Amanda’s top tip for aspiring authors: Never stop learning. The world keeps turning and life moves on, so if you don’t turn with it, you’ll be left behind. This doesn’t just apply to storytelling, but for everything be it software and IT, to marketing practices, to attending conventions. Everything! Keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and never underestimate the power of networking.
Born and raised in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, Amanda Bridgeman hails from fishing and farming stock. The youngest of four children, her three brothers raised her on a diet of Rocky, Rambo, Muhammad Ali and AC/DC.
She moved to Perth (Western Australia) to study film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University, earning her a BA in Communication Studies. Perth has been her home ever since, aside from a nineteen month stint in London (England) where she dabbled in Film & TV ‘Extra’ work.
Her third novel Aurora: Meridian was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. She has released seven books in total with more on the way.
Find out more about Amanda:
Why do you write? I write first and foremost to entertain people. Dreaming up interesting worlds, relatable characters and nail-biting stories is always fun for me, but seeing the effect it has on readers is truly priceless. Making them smile, laugh, gasp, shout and cry, is such an amazing feeling.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’d probably be making movies. I studied film and TV at university, so storytelling has always been in my blood. Anything that involves creating something that others derive pleasure from – is where I’d be!
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Myself! It’s taken me a long time to be confident in myself and my abilities – and I’m still not quite there! But self-belief was definitely an obstacle that I had to overcome. The toughest part is making the decision to step through that door. Once you do, life gets easier. It’s still a challenge, but with each book I get better and stronger and more confident.
How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? Yep, the first five book covers of the Aurora series were done by my ex-publisher, Momentum, and I was always allowed to provide feedback on them. I only had creative input into the actual design of the covers from Meridian onwards (and Meridian onwards, I must say, reflect the story within better!). The cover concepts for Centralis and Eden, were definitely mine and the final result was very similar to what I had asked for. The last two books I released, Decima and The Time of The Stripes, were self-published, so I had full creative control to instruct the designers as I saw fit.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The best aspect is hearing from readers about how much they’ve enjoyed your books. You really can’t put a price on that. It warms the soul.
—the worst? It’s bloody hard work – especially when working full time in another job. You essentially end up working two jobs and having little time for anything else. There’s a lot of admin/background stuff that needs attending to, so it’s not all just writing. And it’s certainly not as glamourous (or laid back/lazy) as people think!
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I’d start sooner! I used to write stories as a teenager and honestly wish I’d continued through into my adult life. I drifted away from writing, went to study film and TV at university, then drifted away from that too – thinking my job prospects were slim. But my love for stories never died and years later I came full circle back to it. So what I would do differently is not give up hope and follow my dreams.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? You’re going to need a whole lot of patience and thick skin, but if you’re prepared to work hard, the rewards will be worth it!
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Keep writing. When you have a book on submission, don’t stop and wait to hear on it. Move onto the next project. The most successful authors have a production line of novels all at varying degrees in the life cycle. You can’t get published unless you have a finished novel and you can’t have a finished novel without a developed idea. Just keep moving because the book you have on submission may not be picked up, so you want something else waiting in the wings. And even then, if your book is not picked up traditionally, there’s always self-publishing which is a very viable option these days.
They survived the alien visitation. But can they survive each other?
No one had heard of Victoryville before. But when an alien spaceship appears, hovering over the town, the whole world suddenly knows its name.
After twenty-four hours and a failed military assault, the ship disappears without a trace. When the outside world restores communication to the town, thousands are reported missing.
Those who remain in Victoryville are irreparably changed. However, only some have been left with strange red marks upon their skin.
Quarantined from the outside world and segregated within, alliances are made and relationships are shattered, as everyone fights for the truth – and for their own survival.
From the best-selling author of the Aurora series, The Time of the Stripes is a sci-fi thriller where The Leftovers and Under The Dome meets The Lord of The Flies.