Tonight, King of the Nerds premieres with their 3rd season of Nerdy goodness on TBS. 12 contestants will duke it out to claim the coveted title, but not without some challenges and fun along the way.
I was given the wonderful opportunity to talk with Amanda Liston, who is an Arizona local from Gilbert. Amanda, 24, classified as the “Bookworm” in the show, is a paralegal who enjoys steampunk, debating and playing the flute. She also has her own book blog and sells comic book-inspired apparel through her successful online boutique. Plus she’s married with two kids.
See her KOTN bio here:
We sat down for a photo interview the week before the premier. Amanda is not only incredibly sweet, but is all sweet on Phoenix nerd culture, comic books, creating future confident nerds.
GNN: What are your favorite events to go to in Phoenix/Arizona?
Amanda: I love Phoenix Comicon, the cosplays being my favorite. I also love how family oriented the PHXCC is: there are obstacle courses, photo opportunities with a variety of characters and there is always something fun for them to see. I love that we can dress up as a family and it is just completely normal and fun for everyone there. I also enjoy the smaller events like Amazing Arizona Comic Con, which is smaller, but good for costuming. Both are easy to get to and incredibly accommodating.
We are a big comic book family and are active in the comic book community. We go to Greg’s Comics in chandler to pick up our week comic book subscriptions and I love going to Gotham Comics in Mesa. It is decorated so fun and bright and cozy, it is just so wonderful for snuggling up with a new comic and indulging in some great conversation (or debates).
GNN: What are your favorite comics to read right now?
Amanda: Scott Snyder’s American Vampire, Horror comics, Batman comics like Suicide Squad, Gail Simone’s Batgirl. I also really enjoy the Buffy comics that Joss Whedon produces as well.
GNN: What do you do with your kids to encourage nerd life?
Amanda: Encouraging them to be a part of nerd culture, love who they are and give them lots of self-esteem. It is also really important to keep things positive so they don’t think what they like is weird in any way. We also expose them to a lot of pop culture especially through watching movies. We make a whole night out of it with treats and dressing up in costume.
We focus on making a big deals out of fun things like seeing Star Wars in 3D or going to a comic book convention. We just want our kids to be happy, safe and loved. We share a piece of ourselves with them through the things we love as well.
GNN: How did you get into Steampunk?
Amanda: I noticed steampunk at a convention and loved how beautiful and elaborate the costumes were. I am a huge fan of the Victorian style from the books I enjoy, so it was a natural fit. I was fitted for a corset at another con and was hooked.
GNN: What was the first book you fell in love with?
Amanda: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I have a special love for mysteries because of that book.
GNN: What made you want to be on the show?
Amanda: Kids can be cruel. I spent many recess being teased for who I was and what I liked. King of the Nerds shows that being a nerd should be respected and encouraged not teased or ridiculed. Helping to break down that stereotype is important to me.
GNN: Tell us about your online boutique?
Amanda: My shop is inspired by books and wanted a place to showcase them in a new, fun and fashionable way. So, I make shirts for them with quotes and inspirations from books. I also work with authors to help connect fans with their favorite books and shirts.
GNN: How has the nerd life affected you day-to-day?
Amanda: I participate in being a nerd everyday. I am always reading on my kindle.It is deeply connect to marriage. It affects parenting by getting my kids involved in the things my husband and I do. It brings the family together through shows, movies, comics and more. We discuss what we see and build opinions and it enriches their life. Being a nerd for me isn’t just a passing phase, it is as much a part of me as it is being a mother or wife. I love it.
Watch King of the Nerds, Fridays at 9 est on TBS.
Connect with King of the Nerds here:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KingofNerdsTBS | #KingOfTheNerds | #NerdsRule