation.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I'm not lucky enough to get criticism! Usually my rejections are generic form letters, so I'd have to say my very first rejection hurt the most. I've gotten a thicker skin over the years, so it doesn't hurt too much (who am I kidding? Yes it does.).
What has been the best compliment you've received about your writing?
Honestly, my acceptance letter from Tanya for the anthology! She told me that my last line in the story gave her chills. Best compliment ever!
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers?
One of the very first compliments I ever received was when someone said they loved "my voice." They've never heard me singing in the shower so I appreciated that!
Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents? If so, what are they?
I can touch my tongue to my nose!
What do you love most about the writing process?
I love just sitting down and pouring my heart out onto the page. It's a very cleansing process for me. I used to just write for pleasure, but lately it's been a necessity. My little brother passed away in 2015 and that's when my writing became a deep-seeded passion. It's both healing and therapeutic, and not a day goes by where I don't write something.
What do you hate most about the writing process?
Editing! I HATE having to read and reread and rereread and rerereread my work. It's slightly painful and just so time consuming.
Of all the characters you've created, which is your favorite and why?
No one has met her yet, but Micah Myers. She's a young girl possessed by a demon. She uses her demon to help move ghosts along and exorcise others. It's a spooky tale and a whole lot of fun! If I was cool (and possessed), I think I'd be Micah.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
I own an escape room! Not to sound like Jigsaw, but I create puzzle rooms where people go inside, look for clues, solve puzzles, and try to escape all while I watch and try not to laugh (too hard). I also run a website called Spook-Eats where I travel America visiting haunted hotels, restaurants, and bars reviewing the food and sharing the ghost stories!
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
In a perfect world: I've written a bestseller which is made into an Oscar winning film (but only after I've won the Pulitzer Prize) and I can retire to the Scottish countryside.
In reality: I hope to continue to build my writing resume by sharing my poetry, short stories, and novels with others! And maybe find someone who believes in one of my books enough to publish it!
What character in your story are you least likely to get along with?
Honestly, probably Father Pernin. I read his account of the events that happen in the story and it's slightly preachy. Of course, I'm not against religion or any kind of belief system, but I probably wouldn't choose to go out and get beers with him.
What would the main character in your story have to say about you?
I think she'd say, "Thank you." Not many people know about Peshtigo and yet it's such a gripping tragedy in American history. I like to think my story is both entertaining and educational, telling a story that has very rarely been heard outside of Wisconsin.
ABOUT AMANDA R. WOOOMER:
Amanda R. Woomer received her first award for her writing when she was 11 years old. While living abroad, she wrote for the expat magazine That's China. Her first US-based published work can be found in the 2017 anthology 13 Candles: Halloween Tales of Tricks and Transformation. Most recently, her writing has been featured in the online magazines acorn & iris and Bonsai. Currently, she is a writer and editor for the geeky website, The Geekiverse. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and cactus collection.