Women's Empowerment Month Collection: Amanda Porter
Amanda Porter is the sweetest, most adorable mother, and great author. She's also always looking out for her fellow writers. I was glad she could fit me into her busy schedule.
Kaylyn Gabbert: So we met in a writer's group online. How long have you been writing?
Amanda Porter: I feel like I've been writing forever, but I've been published since 2012. My earliest memories of writing my stories down was using my school notebooks in middle school for my stories.
KG: I also know you're a very active mom, so do your kids also help with your stories?
AP: I write a lot of YA, and they are toddlers, so I don't read a lot to them. When I read a passage my oldest  was like, "Wow Mommy, that's a great story!" and that's the greatest praise I can get.
KG: Or how do you keep them occupied when a deadline is coming up?
AP: I'm still trying to figure that out depending on how they feel. It's important that we handle things based on how they're feeling, so sometimes I lose sleep to get my work done. I'm actually really lucky that my husband, parents, and friends noticed when I was getting tired and not acting like myself during 2020. I thought I was doing well, but we couldn't do daycare, and I was getting overwhelmed. They did what they could to help me understand I needed to take care of myself first and foremost. … I don't know where that came from…
KG: I tend to have that effect on people because I am very passionate about mental health.
AP: That makes sense. So to everyone, take care of your mental health.
KG: Before we continue with the interview, if you ever want to write about mental health or another sensitive topic, I can get you in touch with someone who would love to help. Just remind me.
AP: Sounds good.
KG: We've also spoken about putting more culture into your stories. It's been a while since we talked about that, so have you used cultural stories you heard growing up in some of your books?
AP: I put some stories I heard as a kid, and some I made up. My mom is white and my dad is Mexican and Apache. We had this perfect mix of southern and Mexican culture. I don't know if you've seen Selena, but her dad says, 'You have to be white enough for the white people and Mexican enough for the Mexican people.' I've reached out to Native Americans I know for help in the series I'm working on now. I wanted to make sure I did it in a respectful way as I learn to reclaim what's in my DNA.
To see Amanda's group and work check out her group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421756684770187/