A Change in Plans Leads to Life as an Author
Many students choose to change their major during their college career, and some find that their passions can shift within a specific subject area.
Such was the case for Amanda Trumpower ‘14, who entered college confident in her desire to teach.
“Being a teacher was near and dear to me because I love working with kids and my mom was a teacher. I’ve known I wanted to write since I was very young, but when I was a teenager I was thinking about my day job and being a teacher felt like the right decision,” said Trumpower. “My mom was a great model, and so I entered college very confident in that plan. My first summer in college I had a great chance to volunteer at an overnight summer camp, and I loved it. But I was exposed to a type of student who I hadn’t really met growing up, and so I realized I wasn’t prepared to be that child’s teacher and do right by them. That made me reconsider my direction.”
This experience led Trumpower to transition solely to an English major for her Malone career, before attending Kent State for a master’s in Library and Information Science.
The decision wasn’t easy, though. But Trumpower trusted in God’s provision and plan over her life.
“I’m a very organized, stick-to-the-plan type of person, and I never thought I’d change my major. When I did I was very scared, and I was still scared when I started library school,” she said. “But once I got past the entry barrier, which was difficult, I loved it. Starting my career I worked in a public library with children, and it connected everything that I always knew I loved without being in a classroom environment.”
This choice ultimately ended up being the right decision for her, as Trumpower found great relationships and academic stimulation during her Malone studies.
“By far the professor who meant the most to me was Randi Pahlau, she was so kind and helpful and open to talking or giving advice and feedback. She taught some of my favorite classes and so we connected over that,” said Trumpower. “I was also really inspired by some of the Education professors; they were so good at connecting excitement with skill and being involved in education. My professors at Malone were a wonderful blend of friendliness, passion, and support.”
Now, as a homeschooling mother of twins, Trumpower splits her time in many ways, not least of which is authoring a series of children’s mystery novels.
“I’m a twin mom, and a second generation homeschooler. I organize a lot of homeschool preschool activities for our social circles and community,” said Trumpower. “I also write a children’s chapter book mystery series called Collar Cases for kids 7-12. We have two books out, two books in the pipeline, and I’m writing a fifth one right now. I’ve always wanted to write and produce books for kids, so doing that now is just thrilling. I do programs for kids associated with that series, like classroom visits or community programs, where I talk to kids about literacy or forensic science, to connect to the mystery content, and that’s a lot of fun.”
As an extension of her literary passion, Trumpower also works as an assistant for other writers, aiding them in research, editing, and administrative duties. And it is in writing that she finds her greatest joy.
“The story I always tell is that when I was two or three I came to my mom with a piece of paper with a bunch of scribbles, and I told her that I was writing a story. From as early as I can remember my brain working in stories; I’ve always written,” she said. “I genuinely think that God saw fit to loan me this talent. Ever since I’ve been aware enough of it I've been trying to improve and use it in every way that is beneficial to kids in a way that helps them learn more about God.”
While her classes didn’t always prepare her for the exact work of children’s fiction writing, Trumpower still says that her time at Malone was crucial for her development as a professional writer; and that such preparation extends into every aspect of her life.
“When you’re passionate about something, it's easy to make your whole life revolve around that thing. The reality is that’s not how life works. You have bills, you have a family, you have responsibility. So regardless of your major, one of the great things about Malone is that it teaches you that things are due on deadlines and classes are at a certain time,” said Trumpower. “Maybe you don’t love every single class, but if you can master self-discipline then you are able to combine that with your passions in the future. If you don't master the discipline first, it doesn’t matter how talented you are because you won’t be able to get anything done.”
The life preparation and guidance of Malone, for Trumpower, was, and is, essential for success as students from all walks of life navigate through their college careers.
“Maybe you’re like me and you think you know exactly what you want your life to be. Maybe not. The most important thing is to remember that you don’t have to have it all figured out today,” said Trumpower. “Every morning you wake up you say okay, ‘what does God want me to do today?’ Then you go do that to the best of your ability, and then go to bed, wake up, and ask the same question. If everyday you try to do that in the little things and you are seeking after God, He’s not going to hide what He wants you to do.”