Hiya! My name is Angela Amberden and I am currently knee deep in the editing mud of my first novel. It is a story about two young women, separated by time but connected by so much more that discover that learning where you’re from, who you are and where you’re going can be magical.
From Planning to Published
When did you start writing and why?
I started this novel, which is the first in a series of three, in June of 2019. I felt like there was this great story I had within me that i needed to tell for all the young women out there who think they’re ordinary or that their life can never be special. I wanted it to be filled strong relationships and exciting adventure, but most importantly, authentic characters that readers, especially young girls could connect with and see themselves in.
How long did it take you to finish your first book?
I challenged myself to write everyday for 100 straight days and shortly there after I completed the ~58K work manuscript. So less than 6 months for the first draft. I have been actively editing about 5 months and hope to finish and begin querying late this year.
How did you determine your target audience?
My target audience is pre-teen and teenaged girls. I chose this audience as I feel like I wanted to bring a story that isn’t either repressively innocent nor scandalously mature to young women. I wanted to share an authentic adventure that any young woman could see herself in.
How do you define success as an author?
Success as an author is typically defined as a published work, and while I completely expect that to be the natural progress my book will take, I also have a certain amount of pride in just completing an entire book.
About Your Work
What type of content do you write and why? Fiction Novels? Poems? Songs? Screenplays? Short Stories? Epic?
While I have been working on this book, I have also found it valuable to create other types of content. I have written essays, poems, and in college I wrote an editorial advice column under a pseudonym. I am also a contributing editor to a monthly online food magazine. I also have a treatment for a comedic episodic rattling around in here…waiting for an opportunity to come out.
What was your first goal when you started your journey to becoming an author? Has that changed?
When I began, my first goal was just to write a book, specifically I was writing a collection of essays, working full circle from being a daughter, all the way to being a mother with the specific focus on being a mother without a Mom. It was too emotional and raw but as I was writing the idea for my novel came to me. After completing this work I may retrace my steps to those essays, but we’ll have to see. The goal is the same though…write and publish.
What do you want your readers to get out of your works?
For myself, the greatest achievement as an author would be for my readers to see themselves in my books. To connect with the characters on the page. That is what I strive for.
Do you recommend any programs, courses, or websites?
I don’t have any particular programs I use all the time, but I would suggest that any writer attend a writers conference. I was lucky to participate in one before Covid and it supported, refreshed and taught me so many amazing lessons. Things that I call back to time and time again when editing.
Where do you write your stories? A tiny office? A loft? The kitchen table? In the bushes while you secretly people-watch like a total creeper? Or a warm café with mocha in hand and feet up on an ottoman?
Prior to covid I had two cafes that I frequented. I felt a certain legitimization in writing outside of my house. I don’t know if it just “kept me honest” since there were no distractions of home. Now that we are in lockdown, and nothing is open, I have a home office, which is organized and quiet where I have the luxury of writing in my robe.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I just finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet which I loved immensely. I am going to try to mimic her pacing, as it was urgent without being frantic. I just started A Promised Land by Barack Obama two days ago, and since i’m on page 26 of 760-something, I’m sure it’ll be with me for awhile.
Do you have a writing companion?
I have a black and white tuxedo cat, Ferdinand, who I’ve had to give his own space adjacent to my desk so that he can curl up and be at the ready. He is a cat that senses stress or anxiety and won’t leave you alone until you calm down via petting him. I usually know it’s been a rough writing day based on how often he’s interrupted me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If you want to be a successful and even prolific writer, there are two things you have to do. Write…A LOT and Read…A LOT.
You can find Angela Amberden on Twitter at: