Amanda L. Davis is the daughter of one of our favorite authors, Bryan Davis. Her debut novel Precisely Terminated has been on our radar ever since we heard about it, and we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy. We recently caught up with Amanda for an e-mail interview.
Incredibooks: First off, tell us a little bit about your debut book.
Amanda Davis: Precisely Terminated is a futuristic dystopian novel. I’ll give you the summary. :-)
It is 800 years in the future, and the world is being oppressed by the ruling class. Millions of slaves toil under the Nobles’ oppressive thumb, but because of microchips implanted in the slaves’ skulls at birth, there can be no uprising. Monica, a young slave girl, escaped the chip implantation process. She is able to infiltrate the Nobles’ security and travel where no one else is able, but can one girl free the world? Precisely Terminated is the first book of three in the Cantral Chronicles.
IB: What inspired you to become a writer?
AD: I think my dad, Bryan Davis, most inspired me to be a writer. He worked so hard and never gave up while pursuing his own writing career, and once it was established, he traveled and spoke and did book signings all the time, and I went with him.
We’ve since been going to book signings and school events for seven years. During this time I learned the craft of writing and was inspired to write my own stories and share them after seeing what an impact stories can have on people.
IB: Incredibooks is a book review site, so we want to know about your favorite books. Can you share a couple of titles?
AD: Hhm. Some of my favorite books? That’s rather hard to say. It depends on my mood, what I feel like reading that day. Some of the books that stay at my top favorites are Howl’s Moving Castle, Ella Enchanted, To Kill a Mockingbird, and East.
IB: How do you come up with character names?
AD: Most of my character names just pop into my head, and I type it down. Essentially, the character tells me his or her name. It happened that way for Faye, Kat, and Monica, the main characters of Precisely Terminated’s first chapter.
For a few of my characters, however, it takes a bit more of a struggle to come up with them. I usually like making up my own names, at least in the Cantral world. When I need a new name and it’s not popping into my head, I’ll start with a letter or sound I want the name to start with and then go from there.
I might start with a ‘K’. Okay. I want a ‘K’ name. Hmm. K . . .ar . . .ih… etc until I match the K with a sound I like and then continue building the name. I might end up with a name like ‘Karick’, but that’s probably more about my naming process than you ever wanted to know.
IB: Have you ever incorporated yourself or anyone you know into one of your books?
AD: I have never intentionally incorporated myself or anyone I know into my books, not even their characteristics. My characters are their own people, so to speak. They have personalities that show themselves as I write—I don’t assign any to them. I know a lot of authors do, and there are t-shirts like ‘Be Nice to Me or I’ll Put You in My Novel’. That’s probably never going to happen for me. But be nice to me anyway. :-)
IB: How do you work allegory or Christian themes into your books without it being blatantly obvious or sounding preachy or clichéd?
AD: I must admit I’m not very good at adding Christian themes into my books. I usually write my story without even thinking of themes and pray they fall into place as God wants them. This way they aren’t blatant, and they’re woven in through the character’s attributes and feel natural. You’ll see my characters being good, kind, and sacrificing, but you won’t see them talking about why they should be good, kind, and sacrificing. I, myself, really dislike preachy books and hope mine never come across that way.
IB: What is a typical writing day like for you? For example, where do you write? Do you always write at the same time of day? Do you listen to music when writing? If so, what?
AD: A typical writing day? That’s sort of tough. I am not a fulltime writer, so my writing days can be very odd. You’re in for another long answer.
Most days I don’t get to start writing until 8:30 AM or around there, and then I’ll continue writing throughout the day if I have a deadline approaching. Since I usually don’t have a deadline that’s close at hand, I’m usually up and down from writing all day, sewing something, maybe spinning some yarn, working in the garden, or something like that. I do a lot of chores and cooking, too.
Currently I am working on a novel with a deadline of October 1, so I’m pretty busy at the moment, writing from 8 AM – 5 PM, or whenever I get 2,000 words or more written.
IB: What’s next for you, now that you’ve released your debut book?
AD: Precisely Terminated is the first in a trilogy, so the next two books are next! Noble Imposter is the sequel, and I have yet to title the third book. I’m working on Noble Imposter at the moment and it is currently around 82,000 words (as of this interview, September 1). It is due October 1, so I am writing rather frantically.
Coming up even closer than that, however, I am embarking on a 3-month-long book tour across the nation with my dad, promoting Precisely Terminated and his book, Diviner. Here is a map of all of our scheduled stops.
Amanda’s book Precisely Terminated is officially releasing on October 15, but you should be able to find it in stores tomorrow, September 24. Check out Amanda’s Facebook page for information on the Amazon Blitz event she’s holding to promote the book! Also, be sure to visit her web site for more information about both her and the Cantral Chronicles.