AMANDA (ah-MAHN-dah)- Latin- Meaning lovable or worthy of love.
Fitting. I've always had an affinity for love.
Being born in sunny San Diego in the mid 80’s to a young military couple gave me plenty of insight into the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Somewhere between moving coasts every three years, I found myself engrossed in fairytale romances and dressing up like a bride.
My first real love was writing. By my sophomore year in a new high school in Virginia, I had a slew of short stories, songs, poems, and articles to my name. Writing was fun. It was a way to get the emotions, dialogue, and pictures out of my head, and create a destiny for my characters.
I had no intention of making a career in writing, because it wasn’t what I did, it was who I was. In reality, I wanted to be an actress. Ah, to be the face of someone else’s authored story. The plan was to move in with my aunt in L.A. after graduation, but had a change of heart. Instead, I stayed with my high school sweetheart (now husband) and attended a film school in Norfolk, VA. It was at this school that I discovered my love for writing screenplays and felt compelled to follow that path. But…as the practical girl I was brought up to be, I decided to go to a real university. While working full time, I completed my BA in Psychology in four and a half years. Becoming a couple’s therapist had always been my “backup” career and there I was on my way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time.
With all my new free time after graduation, I decided to turn my full-length screenplay into a novel in hopes it would help my screenplay sell. I think I was in the middle of writing chapter two when I realized that everything I had ever written was to prepare me for that moment when I knew I was a novelist. Talk about the affirmation of my life. Now my plan is to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.
~*~Q & A~*~
1) What are some of your pet peeves you have while writing?Great question! I have two. The first is noise. I need total silence in order to write. Unless, I've had a glass of wine, then music is okay. The second is when some one peeks over my shoulder to see what I'm writing. I REALLY hate that.
2) What are your top inspirations in the writing world? (i.e. author?)I love Emily Giffin. She loves to write about gray areas and so do I. I also admire her for her fantastic career and dedicated readership. Elizabeth Gilbert is another. I love the way she orchestrates words so beautifully.
3) Once you have an idea, how do you brainstorm?I always outline a story, just like we did in high school. But I love to bounce ideas off of my husband. He doesn't read my genre, but he has a great understanding of story structure and can always see my story from a new perspective. I call him my story consultant and I pay him in kisses!
4) What is your guilty pleasure food?That's easy. The California Skillet with pancakes but no bacon (I'm Veg.) from Village Inn. I constantly crave this meal.
5) Have you ever met a celebrity (minor or major)? And how was it?I've met a few celebrities including James Shaffer from the band Korn and Evangelist, Pat Robertson (both are long stories), but my favorite celeb meeting was my friend Ty Hodges. At the time Ty was all over the Disney Channel. I wrote him a fan letter when I was 14 and a few weeks later I got an email back from him, and we became buddies. I saw him last in DC when he showed his film Miles From Home at a film festival. He's a super talented guy.
Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions.
In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?