Hello! Today, we have Amy McGuire with us for Author in the Spotlight.
About the Author
Amy was born in the tiny town of Campbell River, B.C. and grew up a child of missionary parents in East Africa. From an early age she discovered a love of reading and shortly thereafter discovered a joy and talent for writing. By the time she reached high school she was writing for fun and slowly getting interested in both reading and writing romance. Her first published novel was written back in 2009. She lives in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and one cat and one Siamese Fighting Fish. Because of my love for Canada, most of her stories are based here.
After talking with Amy and asking her questions, here is what she had to say.
1.) What inspired you to write?
I don't know if there was any one thing that inspired me. I have been writing stories and poems ever since I was a young girl. I have always loved the written word and the outlet it provides for my imagination. There is a quote from Ever After where Drew Barrymore's character says, "He was addicted to the written word," in regards to her late father. I think that pretty much sums me up. I love to read and I love to write. I'm not a huge non-fiction fan, as I like to disappear into other worlds for awhile and escape when I'm either reading or writing.
2.) What was the hardest part of writing The Hope Valley Saga?
Hmm. The hardest part. I guess it would be the dialogue. It's hard to get characters who speak like everyday people on the first try. It's a delicate balance between too much dialogue, long monologues which may need to be shorter and text around the dialogue. Being my first novel, I had a lot to learn and at times I think I nailed it, while at others, I'm sure my dialogue came across as unrealistic or forced. I hope that my writing has improved since my first novel but I suppose readers will have to read my novels to see if that's the case.
3.) Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author. I actually don't have just one. I guess you could say I have an author per genre. One of my all time favorite Christian sci-fi authors is Frank E. Perretti - especially his angels and demons series. C.S. Lewis is my favorite author of children's books and I have many fond memories of reading or being read The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Now that I have a child of my own, I enjoy reading that to her as well. My favorite romance author is Nora Roberts. Actually, I love Debbie MacComber too. And lastly, Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gables series and many other related books.
4.) Do you outline?
Oh man. Sometimes I wish I did. I suppose it would be easier sometimes to have it all laid out before I actually write. Other times I'm glad I don't, because the story will take unexpected twists and turns and I am often happily surprised with the results. So, I don't really outline, but often, if any idea or piece of dialogue or a scene comes to me, I will write it down in a journal for future reference.
5.) Have you had any rejections?
I have had multiple rejections. I don't think many indie authors end up selling on Kindle Direct Publishing without having experienced a rejection or two. I learned many things about the publishing business as a result of those rejections, as well as the certain knowledge that I am grateful to be self publishing instead of having to work on the deadlines of a large company that doesn't know me personally. At times I wish I was published through a traditional house, if for nothing else than to have someone shoulder the costs of marketing, cover design and even website costs. Aside from that, I'm actually fairly content now that I've discovered KDP.
6.) How do you overcome writer's block?
Ah. The dreaded writer's block. I think the best way I overcome it is to move onto another story. Sometimes I just go for a walk or read a book or even watch a TV show. I get inspiration from pretty much everywhere, so even a visit with my friends or family can clear up the writer's block. What I find is important though, is not to get frustrated when writer's block hits but to focus on other things until inspiration hits.
7.) What project are you working on now?
I'm working on my first stand alone novel, Collateral Damage. It's also my first novel that isn't strictly romance. It's the back story of one of the characters who appears in The Heart's Discovery and his brother. I originally hoped to have it ready by April but we'll see how things go. I'm excited about it though. Damian is a character with a rough past and I'm hoping to give him a realistic redemption that not only helps him, but helps others around him as well.
8.) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I would say, don't be overconfident but don't lose hope either. No one starts out with the great American novel. Your first novel may be okay or it may even be awful. The first draft is also never a good indication of the finished product. As far as cover design goes, unless you are actually a cover designer, don't try to do it yourself. Spend a little money on your book in regards to the cover and editing and it will go a long way towards sales. You will also have more people take you seriously if you produce a good looking product. You want to stand out from the crowd. Writers on KDP are a dime a dozen these days. To stand out, you have to have a great product and then you have make sure everyone and their grandmother's dog knows you have a book out. And lastly, ask a professional or someone you see selling well in your genre for help. You never know. They just might to be willing to help you out.
There you have it from Amy McGuire.
Dreams Comes True(latest novel in The Hope Valley Saga):
Thank you for allowing me to do this interview. It was nice meeting you. And I would like to wish you the best in everything you do. If anyone would like to contact Amy or you have any questions please feel free to. You can reach her at the contacts below.
Dreams Comes True(latest novel in The Hope Valley Saga):