Thursday, August 25, 2011

Author Interview: Amy Miles

Eighteen-year-old Illyria Anderson has found the one thing she desires most.  But choosing him will bring about Earth’s destruction.  

A darkness is growing within Illyria’s soul, threatening to assume control of her mind and her unstable powers.  The sinister thoughts that flash before her eyes are filled with images too brutal to put into words.  For a normal person this wouldn’t be a problem.  Popping a few pills before heading to a weekly counseling session would be enough to control the insanity, but Illyria isn’t normal.  She’s not even sure she’s human.  The only thing she is sure of is that she’s dangerous. 

Bastien Lewis, a sinfully handsome stranger, is the only person who can bring Illyria back from the brink of destruction as she struggles to control her powers.  He’s the only one that isn’t afraid of her or the Darkness that threatens to unleash its devastating power on the universe.  But being near him is almost more than Illyria can bear when she learns that her destiny does not lie with Bastien, but with another.  Illyria must decide if her love for Bastien is worth giving up everything, even if the price to be paid is Earth’s enslavement.

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to share with you my interview with Amy Miles, author of Defiance Rising. Amy  lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and son, and is a proud stay-at-home mom.  When she’s not writing, Amy can be found goofing off with family, cuddled up on the couch with a good book, or helping to renovate her home.  Amy is currently working on Relinquish, the second book in her Defiance Rising Trilogy, which will be available Fall 2011.

What kind of reader are you? What are your favorite books? Who are your favorite authors? 

I’m an avid reader of teen books at the moment.  Always trying to do comparisons for my own book, Defiance Rising.  I’m the type that when I get a book that’s really good I will willingly give up a night of sleep just to finish it.  I love Mysteries, Romance, Adventures, Fantasy/Sci-Fi and Christian romance.  Some of my favorite authors are Sophie Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Janette Oke, Stephenie Meyer and I’m just now getting into reading Amanda Hocking’s books.

Please describe what your writing day is like. (your writing process including schedules, number of words or pages in a day, if any).   

As a stay at home mom my day’s can are never the same.  I write when I can, snatching bits here and there.  Typically my best time to write, which thankfully coincides with my moments of inspiration, are between 9pm and 2am.  The house is quiet and I can truly focus on my book.  Typically I will write for 3 to 4 hours a night, normally finishing a chapter or two depending on how easily it flows.  The one thing I am very strict about is making sure I write something every day.  Even if it’s only a paragraph.

Please describe your process of editing and revisions (including any work with your beta readers or critique partners and your editor).   

When I was writing Defiance Rising, I actually completed my entire rough draft in 3 days.  But…it took me 2 years to complete the book.  Most of that was because I doubted myself as a writer, but a lot of it was rewrites, editing and more rewrites.  Even after all of that work I still found silly typos.
Editing is far more critical than writing the book.  If it doesn’t flow, if your threads aren’t tied together perfectly or if people find themselves stumbling over typo after typo, then no matter how good your content is, your readers will get a negative impression.  So even though it may feel tedious, put in the time to make your manuscript perfect. 

Who are your writing mentors or models?  

I learned a lot from reading Sophie Jordan’s books.  I’ve always been a descriptive writer, but her books opened my eyes to just how powerful words can truly be.  Sometimes reading a historical romance is all you need to expand your vocabulary. 

I grew up reading countless books by countless authors and each one of them impacted me as a writer.  Each one taught me a new style, a new idea or expanded my skills as a writer.  I’m a firm believer that in order to be a good writer you have to be a good reader.

How would you describe your work?

The word work isn’t even in my vocabulary.  Doing what you love, what you’re passionate about is never work.  I spend a couple hours throughout the day promoting Defiance Rising, and working on my blog to help promote other authors.  Self promotion is by far more tiring than writing a book!  But all of it is necessary to make a name for yourself.
What do you want your readers to take away from Defiance Rising? 

I didn’t want Defiance Rising to be another “in-thing.”  I didn’t want to write about vampires, werewolves, angels or any of the other fantasy themes swarming the teen sections today.  I wanted to write a book filled with action, excitement and also a love triangle to complicate things. 

Defiance Rising is a tale of one teenage girl’s journey to self-discovery, self-sacrifice and learning the ultimate meaning of love.  Illyria Anderson is just a normal girl faced with extraordinary circumstances.  I want teens to be able to sit back and think “what would I do if that were me?” 

What keeps you writing? 

I’m one of those authors that if I don’t write I feel like I will burst.  My mind never shuts down, never stops writing.  I can be standing at a bus stop and see a near miss of a car accident and my mind already begins playing out the scene, writing every detail of what I would jot down if I had a piece of paper. 

I had to learn early on that if I wanted to make sure my ideas were remembered the next day I had to keep a notebook beside my bed.  I could write pages of really good material while I lay tossing and turning at night but it’d be completely forgotten the next day. 

Writing is a passion of mine.  It’s not what I do, but who I am.  It’s an extension of me.  So writing could never just be a job, it’s a way of life.

Thank you, Amy! I can't wait to get a copy of your book.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All Night Long, I Remember You— Ebook For Free

They fell in love when their past wouldn't have allowed them to. Two friendship crossed the boundaries of a horizon where only a few had gone. Those who survived vowed never to return again.

When Ricah met her thesis mentor,Juffy Howe, in college, she never expected to fall in love. But she did.
Unknown to both of them, they both shared a past that has not ceased to gnaw them until the present.

With such a potent emotion for one another, they attempted to get over and heal themselves from the past only to realize, they cannot forget.

Will the future be kinder?

Get All Night Long, I Remember You for free!  Available only for a limited time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unleash the Genius Within: How to be a Writer

Ask a writer how to be a writer and you can bet that the cursory response would either be knitted brows or a scratch in the head. Honestly speaking, the how-to of being someone like how to be a writer, how to be an artist, how to be a mother, is not really defined but lived. That is probably the reason why it is be-ing in the first place. It is because it is a process that is ongoing in the present moment.

So when you ask someone how to be a writer, you can only recommend a few tools that he can use to guide him in his endeavor in becoming a writer. These guiding tools may include the following:

1. Think of an idea

Best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert gave a talk on Ted about nurturing creativity and discussed that all of us "have" a genius. And this genius is forever giving each one of us ideas. There are some people who believe that the same ideas are given to various people. The ones who listen are the ones who give life to these ideas.
The first guide on how to be a writer is to think of an idea, to capture the gift from the genius that is within us. You will be surprised that the one thing that has been bugging you is the very idea that you are meant to give life to— to write.

2. Record the ideas that come up from your original idea

Should you be gifted with an idea by your genius, you need to listen some more and a myriad of other ideas will come rushing forth. Like a tree that suddenly grew millions of branches, your idea gives birth to other ideas and you need to record them.

3. Get the string of ideas organized

After you have gathered the ideas springing forth from your original idea, get them organized. Pruning and tweaking takes place. Discard what is redundant. Put in order what is important. And behold, you have your skeleton of chapters before your eyes.

4. Write

The last guide on how to be a writer, which is really an endless step, is to write, write and write some more. This is where praxis meets the theory. And the how-to becomes a process. This is when how to be a writer becomes real.

How do you write? Do you listen to the genius within you? What do you want to write about?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meet Pilcrow, the Best Tool Indie Book Authors Cannot Do Without

Gone were the days when self-publishing has been scoffed at because it was believed to be the simpler alternative to an impatient or rejected author who wants to bypass the processes of traditional publishing. 

In its place is an era about authors taking charge with what they would often consider their “babies,”  “pride and joy,”  “glory” and more.  Would you think that these authors will undermine the handling of their precious ones?  While traditional publishing will limit the authors about their say on certain aspects of their books, independent publishing is a call and commitment to excellence in editorial, cover design and more.  For then again, majority of authors are artists and less of business people. Their works are manifestation, often revelation and extension of who they are as individuals. For this impetus, the readers can expect a work of art which goes beyond mediocrity from a real author…a self-published author.

I have recently joined the rostrum of authors who have chosen the independent publishing route.  By independent publishing, we can categorize it through print books and electronic books.  In this article, I would like to discuss the ebook platform and publishing.

Contrary to what others may think, self-publishing is not a simpler route. In fact,  it can be a daunting journey if one focuses on the aspect of being “on your own.” However, it is also a great and rewarding experience. When one has conquered the first step, going up the other levels is like opening a gift encased in different wrappings— coaxing and intriguing one to mystery, joy and fulfillment.   

Keep on reading at Goodreads

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Untitled Poem #35

I want to shield
Myself from you
The necessity of it so
It’s hurting me…
Then you surprise me
By saying
You have penetrated
And you found out
How disgusting
My world is…
Now, what is left of me?
Not my shield
Not myself
Not even my disgusting world
I have nothing…
You took what I had
Once I had everything
I thought I
Even had you…