Sunday, 12 March 2017

My Interview with Author Amanda Stevens

1.  When did you first realize you wanted to become a Writer/author?
I started my first book when I was in the seventh grade, a romantic-mystery YA that never got past Chapter Five.  I dabbled all through high school and always loved my writing assignments, but it wasn’t until years later when I went back to college to pursue an English degree that I became serious about writing as a profession.  I wrote and sold my first book during my junior year, a romantic suspense entitled Killing Moon.

2.  Where do you get your ideas for your book?

Coming up with an idea is the easy part of writing for me.  Sometimes I start with a title that I like and create a whole premise around it.  Sometimes the premise comes first.  It just depends.  Ideas are everywhere, though--music, movies, TV shows, the news, personal stories, etc.  The challenge is to give each idea your own spin.

3.  What kind of things do you enjoy when not writing?

I do a lot of binge watching—Stranger Things, House of Cards, Penny Dreadful, just to name a few of the series I’ve recently devoured.  I also like spending time with friends, writing my bike and traveling.  Charleston is one of my favorite destinations, along with New York and Los Angeles.

4.  How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve kind of lost count, but I think around sixty.  The Graveyard Queen series is probably my all-time favorite because the modern gothic atmosphere is so in my wheelhouse.  But I also enjoyed writing the standalone thrillers, especially The Dollmaker.  Of my romantic suspense books, the Eden’s Children and the Kingsley Baby series are still standouts for me.

5.  Do you have any suggestions to help others who have a passion for writing?

It sounds clich√©, but just write.  Practice makes perfect.

6. What do you think makes a great story?

Characterization is probably the most important thing for me.  None of the characters in a story has to be perfect—that’s actually boring.  Flaws and weaknesses are great, but I need at least one character that I can root for or at least relate to.  I also love an inventive plot.  Everything has been done before, but I appreciate a writer who takes the time to give a familiar premise a surprising twist or a different perspective.

7.  Which Writer/Authors inspire you?

Mary Stewart is the reason I became a writer.  I’ve also been inspired by Dean Koontz, Charlaine Harris, Jane Langton, Herman Wouk and so many others.

8.  What are you working on at the moment?(optional)

I’m finishing a Harlequin Intrigue contract that I signed before I began The Graveyard Queen series.  For anyone unfamiliar with the Intrigue line, these stories are contemporary romantic suspense.  The first—entitled Pine Lake—will be out in October, 2017.  I’m also working on another modern gothic series similar in style and atmosphere to The Graveyard Queen.

9.  What genre are your books?

The publisher labels them paranormal romance.  I call them modern gothic.  Some of my readers have called them soft horror.

10.  What drew you to the genre you write?

Gothic romance was my first love.  Everything from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Victoria Holt.

11. Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead character from your most recent book?(any book you like)

I like to leave that up to the reader. 

12. Do you write full-time or part-time?

I do write full-time, usually several hours a day, seven days a week.

13.  What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, it’s getting the story down page by page, chapter by chapter.  I love to come up with ideas and brainstorm and I even like to plot and revise.  But the day to day writing, not so much.

14. How can Readers discover more about you and your work?(please provide proper links)

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