Amanda Davis is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. After losing her father at the age of twelve, Amanda turned to art and writing as an outlet. It became her voice. A way to cope. A way to escape. And a way to tell her story. She was thus inspired to teach art and pursue her passion for writing and illustrating children's books. Through her work, Amanda empowers younger generations to tell their own stories and offers children and adults an entryway into a world of discovery. A world that can help them make sense of themselves, others, and the community around them. A world where they can navigate, imagine, and feel inspired—over and over again. Amanda is the author of the award-winning picture book, 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag, Moonlight Memories (summer, 2023) and a yet to be announced forthcoming title. She also has poetry and illustrations featured in The Writers’ Loft Anthology: Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children and is a recipient of the Ann Whitford Paul—Writer’s Digest Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript Grant. Amanda has over ten years of experience as a classroom teacher and was selected as Massachusetts Secondary Art Educator of the Year. When she’s not busy creating, you can find her sipping tea, petting dogs, and exploring the natural wonders of The Bay State with her family and her rescue pup, Cora. You can learn more about Amanda at www.amandadavisart.com and on Twitter @amandadavisart and Instagram @amandadavis_art.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to write for young readers?
I’ve always loved art and writing but it wasn’t until about eleven years ago that I realized I wanted to create books for kids. After taking a writing and illustrating course, I was amazed to discover that crafting children’s books combined all three of my passions-writing, art, and storytelling. And what better audience than kids! From that point on, I dove head first into learning the craft and have never looked back!
2. How do you know your idea will make a good book?
I never know if my idea is going to make a good book. I think that’s one of the scariest parts of being a creator. You never know how people will respond to your work. I try not to get consumed by that thought and instead, write and create from my heart. If I enjoy the process and am passionate about the idea, the rest will follow.
3. What three things bring you joy?
My family (pup included), helping others, and nature.
4. What's the best advice a mentor has given you?
The only way to not succeed is to give up. It might take ten months or in my case, ten years to get your first published book but it WILL happen if you don’t give up.
5. To what extent is your writing inspired by your own experience, or by watching your children's experiences?
All of my writing is inspired by my own experience. Even with my nonfiction work, I'm drawn to topics that align with my own values or areas of interest. For example, my first three books all have elements of grief, loss, and healing in them. As someone who dealt with the loss of a parent at a young age and experienced several other close losses of loved ones throughout life, these topics are close to my heart and ones that I know others experience as well. I hope these stories can provide comfort to readers such as they've provided comfort to me as I created them.
6. What are you working on? What’s next for you?
My next goal is to both write AND illustrate one of my stories. That’s something I’m currently working towards and hope to accomplish in the near future. Stay tuned!