Houston author Amanda Stevens says she got into writing as a fluke. After being inspired by a professor to write when she was just a junior at the University of Houston, Stevens penned her first novel, Killing Moon, a romance thriller. The book was quickly picked up and shortly after Moon was published she left UH before finishing her English degree. Now with more that 50 books published, Stevens says that now writing is her full-time job.
What she does: She writes young adult, romance and suspense novels...with just a taste of the paranormal. She spends most of her time working on her two series, The Graveyard Queen a paranormal suspense series about a cemetery restorer who sees ghost; and Soul Jumper, her young adult series about a girl goes from body to body searching for the person who killed her.
Why she likes it: "I'm able to use what I feel like are my strengths in my writings. There's like a gothic flavor to what I'm writing now. And that goes back to sort of my first love was gothic... like Jane Eyre and later writers like Victoria Holt. Atmosphere was so much a part of those books. Atmosphere was like a character and that's what I loved about them and that's what I love about what I'm writing now. I can really sort of get into that dark lush writing and their set in the south so it kinds of lends itself to that."
What inspires her: "The Graveyard Queen series that I'm working on now was inspired by the old ghost stories my dad used to tell. I've always said that they have a sort of magical realism touch to them because the way he would tell his ghost stories... I mean he was a firm believer that, that stuff really happened. To him it was kind of an extraordinary thing in an ordinary world and I love that to him there was no question that stuff really happened. And I wanted to bring that flavor to these ghost stories. I really wanted these to have that dark creepy sort of scariness about them... so I'd say definitely all of the old tales I heard as a kid inspired me to write these stories."
If not this, then what? "I always thought I'd like to work for the FBI and not necessarily like a field agent or even a profiler or any of the glamorous jobs, but I've always thought I'd like to be like a researcher where you get in there and just like really dig through stuff on the internet. I really like the research aspect of my job and I think that would be really satisfying to sort of come up with these obscure clues that help the sort of heroes solve the cases."
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If not here, then where? "I've always been drawn to, if not the culture, the southern Californian climate. I love how it's so mild all of the time. I do love living in the south too. I don't know though... I'm really happy here in Houston. It's a great place to live. People don't really think about the culture in Houston, but it's there."
What's next? She is going to continue working on three more books in Graveyard Queen series and says that NBC has bought the rights to the series... so she hopes to see that hit the screen soon.
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer