By Your Side

Amanda Headlee Brings Death to the Middle of Eternity

Amanda Headlee and I met several years ago as co-workers.  We became friends quickly and Amanda volunteered to be a beta reader for my first paranormal mystery novel, Testing the Prisoner--and just about everything I've written since.  At about that same time, she let me beta-read her short story-in-progress called "Parallax", also in the paranormal genre.  I loved it!  Over time, Amanda developed it further and I am proud to include it in our upcoming anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

The book will contain 13 fantastic tales of science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal written by eight authors and edited by yours truly.   Each story will be accompanied by a black and white illustration provided by phenomenal artist Mike Riehl, who also created our gorgeous cover.

Amanda will be one of the authors joining us at Shore Leave where we will launch the anthology during the Friday evening Meet the Pros party.  It will then be available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N.com, Smashwords, and just about every online bookseller.

Let's find out a bit more about this lovely and talented writer...


Mandy



Most writers have at least one established author who inspired them.  Would you share with us some of the authors who influenced you?

H.P Lovecraft has inspired me the most out of all horror authors out there.  He took the weird and placed it into a context where it is truly frightening.  Not from the fact that these weird or supernatural creatures cause an adverse affect on humanity, but from the point of view that these creatures, they themselves are not the weird.  To them, humanity is the weird and strange.  I find it absolutely horrific that from the eyes of the human-perceived monster, the humans are the actual monsters.



How did you become involved with The Sarcastic Muse writers blog?

Ah, that is an interesting story!  In 2009, I moved from eastern Pennsylvania to Nashville, TN.  While in Nashville, I suffered creatively and I think it was because I had no physical writer friends to connect with at the time.  I attempted to attend some writers groups, but honestly, my choice of genre was very shunned with those groups.  So, I was pretty disheartened and stopped writing.

Later in 2010, I moved to Clarksville, TN, which is about an hour north of Nashville.  I began to grow restless with myself from the lack of having creative interaction with others, so I took a chance and joined a writing group at the local Boarders.  During my first meeting, I met Kirsten Blacketer.  Ironically enough, she and I attended Kutztown University together in 2003-2004.   We both did not connect as friends at KU, however we were in a few classes together and we remember seeing each other from there.  That night I also met Robyn LaRue.  The three of us became fast friends, and surprisingly they both rather enjoyed my macabre mind.  I finally felt like I belonged somewhere.

Sadly, the days of this writer’s group only lasted a little over a year.  Kirsten and her family ended up moving to Wyoming, Robyn moved to Texas, and for the time being I was still stuck in Tennessee.  Since the three of us had a substantial amount of stories that we were trying to get published, Robyn was the one who reached out to Kirsten and I to suggest we create a blog to get ourselves out there in the writing world.  And so The Sarcastic Muse was born.

We came up with the idea to have a collaborative blog geared more to the writing process because each of us, along with two other authors who were later on boarded, all brought special knowledge and a unique outlook to writing:  Robyn writes in several different genres, Kirsten is all about the romance, Michelle Mueller is into fantasy / sci-fi, Jen Bradlee pens erotica, and I just like to give people nightmares.



For our anthology, you penned a chilling tale of a man haunted since childhood by Death herself.      What inspired “Parallax” and what made you choose Ireland as the setting?

Parallax is an old story that I started in college.  It actually began with a class project in a short fiction class.  The assignment was to write about a setting description that was depicted in our class text.  The description that caught my eye was “an abandoned chapel”.  Immediately I thought of death and my mind just went from there, conjuring up this reaper that would haunt this man all throughout his life.

As for the title and the little science bit in story, I’m a total Astronomy buff.  The day that the writing project was assigned, in my morning Astronomy class, I learned about the concept of parallax.  I was floored by the definition of parallax, that when we see an object from our eyes, the object could be altered when we view it from different angles.  Obviously, it was something I knew of my whole life, but I did not know the concept had a name.  When I discovered the name, I knew parallax had to have a starring role in this story.

As for the setting Parallax in Ireland, I have always had a fascination with Celtic lore and mythology.  I feel like tying in some of the Irish mythology along with events that happen abandoned chapel really makes this story haunting.  I could not imagine setting this story anywhere else.


What can readers expect next from you?

Currently, I am working on my first novel that delves into a terrifying legend from Native American folklore.  I also have several short stories that I am finishing up and looking to submit to some small presses who are looking for submissions to their annual anthologies.



What does Amanda Headlee do when she isn’t writing?

When I am not writing, I am either working at my day job or reading a book from my vast library.

This summer, since I am now living in eastern Pennsylvania again, I plan on getting back into cycling.  Tennessee was the worst state to try to cycle on the roads.  Tennessean drivers are not as loving towards road cyclists as Pennsylvanian drivers.


SIME Front Cover