Amanda911 by Mark Schreiber – Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Wow—I can’t think of anyone. I’ve been too nice. Never broke up with a girlfriend, never cheated anyone, never had an enemy. It’s true: nice guys finish last.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Cats aren’t paranormal? Mine sure seems to be. Luna, the inspiration for the black cat in Amanda911. Though mine is gray. She thinks her job is to protect us from all the neighborhood cats by fighting loudly with them just when I’m trying to sleep, and by scampering over the roof like an inept burgler and waking me up.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

For a start, I have the grandfather narrating it, and he’s a writer who uses sophisticated metaphors and syntax. It’s almost unheard of in young adult for an adult to narrate. But I don’t really write genre. I write literary fiction that I hope can appeal to a wide audience. Genres are a marketing category for me. So I think of Amanda911 as being a novel for anyone who wants to laugh a lot and tear up a little; for anyone who wants a good story with elegant writing.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The worst advice was: “Writing is editing.” That may be true for most, but I’ve written so much, for all my life, and I’ve read so much, that I can think like a critic and edit as I go.

The best advice was from my first agent, Charlotte Sheedy, who told me when I was 21 that I was too productive and to slow down. She was right. I wrote too many bad books just to reach the finish line.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Amanda is based on my niece Amanda, although the real Amanda was twelve when I wrote the novel. She is Costa Rican and doesn’t speak English and doesn’t know Iowa from Indonesia. But she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known and I wanted a heroine everyone could love. The grandfather, and his experiences as a failed writer are, unfortunately, based on me.

“Sixteen-year-old Iowa schoolgirl Amanda Dizon may be the nation’s most unremarkable teenager, until she falls down a well and finds herself instantaneously transformed from irrelevant to influencer. Mark Schreiber’s sly, rollicking masterpiece, Amanda911, follows Amanda’s escapades and sends up the craven, fame-obsessed virtual culture of today’s adolescents. As insightful as Dickens and as innovative as Heller, Schreiber is the definitive satirist of the social media generation.”—Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House

Enjoy an Excerpt

Falling down a well was both the best and worst thing that ever happened to my granddaughter.

She was a Disney princess to me, but a comic sidekick to her classmates, who’d never been
kissed by a boy—or I suppose by a girl—been asked to a dance, or chosen for any role in a school production that did not conceal her face.

Most people under twenty probably don’t know what a well is.

Haven’t seen one. Probably think it’s just something you say when you need to buy time, like like, or when someone asks you how you’re feeling, although I guess these days everyone says good or OK, or nothing at all, opting for an emoji instead. Do kids even talk anymore, in the crowded loneliness of their bedrooms? Did Amanda even scream when she fell down the well? Or did she just send a screaming emoji?

So, when millions of kids all over the globe saw the headline, they shared via social media:

Girl Plummets Down Well

More than plenty had to Google well to comprehend its meaning.

I’m sure she got at least half a million hits just from image searches that returned a picture of an oil rig in the North Sea. Geez, her international peer group must have thought, or words or emojis to that effect. A girl has fallen thousands of feet smack into a tidal wave. I hope she’s more Kate than Leonardo.

About the Author:Mark Schreiber was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960, graduated high school at age fifteen and began writing novels full-time. Princes in Exile, which explores a prodigy’s struggle to accept his own mortality at a summer camp for kids with cancer, was published in 1984 and made into a feature film in 1991. It has been published in ten countries, received two awards in Europe and was shortlisted for the Austria Prize. Carnelian, a fantasy, was published by Facet in Belgium. Starcrossed, a rebuttal to Romeo and Juliet, was published by Flux and translated into French and Turkish. His illustrated science book, How to Build an Elephant, was published as an Apple app by Swag Soft. He has written over forty books and received two State of Ohio Individual Writer Fellowships. For the last seven years he has been a digital nomad, living on four continents. He currently resides in Costa Rica.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. What are some of your must-haves for writing?

  3. Eva Millien says

    I enjoyed the Q&A and the excerpt, Mark and your book sounds like a great read for youths! Thanks for sharing it with me!

  4. This sounds like an excellent read.

  5. I enjoyed the Q&A.

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