Hello! My name is Amber D. Tran.
I was born and raised in West Virginia, and I currently live in Alabama. I have been writing since the 5th grade. I graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. My style is a blend of contemporary and honorary, in that I thrive on writing material about the Appalachia. I released my debut novel, Moon River, last September, published by Little Creek Books. I actually just signed another contract for a second book, which will be a collection of short stories, essays, and poems.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
From a very young age, yes. I juggled various scenarios of what I wanted to be when I grew up (photographer, chef, mathematician), but being a writer seemed to not only fit for me but also to stay with me.
Tell us about your book, and the story behind writing it
My book is considered a blend of young adult/new adult contemporary fiction inspired by true events. It is about two young children as they grow up together in West Virginia. These two children face various tribulations together, such as poverty, mental illness, sexuality, and adolescence. A close friend of mine once mentioned, “Hey, you should write a book about our crazy childhood,” so I did.
What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?
For me, it is finding the time to write. I work a full-time job as a senior technical writer and Scrum Master for a software company, so it is often difficult for me to find the time to sit down and begin writing. Unless I make a concrete schedule of when I am to write, I would never succeed in even writing a few pages.
Do you have a specific writing space?
I do. Just a few days ago, my husband and I bought a new office desk for one of our upstairs guestrooms. We have since turned the room into an office for me to write and a music room for him to play guitar.
What’s your number one piece of writing advice?
Make time to write. Even if it is only ten minutes a day, you must make time to write. If you’re unable to write due to some sort of writer’s block, then read. I believe reading to be just as important as writing. We cannot call ourselves writers without doing our homework.
What books do you currently have on your bedside table?
Who have been your biggest writing influences and why?
Jo Ann Beard has been my biggest influence. My nonfiction style mirrors that of hers, which is one of the best compliments I have ever received. She has a way of turning dark situations into bits of humor, to not overwhelm the reader. I am also a fan of Kerry Cohen and Kelly Braffet.
How do you market your writing?
I stay active on social media. I attend as many book festivals as possible. I have started a Read It Review It program for some readers who are unable to purchase my book. It has been very successful so far.
Lastly, something fun. What’s something our readers might not know about you?
Oh, this sounds exciting. Readers may not know that I am addicted to playing League of Legends. Readers may also not know that I am deathly terrified of the sounds of wind chimes.
By Amber D. Tran
In this debut novel from author Amber D. Tran, a tale of adolescence and heartbreak unfolds. Nine-year-old Abigail Kavanagh first meets Ryan Mills during the summer of 1999. A shy and awkward boy, Ryan hides behind his wide-framed glasses while Abigail is determined to learn everything there is to know about him. The next few summers are filled with birthday parties, adventures in and around the West Virginian mountainsides, and late night conversations where they share their most secretive and personal thoughts.
Their friendship starts to crumble when Abigail befriends the attractive and musical Lilly Anderson, a girl who is also interested in uncovering the mysterious nature surrounding Ryan. However, everything comes to an end the summer of 2004, and Abigail must decide if her new journey is worth traveling alone.
A novel that takes place in a small town in northern West Virginia, Moon River is a story that exploits the brutal honesty in growing up fast, loving too young, and losing too soon.