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Amelia Atwater-Rhodes Interview

The sixth book she wrote, at 13, became her first published novel, In the Forests of the Night. Now a college student, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes chats with Sindy about the ups and downs of being a successful, young author.

Sindy: How did you become fascinated with vampires?
Amelia: My mom was really of the belief that, as long as you were reading anything, it was okay. Just read. She never censored what I read and I started picking up Christopher Pike and similar writers, after having been raised on Dracula movies and Interview with the Vampire.

Sindy: Are vampires your favorite type of character to write about?
Amelia: I prefer to write about what we refer to as "the supernatural" versus everyday life. Humans, by themselves, bore me. The supernatural just gives me so much more freedom to experiment with worlds and cultures. If it was asked a few years ago, then vampires would have been my favorite because they were probably my only choice. Vampires were an excellent springboard. I still love them, they fascinate me. When I moved into my shapeshifters, I just started completely from scratch. I've really enjoyed just creating this whole new realm, down to language, really.

Sindy: What sparks an idea for a character?
Amelia: Honestly, I get character ideas from the most inane places. Sometimes, a song will give me an idea. Sometimes, I will just hear a snippet of conversation, that ends up having nothing to do with the book that emerges. Sometimes, someone will be talking about the weather and something about their tone will inspire a completely different scene. It's hard to track. Most often, nowadays, I meet characters as a minor character in another book and I just want to know their history.

Sindy: Do you think there were disadvantages to starting your career at a young age?
Amelia: I think that publishing is one of those things that, no matter when you start, you're going to hit a lot of the same problems. I've been learning the whole time. Learning about writing, learning about editing and about the world. But, those are things that almost any author is going to run into. And, as for starting young, I don't think that there is any time too early to just follow a dream.

  • Click here for the second half of KW's interview with Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

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