---------------------------KS: Hi Amber, it’s great to have you here today. I mentioned you in my blog a few days back, and I’m excited that you agreed to allow me to grill…er, interview… you today about your writing.
Probably the most common complaint from writers is that they never have enough time to write. I know you have two small children at home, yet since I met you four years ago, you’ve had a baby, had six books published (Irish Moon aka The Last Templar, The Best Revenge, Jessie’s Girl, Wanted, Soul Search, and PlayFling) and now you’re also working on screenplays. This doesn’t even count the stories you’ve written which haven’t been published yet. Can you give us an example of your “typical” writing schedule?
AS: I tell you, when you throw articles and blogging in there, too, I get dizzy thinking about it. Thankfully, I’ve figured out how to take each task one at a time, or like Anne Lamott’s book explains, Bird by Bird. With two young children and a husband vying for my attention, I’ve learned how to write in small spurts and with a little one on my lap. A few years ago, I let go of the notion that I should be able to carve out a couple hours a day reserved for writing. Instead, I gave up TV and am constantly back and forth to my computer, to the kids, back to my story, over to dishes and so on. It’s an imperfect system I find I have to tweak and adjust to every day but I’ll get there.
KS: Well, you must be doing something right! I listened to your interview on Romantically Speaking w/ Danielle Monsch (http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=73538&cmd=tc) and you mentioned your love of writing in different genres (I’m totally on board with you on that!) and I’m wondering what has been your favorite of the stories you’ve written so far, and why?
AS: Thank you so much for listening. Danielle is a lot of fun and made the interview really easy. It was like talking to a great friend. I wish I could pick one genre I prefer! It seems like it’d make the career building part of all this easier. Alas, I go where the itch takes me. I’m polishing an urban fantasy, called Realm, right now, continuing the doomed cupid series Play Fling, and started plus two screenplays, D-Word and Threshold. I’d say the two things I tend to stick to are paranormal elements and comedy but not necessarily together.
KS: Any one particular scene/hero/heroine out of all the genres that has really stayed with you?
AS: Jessica Hayes in Jessie’s Girl has really stayed with me. I think gay and lesbian fiction is regrettably still seen as taboo but I hope it will become mainstream. Love is love, right? Jessie has such a difficult decision in this story. She falls for the girl her brother, who is also her best friend, thinks is ‘the one’. And Sabrina falls as well. Only Sabrina hasn’t quite come to terms with what ideal life versus real life means. Their story was heart-wrenchingly wonderful to write.
KS: It was a great story and the conflict was very moving. Speaking of conflict, most writers are familiar with the “inciting incident”, “the dark moment”, and the “return with the prize” in stories. I’m wondering if you may have experienced some of those in real life on your path to publication, what they were, and if you’d like to share them?
AS: My inciting incident to novel writing came with my first NaNoWriMo. It took me from dreaming of being a writer to actually writing and I got hooked. My dark moment came when I read Stephanie Meyers Twilight saga and had an epiphany: If I didn’t love my own characters as thoroughly as she clearly loved hers, was it worth pursuing this career? I took a break and realized, yes it’s worth it. The pain, the fear, the lack of sleep. And I stopped writing with that lingering desperation to find some secret formula and simply write for the fun of it now. My writing improved. My return with the prize has to be my first contest win, an Honorable Mention in the Save the Cat! Last logline of 2009! contest. The late Blake Snyder, author of the series and whose site hosted the contest, is my biggest writing hero. I really wish I could have met him.
KS: Congratulations - that's quite a journey, Amber! Where can readers find your work now, and what can we expect next from you?
AS: Right now Play Fling is at Smashwords.com and Scribd.com for a limited promotional release while I submit it to agents and editors. I’ll be placing a couple of freebie novels up on each site as well this summer. My screenplays may join the novels once they’re polished and registered with the Writer’s Guild. I see self-publishing as a great way to earn readers and share the process with them. I’m shopping my urban fantasy, Realm, also but contemporary erotica has been whispering in my ear again. I hope to have another novella completed and submitted to Liquid Silver Books soon. I adore this publisher and hope to continually add to my booklist there. You can also find me at 1stTurningPoint.com, a place for authors to learn and share all about promotion.
KS: Wow, you sure do keep busy, and I look forward to seeing more from you. Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?
AS: Simply how much I appreciate their taking the time to share my inner worlds. Having a reader feels like sharing a favorite song or movie with someone. I cherish it. As a thank you today, I’d like to offer a free ebook download of Play Fling at Smashwords.com. This is the story of a doomed cupid determined to match a repressed divorcee with her ex. There’s just two problems: a too young, too hot college boy distracting her matchmaking target and the fact that she stinks at playing cupid. Simply enter code: SE77K. It expires March 17th. Thank you so much for having me, Kate. We’ve come a long way and here’s to much, much further! KS: Here, here! Thank you, Amber. :)
So, what questions do you have for Amber? Side note: Amber is generously giving away copies of Play Fling for the time being, but my publisher would kill me if I gave away so many books. :) However, not to be selfish, everyone who comments here and/or on Amber's blog today and wants to be entered to win a copy of Managing Maggie in one of the following formats: .PDF, .mobi/Kindle, or .LIT simply has to state their preferred format in their post.