Former Andover Resident Amanda Jurta’s Upcoming Book: Pawprints on My Heart

By Amanda Jurta
Amanda Jurta (formerly of Andover, NH)

Has writing a book been a long-time goal of yours, or is it something that took root more recently?
A. I have been writing since I was very young- it was my creative outlet to process my interpretations of the world and my life experiences, especially as I became quite introverted with age. I knew that there was always a possibility I would write a book I wanted to share with others, but it would come to fruition in its own time.
Q. Which came first, the idea for the story or the desire to write a book?
A. I would call my book “divinely inspired.” It came about in such a way that I could not question
anything other than the fact that this was the story I was meant to share with others! I was awoken in the early hours of countless mornings with streams of thoughts, the product being pages and pages of inspired writing. The words continued to pour in and I began spending many hours a day writing in my notebook, guided by a most powerful force. I had more than enough meaningful content for a book!
Q. What else have you written that you are proud of?
A. A lot of blank verse poetry that chronicles my personal evolution. It is very interesting to look back on this as it helps me understand more about myself. I have also written many songs that express my deepest heartaches, my hopes, my dreams… Putting music to these words creates a more profound message that I can feel.
Q. Publisher or self-published?
A. My book is self-published purely because of the freedom this offers. In writing such a personal, dynamic story, I felt it was inauthentic not to share it in the way I wanted to. Self-publishing offered me complete control over what material would be printed, exactly how it came to me.
Q. Main character details?
A. I am the main character. This is my story about leaving the magnificent world I grew up in to try and make my own way somewhere new. The home I always knew was no longer my “base.” What makes it the story I had to share was the incredible inspiration I drew from my family’s dog, Cocoa. She came into the picture when I was at a crossroads in my life and became everything to me. She was my best friend—the drive, the passion, the “everything” that guided me to create Pawprints on My Heart.
Q. Any more books in the works or other writing? Future plans?
A. While writing this book, I was given three other book concepts through the same source! But in recognizing and honoring the power of Pawprints on My Heart, I needed to give 100% of my focus to it. So I simply recorded the other ideas and made peace with the fact that they, too, would come into fruition when/if/however they were meant to.
I would like to continue writing songs because it brings me so much joy. My family is very musical, and my beautiful niece Ailyn is a budding star. I think it would be so much fun to share my material with her!
Q. History about yourself, how that may have influenced your writing…
A. As a child, I was a fearless explorer. I was determined to see what was beyond my dirt road, so one day I packed up my doll carriage with my favorite teddy bear and got about a mile or so away before I was discovered.
I think it was my alternative upbringing that really shaped me and my writing. What an invaluable gift my parents gave me. We didn’t have electricity, so no television, no running water and indoor plumbing, or even a telephone for many years. Nature and imagination were everything, and we were completely connected. Mimicking bird calls, judging the time by the sun, finding entertainment in the simplest of ways… The woods were filled with wondrous things and inspired so much creativity! My mother always encouraged freedom of expression.
I loved having ready-made friends with two sisters and two brothers, but I treasured spending time on my own- exploring the surroundings, then delving into piles of books in which I could discover infinite worlds. The Choose-Your-Own-Adventures books were my favorite—hmmm, wonder why? 😉
Q. Is there anything else you want your readers to know about your book?
A. I want them to know that there is something in it for everyone- a grand adventure that will bring a range of emotions to the surface. I hope to provoke deep contemplation about what exists past the accepted “norm,” and for this book to be an unforgettable experience that will send a ripple effect of positivity into the world!
For almost a decade, Amanda (who grew up in Andover, NH) has lived in Brisbane (Nundah), Australia with her husband, Matt, and their now 14.5 year-old border collie, Holly. Amanda is in the process of becoming an Australian citizen but maintains a close connection with her roots.
Pawprints on My Heart is expected to release in February, 2019. It will be available both in print and ebook on Amazon. Please find more information at