Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Introducing Amren, one of the three new OA bloggers!

Hi y'all and welcome to my TED Talk, where I'll be telling you about my research on engineered solutions for freshwater pollution.

Oh, that's next month? My bad.

I'm Amren, and I'm the new resident bubble tea enthusiast on the Operation Awesome team! As a writer, I used OA resources to help me figure out issues with my query letter and I participated in Query Kombat in 2018, so I'm excited to contribute to other writers' journeys. I'll be heading a new first page critique here at OA called First Page Impressions - check out the First Page Impressions page for more information. Here's a hint: it's going to be about writing. Contrary to my new role here, I think second impressions matter more than first impressions: they either reinforce or refute the first impression, and I find that very telling. So if you don't like my style the first time you read this, maybe if you read it again the words will change.

The only reasonable answer to "Why do you write?" is that I don't know how not to write. I've always loved telling stories, and admittedly I began with some truly horrible Harry Potter fanfic where he somehow had a younger sister in Slytherin who ended up murdering him. It should come as no surprise that I'm just as mean to my characters now as I was then. I started competitive writing in junior high, when I participated in a competitive writing program called Power of the Pen. At present, I write mostly YA fantasy and NA horror, and I'm currently querying my first novel. One thing you'll always see in my writing is bisexual coming-out stories, because I identify as bisexual. I wish I'd seen more bisexual (and LGBT+ characters in general) in YA lit when I was growing up; if I had, maybe I would've figured this out a lot sooner. In retrospect, I had a lot of girl crushes.

In those brief moments when I'm not writing, I love practicing pole dance and aerial hoop. I grew up with an intense fear of heights and falling (you know, survival instincts and all that), so for the past few years I've been working to get rid of that paralyzing fear of removing my feet from the ground. I recently moved from the US to Belgium with my partner, which I'm very excited about because now I'm just a train ride away from all the heavy metal festivals. I'm also trying to get back into knitting, so DM me your coziest sweater patterns!

I'm not very active on Twitter, but if you follow me I'll follow back @AmrenOrtega


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