Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Amanda Crum

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.


Amanda Crum

is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in publications such as Eastern Iowa Review, Barren Magazine, and Corvid Queen, as well as in several anthologies such as Beyond The Hill and Two Eyes Open. In 2019, her short story “A Shimmer In The Parlor” was a finalist for the J.F. Powers Award for Short Fiction; her book of horror poetry, Tall Grass, made the shortlist for a Bram Stoker Award nomination the same year. She is also a nominee for the Best of the Net Award and the Pushcart Prize. Amanda currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and two children.


The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry since I was very young. I grew up in a trailer park and I used to take a notebook on walks around the neighborhood and make up little haikus and songs about what I saw. It was such a great way to stretch my imagination and to learn more about the way the world works.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I honestly don’t remember! I always loved to read as a kid, though, and I fell in love with language at a very early age.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I never thought about it until I was in my 30s and started focusing on my writing as something that could be published. I would scour the internet reading everything I could find, gathering inspiration and educating myself about those who had come before me. It was intimidating, to say the least, and at first I felt silly for even trying in a field where so much greatness had already been established. But writing is such a part of me that I knew I had to push forward and honor the ones who paved the way.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I have two kids and work a full-time day job, so nighttime is my writing time. I stay up into the wee hours working on whatever project I have going, because that’s the only time the house is quiet enough.

5. What motivates you to write?

I wish I knew where that compulsion came from. It’s always been there, as long as my memory runs back. The feeling of being inspired and then being able to pull the right words from the atmosphere is such a high.

6. What is your work ethic?

I’m an extremely hard worker, to the point that I have to make myself slow down a bit every now and then. When it comes to writing, I always have four or five projects or ideas I’m working on at a time, and even when it’s stressful, I’m at my happiest when I have a lot on my plate.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

I was always an old soul, even when I was very young, so I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and when I was a little older I discovered Stephen King. Those styles of writing–the old fashioned, language-heavy, noir tales and the character-driven horror–merged to create my own style.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

Carol Goodman writes haunting, lovely tales of murder and secrets and loss. Her use of language is so beautiful it makes me cry. Alix E. Harrow, a fellow Kentuckian, is my new favorite. I just finished The Ten Thousand Doors Of January and it seemed to complete me in a way that few books ever have.

9. Why do you write?

I write because I have to. There isn’t a choice. If I don’t write, I lose a part of myself.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Read. Every day. Read books, newspapers, magazines. Read children’s books and young adult books and fantasy and horror. Read non-fiction. You cannot be a writer if you don’t read.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

Right now I’m editing my middle-grade fiction book about an Appalachian girl with magical talents, and I’m also working on a horror tale that I think might morph from a short story to a full-length novel. I have an idea brewing for a futuristic western, too. I’m all over the map!

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