Jammie Huynh was able to interview Amanda Tigar, our new Woodfin Fellow in Fiction, and to learn more about her passions and writing inspirations. Besides writing and reading, Amanda enjoys brunch, reality television, and listening to true crime podcasts while driving home in the dark.
I was born and lived in Chattanooga, TN until I moved to Nashville where I attended Belmont University. During my time as an undergraduate, the English department introduced their new creative writing track, and I became one of its first students.
What is your favorite part of Charleston so far?
I love the trees here! Is that a dumb answer? But I can’t stop staring at the old oaks with twisting limbs and true green leaves. I’m currently working on a piece inspired by the Southern Gothic so these ancient trees and historic buildings provide a lot of inspiration and atmosphere while writing.
What kind of fiction do you enjoy writing?
I tend to write things that are a little strange. Whether it be a magical world or people who are a little odd and unusual, I write the weird. Also, I write women’s stories. I like to say that I write terrible women, and what I mean is, the women in my stories are often messy and rough. They hurt people around them and themselves. They aren’t always likable. These are the stories I like to tell.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your stories?
Inspiration is such a tricky thing and even harder to nail down, but I will do my best. I would say I often get inspiration from jealousy. Whenever I read something and I come across a sentence or phrase that makes me slam the cover shut because I wish I had written something so good, I feel inspired to try.
What is your writing process like?
Usually I will hear a voice first. A sentence will come to me and I get an immediate sense of the character and the beginning of the story they want me to tell. The first sentence becomes the jumping off point, and while I typically cut it completely, it helps me to hear a voice and the rest follows.
What book have you read that you absolutely loved?
Before moving to Charleston, I read the novel The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires because it was set in the city. I reasoned that reading Grady Hendrix’s book was the same as doing research or packing boxes. This book was truly terrifying and creepy but also empowering. I believe I was well prepared for life in Charleston and I have my eyes peeled for any blood suckers that may try to invite themselves through my door.