Saturday, 31 August 2013

Author Interview: Amy K McClung

Alas, it's our last day hosting our fabulous author of the month, Amy K McClung. She has been such a fabulous guest. We hope you've now had the opportunity to explore some of her work and have enjoyed getting to know her that little bit better. Today is our last AotM post dedicated to Amy. Enjoy discovering more with our insightful interview with Amy.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.  Hmm...Let's see what I can tell you about me that won't completely put you to sleep.  I grew up in Nashville, Tn and currently reside in a smaller town just outside of Nashville called Smyrna.  I currently have a full-time job in stuff right there.  My husband and I will have been married eight years in September.  We have no pets (human or furry) at this time.  My husband, Daniel, and I are movie collectors.  Our collection is almost at 2000 now, we have a separate room just for them.  Other than movies, I enjoy reading (of course), art (Van Gogh is my absolute favourite), bowling (though I suck at it), playing pool (suck at this too, unless I've had a few drinks for some reason).  I have three sisters, a niece, and five nephews.  I grew up in a big Catholic family with lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  My favorite vacation spot is Disney World, I'm a fan of all things Disney related. 
  2. What inspired you to write your first book?  In September of 2011 I lost my job of eleven years and it was pretty devastating for me at first.  In the end, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  While I was out of work, I was catching up on The Vampire Diaries latest season and I was talking to my husband about it on the phone.  I was telling him about the storyline and what I would've done differently.  He suggested I write my own story to take my mind off of everything and to keep me occupied while looking for a job.  I started writing and before I knew it, I had written over 200 pages.  I'd never really thought of writing before.  When I was younger, I used to write movies.  I have scripts in notebooks that I have not looked at in years.  I'm actually considering getting them out to see if they would make a good book now. 
  3. Why the paranormal? Why do you love writing in this genre? My favourite thing about paranormal is the definition of paranormal itself : experiences that lie outside the rnage of normal experience or scientific explnation. In paranormal, nothing seems impossible. You can make up a world of your own, give tyour characters whatever 'superpowers' you want and anything is possible for the storyline. You can make your characters heal in seconds. You can have them hear thoughts, see visions, even come back from the dead. It gives you a break from the real world for a while, too. As I was writing my paranormal series, I enjoyed living in the world of werewolves, witches and vampires to to take my mind off real life and the stresses that come with it.
  4. How are you the same/different from your main character, Parker Harris?  Parker and I are very much alike.  In appearance, the only thing we have in common is naturally curly hair.  In emotions, well there is a lot of me there.  I spent a lot of my teen years hiding my true self from people, being too shy to talk to anyone.  I had one best friend who I clung too.  She was like Jackie too, in that she got all the guys and I was usually left sitting at home by myself.  I spent too many years being shy because of my distrust of people.  I had been ridiculed a lot in grade school for my weight and by the time high school rolled around, I didn’t trust anyone enough to make friends with them.  I lashed out at people because of that mistrust, the way Parker does.  Things that are different, I'm not an only child and I grew up in a big city instead of a small town.  I'm not a werewolf (shocking, I know) and I didn't have a handsome Vampire save me from my high school misery (dangit.).  For the most part, Parker Harris is my teenage equivalent.
  5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your series? That people liked it and that I could surprise people.  This sounds silly, but every time someone is like "Wow, I didn't see that coming!" I'm like, "Really? Cause I totally did?"   lol.  
  6. What are your plans for the series?  For the next instalment, I am writing a novella from Mitchell Davis' point of view.  The idea for this came from a fan turned friend who said she'd love to see more Mitchell and hear things from his point of view on his feelings for Parker, etc.  Since he is one of my favorite characters, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Mitchell will tell his story by exploring the past a bit and ending up with the story as a segue into the spinoff series, The Crispin Sinclair Chronicles.  We met Crispin in Book 2 at age four.  His series will take place in the future when he is sixteen.  There will be characters from The Parker Harris Series involved as well.  It will be a YA Fantasy series with all kinds of new creatures.  My husband is going to collaborate on this one to help me write from the perspective of a teenage boy. The series will revolve around the adventures of Crispin and his best friend Amytha.   
  7. Tell us a little about your newest book For the Love of Gracie.   For the Love of Gracie is a New Adult Contemporary Romance.  This book is a far cry from my Parker Harris Series.  It was a challenge going from Paranormal to the real world, but I'm pretty excited about how it turned out.  I had to keep remembering that there were no superpowers for these characters, which was difficult at times.  Gracie is a twenty-one year old, in college, surrounded by a close knit group of friends.  The one thing she wants is the same thing most girls want, Mr Right to come sweep her off her feet.  This book is not all romance and flowers though.  There are moments of violence, darkness, and grief mixed in. As one of my betas said, "It's such an emotional journey."  It's about making assumptions. It's about ignoring what's right in front of you. It's about stereotypes. It's also about friendship, loyalty, love, and second chances.
  8. Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research? Not really strange or weird,  I had my husband take me to a shooting range so I could describe what it feels like to shoot a gun.  Other than that, I googled a few strange things here and there, sometimes vampire and werewolf information gives you more detail than you really wanted to know. 
  9. How long does it take you to write a book?  It seems to take about four to five months for me to write a book, that's the average so far. 
  10. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Since I work full-time, I only get a few hours of writing each night.  Once I get off work, my husband gives me a few hours to write before we have dinner and relax. I usually write for about 2 ½ a night and on the weekends I usually get about 3-4 hours a day to write. 
  11. Do you have any writing rituals? I guess my ritual would be my style in general.  I get ideas and I type them all out right away. Usually I can fill sixty pages with the idea for a book. Then I go back and 'fluff it out' so that it makes sense and doesn’t run together.  When I get writer's block, I listen to music to help me come up with ideas.  A lyric from a song has sparked a scene for me many times.  While I'm at work, when ideas hit me, I email myself the story bits at home. 
  12. Who designed the cover for your Parker Harris series?  I use symbolism in my covers for this series.  For Cascades of Moonlight, the cover is a picture from my childhood of a waterfall at a State Park nearby. The waterfall is called "Cascades" so it seemed appropriate in more ways than one.  Recently my husband was able to download some software to make it more crisp and match the other covers a little more.  For Dreams, Spells, and Moonlit Tales, my husband designed the symbol on the front by mixing a claddagh with the Triquetra for the wiccan element in that book.  For The Dark Moon, that is a picture of a rose I took with my phone.  This year was the first year my husband had roses delivered to me for Valentine's, while they were in the vase starting to die, I snapped the picture. A dark crimson rose that almost borders on black is indicative of mourning and sadness which is quite fitting for book 3 for many reasons. 
  13. What book are you reading now? Currently I'm reading The Bite Club, Book #10 in The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine.
  14. What new author has grasped your interest? The most recent new author was Sarah Ashley Jones with her debut novel,  Promise Me This.  In general though, there have been so many new authors that I have discovered recently that I absolutely love.   Some of the newer authors I've read recently that have topped my faves are Felicia Tatum, Ruthi Kight, Jamie Loeak, Julie Cassar, Tabatha Vargo....these are all authors who I'd read any book they released because I've loved all the ones they've written thus far. 
  15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Thank you would be the most important thing I could say!  I've been lucky that even the readers that haven't liked the books, have been kind about it.  Many of my readers have become friends of mine now.  I do all of this for them. I love entertaining people, making people happy.  By making others happy, it makes me happy.  I want to thank them all for the kind words, the encouragement that many of them have given me, the friendships I've acquired because of my books, the readers who have more faith in me than I have myself sometimes.  There have been times I have thought that writing isn't my thing and inevitable when I have those days I receive a message from someone telling me how much they enjoyed my books.  I am forever grateful to all of you, the ones who like it and the ones who don’t.  The ones who haven't liked it, have given me the kind of feedback I needed to grow as a writer and I appreciate that just as much as the praise I get.                                       
                                 Random Questions:
  1. What’s in your fridge right now?  A lot of sodas, Diet Cream Soda, Diet Sunkist, Diet Cherry 7-Up, Diet Ginger Ale. They literally take up the bottom shelf.  On top shelf there are Bud Light Lime-a-Rita's and in a drawer there is a pack of ham and cheese.  So there is some sustenance.
  2. What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it? Dancing Queen by Abba
  3. Other than writing, what special or unusual talent(s) do you have? I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. I have a little artistic ability, when I was younger I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I can leap tall buildings in a single bound...oh wait, no that's Superman. I guess that's the extent of my abilities. 
  4. Where did you last go on holiday? Gatlinburg, TN.  My husband and I spent five days in the mountains in a cabin with a group of our closest friends.  We had a four story cabin with an indoor pool on the bottom level.  It was a pretty fun experience filled with alcohol and debauchery. 
  5. If your house was attacked by feral aliens, and they were zapping your house with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save? Ok, this is my favorite question ever!  First, my wedding album.  Second my framed poster of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, signed by the entire cast.  Third, my Kindle. Fourth, my Laptop. Fifth, my VHS copy of Dogma signed by Jason Mewes. Oh shoot...did I need to include my husband as one of those five things or is he safe? I can trade the VHS for him I suppose. J
  6. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? Oh man...that's a tough one.  I don't want to fly because I'm afraid of heights.  Superstrength would be pretty cool.   The ability to make myself invisible would be awesome because I could mess with so many people and that would just be fun!  Superspeed would be a fun one too. 
  7. Who’s your favourite villain? The Joker from Batman. 
  8. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?  The Most Boring Biography Ever Written.  Ok, so maybe not the most boring but it would be close.
Amy's brand new release is now available!
Be sure to check out Amy McClung's amazing Parker Harris series.

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