About Amanda Yoshida:
Amanda Yoshida first dreamt of being a children's book illustrator when she was a little girl growing up in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. As a child, she spent countless hours drawing and studying the artwork inside her stacks of colorfully illustrated books. She favored the rhyming words and silly drawings of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, and claimed one day she would be an artist. Eventually, the pens and pencils that were always in her hand became paint brushes in her exploration of creativity. At the age of fourteen, her original artwork was displayed and sold at her family's art gallery in Portland's Pearl District and lead to substantial private commissions. After graduating from the elite Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles in 2009, she fell in love with the digital canvas and began working solely in this medium.
Amanda returned to her beloved hometown of Portland in 2013 and began working as a freelance graphic designer and digital painter. While in the midst of growing her successful business and putting down roots with her husband, the dream of becoming a mother and published author was realized. Two months before the birth of her first child, she received word that her first children's book would be published. Amanda now enjoys reading her debut book, The Greatest Wish, to her son, Morgan. She is currently working on the next installment of the Everchanging Story Book series.
What inspires you to write?
I was inspired to write this book when I found out I was pregnant with my son, Morgan last year. Having my own child on the way reminded me of how deeply I loved children’s books when I was young. I wanted to create something truly unique as a way of welcoming him into the world. When the book was completed, I approached Mascot Books and began the process of publishing my first book.
Tell us about your writing process.
I begin my writing process by deciding on an overriding intention for the book. For The Greatest Wish I wanted to convey a message of self-love and self-acceptance. Once I’ve figured that out, I start at the beginning, navigating how best to get from point A to point B within the interactive structure of the Everchanging Story. Once I’m happy with the writing, I work my way through the illustrations, page by page. There’s a lot of brainstorming involved and a fair amount of energy spent channelling my inner child.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The stories in my Everchanging Story book series are told from the perspective of a little boy with a very big imagination. I have a clear picture of who he is in my own mind and I am happy to listen to him as he explores his hopes, fears and dreams.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write about something you care deeply about and it will translate to your audience. For The Greatest Wish, I wanted to convey a message of self-love and self-acceptance, something that is too often lost as children begin to grow up. This was a topic that I felt strongly about and I think that has contributed to the book receiving such a positive response from people.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Both my mother and my sister are published authors who were able to share a wealth of knowledge with me. My mother prefers to self-publish and my sister prefers to go through a large publishing house. After learning the pros and cons of each option, I chose a path somewhere in the middle, a hybrid publishing company called Mascot Books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Currently, its easier than ever for authors to self-publish and more writers are choosing to go that route. I think that this trend will only increase in popularity over time and that the success of a book will more largely depend on an individual’s mastery of social media and marketing and less on the name of one’s publisher.
What genres do you write?: Children’s Picture Book
What formats are your books in?: Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.