Amber D. Tran is an author whose debut novel Moon River hit Amazon and bookstores last September. I had the privilege of speaking to Mrs. Tran about her writings, inspiration, upcoming novels, and a whole host of other questions. She has a fascinating story and great insight. Check out our interview below. Her answers are in bold.
This is an odd start, but my readers love to know, where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hundred, West Virginia. It is a small town located in northern West Virginia. The closest Walmart is over thirty miles in any direction.
When did you become inspired to write?
When I was in the 5th grade. Our homework assignment was writing our own mystery short story. Mine unexpectedly turned into a novella, and I’ve been in love with writing ever since.
Many writers say they have a book or short story they wrote that will never be published, but hold it dear. Do you have one like that?
Oh, yes. My pocket novel is Steal My Existence Away. It is a science fiction tale inspired by mine and a group of friends’ younger days of role-playing online. My two favorite characters, Haven and Soare, are a part of Steal My Existence Away.
Do you prefer to listen to music when you write or peace and quiet?
I prefer to listen to music. Music from my childhood is especially helpful.
Who are some of your influences?
Jo Ann Beard, Kelly Braffet, Kerry Cohen, and Amanda Boyden.
Moon River is your debut novel. Tell us a little bit about it.
It is considered a coming-of-age tale of fiction inspired by true events. You get to follow the childhoods of Abigail and Ryan as they grow up together in northern West Virginia.
Are the characters inspired by actual people?
Yup. Moon River is inspired by real events in my life.
Are some of the events in the novel based on your own life?
You guessed it! All of the events depicted in Moon River are driven from real-life occurrences.
How long did it take you to write Moon River?
From the first time I sat down to write, to holding a physical copy of my debut novel, it took about four years.
Are you planning a sequel?
Oh, no. Moon River is very special to me. It deserves to stand on its own. I have given it some thought, of course, but I doubt I will ever find the right material with which to follow-up.
If Moon River became a film, who would direct it?
Hmm. To be honest, I have no idea. I am one of the rare types of writers that have not considered the possibility of my book becoming a movie. If I had to choose, however, perhaps Catherine Hardwicke would do a lovely job.
What is the one thing you want readers to gather from the story?
I want my readers to understand that it is okay to be different. It is also okay to seek help when you are lost.
How has your craft developed over time? Do you think your style has changed?
My craft is more advanced than it was a few years ago. I use fewer words in my writing but still pack quite a punch. My style has become more lyrical, which is prominent in both my poetry and craft essays.
When you began writing, who encouraged you the most to keep moving forward with your debut novel?
Two people really stand out to me as those who encouraged me the most: my husband, Eric, and my friend, Kassie. My husband watched my spiral into depression as I wrote Moon River and struggled finding a publisher. Kassie, on the other hand, is the sole reason why I wrote Moon River in the first place. She asked for a book about her cousin, and I delivered. It has been quite the journey with those two.
One final question, what’re some other projects coming down the road from you?
I’m currently working on my second novel. It is unrelated to Moon River. I’m consistently spitting out poems, short stories, and essays for publication in literary journals and magazines. My role as the Editor-in-Chief for the Cold Creek Review literary journal has become a blessing, and I’m eager to have a print copy of my literary journal within the next few months or so. A lot down the road from me! Do not be surprised if I happen to release a second book before the year is over.
That concluded our interview. Amber D. Tran is a talented writer and I look forward to reading her future works. Be sure to visit her website and on social media.
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