As a little girl, Amanda Brice dreamed of being either a ballerina or the author of a mystery series featuring a cool crime-solving chick named Nancy Flew, but her father urged her to “do something practical,” so she went to law school and spent her days writing briefs and pleadings instead of fiction.
But dance and writing have remained a part of her life. Amanda was a member of the ballroom dance team at Duke University, and continues this interest by her obsession with Dancing with the Stars, so it was only natural for her to set a teen mystery series at a dance school.
Amanda is the President of Washington Romance Writers, and is a two-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award. She blogs once a month or so with the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. She is also a popular conference presenter, speaking on basic copyright and trademark law for writers.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys dancing, reading, cooking, traveling, and obsessing over whether Duke will beat Carolina in basketball. Go Devils!
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: Everywhere and anywhere. I actually never know when an idea might strike. Maybe I’ll be watching TV. Or reading the newspaper. And some of my best plots have come from dreams. Of course, I have a tendency to forget the whole thing as soon as I wake up, but I’m convinced if I can just work on my memory I’ll have a NY Times Bestseller one of these days! LOL
Q: I have a really great idea for a book. Can I tell you it and then we can split the money?
A: I’m sure it’s great, but I already have a gazillion ideas of my own that I’m probably never going to have time to write as it is. Besides, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to tell your story as well as you could, so my suggestion is to boot up your computer and start writing!
Q: Do you plot your books ahead of time?
A: All writers have a different process. Many prefer to be surprised, but I’m pretty risk-adverse in that way. Whenever I’ve tried to just write from the seat of my pants, it comes out as a bunch of random nonsense that doesn’t make any sense. So I have to know at least the beginning and end ahead of time. I have a rough idea of what the middle will be, but I allow myself some freedom to be surprised.
Q: How fast do you write your books?
A: I wish I was faster, but I’m a pretty slow writer. Darn day job gets in the way!
Q: How long did you write before you got published?
A: Well, I started making up stories in preschool, but I don’t think you really want to hear about my early attempts. LOL! Although my mom did find a folder full of my old stories from elementary school, and some were pretty, um, interesting. One of these days maybe I’ll be brave and scan some in. I went through a Ray Bradbury-inspired phase in 5th grade, which isn’t too surprising considering as my Enrichment teacher arranged for him to call us and give advice during a creative writing assignment. I don’t think I appreciated how truly cool that was at the time. I mean, the man’s a legend!
I stopped writing in high school and didn’t start back up again until my late 20s. It wasn’t until Election Day in 2004 that I started up again. I was supposed to be working on a paper on the patentability of indigenous medicinal methods (yeah, it’s as boring as it sounds!) for an International Patent Law class when I suddenly decided it would be a lot more fun to write a chick lit novel. So I banged out the first 80 pages of a book that will never see the light of day (seriously, it was bad!) and had to ask my professor for an extension on the paper. Note to students: Don’t do that. Bad idea.
Q: I can see from your photos that you used to dance. Did you go to a performing arts boarding school like Dani?
A: No, I never went to a boarding school, although I have some friends who did. I went to a regular old public high school — actually the same one Dani would have gone to if she didn’t get accepted to Mountain Shadows. (Go Sparta Spartans!) But I danced in a local amateur company as a preteen and teen, and have some wonderful memories of those days. Dance competitions, recitals, and even rehearsals — some of my best times! Sometimes I get a little jealous when I see some of my friends from those days dancing on Broadway or in a professional ballet company, but not for long. I’m pretty satisfied with how things turned out. And I don’t have to retire in my 30s, either!
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