Interview with Meg Kramer, Author of Amoura Awakened
30 Nov 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Amoura Awakened?
The seeds for this story were planted when I moved to San Francisco in 2004 to attend the University of San Francisco. I fell in love with the city where you could be anyone, love anyone, and find a community, no matter who you were. I fell in love with the architecture of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings; I remember learning the ornate facades of each home didn’t extend past the faces of each building—they were simply giant rectangles wearing gorgeously detailed masks. It made me imagine hidden worlds behind the walls, and I remember walking through my neighborhood and thinking that if magical creatures could coexist peacefully with humans, it would be in San Francisco. That was the world I wanted to exist in myself!
That idea marinated in me for several years until one day, while walking through the panhandle in Golden Gate Park, a snarky, fiery, big-haired teenage witch popped into my mind, fully formed. I knew what she looked like, what she sounded like. I knew her name and history but didn’t know WHY she was important. She told me to write her story, yet I was unsure at the time what that was, and that fact terrified me. I assumed it meant I wasn’t creative enough to write the story she wanted me to tell. And so, I shoved her away, ignoring her requests to start writing. Lucky for me, that little witch, Amoura Renly, was incredibly patient with me, and she hung out in my heart until 2020, when I finally decided it was time to set her free.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Amoura Awakened, what would they be?
“Truth” By Alex Ebert is the song I associate with Amoura’s journey in this book. It’s a song about the shadow self and how we all have darkness within, and by embracing that darkness, we can find connection with others.
don’t have theme songs for other characters in the book, but “Heartstruck (Wild Hunger)” by Hamilton Leithauser and Angel Olsen inspired the dance scene between Amoura and Kjell at the Beltane Ball at the end of the book. I actually wrote the song into the scene because I love it so much and I listened to it countless times while writing the scene!
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
YA Fantasy is my bread and butter, but I also love a light beach read, a great mystery, or thriller. My daughter is eight-years-old, so I also read a ton of Middle Grade books.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
“Daughter of the Moon Goddess” by Sue Lynn Tan, “Iron Flame” by Rebecca Yarros, and “The Fragile Threads of Power” by V.E. Schwab are my holiday season reading goals!
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The Samhain party scene was my favorite to write! I loved imagining a teenage witch party and the traditions that would come with a secret event like this. Teasing out the romantic tension between Kjell and Amoura was super fun, and I LOVE the moment when Amoura decks Ingrid. It felt very satisfying to write.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
My son was six months old when I began writing “Amoura.” I don’t have an office or dedicated workspace, so writing at home felt nearly impossible. My mother-in-law would come over and spend a few hours with my son, and I would go write in my car outside my local Barnes & Noble. I wrote the whole book in my car, and now I can’t write anywhere else!
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
“There is no greater burden on a child than the unlived life of a parent.” Glennon Doyle. I read “Untamed” at the beginning of the pandemic and was deeply moved by this quote. At the time, I felt stuck in a career that made me desperately unhappy because it felt “legitimate” by societal standards. Deep down, I knew I wanted to write Amoura’s story. Still, I was too afraid to explore the idea because I didn’t believe myself to be an artist and was desperately afraid of disappointing everyone. My five-year-old daughter’s eyes were on me, though, and I had to ask myself what example I wanted to set for her; did I want her to see me stay in a career that made me unhappy because it was “safe,” or did I want her to see me choose my own happiness and chase a dream, even though it felt scary and unconventional? When I asked myself that, the answer seemed obvious, and I began shaping a new path for myself that led right to Amoura.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I hope readers walk away with an understanding that the parts of ourselves we fear the most can become our greatest gifts when we embrace and accept who we are. It’s the lesson I had to learn myself in order to write this story.
Meg Kramer is the author of the new book Amoura Awakened
Connect with Meg KramerAuthor Site
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