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Amanda McNeill

Author of the acclaimed Haven series
Author Amanda McNeill

Welcome! Amanda McNeill (a.k.a. A. Ramsay McNeill) is an American author of six novels.  Five of her novels are a part of the acclaimed Haven series that focus on the mysteries and paranormal in small-town America.  Her sixth book, Life Sketches, can be described as post-apocalyptical.  She wants her readers to sit up and take notice, to say, ‘Whoa! I never considered that before!' She resides in Prophetstown, IL with her husband of 50 years, Rodney.  

upcoming events

Meet Amanda in person at one of these upcoming events!

May 5th - Book signing at Skeleton Key Arts and Antiques, 520 18th Street, Rock Island, IL, from 1-3 pm!


About Amanda

Amanda Ramsay McNeill is a novelist from Prophetstown, IL. She and her husband Rodney have been married for 50 years. She was a music major at Culver-Stockton College, which is why she writes books. She also has an LTA (library technical assistant) certificate. She has worked in two public libraries and an academic library.  She is currently in the process of writing the sixth novel in the Haven series, but she would love to hear from you!

Contact Amanda

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Orwell’s 1984 is one of my favorite books; I’ve read it several times. For many years we have been creeping toward a totalitarian society not dissimilar from the one Orwell envisioned. It’s so obvious…watch the evening news, read a newspaper. Stunning! Was this easy to write? Writing is hard work, but the ideas were everywhere. All I had to do was watch, listen, scribble some notes, and I had the basis for a novel.


The five-book Haven series is not dystopian. It refutes the ideas that small town life is safe or idyllic. I started writing this in the back seat of a Mustang on the way home from the funeral of Rodney’s Aunt Lora in extreme southwestern Missouri. I don’t recall what the first glimmer was, but I had paper and a pen and I could not get the thoughts down fast enough. Lora was the ‘trigger’ though and I wrote about her good works and generous spirit, the crazy things that had happened that day and the inappropriate things I had heard.


Lora was 80-something and I peopled the first two books with persons I had known who would have been her peers. These women were amazing! I was fortunate to have known so many intelligent, educated women—women who lived through discrimination and had few job options and no hope of equal pay. They lived through the depression and the war years, and I learned so much from them. I hope I honor (most of) them. I gained tremendous insight from them and I am determined to give my readers something to think about as they read my books.


I want my readers to sit up and take notice, to say, ‘Whoa! I never considered that before!’ Somedays, everything I see or hear or experience is a trigger for a story, that is an idea that through time and effort can be developed into a story or novel. I can’t write them down fast enough! But scribbling down the ideas is the easy part. Developing the ideas, creating the suitable/appropriate protagonists and characters takes time and they emerge as the story blossoms. I’ve used characteristics and quirks of persons I have known or create a composite from two persons. It is far easier to create a black-hearted slug than to develop a stable character who is a contributing member of society. They can be boring.


The Haven series is done, but one of the characters demanded her own book. I am working on a prequel to the Haven series. Someday I will complete the sequel to Life Sketches.

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