Amanda Gibbs is an eighteen-year-old student, photographer and actress from Toronto, Canada. Writing since preschool with Crayola crayons, Amanda’s passion is writing stories that make the mundane beautiful, and the little moments in life profound. Inspired by writers like Michael Faudet, Jamie McGuire, and Walt Whitman, Amanda loves experimenting with form, dialogue, and combining poetry and prose. In her spare time, Amanda trains in mixed martial arts and takes care of her six dogs, as well as procrastinating schoolwork to write her next book.
Q & A with Amanda Gibbs
How was Making It developed?
Making It is the product of experiences I’ve had in love, and that I’ve seen others have, and putting little snapshot scenes into one love story between two people. Whether it was watching my grandparents eat dinner together, or overhearing couples on the subway, I tried to take the most honest portrayals of love I could find and instill them in my characters Him and Her.
Why did you feel you had to write this particular book?
Honestly, I was pretty tired of reading Harlequin cheese fest romances, so I think I felt I needed to write something that I would want to read too. I wanted to give people an honest portrayal of love, which proved to be more difficult than I thought!
What was the hardest part in writing this book?
Am I allowed to say ending it? I think that was the hardest part, as I loved my characters and wanted to give people more. But, I do think it ended well, and exactly where it needed to… (I didn’t say there wouldn’t be a sequel though!!)
What do you want readers to take from Making It?
I want readers to take away that making it in love is all about the little moments. It’s not about the size of the diamond as much as it’s about the little texts throughout the day, the knowing how he/she takes her coffee…the seemingly insignificant things that aren’t so insignificant after all.
What 4 tips would you give a person wanting to writing their memoir?
First: write everything. Write your inner monologue when you’re sitting at the doctor’s office for an hour waiting to go in, write what happened when you had your first kiss, write what happened when you had your last one. They all have value in different ways.
Second: live your life, don’t just write. In order to have (good) things to write about, we must fill our internal creative well constantly with new experiences and memories, or else that well will dry out.
Third: edit, edit, edit. When you think you’re done editing, edit again. When you’re done that, get someone else to edit it. Repeat.
Fourth: Don’t be shy in getting people to read your drafts!! This was one of my biggest issues, but as soon as I started allowing people to give me feedback, my writing improved tremendously.
Who is Amanda Gibbs?
Amanda Gibbs is… A dreamer, a secret (not so secret now) romantic, and an advocate for mental illness and LGBTQ rights. I’m an animal lover, a book lover, and a lover of meeting new people. Travelling is a huge passion of mine, as well as photography. I am someone who is not defined by my orientation or labels, but by my character as a human being. My goal in life is to leave the world in a better place than when I found it.
Do you believe it is important for writers to also be avid readers?
I think if you want to distinguish yourself between a writer, and a great writer, reading is a must. That’s like a doctor trying to be a surgeon without watching how other surgeons work (or something like that haha).
Finding inspiration in other people’s work also allows you to find your own style, what you like, and what you don’t, which is invaluable. Learning from others and being inspired by them, especially in writing, is often how the most successful works are born.
What has been your biggest challenge/achievement as an author?
My biggest challenge has definitely been myself. I’m my own biggest critic, and definitely a type A perfectionist, so getting myself to hit that publish button took a long time. I eventually got to the point though when I knew I had done my absolute best, and put my all into my work, and my best had to be good enough. My biggest achievement, I think, is creating something that makes me truly proud, and Making It does.
What new project (s) are in the works for you?
Right now, I’m working on a book called Taxi Drivers Of Toronto, it’s similar to Humans Of New York, but is focused on taxi drivers in my city and is a more in depth look at their lives. I’m also working on Making It…from His point of view ☺
Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/authoramandagibbs , on instagram and twitter at @mandaellengibbs, on my website at http://www.amandagibbs.com , and on my Goodreads page (search Amanda Gibbs)! I love hearing from readers, so give me a shout whenever!
Author website: www.amandagibbs.com
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoramandagibbs
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13798681.Amanda_Gibbs
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandaellengibbs
Author Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BpHth6
About The Book
Making It, Amanda Gibbs’ debut short story, invites readers into the most intimate and personal moments of a couple’s life spanning throughout decades. The story is told through prose, poetry, dialogue, lists, and focused vignettes, all with Amanda’s signature concrete voice. Each entry of Making It represents a day in a year of the couple’s relationship, spanning from first meeting to 30th anniversary.