5 Questions With: Rock Springs Native and Author Amanda Rawson Hill


In this edition of 5 Questions With… we interviewed Rock Springs Native and author Amanda Rawson Hill. Amanda is a writer of fiction and just published her first book THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC, an emotionally resonant middle-grade novel.

What does it mean to you to be able to come back home (Rock Springs) for a book signing?

Everything! It feels very much like coming full circle. I wrote my first book for the Young Author’s program at Westridge Elementary. I learned to love reading at the White Mountain library. Miss Vicki there is one of my biggest childhood memories. I learned to think and iterate my own opinions in Speech and Debate with Ms. Moran (now Ms. Gamble) and how to think more deeply about literature from Ms. Jasper. Rock Springs is inextricably intertwined with my entire reading and writing life. The only thing that could make it better is if Ms. Vincent was still around. I always dreamed of handing her a copy of my book and she was really looking forward to its publication.

For those who are unfamiliar with your work, what genre of books do you write?

I write what’s known as Middle-Grade literature, children’s novels for kids 8-12. Within that age range, I focus on heartfelt realistic fiction. That means I like to make you cry but feel like everything will be ok by the end of the book.

Who are your favorite authors who have inspired your style of writing?

Definitely Kate DiCamillo. If I could write anything half as beautiful as THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX or BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE, I’d die of happiness. I really try to have a warm, lyrical voice like hers. I love the experimentation of Katherine Applegate. I also love the bravery of Suzanne LaFleur and Lynda Mullaly Hunt who aren’t afraid to tackle these big, hard topics in their books.

Where do you get your ideas?

You know, it’s different every time. THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC was originally inspired by my kids’ imaginary friends. I’ve drawn inspiration by things my family is going through. But sometimes I’ve also had stories just start as a picture in my head. More important than the initial idea, is following it to see where it leads.

What advice would you give to an up and coming author, or to someone who is interested in writing their own book?

Anyone can be a writer. Anyone! You don’t have to be naturally talented or one of these people who has wanted to be an author ever since you were a child. I wasn’t one of those people. You don’t have to take expensive classes or get an MFA. If you’re serious about this, the two most important things you can do are read and write. Read a lot in the genre you want to write. Read a lot of books published within the last two years. Study as you read. What is it that makes me want to keep reading? See when the plot twists come. Examine what kind of characters pull you in. And then, write on a regular basis and keep writing. Every day or almost every day. You can only get better if you practice. That book will only become a real thing if you get it out of your head and onto the page. Read. Write. Repeat.

Amanda, will return to the Cowboy State for a book signing on October 12th beginning at 4 p.m. at Sidekicks Bookbar. The event will include a reading, discussion, and signing.