Amanda has been writing (and reading) for as long as she can remember.

** photo by Gia Koehler Photography **

Her first book, Echoes,  includes a handful of poems that she wrote before the age of ten!

In addition to writing, she loves just about anything creative: singing, playing the piano, listening to music, drawing, photography, playing board and card games, cooking — the list goes on!

Amanda also loves learning, and wishes that getting an education wasn’t quite so expensive (she’d go back and get several more degrees if she could).

She holds a BA in Journalism, History, and Russian, and an MBA in Economic Crime & Fraud Management.

She has been living gluten-free since August 1, 2008, and has written numerous reviews for her blog, Gluten Free & Tasty!: tasted and tested for you by me. She focused on reviewing as many gluten free products and restaurants as she could, but also explained about why she went gluten free. Starting her blog was a way to help others avoid much of the confusion she did when she learned she was gluten intolerant. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, the recipes and advice portion of her site has been closed. She hopes to release it as two different books instead.

Amanda is an animal lover. She has owned (or been owned by) 2 Yorkies and 3 different rescue kitties.

She is autistic, and although it is not without difficulties*, she wouldn’t want to be different.

Amanda also loves volunteer work, although she is currently taking a break after volunteering (in a variety of roles, culminating with Regional Director for Southwest VA) for Destination Imagination for 14 years.

She was widowed, from her soulmate, Teresa, in January 2019. The first year was extremely hard, and it slowly started to get …. not better, but easier. In late September 2020, she met a new woman, who is absolutely wonderful. Pandemic-dating is a whole new ballgame, which let them forge a deep connection before ever meeting in person, and in person, it was even better.

A great scene from Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith tells Amelia maybe we get more than one great love in our life, and isn’t it better to believe that?

She lives in southwest Virginia.

The difficulties stem from the stereotypes and gross misunderstanding of autism and autistic people which surfaces everywhere.  Not from being autistic. Questions? Please feel free to ask — but do so respectfully! (And part of being respectful is using identity first language, not person-first. I am autistic. NOT a person with autism.)


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