Thank you, Amalie, for agreeing to say Hello via my blog! Firstly, how did you end up becoming a novelist and why?
I became a novelist because I have stories inside of me that need to come out! And, I love to write. I tried for years to make it work, but there was always something preventing me from moving forward. Finally, I turned the page on a chapter in my life, and realized it was time. And here we are.
I have read “Among the Shrouded” and I loved it - this was my review. What do you think? Is it fair?
“I started this book yesterday afternoon and have been gripped ever since. I have not read a book so quickly in ages, and even though I am now disappointed that I have finished it, I am thrilled to bits I found it in the first place.
I loved the main characters...
Mia, a strong, intelligent woman surprised to find love in the shape of an "aura-less" seemingly average man. With the power to "see" the good in people, she has to learn to use her instincts instead.
Thomas, a man forced to adapt to life in adoptive care and all the stronger for it. He has always "found" a way to stay out of trouble, but his free will is going to be put to the test.
Kate, a Ukrainian student wanting more out of life and willing to do what it took to secure the future of her sisters at any cost. Her positive outlook and ability to "enable" the right thing to happen lead to a tricky situation.
All three are inter-linked in a plot that is laced with intrigue, suspense, romance and a fast-paced thrilled.
Ticked all my boxes! Loved it... And the best bit was, it had an important message in the end - you'll have to read it to find out more! Enjoy :)” January, 2014
First, thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to read the book. It’s an honour. And the gift of your review is truly the icing on the cake. I am so very happy you enjoyed it. I especially appreciate that you saw how each character was forced to grow beyond the confines of their gifts. I think character growth is fundamental to a story and I’m glad you were able to pick up on it.
I have to ask this… how did you end up writing about this very difficult subject matter? I recently watched a documentary about men promised jobs and then held to ransom by their employers – basically, do as you or told or we will kill you? It’s pretty grim stuff, and yet in your story it is not too hard to read about what can happen. The spiritual element to the story kept it from being completely believable (if that makes sense).
I live a very blessed life. The freedoms I’m allowed simply because I was born where I was, instead of somewhere else are not lost on me. Fresh water to drink, sanitary living space, extra food to throw away, and the gift of waking each morning without fear… these are all things most of my readers enjoy and very often take for granted.
Sadly, human trafficking takes all of these basic necessities from millions of women and children all over the world. And it’s a crime that goes largely unnoticed by most of us, even when it’s happening right in our own neighbourhoods. I felt called to simply make people aware, if nothing else, about the reality of modern day slavery, and adding the paranormal element was a vehicle to present the information without coming across as preachy or critical.
What do you enjoy more from writing? Escapism or creativity burst? Why?
I enjoy both! It’s amazing to be able to step out of my own shoes while I write and step into someone else’s. I get to make choices that I wouldn’t necessarily make in my own life and have relationships with my characters that don’t actually exist! But I like creativity bursts as well. I love when something hits you and you MUST stop what you are doing RIGHT THEN to get it out. And it just flows. It’s a beautiful thing.
Ugh. I like making my manuscripts better and I like getting to that final product, but actually doing it… drudgery! It’s hard to pick just the right words and get sentences so they flow perfectly. It’s hard to know what’s important to keep and what can get trashed. It’s hard waiting for my editor to get back to me with the next instalment. It’s all just hard!
Do you think social media is important? If so, how do you prioritise your time?
Absolutely. I have learned so very much from the authors who have paved the way before me. They have so much knowledge to share. Additionally, without the mass market media that comes with a large publishing contract, I am in charge of creating my own brand and doing my own marketing. It would be impossible to reach my target audience without social media.
It is, however, a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to get sucked into the social media vortex and abandon writing for the day. I’m guilty of it, but I try to make sure I set aside time to either write or market, one at a time.
What is the most important thing you have learnt, as an author, since you published your first book?
Follow your heart. There’s no one way in this business, and every day, people will come at you with the next guaranteed way to sell a million books by next Tuesday. You just have to know what is driving your ambition and let it guide you. I have no aspirations of stardom… I just want to share my stories and make people feel something. That’s it. And so I let that lead me along my path.
Just kidding! There’s a huge learning curve in this business and if I knew then what I know now, I might have never published my first book. I would tell them to learn as much as they can from everyone around them and never give up on their dreams. It’s as simple and complicated as that.
What is your current project? Are you giving yourself deadlines, or are you just seeing where it goes?
I’m editing a follow up to my first novel “The Clay Lion” entitled “Tin Men.” It will be off to the editor’s in a few weeks and then the waiting begins. While that’s going on, I’m partnering with a good friend of mine, who happens to be a wonderful chef, on a cookbook! I’m looking forward to it!
Can you name a children’s and adult author you admire and why? What is the best book they have written and why did you enjoy it?
Children’s author would have to be Katherine Paterson who wrote “Bridge to Terabithia.” I hated reading as a child. I was (and still am) a slow reader, and it always felt like a ghastly chore to sit and read. When I read “Bridge to Terabithia” in sixth grade, it was the first time a book ever made me cry. Once I realized the enormous power of the written word in the form of conjuring emotions, I was done. I’ve been an avid reader and writer ever since.
Dean Koontz is one of my favourite adult authors. I’ve pretty much read everything he’s ever written. I’m always impressed by how descriptively he writes (one of my weaknesses) and how prolific he is as well. He’s written over 178 books. Can you imagine having that many stories inside you? Amazing.
Where we can find out about you and buy your books?
Amazon The Clay Lion http://amzn.to/Ztvzj7
Amazon Among the Shrouded http://amzn.to/16s6ADF
Amalie Jahn Amazon http://amzn.to/17NSyKr
Goodreads Author Profile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6995709.Amalie_Jahn
Author Website www.theclaylion.com
Amalie Jahn Author Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AmalieJahn
Thanks so much Vanessa! I enjoyed answering your questions and look forward to seeing the interview! XO
It was a pleasure to feature you.
Vanessa :) xx