Amanda Havard has been telling stories since before she could write. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her first book was published in her elementary school library at age 7. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Vanderbilt University. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her baby grand piano and more story ideas than she could tell in one lifetime.
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Why YA? / What do you hope teens will get from Survivors?
I think we used to think of young adults exclusively as teenagers. Adolescence is the time where you’re still figuring it all out. Who you are. Where you fit in the world. What you believe in. Where you’re going. I guess there used to be a world where you’d get out of school (college, maybe even just high school), get a job, and then get your life together. But it doesn’t really happen that way anymore. Things are less certain. There are more paths to choose from with more deviations along the way. You can go to an Ivy League school and still end up 25, uncertain, and more than anything, not feel like an adult.
I know a thing or two about that.
I write YA because the figuring-out is the best, scariest, hardest, most rewarding, and byfar most interesting part. And I write YA now because the concept of young adulthood is bigger and broader than it used to be. That’s why my characters are teenagers, twenty- somethings, and 150-somethings. We’re all finding our place. Increasingly, a lot of us remain without a place, so to speak, for longer than you can anticipate (or stomach) when you’re younger. But that’s okay. Along the way, the now-more-drawn-out path is something of a gift because all that time people can see you’re figuring something out on the outside, it somehow gives you a free pass to be figuring it out on the inside.
I read a lot of adult lit growing up, written from the point of view of a 45-year-old divorcee who’d figured out what he knew about the world and didn’t want to know more, who knew his place, valued his cynicism, and acted from that place. These characters often view life through a filter of years of experience, sure, but really through a filter clouded with the moments in their lives that colored who they were, what they hated, and who they wouldn’t let themselves be. I enjoyed that literature, but I wondered more about what it would have been like to be in that same character’s head when all those formative experiences were happening. So that’s what I decided to write. In YA, you can break
away from the filters through which you’re viewing the world. Instead, characters are constructing these same filters — or fighting not to — as I write, as you read. I get to look at characters who are up to their necks in stress and heartache, sure, but the responses and reactions come from the heart, from a vulnerable place of uncertainty and inexperience. My characters get a shot to see things, do things, feel things for the first time.
Their circumstances, of course, are likely different than yours. They are extravagant, fantastical, and ficticious, but they go through what you go through. They’re going through what I go through. They’re figuring it out. Maybe it’s because I’m a problem-solver, but I like the figuring-it-out. I like giving them the opportunity to make mistakes, to rectify their actions, to learn from their choices, and to suffer the very real pain of realizing you’ve made a mistake you can’t undo. All those moments happen. They’ve all happened to you or they’re still yet to come, but those moments are defining. They’re formative. They’re what being young — in every imaginable sense of the word — is about. And so they’re what I write.
Chafie Creative released the Immersedition, a revolutionary app for Fiction, in which THE SURVIVOR SERIES by Amanda Havard was the pilot edition. More than a regular or even enhanced eBook, the Immersedition was crafted specifically to embrace the possibilities of interactivity inside a novel. You can see more about the Immersedition HERE.
Amanda and Music:
Not only a brilliant writer, Amanda Havard is a musician and songwriter and has written several original songs which are on each book's soundtrack. You can see the videos of three of the songs HERE.
THE SURVIVORS (Book 1)
In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.
The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family’s sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.
On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she’s sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all…
How do you kill a Survivor?
The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie’s life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you’ll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself.
And it is only the beginning...
POINT OF ORIGIN (Book 2)
The winter is upon us. The Survivors are in chaos. The war is coming. One year ago, Sadie Matthau was living among humans, existing as one of them. But now she wakes each morning in a house in the Survivors City, listening to the invocations and insults of her family members as they cope with their new future. A war. Rogue abandoners turned monsters. Sadie and the icy Winters living in their midst, bringing the outside world in. The Survivors: Point of Origin is Sadie's quest to save her family. But can she find what she is looking for when she can barely stomach the Winters wintry demeanor and finds herself distracted by Cole Hardwick's warm heart? Will she be able to uncover her family's history even as the elders grip tightens around her throat? In an action packed ride full of magic and misery, terror and triumph, Sadie Matthau seeks the Survivors beginning just in time to face her end.Follow THE SURVIVOR SERIES on Facebook: The Survivors
Chafie Press Website: http://chafiepress.com/
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