TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has the distinct pleasure of introducing author Amanda Kyle Williams to all of our readers. Mysteries are the mainstay of our magazine, and Amanda has struck gold in the release of her first book in her Keye Street series through Random House/ Bantam Books.
TAEM- Amanda, before becoming a writer tell us about some of the unrelated positions that you held in the past before seeking your career in writing.
AKW- Thank you for that kind introduction. I’ve watched your magazine grow with a great deal of pleasure. I love the stories and interviews. So thanks for having me. Okay, jobs. Hmm. So many jobs over the years (laughing). Might be easier to think of a job I didn’t have, like flying commercial airliners or something. Though, I did spend a summer learning about ultralights and traveling to air shows with an old guy who built them when I was in my twenties. I did a lot of things to keep the lights on while I was figuring out where I wanted to be as a writer and what I wanted to write. I think this is true of a lot of writers or artists who need to earn a living while they’re waiting for their dream. We’re not looking for a career. We just want to pay the rent. Writing, being a full-time writer – that was my dream. Some jobs ended up informing my writing in unexpected ways. I worked as a courier and learned Atlanta inside-out. It allowed me to bring this city to life in my writing. And it gave me an excuse to talk about a region I’m passionate about. The American South is about the prettiest place in the world, by my way of thinking. There’s something gentle about the south, about the soft air here, the sensibility. It makes it seem all the more cruel when it turns on you. And it will turn on you. But I love it here, and I wanted readers to get a sense of the real south, warts and all. I worked as a process server, which gave me an opportunity to spend time in the courthouses, use creative ways to get a subpoena in the hands of someone that doesn’t want to be served. The company that employed me had a private investigating branch which was enormously helpful when I developed this character, Keye Street, a former FBI criminal investigative analyst turned private detective. I’m writing fiction around a lot of my own experience, which is fun and, I think, lends some authenticity. (more…)