“I got the idea for my novel in December 2011,” says Amy Spitzfaden, 23, who earned a literature degree from MUM the following year. “The first sentence came to me, and that’s what got me started. The protagonist feels she’s ‘missing’ someone but doesn’t remember who it is. I liked that concept, though I didn’t develop it at first.”
The story did gel over time. A key moment in what would become Amy’s first novel, Untold – winner of the Inkfingerz award 2013 – took place during a storytelling class given by MUM Media & Communications instructor Cullen Thomas.
“For homework we had to write a certain number of pages each night,” says Amy. “So I decided to start into the story. What was really helpful was that Cullen asked all these leading questions, like ‘Where is this missing feeling coming from? What happens then? What does the scenery look like?’ I thought about it all, and saw mountains and forests and trees, and before I knew it the book was starting to happen.”
Amy found much-needed support and writerly tools in MUM’s literature department, which prepared her to work through a full-length novel. Professor Nynke Passi “was amazing at teaching technique and giving guidance,” Amy says. “It’s such a respectful community. In a lot of writing classes you can get the feeling of competition. At MUM, everybody is so happy to listen to everybody else’s writing. I loved that.”
Amy’s book tour for Untold included a stop in Fairfield, Iowa, home of MUM, for readings as well as a radio interview on KRUU on the show Writers’ Voices. You can listen to the show here.
Currently Amy works in marketing at Publishers Single Copy Sales Service (PCSC), a consulting company based in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The company’s focus is on magazine publishing, sales, and distribution. Amy manages social media, works in promotion and offers client support.
In 2013 Amy married Ravi Both, whom she met when both were students at MUM. Ravi, a native of Holland, works as a web developer and SEO expert, also at PSCS.