MEET THE AUTHOR
“Salt Land” derived from plans for a collection of linked stories about a family in the
South. Each story has an ecological bent,
stemming from my interest in ecology and
environmental protection. Religion sneaks
in often, too. Hydraulic fracturing, or
“fracking,” is endemic in Colorado, where I
live now, with three hundred new well applications pending in my neighborhood alone.
My concern for what havoc this chemical industry might cause in residential neighborhoods led to my researching
the health and environmental impacts of fracking—and down a rabbit
hole of stories about the destruction inflicted on communities and ecosystems by the oil and gas industry.
My family hails from Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri, so my stories
started in the South, but as I’ve settled into Colorado, my characters have
begun migrating westward, too. Stories such as “Salt Land” mix my love
of the natural environment with my fears for its future. I hope they’ll serve
some small purpose in tuning a reader or two into the uphill battle we face
to rein in carbon emissions, restock the seas, protect and preserve open
lands, and reckon with our culpability in bringing the climate to this dire
state. I’m hopeful, though, as I must be—I want my three-year-old to grow
up to get lost in the mountains, the plains, or the woods if she wants to.
Amanda Baldeneaux is the development director for a nonprofit serving
children with special needs. She’s also a contributing editor to Fiction
Unbound ( www.fictionunbound.com). She holds a bachelor’s in English
with an emphasis in creative writing, and a master’s in teaching secondary English literature. She is a graduate of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s two-year Book Project program, a Lighthouse Lit Fest Masters
Class Workshop, and the 2019 Tin House Winter Workshop. An army
brat, she now lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, two dogs,
a cat, and a pollinator garden for native bees. This is her first published
work of fiction.