JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Amanda Eaddy Oliver, author of Cheyenne the Cat
Cheyenne the Cat is as story that deals with issues the youth of today face: establishing an identity while being different, relationships with peers, bullying and separation from a military parent.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Cheyenne the Cat?
Amanda Eaddy Oliver: The character “Cheyenne” was inspired by a stray cat that would sit outside my apartment door whining. My two children and I would feed her and give her milk.
Some days we would make silly stories about her adventures in our front yard. One summer day, I decided to create a story that focused on some of my, as well as my children’s, childhood issues. That’s how my first story Cheyenne the Cat was born!
JP: What sets Cheyenne the Cat apart from other books in the same genre?
AEO: Though my book is considered a picture/chapter book, it focuses on teaching children important life lessons. It is my desire to build a rapport with children through my writing so that I may be able to help them deal with tough issues they may face. Whether it’s a lack of self-esteem, or being teased, it’s my hope that my work will help them reach their full potential in life!
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Cheyenne the Cat getting out to the public?
AEO: This is my first book and a new experience for me. I went into this Writer’s Game not knowing what to expect BUT being ready for the unexpectable!
I know that writing and reaching children is my PURPOSE. It is what God put me on this earth to do. Because I know who I am and what I am supposed to be doing, I am able to move forward with this WRITING ADVENTURE.
Whether it is staying on the phone for hours calling different places that cater to children, traveling to different bookstores or seeking out the wisdom of established authors, I have a TEACHABLE SPIRIT and I believe in ME. My siblings and I call it that “EADDY” Grind.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Cheyenne the Cat?
AEO: Honestly, my story stayed on my computer for over a year UNFINISHED. One summer day, I decided that enough was enough, and I finished it that day.
Procrastination is a DREAM KILLER. Putting things aside and waiting until the last-minute will set you back further and further away from where you should be in life. I procrastinated throughout this whole process. From the beginning until the final stage of sending it off to the publisher, I kept putting it aside. So it took me around 2 years to finish Cheyenne the Cat.
Of course, I started with brainstorming my characters, their qualities, their issues and the lesson that I wanted the children to learn. Once that was established and I was truly serious about completing the story, the words started to flow.
The hardest part was finding an illustrator that I connected with and who understood my vision. I thank God for finding Brian Bear, my super-talented illustrator. We are an excellent team.
JP: What’s next for Amanda Eaddy Oliver?
AEO: I am currently working on Cheyenne’s second story entitled No Girls Allowed. In this story, Cheyenne learns that girls aren’t allowed in the Feline Army, and Sebastian has a secret that could jeopardize his friendship with her.
The main lesson in Book Two is that “regardless of your gender or race, you can do anything that you set your mind to doing.” If you think it, you can do it!
Also I am in the process of establishing my own publishing company, Purple Pencil Publications, that will cater to individuals seeking to positively reach the young people of today through their works and own personal experiences.
You can follow my blog at
Stay tuned to many more adventures of Cheyenne the Cat!