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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Those People Aren't My Family

You may or may not have read the fun piece by Strawberry Saroyan in the New York Times Magazine today. (If you haven't, and you'd like to, here's a link: Amanda Hocking, Storyseller.) I thought it was a very nice piece, and Strawberry was super cool to hang out with and talk to.

The interview was actually very serendipitous. An editor from the NY Times emailed me about doing a story on me sometime in February (after I posted the blog on the amazing William Fichtner, because he talked about Fichtner in the emails). Eventually, Strawberry called me, and we set up a time to meet. She just happened to pick March 24th, which just happened to be the day St. Martin's Press announced the book deal for the Watersong series. I had no idea those two events would occur on the same day, but they did.

The one bad thing about it is that both events happened on Eric's birthday (March 24th), which made me feel really guilty because I pretty much hijacked his birthday, since the day ended up being quite a few phone calls and press about the book deal. And I still feel bad about that. Sorry for stealing your birthday, Eric.

If you read the NY Times, you may have noticed the picture of me that accompanied it. In case you missed it, here's the pic:



(Side note: The guy who took the picture - Ben Innes - is the first person to photograph me using an actual camera that uses real film instead of digital. Also, he told me this great joke: What do you call a wharf next to a pier? A paradox. Get? Cause they're a pair of docks? Anyway. It's a great joke, and he was a nice guy.)

Anyway. Back to the picture. I don't know how many have you noticed something odd about the picture. But check out the picture frames in the picture:



Yep. Those people aren't my family. They are the pictures that came with the frame. In fact, two of the frames have the same picture, and two of them are upside down.

There's a reason for this. I put them up the day before the pictures were taken. Strawberry interviewed me way back in March, but Ben took the picture a few weeks ago, and I haven't lived in my house that long. So I hadn't finished putting things up and decorating.

But I knew people were coming to take the picture, and the music room is like the coolest looking room in the house, so I wanted to have it semi-finished. (The music room is where the picture was taken. It has a piano in it and a giant picture of the Beatles. Hence the name).

For some reason, I assumed that the frames wouldn't really be in the picture so you wouldn't be able to tell that there's random strangers in them. But then if the frames wouldn't really be in the picture, then why did I hang them? I don't know. I didn't really think it through, I guess.

Also - here's something my mom wanted me to clarify. Well, she didn't want me to clarify, but she was upset by it. In the article, it says this:


My mom doesn't think I'm better than anyone. She loves me a lot and thinks I'm neat, but she doesn't think anyone is better than anyone else. Honest. If she ever thought I was acting like I was better than anyone else or that I even thought it, she would smack me upside the head. Literally.

So. That's that.

54 comments:

  1. Hey Amanda, my lover and I had a purple room too. We moved into our apartment many years ago (not together any more0 and the room was purple and we loved it. Stayed that way while we lived there.
    I didn't take what your mom said seriously. She must be over the moon with you and everything.

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  2. Everybody's mom should think they're better than anybody else. My problem was that my mom thought my brother was better than anybody else. :o) Tell your mom it's OK. How many other kids does she know who are millionaires?

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  3. Congratulations on your success! I just read the NY Times piece. What an amazing story and good exposure. I'll be sure to read your work.

    Sincerely,
    Amanda, a fellow writer

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  4. Lol....love the pictures on the wall...lol...You are too flipping funny!!!:-)

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  5. Too cute! As a mom, I think I know what your mom meant. I doubt anyone took offense. :-D And I thought the NYT article was quite good. It shone a very flattering light on all of you.

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  6. Um, your mom's quote was adorable. ADORABLE. Your mom is great and everyone should have a mom like that. Okay, so in the abstract, no one is inherently better than anyone else but in the concrete, my kid is the world's best kid and you are really lucky to have a mom who feels that way, too.

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  7. I enjoyed the NYT story and thought the photo of you was pretty cool. But when I looked closer, I noticed the frames thing and was trying to figure out if there was some sort of theme/message that I just wasn't getting.

    One quick Google search later--and here you are, explaining. Thanks! Congratulations on your success! Your room looks awesome and your mom need not worry ;)

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  8. Nice photo. I never noticed until you said something and then I looked closer and was thought they sure are upside down. I like that your mom wanted to clarify, she sounds like a great mom. And the purple wall is cool, not afraid of color on the walls...nice.

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  9. You are the most inspiring person. I feel like you have special powers that draws people to you! Works in your favor that's for sure! As long as your writing, I'm reading!!

    http://JessieMariem.blogspot.com

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  10. You are such a silly girl! ADORABLE! I love the fact that you left the pictures that came with the frame. TOO FREAKIN' FUNNY!!!

    Preludetoredemption.blogspot.com

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  11. You crack me up! I would have never noticed the pictures if you hadn't pointed them out. But, the room is totally cool and so is your mom for being so down to earth.

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  12. Ha ha I love that with the pictures. I understand what you're mom was saying, she just thinks her kid is great. Fun story!

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  13. That's hillarious about the frames! I leave the fake photos in frames forever. In fact, my husband hates it, and has even started pointing out and naming the fake people when we have visitors.

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  14. I think I choked on an M&M reading about the picture frames. That is too freaking funny, and I only wish I had done something like that years ago, just to see if anyone ever noticed...

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  15. Congratulations, Amanda. The article was good and it is nice to see someone who knows what she wants and stays there.

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  16. Amanda- I'd been reading your sees on friend's ebook reader. Now I have copies of my own and am thrilled that you hve a book deal. It may seem like an odd combination (or not) but I also work as a volunteer with homeless women and read books aloud. So far, yours are favorites so I have to ask.....will there be audio editions or even large print editions? Sure hope you will consider asking for those as it is SO hard to find both types of books for the visually challenged or those who need to hear books read aloud.

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  17. Congratulations! What a wonderful article. Your mom *should* be proud of you. Keep up the good work and never stop being yourself.

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  18. Oh, isn't it great to have relatives there in case they literally need to knock some sense into you?

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  19. Aww that's too cute, both the pics and your mum (sorry Mom).

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  20. lol! Cute picture frames though :)

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  21. I don't think there's anything wrong with what your mom said. All moms should think their kids are the best!

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  22. Oh Amanda. I tried to read this, I really did, but as a professional photographer, all I could see were those itty-bitty-tensely frames on that big focal point wall. Can I just be so bold as to give you completely unrelated to your post, and terribly unsolicited advice? Thanks, I knew you wouldn't mind, because your awesome.
    Please, for the love of all things design related, gets some wall-sized frames. ;) I'm thinking a series of (3) 16x30 chunky frames with some cool black and white images in them.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Just know I'm here the next time you want more advice that has nothing to do with anything. ;)

    I am cracking up though that you hung the frames like that. My best friend has frames she got from her wedding over 11 years ago, and it still has the image that came with the frame displayed.

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  23. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Magical Blog Award for all the hard work you do! It has a unicorn on it and I thought you'd like that.

    I invite you to follow me since we have a lot in common, but no pressure. I’m not giving you the award just so you will follow me. You really do deserve it!
    Take care:-)

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  24. Thanks for sharing, Amanda! You're an inspiration to so many. Keep up the great work! :-)

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  25. I read this article over the weekend, and thought it was pretty great, so I put it on my Facebook page.

    One of my friends immediately went off to buy your stuff on Amazon. So I’m guessing this will probably result in a nice sales spike for you (not just from my friend, but in general).

    Note to self: Find a way to get profiled in the New York Times…

    My Zombie Novel: Mercy

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  26. I loved the article and your picture and the color of the walls. My favorite thing about the article, however, was this passage:

    “My whole life I would always read things like I write — lighter young-adult stuff. But I would also read stuff that was darker, like Kurt Vonnegut and Chuck Palahniuk, and that was the kind of stuff I would try to write. Because I was like, these books are good” — worthy, highbrow, of artistic value.

    One day, Goldman intervened. “He just said: ‘These books you’re writing are not you. You’re forcing yourself. That’s not who you are. You’re a silly, fun person who likes silly, fun things. Stop trying to be a dark person.’ ” She paused. “I told him: ‘No, you’re an idiot. Those books are crap.’ ”

    But she took his advice and started writing stuff that resonated more personally. She summed up the difference between her books and the likes of Vonnegut thus: “Theirs are not actually character-driven, they’re not books about people. People are just used to explain an idea. And my books are about people — who might happen to have ideas.”

    I'm just so happy you wrote that because I see so many manuscripts that are exactly what you were doing before dawn broke over Marblehead. Congratulations not only for being silly, fun, and talented and not only for pursuing your dream, but for being the kind of person who has the kind of friend you have in Eric Goldman.

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  27. That story about the picture frames is hilarious. Love that both you and your Mom are so humble, and Eric sounds like a great best friend. I read the article in The New York Times earlier and really enjoyed it. Congratulations on all your success!

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  28. I read the NYT piece and was impressed, so I had my 14-year-old daughter read it aloud, and I even blogged on it: Shocking Hocking: A Young Adult Story.

    My daughter now wants to read your books. Congratulations on your success. May it continue.

    Oh, and I also liked the paradox joke, partly because I discovered another joke within a pun:

    "What do you call a wharf next to a pier?"

    "A wharf next to appear? Is this a trick question?"

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

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  29. I just read your the NYTimes article about you. I found it very inspirational. Congrats on your success and keep up the great work!

    Andrea Kendrick

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  30. Hi Amanda, congrats on all of your success! I did have a question though. You've said you've gone to college twice and didn't finish. Now that you've had all this success and the financial rewards that come with it, do you think finishing school might be a possibility for you in the future?

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  31. Congratulations on the great press. Keep up the terrific work.

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  32. Gorgeous wall color.

    I had a silver room when I was a teen. Lot's a fun.

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  33. Well In very happy with your trylle books. I Finish it very quickly, but was because i couldn't get my eyes of from the book. In Inspire by your way of writing. My formal language is Spanish and i feel like your writing have given me the "power " to do more. I HATE reading English, but your books have show me how fun is to read from others authors in the original language. Thanks HOPE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR SUCCESSES AND IMAGINATION... 2 WEEKS READING YOUR BOOKS, NOW TO START "MY BLOOD APPROVES" SERIES TO FINISH ALL OF YOUR BOOKS!!!!

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  34. I just wanted to say happy birthday to your friend Eric. Amanda, with your success it is going to be easy to overlook things like this but please try to remember how important people like Eric are in your life. At the end of our lives, whenever this may come, that is all that is going to matter. Not how many books you sell, or how many stories you write.

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  35. I just read Hollowland and it was amazing! Love your writing style. Would love to team up with you on a graphic novel or some sort of comic series. Hit me up.

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  36. Honestly I didn't notice the pics in the frame. I was too in awe of the wall color. Love it! I love the black, pink and gray accents as well.

    Now off to read the article.

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  37. That music room sounds really awesome. Also, I love William Fichtner.

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  38. Amanda please i beg you, please i am on my knees, can you do a post on how you handle bad reviews, please just received one and i'm not really sure what his intentions were. please, please, please, Amanda.

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  39. Am I the only one that comes by to read these posts and feed the fish? And sometimes just to feed the fish. Had to add them to my own site :)

    indieebooks.blogspot.com

    OK Amanda you can feel safe that your non-family photos are trumped by my virtual fish fetish. I will go now. (maybe just a few more quick clicks for the fish)

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  40. Amanda, stop apologising.

    You ARE better than most of us - statistically - and that's AWESOME! How the heck can anyone aspire to be better at anything if there IS no 'better'. You're better. Celebrate it.

    You being better doesn't bug me in the least. Anyone who rises through the ranks to be applauded by the mass media for their accomplishments raises the profile of indie authors. I know you're not one any more, but that's how you became successful. You bring credibility. That's a huge gift to ALL of us. I hope I'll do the same, and I hope others will too. I applaud you. NEVER apologise for being brilliant. x

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  41. I love your books, and please keep writing :). I read Trylle Trilogy(AMAZING). Just got Done reading My Blood Approves,And can't wait to start reading Fate.
    Even though I haven't started the second book; I love the idea of Jack being with Alice. I heard your adding a 5th book (so excited:) I'm a huge fan and can't wait to read more of your books. Your an amazing author. Please write more series. :)

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  42. Virtual high five for having purple walls!

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  43. There's nothing wrong with not being fully settled in a brand new house. Besides, your life has been blowing up so much lately I have no idea how I would stay on top of anything in your situation.

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  44. That's always downside of being a great writer the kind of scrutiny ur family is put under. This is why I go with a pen name. But yeah it's almost criminal what these people jazz up in their articles. My family is very proud of me but i would never want to put them under such things. I can feel ur pain. But either way I love the color of the walls what shade is it anyway lavender? I have been thinking about re-painting my room and that particular shade looks nice.

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  45. This post really made me smile because I could so totally relate with the upside down picture frames and photos of strangers. I had a similar experience years ago when we'd just moved into a new apartment. It was very bare bones. A reporter & photographer were due & I panicked because I had nothing on the walls. Not so good for an artist. :-o So while I spiffed up the place, my helpful husband quickly tacked up the new frames I'd purchased earlier that day--some sideways, some upside down and most still displaying strangers. I never even noticed & was mortified when I saw the photo of those frames behind me in the newspaper. But it's become one of my favorite shots because of the story. Hope yours will be too.

    I've read a couple of your books Amanda and really enjoyed them. Big congrats on all your good news, and very best wishes for continued success & happiness! :D

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  46. .


    Adorei a sua força e a sua coragem.

    Beijos,

    silvioafonso








    .

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  47. You haven't posted a new blog in forever! When will you be back? Is something major happening that's making you busier than normal?

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  48. Now THAT is a funny tale. I am so amused. :)

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  49. Absolutely fantastic!
    Congratulations on your success! :)

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  50. Oh, man! I'm really jonesing a new blog post over here... :)



    By the way, Silvioafonso (4 comments above) said: I loved your strength and courage.

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  51. I think it's absolutely hilarious about the picture frames. It's kind of like trying to find Alfred Hitchcock in his movies, or playing doing one of these games where they have two pictures that look identical but one has items changed in it. Whether intentional or not (and it sounds like it wasn't) I think it's pretty cool!

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  52. I know you can't possibly have time to e-mail me back...but I just wanted to say again that your work (AND you're on wikipedia!) is so inspiring to upcoming writers, aspiring writers, those who agents and pubs ignore--so you got your own work out there. Then they came calling to YOU. Please just send some positive aura and vibes my way, that's all I ask.

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