Interview with Amanda Uechi Ronan

Published 2014-05-03.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite book I've read as an adult is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. It's a historical romance set in Russia during WWII. The characters are complex, beautiful, and damaged. The story is truly epic. I also love the Infernal Devices Young Adult series by Cassandra Clare and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

My favorite books growing up were Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury which, put simply, blew my mind and The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, which was the first book to make me cry.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything! Let's see, what have I read this past month… If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Foreman, the first two books of the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin, One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child by Lauren Sandler, The Ritual by Adam Nevill (one of my first horror reads!), Burn by Julianna Baggott, Stolen by Lucy Christopher...
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Mini iPad
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth. I probably drive my friends crazy. :)
Describe your desk
It's white and vintage looking, but was purchased at an Office Depot. My Apple desktop is massive, taking up most of the space, but I manage to squeeze three file holders on the far right side, literally, stuffed to the brim with research for my historical novels. There are also several books about horses: Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, How Your Horse Moves, Horse Anatomy for Performance, and Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage. The top shelves are full of my favorite novels…and there seems to be a single Blu-ray, 500 Days of Summer, shoved in a crack. Stacked on top are family pictures and a watercolor of a horse painted onto a page from Black Beauty that was purchased out of Ireland. The tiny drawer to my right is stuffed full of cables (the ugly necessity of computers), backup hard drives, and my Marshall headphones. Odds and ends are: a baby tooth from one of my former horses, a rock from the Sonora Caverns gift shop, an iron seahorse given to me by my first mentor in horseback riding, a small green plastic kitten that I stole from the 3rd grade (Sorry, Mrs. Green), Chapstick and lens cleaner.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very small town in Texas. I love my home state and often use it as a backdrop for my novels. Once you've seen a blue Texas sky, it's hard to dream about anything else. My unpublished 'Hannah Anders' series is set in 1836 during the Texas Revolution. I'm very excited about that project.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing as a child, but it wasn't until several years after I graduated college that it became something I wanted to "do."
What's the story behind your latest book?
My stories are always about love, which in my mind is a catalyst for change. The emotion has the ability to set our species in upheaval like none other.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not going to lie, if I have the opportunity to become a mainstream author I will but in the meantime I am having a lot of fun pouring out these 'voices in my head.' I love the idea of sitting down and just taking a few minutes to read something fresh and great that you don't have to pay for; therefore all my published ebooks are free. I hope people enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's free! It has tutorials! What's not to love?
How do you approach cover design?
I like simplicity and abstract plays on light. I like a cover that won't embarrass you in the checkout line as well. ;)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Building worlds. Call me a tyrant, but I love controlling my characters, challenging them, putting them into impossible situations and then watching in amazement as they grow and become these 'real' people! Paul Sweeney once said, "You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend."
What do your fans mean to you?
I can't think of any better compliment than one person posting, "EHRMAGAWD!!! This book was sooooo good!" on their private social network. I love their love. They get 'my kind of crazy.' :)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Horseback riding. I actively train and compete in several equestrian disciplines including Eventing, H/J, and competitive trail challenges.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

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When Shannon returns to her hometown for the first time in three years and a hurricane strikes, she is forced to face her past and take refuge with the man who broke her heart.