Amanda Valdez discovered her passion for writing when she was given a journal by her 5th grade teacher and has been creating poetry, works of fiction, and gaming narratives ever since. As a child, she wanted to read more stories with people that looked like her.
In 2019, she started visual storytelling using a game called “The Sims”. Her story centered around black love and romance. After two years of keeping her followers captivated and on the edges of their seats with the characters she had created, she decided it was time to put her creative efforts into a book.
She loves all things romance, from heartbreak to happily ever afters. She pours her own heart and soul into the stories she brings to life. Causing readers to fall in, and sometimes out, of love alongside her characters.
Amanda currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons. Most days you can find her sipping on an iced latte while she writes or enjoying time with her family.

1.) Tell us a little about yourself. 

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State with my husband and our two boys. I’m a stay at home mom and can now proudly say I am an author as well. I’ve been writing practically my whole life. I started out writing poems and that developed into stories. When I’m not writing I love being outdoors, reading, playing video games, and of course, spending time with my family.

2.)Tell us the title of your book and what it’s about.

My book is called All I’ve Wanted, All I’ve Needed. It’s about a young woman on her path to self-discovery and love. Harlow, my main character, is asked a life-changing question which sets her on a path to find herself outside of all she’s known. Which also leads her to new places, friendships, and ultimately re-discovering herself.

3.) What was the inspiration for this book?

I’ve drawn inspiration for this book from so many places. From my personal experiences, my imagination, and even advice I wish I had when I was Harlow’s age.

4.) What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Dealing with imposter syndrome. I was constantly second-guessing myself and wondering if it was good enough. Eventually, I got to a point where I realized that if I love it, there will be others out there who love it too. At the end of the day, that’s all I want. For people to fall in love with the story and characters that I’ve poured my heart and soul into.

5.) What was one thing you learned about yourself while writing this book?

It helped me rediscover my love for writing. I’ve always loved writing but when I fell into this story it reignited the passion I have for it. My whole life I dreamed of writing books. Now to be doing that, it’s surreal.

6.) What is your favorite part of All I’ve Wanted, All I’ve Needed?

My favorite part is when Harlow and Acyn go to the Oregon Coast.

7.) Describe your novel in one line. 

A slow burn, contemporary romance with some steam!

8.) Why did you choose to self-publish your novel?

I wanted the freedom to tell my stories the way that I want. When I started looking into the possibility of getting my book traditionally published, all the requirements they had for submissions were too much for me. I feared my voice would get lost and that the finished product would not be my own. Self-publishing allows me to do things my way at my own pace.

9.) When will your book be available for purchase?

It was released during the summer in July and is currently available for purchase through Amazon [click book image below] or can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

10.) Where can our readers find you on social media?

I am most active on Instagram, my Facebook page, and my Facebook Group. I also encourage readers to sign up for my newsletter because I’ve been dropping gems about upcoming projects there.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tik – Tok.

11.) Do you have a website?

I do! You can find me at

Audra Russell

Audra Russell

Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.

She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and her lone surviving chicken of 8 years who she affectionately renamed Gloria (she will survive!)