Amanda Hocking

Amanda's Blog Post

Those People Aren’t My Family

June 19th, 2011 by
This post currently has 54 comments

You may or may not have read the fun piece by Strawberry Saroyan in the New York Times Magazine today. (If you haven’t, and you’d like to, here’s a link: Amanda Hocking, Storyseller.) I thought it was a very nice piece, and Strawberry was super cool to hang out with and talk to.

The interview was actually very serendipitous. An editor from the NY Times emailed me about doing a story on me sometime in February (after I posted the blog on the amazing William Fichtner, because he talked about Fichtner in the emails). Eventually, Strawberry called me, and we set up a time to meet. She just happened to pick March 24th, which just happened to be the day St. Martin’s Press announced the book deal for the Watersong series. I had no idea those two events would occur on the same day, but they did.

The one bad thing about it is that both events happened on Eric’s birthday (March 24th), which made me feel really guilty because I pretty much hijacked his birthday, since the day ended up being quite a few phone calls and press about the book deal. And I still feel bad about that. Sorry for stealing your birthday, Eric.

If you read the NY Times, you may have noticed the picture of me that accompanied it. In case you missed it, here’s the pic:

(Side note: The guy who took the picture – Ben Innes – is the first person to photograph me using an actual camera that uses real film instead of digital. Also, he told me this great joke: What do you call a wharf next to a pier? A paradox. Get? Cause they’re a pair of docks? Anyway. It’s a great joke, and he was a nice guy.)

Anyway. Back to the picture. I don’t know how many have you noticed something odd about the picture. But check out the picture frames in the picture:

Yep. Those people aren’t my family. They are the pictures that came with the frame. In fact, two of the frames have the same picture, and two of them are upside down.

There’s a reason for this. I put them up the day before the pictures were taken. Strawberry interviewed me way back in March, but Ben took the picture a few weeks ago, and I haven’t lived in my house that long. So I hadn’t finished putting things up and decorating.

But I knew people were coming to take the picture, and the music room is like the coolest looking room in the house, so I wanted to have it semi-finished. (The music room is where the picture was taken. It has a piano in it and a giant picture of the Beatles. Hence the name).

For some reason, I assumed that the frames wouldn’t really be in the picture so you wouldn’t be able to tell that there’s random strangers in them. But then if the frames wouldn’t really be in the picture, then why did I hang them? I don’t know. I didn’t really think it through, I guess.

Also – here’s something my mom wanted me to clarify. Well, she didn’t want me to clarify, but she was upset by it. In the article, it says this:

My mom doesn’t think I’m better than anyone. She loves me a lot and thinks I’m neat, but she doesn’t think anyone is better than anyone else. Honest. If she ever thought I was acting like I was better than anyone else or that I even thought it, she would smack me upside the head. Literally.

So. That’s that.

Leave a Reply

  • Ariel says:

    I know you can’t possibly have time to e-mail me back…but I just wanted to say again that your work (AND you’re on wikipedia!) is so inspiring to upcoming writers, aspiring writers, those who agents and pubs ignore–so you got your own work out there. Then they came calling to YOU. Please just send some positive aura and vibes my way, that’s all I ask.

  • I think it’s absolutely hilarious about the picture frames. It’s kind of like trying to find Alfred Hitchcock in his movies, or playing doing one of these games where they have two pictures that look identical but one has items changed in it. Whether intentional or not (and it sounds like it wasn’t) I think it’s pretty cool!

  • Gisele says:

    Oh, man! I’m really jonesing a new blog post over here… 🙂

    By the way, Silvioafonso (4 comments above) said: I loved your strength and courage.

  • Absolutely fantastic!
    Congratulations on your success! 🙂

  • Now THAT is a funny tale. I am so amused. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    You haven’t posted a new blog in forever! When will you be back? Is something major happening that’s making you busier than normal?

  • silvioafonso says:


    Adorei a sua força e a sua coragem.




  • This post really made me smile because I could so totally relate with the upside down picture frames and photos of strangers. I had a similar experience years ago when we’d just moved into a new apartment. It was very bare bones. A reporter & photographer were due & I panicked because I had nothing on the walls. Not so good for an artist. 😮 So while I spiffed up the place, my helpful husband quickly tacked up the new frames I’d purchased earlier that day–some sideways, some upside down and most still displaying strangers. I never even noticed & was mortified when I saw the photo of those frames behind me in the newspaper. But it’s become one of my favorite shots because of the story. Hope yours will be too.

    I’ve read a couple of your books Amanda and really enjoyed them. Big congrats on all your good news, and very best wishes for continued success & happiness! 😀

  • L.A. Jones says:

    That’s always downside of being a great writer the kind of scrutiny ur family is put under. This is why I go with a pen name. But yeah it’s almost criminal what these people jazz up in their articles. My family is very proud of me but i would never want to put them under such things. I can feel ur pain. But either way I love the color of the walls what shade is it anyway lavender? I have been thinking about re-painting my room and that particular shade looks nice.