Q&A with Amanda Callendrier

A lot of people liked the “Camino Beach” preview, so I reached out to the person behind it all, (None other than Amanda Callendrier) and here is what I received back!

Hi Jishnu,

Thanks again for the enthusiastic book cheerleading! I had fun answering your questions and am so pleased to be asked. Sarah would offer you a margarita for your kind words.


Best,

Amanda

What inspired you to write the book?

 

“Camino Beach” (i.e. the El Camino with sand in the truck bed) was a product of several actual high school lunchroom conversations. The El Camino was so AWFUL that you’d have to find a way to make it fun. I’d still like to make Camino Beach. Maybe I will.  When I write, I usually go from concept to character and later, plot. First, there was the El Camino, and then Sarah and Kristen figured out the rest for me.

 

Are the characters in the story completely fictional?

 

Yes. Surely, there are parts of me in many of my characters, although not perhaps Roxanne. They were always intended to be fully and completely themselves. I wish Kristen were a real person, and we could hang out.

 

Can we expect a Camino Beach sequel?

 

I won’t say a definite no. It was always meant to be a stand-alone book, but it’s been a while since I wrote it. I do miss the characters, and I have an idea about what became of them all.


What is the first book that made you cry?

 

Hmm, that’s a good one. Probably Bridge to Terabithia. Or A Wrinkle in Time. I was prostrate for a day or so after The Road. More recently, The Goldfinch.

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

 

I wouldn’t say- don’t give up! Keep your chin up! Cheer up! I wouldn’t say anything ending in “up.” Writing is hard enough, and that would have gotten on my nerves back then. Now, too. I guess I would tell myself that the good news about the long journey of writing is that you get better all the time. My future self could also tell my present self this.


What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

 

Despite all the criticism, I really liked Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. It’s a young woman coming-of-age story, which appeals to me for obvious reasons, and it also speaks to the complexity of relationships, how to live with those who disappoint us.

 

What did you edit out of this book?

 

What didn’t I edit out of this book? So much it’s hard to remember. The flashbacks were done multiple times. There was a scene in Nashville’s Bluebird Café that didn’t do very much for the story.

 

What’s the best way to market your books?

 

Goodness, I have no idea. I’ll leave that to the great marketing folks of Lake Union.

 

What does literary success look like to you?


 

I think it’s pretty dangerous to get caught up in the idea of “success” because there can always be more. A writer’s duty is to tell the story, and finishing the story is a success of its own. If these efforts resonate with others, it is all the more satisfying. InCamino Beach, Sarah finds out that success is closer than she thought and that she has much for which to be thankful.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?


My spirit animal is the owl, because it just is. My mascot would have to be my new Maine Coon cat Maximus. He sends fluffy good wishes your way.


Thanks a lot to Amanda for her time and effort. Now wait till I go buy an El Camino!


Be sure to pick up a copy of this awesome piece of literature on 16th May 2017, when it releases worldwide!

Or preorder this book on Amazon or Amazon India.

Check out Amanda’s Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @acallendrier for more information on her upcoming releases.

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