Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spotlight Feature on Author Amy Richie and Her Novel Willow

Willow Book Blurb

Willow Bennett’s life of sulky teen takes a drastic turn when she is suddenly forced to take leadership of an orphaned pack and has to make choices that not only affect her, but an entire town.

“Being a werewolf is harder than it looks. Everyone thinks it’s just morph at the full moon, kill, morph back. That’s not true. It’s a lot harder than that. Especially if you are seventeen years old.”
Willow has the worst luck. First she has to deal with her narcissistic foster mother, Bella; then of course there’s her horrid little sister Ivy; not to mention the pack of werewolves that belong to Bella. Now, they have to move and start a new school -  again. 
Just when Willow thinks things can’t get any worse, Blake shows up from a council she never knew existed to name her leader of a pack she never knew existed. How was she supposed to teach a bunch of teenagers how to be wolves when she herself hated everything about her life?

Author Interview with Amy Richie

R&M:  Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
Amy:  Interesting facts? I don’t think there is anything that interesting about me.  I like Doctor Who…ok, not like - LOVE. Glee comes in close second. I lived in India for a year. I have three kids. I don’t really like candy corn but I eat it anyways because it is just so cute. I have a sister who is the same age as my daughter. Mulan is my favorite Disney movie. I hope at least one of these things is interesting.
R&M:  When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
Amy:  I remember in seventh grade the teacher gave us a writing prompt (not verbatim: You’re driving down a dark road and then you see the detour sign…). Three students got picked to read their stories in front of the class and I was one of them. I decided then and there that writing was NOT for me. I hated going up there and reading that story about killer scarecrows, I was so nervous. But I did realize then that I liked to tell a story and that I had a little bit of an ability.  There was a group of “would-be” authors in high school and we would write and trade chapters and it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I started to think of writing as a career though. 
R&M:  When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
Amy:  I am a huge planner. I think it’s a result of being the oldest child in a large family. I outline my outlines and then still do a more detailed outline. And then I follow that outline. After I am done outlining, I can go through and just write whichever parts of each chapter that I want to for the day. I don’t write in any special order. There are, of course, parts of the story that change or even seem to write themselves though, but then I just….yeah you guessed it….change my outline accordingly.
R&M:  Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
Amy:  There is no special place that I “have” to write at. I carry my notebook with me almost one hundred percent of the time and write whenever I have any time.  With my awesome outline, I don’t require much time to get back into the story and spin out a couple hundred words in just a few minutes. With three kids, I have to use what I can get.
R&M:  Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
Amy:  Not really. Although I do often use names of people I know. I am not very good at thinking up names. I actually have a place on my face book page where people can add there names to my list to be used. And I really do use them.
R&M:  Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
Amy:  I like to write to the sounds of Legally Blonde the Musical. I have heard it so many times that I can just listen and not watch. As soon as I hear the music, it’s like a switch turns on in my head and the words come to me. 
R&M:  What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
Amy:  I think it’s important to get yourself out there, as an author, no matter which direction you take. Indie publishing gives a voice to author’s that would otherwise be silenced by mainstream.  No matter which path you take, your writing will speak for itself and if you’re good, you’ll be good no matter what label you have. 
R&M:  Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
Amy:  I do hear from fans a lot and I love it!!! There is nothing better than realizing that you aren’t the only one reading your stuff. To hear someone talk about Willow like she is real….nothing better. The worst things are the bad reviews I inevitably get. Not everyone likes the stuff I write. I try not to read them though. 
R&M:  What does your family think of your writing?  
Amy:  My family is really supportive. My sister, Molly, is amazing. She types for me and helps with just about everything.  My mom, who never reads, has read all my books and likes them. She brags about them everywhere she goes.  Before anyone had ever read anything from me, I let my aunt read them. I was just writing for fun, but she told me they were just as good as anyone else’s out there. She is the one who got me started on this whole thing.
R&M:  How has being published changed your life, if any way? 
Amy:  Before, I didn’t really take writing seriously. I just wrote sometimes. In fact, it took me two years to finish my first books. I have a bunch of half starts still from that time. Now, I just finished the third in my Immortal Love series in just twelve days. Writing has become an everyday thing and a huge part of my life.
R&M:  What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.
Amy:  I am writing the fourth in the Immortal Love series. There will be six in that series. (From World Castle Publishing).  And I am also working on book two and three in the Blood Vine Series. (After Willow) called Fern and then Ivy.  Also I have a new series about mermaids that will be coming from Anchor Group. The first book is called Sapphire City.
R&M:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Amy:  If they are really serious about writing as a career choice, I would say never, ever give up. That has to be first. Write something you believe in and then don’t give up on it. Second I would say write every day.  Your characters and the world they live in become real to you that way and then become real on your pages. Also if you write every day, you’ll finish it. Third, find a publishing company that you really love and stick with them. Just make sure they are a good fit.
R&M:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Amy:  The hardest part for me is that I have so many ideas going through my head all the time so it’s hard to stick to just one story at a time. I always want to stop before it’s done so I can start another.
R&M:  What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Amy:  I guess my biggest hardship is just getting my name and my books out there. I’m not the best at marketing, but luckily I got into a great publishing house that helps with those kinds of things. 
R&M:  What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Amy:  J.K. Rowling. I love her. She was just an “ordinary” kind of person who followed her passion and look where it landed her. 

Fun Questions:
1. Favorite flavor of ice cream:   Moose Tracks
2. Favorite color:  Blue
3. Favorite animal:  Tiger
4. Favorite season of the year:   Fall
5. Favorite Author:  J.K. Rowling
6. Favorite drink:  Iced Tea
7. Favorite food:  Curly Fries
8. Favorite Halloween Candy:  This question reminds me of the Halloween I spent in India. I had met up with a girl from Canada named Jo Anne Meyers and we were so incredibly homesick. We decided to stick together for the holiday that they didn’t even celebrate there. In honor of it, we walked down to one of the corner shops (there were at least 20 of them on the corner) and bought every single kind of candy that they sold. Then we took them home and tried each one and rated them. 1-10. To see which one was the best. They didn’t have much familiar “American” candy though. My favorite now is the little tootsie rolls you can only find at this time of year. Huge bags for four bucks. 

Character Interview with Willow

Hello everyone! My name is Amy Richie and I'm here today interviewing Willow Bennett, star of my newly released book "Willow".

So, Willow, I'm glad to have you here today. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Willow: I'm a werewolf. I was almost a cheerleader though - once.

Do you like being a werewolf?

Willow: No.

But it must be kinda cool to have all those guys follow you around and do what you say?

Willow: Yeah, real cool. When I get out of the shower, there they are. When I'm trying to eat lunch, there they are. They're even in my head.

Oh. Is there anything cool about being a werewolf?

Willow: (smiles) The running part is cool.

I understand you and your sister Ivy don't get along?

Willow: She's my little sister, of course we don't get along. I still worry about her though.

Will you find Ivy again in the next book?

Willow: I don't know when, but I WILL find Ivy. You can count on that.

Are you and know...(raises eyebrows)...??

Willow: No!!! Well, kind of. I guess, a little bit. But he's not like, completely my boyfriend or anything.

Now Willow, this first book left us wanting to know what happens to you and the pack. Can you give us any info?

Willow: (Smiles again) We go to a new town, but we don't stay there very long.

Where do you go? Why do you have to leave again?

Willow: Sorry, that's all I can tell you.

But that wasn't anything!!

Willow: I know.

Ugh!! Well, thanks for coming to talk to us Willow. Tell Jed and the boys that we said hi!

Amy Richie has lived in a small town her entire life. She lives with her three kids and their pet rat Jasper. She began writing in high school but never took it seriously until a few years ago. She enjoys writing because it takes her out of her everyday life and gives life to the people in her head. Amy says: “When I was little I wanted to be a mermaid, then when I was in high school I wanted to be a vampire; now as an adult I’m a writer, which is better because now I get to 
be both.” 

Willow Trailer!!

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