Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amy Vansant: Blogger, Author & More

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a humorist at her web site (@kidfreeliving on Twitter) and on various other sites. She was the East Coast Editor of SURFER Magazine for 5 years and has been published in Modern Maturity, Caribbean Travel and Life, Yankee, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, Skirt! and others.  She is the author of The Surfer’s Guide to Florida (Pineapple Press, 1995) which is currently out of print because the urge to drive up and down the Florida coast interviewing surfers has long since left her. She has a contemporary fantasy novel about to be shopped to agents about pirates and angels-type-creatures and other things that sound really silly when you say them out loud.

Why did you decide to create "Kid Free Living"?

I was a freelance writer/East Coast Editor of SURFER Magazine for years, but even after publishing a book (The Surfer's Guide to Florida) living on writer income is rough. I started creating web sites in the mid '90s and found it much easier to buy things like food and shelter. In the end, I embraced my inner nerd,  stopped writing and worked on building my web company (

In 2009 a friend told me I should start a blog because I tended to post jokes on Facebook. So I did. I called it "Kid-Free Living" (  because I figured most of my content would come from the fact my husband and I don't have kids and the lack of responsibility sometimes leads to trouble... but mostly leads to stupidity. Sometimes this domain bites me because people think it's a diatribe about not having kids. It's not. Just humor people, settle down. I actually have a lot of mom fans.

How does being a blogger differ from being an author?

I like writing short bits. I've been doing short skits for that reason, too. It's immediately gratifying and you can polish it 1000 times in an hour and get it as perfect as possible.  I just finished a novel and it was a lot more painful keeping things together over the course of 200 pages.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors and/or bloggers?

Find a day job.


No seriously, you're going to starve.

Seriously seriously.... Beyond not sucking, blogging successfully is all about working social media and growing an audience. Get enough audience and you can maybe get other opportunities (advertising offers, content development, writing gigs). Also, engage with people on social media. You never know where a contact might lead.

My biggest advice to authors would be to get a good person to read your work and tell you where you're going wrong. Get friends and family to help too, but also find someone who knows what works and what doesn't and won't blow smoke up your tush. I was dead in the water until I found Nicole at - she saved my book and my sanity.

What does success mean to you?

I'm supposed to say health and happiness here, right?

When did you feel you became a "celebrity"?

Um... are you some sort of fortune teller, because if you're telling me that's going to happen, that is AWESOME.

Have you ever been "Memed"?

The nerve! *SLAP*  storms out of room.

How do you define humor?

It is, of course, different for everyone. People apparently watch Two Broke Girls, for example. But for me it is seeing the obvious joke and then avoiding it like the plague. When I think I know where the joke is going and the writer pulls a fast one on me, I love it.

Have you ever played wine pong?

No... but that is a fantastic idea. Or maybe it is wine abuse. I'm going to have to chew on this. Maybe over some wine.


Thanks for doing the interview. I'm enjoying reading your blog. Anybody who gets fan art ( & has over 23,000 followers on Twitter is a celebrity in my book.