1. Introduce yourself, please (name you write under). Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?
I have been married for 7 years to my wonderful husband, Matt. We have three furry “kids”: Two Shih Tzu dogs, Huntley Rochester & Isabella Jane (yes, those middle names are after Jane Eyre), and a Persian cat named Sebastian. We live just outside of New York City.
3. What’s your secret passion?
Actually, for a long time, writing was my secret passion. I spent years writing whole novels for myself and never shared them with anyone. I was always very private about my writing, but I’m glad that I came around and decided to start sharing my stories with others.
When I was 14-years-old, I had this fantastic dream about a world in the vein of Narnia. I woke up the next morning determined to write it down as a YA short story. I realized then that I was not very good at writing short stories. My first full-length novel was born.
I never intended to write romance, actually. It is only because of my grandmother’s life-long desire to write a historical romance that I began to write one for her. Now, I see the light!
I think I’ve written a novel in pretty much every genre. I finally found a common theme, though – I really love researching different time periods. Not single story I’ve ever written has been from the same time period.
Rhianna was very long. To cut it down, a couple of chapters were axed detailing events in her childhood. The really important back story was worked in to the current version, though, and I’m really glad to say I like it better than the original!
I think the best part about my writing life is I can easily entertain myself! Long line at the DMV? Sitting around all day for jury duty? Long plane flights? No problem!
Definitely, the worst part about my writing life is not having enough time to write.
10. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.
I feel a very strong connection to the families in Rhianna, and I’ve begun working on a sequel that follows them through the next several years after Rhianna ends. I’m really excited about it! If you want to know more, I’ll be regularly updating my blog amandalvshalaby.wordpress.com or look me up on Facebook or Twitter.