Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Amanda Faith, Strength of Spirit

AUTHOR: Amanda Faith
BOOK TITLE: Strength of Spirit
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Please tell us about yourself? 
Amanda Faith was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, but has lived in the South since 1980. Teaching high school and college English doesn't slow her down from having a plethora of hobbies. Published credits include a short story, poetry, several journal articles, and her dissertation, as well as her current novella. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Masters in Education-English, and a Doctorate in Education-Teacher Leadership. Currently living with 
her husband, three cats, and one dog.

Tell us your latest news? 
I have finished a rough draft of the second book in this series. Now I have to edit it.

When and why did you begin writing? 
I have always written. I remember entering my first writing contest in the 6th grade. The name of my story was Tallahassee. It was about a horse looking for parents to love her. Although I didn’t win the contest, I loved the process. I think this is when I first considered myself  writer.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
That the government does a lot more than the general public is aware of and that ghosts are real.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?) 
Yes and no. I am a paranormal investigator. I have encountered incidents that could be debunked and others that demonstrated the existence of the paranormal.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
There are so many. I loved the Nancy Drew series. Alice in Wonderland is my favorite.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
I don’t think I really have just one. There are so many writers I have learned from.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it? 
I am currently reading A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin. It’s long, but I like how he develops his characters.

What are your current projects? 
I have a rough sketch of book three of my series and a working short story. I am also writing a nonfiction book about being a teacher and what goes on beyond what the public sees.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
Writing was an outlet for me. I liked creating worlds and situations that removed me from my reality for a short time.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
Edits are part of the process, but the least fun.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it? 
Sure, I have problems. When I do, I tend to step away from the computer and go outside. Moving around motivates me.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? 
I have a lot of other hobbies and I have to work. Some of my hobbies include amateur radio, diving, bicycling, reading, and spending time with my husband.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t really have just one, but I do love Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moestra, Jim Butcher, and Richard Castle.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
Getting to “the end.”

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 
I felt so accomplished. I learned that I could do it, so I intend to keep going.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  
Read, read, read. Then write, write write.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
I really hope they enjoy Strength of Spirit and to spread the word.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention? 
I work at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA every year as a Staff Writer. I hope I can be on one of the panels this year, too. I plan on promoting while I am there.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? 
MuseItUp Publishing. I connected with them through Facebook with Gloria Oren. She directed me to submit there.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links. The best way to find me is From there, there are multiple ways to follow me.

What a cool job.
Up until a few hours ago, I never knew a job like Wren’s existed. Now I discover his type of occupation has been around for at least a century. Goes to prove the government does all kinds of things we normal people don’t know about.
Like I would know what normal was. Yeah, right.
I learned about his training and his testing. He had been targeted at a young age. and under consideration for the job from early in his life. It seems those intelligence tests we took in school are more than just information for the school system. The government wants to see who is “above the norm.” Wren proved himself to be extremely intelligent, physically fit, and had psychic abilities.
Apparently, he remained unaware how much ability he possessed, or he would not have been able to fend off his recent attack the way he did. It seemed his natural abilities took over.
I probed him, gently and in sections. I didn’t want to create more chaos within his head than was already there. His psyche needed healing. This was where my witchy talents came in. It took a little time, but at least I managed to bandage him up, so to speak. I learned more about the current case he was working on.
His latest mission centered on Michael York a businessman always in the papers for one kind of philanthropic work at a hospital, or library, or something. He appeared to be the pillar of the community with more money than any three deities. Not married or having any children, he seemed devoted to his business. Little did anyone know his main source of income were drugs and weapons. He kept that hidden pretty well. At least he thought he did until Wren and his guys entered the picture. It was strictly a fluke the whole operation was discovered at all.
Wren learned how Michael York employed his own supernatural help.
Ghosts can go where they want, when they want to. Somehow, York had a medium enslave a spirit. This achievement meant the medium possessed a spell or icon powerful enough to hold the ghost in thrall. Using the spirit to gather information was too precious a commodity for York to ever release the spirit. The entity sold his soul, so to speak, to York, and couldn’t get out of the bargain.
If a ghost sold his soul, who collected and where did it go?
Better yet, how do you store one of those things?
There was a danger in trying to confine a soul. A spirit would only tolerate so much; then it gets even. If a spirit isn’t free to move on, the spirit will eventually possess the person who trapped them. Theoretically, the controlee becomes the controller. Possession had to be agony for both. Once the possession happened, one soul would not be complete without the other for as long as the human body could stand hosting them. I understood that. No one could control me when I was alive. I would get even in the end if someone tried to control me now I’m dead.
What amazed me was how the spirits communicated with each other. At least it won’t be a lonely life once this situation with Big Burly was sorted. It explained where the voices were coming from. I can hear anyone—anything—close, it would seem. Maybe part of this ability came from being psychic. It’s all so new and not like I’ve had a lot of time to explore this new aspect of my existence. Wren didn’t appear to have any more useful information. He understood ghosts to a degree and how to summon one, but he didn’t have long conversations with one to learn about the inner workings of the spirit realm. He was strictly the hit man.
Apparently, Wren got caught going back to house of Michael York’s medium. Big Burly roughed him up, but Wren managed to escape. The whole thing became evident to me as I realized something.
They let him go.
Wren possessed an item Michael York wanted; a charm of some sort. The talisman was extremely important. York wanted it back. It was worth killing over. Now Wren held the item, he’d hidden it. The importance of the charm wasn’t immediately obvious and I didn’t want to probe deeply since Wren was pretty banged up.
I let go. Wren came back into focus. The link worked both ways, and now he understood me a little better.
“Velvet, I’ll see what new information I can find out about the amulet and about Michael York for you. Thanks.”
Wren went into the other room and made a few phone calls. It didn’t matter who overheard what anymore. The cards were all laid out on the table, so to speak.
Nia watched our communication transpire. Even though my probing only took a few minutes, watching it happen to someone you love must have seemed kind of freaky.
“Velvet, is he going to be alright?”
“Yeah, Momma. He is going to be just fine.” I filled Momma in on what I had learned while she sat there, so quiet and subdued.
Wren came back into the room. “I left messages with some people who can help. I need to go stake out York’s home to see if I can discover anything. I can’t waste time sitting here.”
Nia jumped up. “No. You need time to heal. You’re only going to make matters worse.”
Wren took her into his arms and held her close, kissing the top of her head. My heart warmed knowing Momma will be loved when I leave here. After a few minutes, he released her.
“I have to, Nia. You know that I have to.” Without another word, he left.


  1. Very good excerpt, Amanda. The book sounds good too. Best of luck with sales and marketing.

    Hi, Penny!

  2. Read the book when it came out. It's awesome. Great interview. Can't wait for more in the series.