What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Amanda Meuwissen is the author of The Incubus Saga and The Collector. Amanda also serves as COO and Managing Editor for BigWorldNetwork.com. She oversees editing and series selection, and is featured as a narrator for several BWN series. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).
Today Amanda Meuwissen will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
* I don’t know if I could pinpoint the moment I first started writing and wanted to tell stories as a little girl, but my teen years writing fanfiction is what led me to want to pursue writing professionally.
* It was a Final Fantasy VIII fanfiction that sealed the deal for me. A particularly moving and difficult fanfic I was reading about the character Zell Dincht ended in tragedy with him taking his life. It followed a plot line I see a lot in fanfiction for that age group—depression, suicidal thoughts, because it’s something a lot of teens are experiencing, and writing about their favorite characters going through what they are can be very therapeutic.
* It was a long story that I eagerly awaited the updates on for each new chapter. I was confident it would have a happy ending, because of the struggles we as readers had been a part of, but sadly, no, at the end…Zell went through with his suicide and couldn’t be saved.
* I contacted the author explaining that I felt it would have been served better to end differently, that I wished there had been another way, and she responded that she agreed, but hadn’t been able to figure out how to write a happy ending. This began a correspondence between us that gave me permission to write an alternate ending for the fic where Zell lived. It was only three long chapters from me to rewrite the ending, but it was so meaningful to address those issues and how someone could begin to work toward healing, even if depression and such thoughts, especially at a young age, continue to be a struggle.
* When I posted the first chapter, which was where things initially deviated from a tragic end to a hopeful one, an anonymous reviewer opened their heart to me about how the changed ending had touched them, and that it had prompted them to look at their own life differently and struggle to find a way to want to keep living when they too had entertained thoughts of suicide.
* There is nothing more powerful than
affecting someone else’s life positively, however brief, whatever might have happened after that moment, and never knowing who that person was or being able to tell them at the time how meaningful it was for me as well. Ever since then I have never been able to imagine doing anything other than write, even if I have day jobs to get by.
* I have had similar experiences writing The Incubus Saga. As someone who identifies as bisexual, it’s important to me to represent more people who are the same. While there are often straight and gay characters in my work as well, among others, there’s something to be said of every walk of life, and bisexuality is one of many that can be overlooked. You will always find at least one bisexual character in my works because of this.
* It can be argued that both the title character of my series, the incubus Sasha Kelly, and the protagonist Nathan Grier, are bisexual, and coming to terms with that can be just as monumental in someone’s life as anything else life-changing. For Nathan, it is certainly a difficult journey, accepting that he is attracted to another man, and eventually falls in love with him.
* I’ve had people tell me that they found the courage to come out to friends and family because of Nathan’s struggle as an example. Had people many, many times admit that they weren’t sure how they felt about same sex couples and certainly had never pursued reading something like my story, only to find that they were moved by the love the story expresses. To me there is no greater honor than writing something that evokes change of thought and hope in others.
* The heart of The Incubus Saga comes from all of this, mixed with a deep love for fae lore, urban fantasy and supernatural settings that whisper of another world just beyond our own, with strong relationships formed and that grow over time not only in a romantic sense but for family as well. In the end, while it’s best promoted as M/M paranormal romance, in truth this is an epic trilogy of love, family, and a fight to save the world.
* "Nathan," Sasha whispered against his lips, warm hands reaching down to take Nathan's and still his trembling. Sasha helped him then, he didn't push Nathan's hands away, just guided them, lifting the T-shirt up his body until it was off. "It's okay," the shirt fell to the floor and Sasha reached for Nathan's face with both hands, "I love you. Nothing's ever going to change that."
* Another kiss, just as new, like breathing, like coming up out of deep water and breathing again for the first time. Nathan didn't even realize at first that he had started to back Sasha toward the bed. It was instinct, moving for a comfortable surface so this could be easier, so he didn't have to struggle to stay standing when his knees were weak.
* Sasha smiled when they neared the bed, pulling back and lowering himself onto it with nothing but trust on his face, and love, and encouragement.
* Nathan didn't hesitate. He sunk right down into Sasha, kissing again, touching the pads of his fingers to the smooth skin of Sasha's chest. It felt so natural, even as it was fresh, and new, and different. It didn't feel rushed or wrong like Nathan had feared. Dave had taken the shadow from Nathan's heart, and though it wasn't yet bathed in light, it knew how to turn toward it and seek the light out.
* Nathan's over-shirt was pushed down his arms, his T-shirt pulled up over his head and tossed away, leaving both of them only in jeans. They scooted up the bed as they kissed, smiling throughout it all like they almost couldn't believe they could have this again.
* It had been three weeks at least, close to four, since the last time they were together long enough for Sasha to feed. Sasha had to need this more than he was letting show, and Nathan had to wonder what the incubus would have done if he had been in the Veil for longer than a week's time on Earth.
* They shared a smile as they came up for air, but Nathan wasn't sure what to do next. Well, he knew what to do. It was just difficult to undress Sasha the rest of the way when his hands were shaking.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Amanda Meuwissen is giving away eBook copies of all three books in the series to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway