Friday, November 1, 2013

Interview the Amanda Strong, Author of The Awakener!!!

Title:  The Awakener
Series: The Watchers of Men
Author:  Amanda Strong
Published:  October 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 98,500
Genre: YA Mature Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Some violence and clean romance
Recommended Age:  14+
Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.

With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire.  Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts.  Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple.

With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.


  1. How long have you been writing?  I think I filled a spiral bound notebook with my first story in third or fourth grade!  I’ve always loved writing!  I stopped for many years to do other important stuff (college, marriage, family).  I began writing again around February of 2011. That’s when I had an idea and just had to get it on paper!

  2. What or who inspires you to write?  This question has two answers.  In the beginning of 2011 my good friend Gail Wagner asked me to read her novel she’d written.  That’s when I thought busy mom and all, maybe I could write a book too.  I have her to thank for getting me back into my favorite past time!  She also taught me so much about the art form.  I had a lot to learn since childhood writing!  The other person who inspires me is my husband Josh.  He is wonderful to bounce ideas off of and helps me solve problems!   

  3. What genre do you like to read?  I love YA; paranormal, romance, mystery-thriller, dystopia, and fantasy!

  4. What is your favorite genre to write?  Again, it would be YA.   The Awakener is paranormal romance.  My current project I would say is more YA mystery-thriller, romance, with a pinch of sci-fi-horror!  Pretty sure I covered all genres with that book!  

  5. Who is your favorite author and why? Oh my, that is extremely hard because I admire so many truly amazing authors!  I’d have to say most recently I’ve enjoyed Cassandra Clare (Clockwork series), Veronica Roth (Divergent series), and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games).  All of these authors are masters at creating worlds where I can get completely lost in.  They made me feel such a range of emotions from laugh out loud moments to bawling my eyes out.   Good authors make it so I shut the book and go through weeks of withdrawals!

  6. What do you love about writing and why? I love the freedom that comes with it.  You can draw from all the experiences from your own life, or a life you’d wished you’d had, and twist and turn it how you want it to go.  The best part for me is when a character becomes his/her own person and takes over!  It’s the strangest thing, but I’ll have disagreements with a character.  I’ll say, “According to my outline you are suppose to say this at this moment,” and they will say, “But that’s stupid why on earth would I say that? That’s not me.  I’d totally do this…”  My other favorite part is when the book is done and you take a step back and say, “There’s no way I made this all up.  Somewhere these characters really exist I just know it!”  

  7. What is the book about?  In a nutshell it’s about a group of gifted teenagers who don’t know they have guardian angels watching over them, protecting them, and guiding their actions.  My two main characters Eden and Micah were best friends as kids and are now re-uniting as teenagers.  They both have important roles to fulfill and have to figure out who they are and what they have to do to save the world from fire.  Demons attack, angels appear, and romance develops!

  8. What or who was the inspiration for the book?  My original inspiration came from a dream!  I saw Eden and Micah together seeing an angel for the first time.  Then from there I did a lot of research.  I studied The Book of Enoch, basing a lot of my story on the religious beliefs and legends found in there.  I’ve always been fascinated by the very short excerpt about Enoch in the Old Testament.  As I read, I realized there was a story there waiting to be told!

  9. Who are the characters in the book?  The two main characters are Eden, 16 yrs old, and Micah 17 yrs.  There are guardian angels and a whole slew of gifted teenagers who all play their parts in the plot!

  10. If you could meet five authors, alive or dead, who would they be and why?   I’d LOVE to meet Enoch  (the original writer of The Book of Enoch!), J.R.R. Tolkien (I have no words for how much I respect this author!), Mary Higgins Clark (I read her books religiously as a teen and it gave me a love for good mystery), Stephanie Meyers (she made YA what it is today-a thriving genre!), and of course J.K. Rowling (again…are words enough? Amazing!!!).


Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story.
In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.
When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.


Eden assumed she’d have good dreams, she had been asked on her first date today, after-all, but she was wrong.  A dam of nightmares had broken leaving her tossing and turning.  She dreamt of someone in her room, hiding in the dark corner, waiting…watching.   
It was so vivid and real, that when the furnace clicked on, she bolted upright in bed, panting and covered in sweat.  She took a deep breath and scanned her surroundings.  Everything seemed normal, still the lingering dream made her uneasy.  She reached for her glasses on the nightstand, but knocked them to the floor instead.
“Crap,” she muttered, not wanting to get out of her warm bed to retrieve them.  Why is it so cold in here, she wondered.  I can hear the heater blowing.
She sat back and pulled her blankets higher, trying to settle her nerves.  She heard a few creaks and the scratching of branches hitting her window.  
Those are familiar sounds, she told herself, nothing to be jumpy about.  
Something felt off.
She figured it was just being in that half-asleep half-awake state where senses are in overdrive.  She strained to see better, still not wanting to uncover herself to retrieve her glasses.  
Why’s it reek in here?  I’m going to kill Brendon, leaving another rotten sandwich in my room.  But it smells like eggs.  He hates eggs…
The sulfur-like smell grew stronger.  Tugging her blanket over her nose she felt something bump her bed.  She froze.
Straining to hear anything in the profound silence, she was completely paralyzed by fear, seeing only smeary black shadows.  Don’t panic, don’t panic.
Her bed rocked as something pushed on her mattress from below.   She screamed hysterically but to her horror, no one came bursting through her door.  
Is Brendon playing some kind of sick practical joke?  
Gritting her teeth, she threw the covers aside, forcing her legs off the side of the bed determined to jump down.  
An icy breath hissed on her bare skin from below.  
Shrieking, she pulled her legs in, burying herself in the blankets. Someone was in her room, under her bed, and just like her dream, that person was going to hurt her.  She bit her quilt as tears splattered down on her arms.  
It was silent.  
This doesn’t make any sense.  Am I still dreaming?  This is just a nightmare.  I’m just imagining things, she consoled herself.  It’s cold in my room, the mattress’s springs are probably popping… she stopped short.  
Something dragged across her carpet at the same time her bed shook. A low, unmistakable growl came from underneath her; a wet, gurgling sound.  She screeched so hard her throat felt raw.  
A black silhouette rose beside her bed.


Amanda said...

Thank you so much for the feature and interview!!! I appreciate it :)

Jess's Journal said...

It was no problem!! You're welcome back anytime, and please let me know if there is anything more I can do!!

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