amanda kingsbury, Co-founder and contributing editor
We often refer to our “small but mighty” editorial team at Indy Maven that works hard to bring you interesting, informative content and expert recommendations, and weed through the noise out there so that you don’t have to. But who *exactly* are we referring to? We’re here to answer that with a special edition of Maven to Know where one editor chats with another to learn more about her. First up: Indy Maven Co-founder and Contributing Editor Amanda Kingbury.
You’re always ahead on sharing trending and fascinating content online before anyone else. Where do you find this stuff?!
I never reveal my sources! Seriously, I read and scan everything—social media, newsletters, news sites, blogs, bumper stickers, coffee shop bulletin boards. One downside of digital communication: I rarely find pieces of paper that people have written interesting things on and accidentally dropped in a parking lot or on a sidewalk. Occasionally I’d get a good story idea that way.
The year you turned 42, fresh off a divorce, you did one cartwheel every single day for one year. You turn 50 this year–what’s the game plan?
This year’s theme might actually be to take a break from annual themes. But, I do want to visit Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. I’ve always liked dark-haired, villainous men.
Your daughter is now 13. What’s it like being a mom to a teenager in this day and age?
Well, here’s a recent, illustrative text exchange:
VIOLET: Randomly sends me an Amazon link to a phone case she wants, while she’s at her dad’s house.
ME: You only contact me when you want me to buy something.
VIOLET (series of rapid texts):
i don’t want it, i need it actually
i contact you other times as well
i love you
“What was missing was the ‘in between.’ And, women are doing awesome things right now in Indianapolis.”
What have been the top three highlights of your career as a journalist?
- Following a 9-day motorcycle ride from San Diego to Milwaukee in 2018 to celebrate the 115th anniversary of Harley-Davidson with my Swedish friend, Majsan, as my co-pilot in a convertible Mustang. I now have people in my phone under names such as “New York Myke,” “Helmetless Ted,” and “Chocolatier Paul.”
- Covering the funeral of Mikelle Biggs, an 11-year-old Arizona girl who disappeared in 1999 while waiting for an ice cream truck. Her body was never found, but in 2004 her family wanted to give her a proper service, and they invited me to be the only journalist to write about it. It was an incredible honor.
- Emceeing a storytelling event in 2018 about “new beginnings” and sharing the story of my dad’s heart transplant. My dad and his heart surgeon were in the audience.
Why did you decide to co-found Indy Maven?
I’ve spent more than 25 years working in newsrooms where the coverage was largely driven by men, and not surprisingly, the majority of stories were about men. When women were featured, they were often victims of crime or serving in traditional, stay-in-your-lane feminine roles. What was missing was the “in between.” And, women are doing awesome things right now in Indianapolis.
One of your favorite interview questions is to ask who your subjects would like to have dinner with, dead or alive. Who are your picks?
Jack O’Neill, the Indiana judge who allowed Ryan White to go back to school in 1986 after his AIDS diagnosis following a blood transfusion. Judge O’Neill was a great mentor when I was a just-out-of-college cops and courts reporter; he died in a car crash almost 25 years ago.
Martha Gellhorn, a writer/war correspondent who thought being Ernest Hemingway’s third wife was the least interesting part of her life.
Joan of Arc.
What are you most excited about that’s happening in Indianapolis in 2020?
Alanis Morrisette/Liz Phair/Garbage in July at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center!
Favorite cocktail and best place to drink it?
I’ve gone through my Sidecar/Aviation/Vodka Gimlet/etc., phases and now I keep it simple: A cranberry and Ketel One at the Butler Inn in Irvington. I think they use about a teaspoon of cranberry.
Favorite place to relax and/or detox after imbibing in said cocktails?
Either my bed or the Irvington Wellness Center. I hear the guy who does craniosacral therapy there is a magician.
Leslie Bailey is the Co-founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of Indy Maven. She started her career our as one of Amanda’s young cub reporters but they soon became fast friends. They’ve been on many adventures together, including a trip all the way to Wilmington, North Carolina, to attend an exhibit about Zelda Fitzgerald.