Married for 8 years to my wonderful husband Daniel. I have three sisters, two younger (They’re twins) and one older so I am the middle child. I attended Private Catholic school from Kindergarten through High School. I attended two years of college. I work full-time in healthcare, exciting I know! At this point, no kids or pets. I spend my free time writing as a means of therapy and stress relief. I enjoy being an indie author mostly for the amazing people I’ve met during this writing journey.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
For the Love of Gracie was ranked #3 Hot New Release in Love & Romance on Amazon for the entire first month it was out! That’s a pretty awesome accomplishment for me. Since its release it was in the top 100 for Love & Romance and for the first month stayed steady in the top 10. It has been amazing the response that has come from that book!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing two years ago. I had lost my job and was feeling a bit lost. My husband and I were talking on the phone and I told him that I had been watching a show and that I could make the plot less obvious and he told me I should try writing a book. I never expected to publish it but once I started writing I just couldn’t stop!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still not sure I consider myself that! Lol. Seriously it’s all been so surreal that it’s hard to believe I actually wrote a book, especially hard to believe I’ve written four and am working on five, six, and seven.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband suggested it as a stress reliever and it has been great for that.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Sort of. Basically I get an idea for a scene in my head and I jot it all down. Normally I will write about sixty pages and that is the entire story so I can know where it starts and ends. Then I go back and add filler scenes to spread it out and make it flow easier.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my first book, Cascades of Moonlight, the town is Cascades, Idaho. The moonlight part came in due to the main character being a werewolf. For each book after that one in the series, I incorporated Moon in the title somehow to make them flow together. For my New Adult Romance, For the Love of Gracie, I knew the main character would be named Gracie and well the title just came to me, nothing real intriguing about that one I guess.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In my newest novel, For the Love of Gracie, there are a few messages that I want readers to grasp. One is about stereotypes and how we all tend to treat people according to stereotypes whether we mean to or not and sometimes that can make us miss out on important relationships in our lives. Another message is the importance of noticing the signs of an abusive or unhealthy relationship. There are simpler messages as well, the importance of friendship, the joys and heartaches of growing up, and the inevitably of change in our lives.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
A lot of it is realistic because there are many aspects that are experiences of my own or that someone close to me has had. There are embellishments and things that have been changed, but for the most part any of it could happen.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes. The main character Gracie goes through a few heartaches in life that I experienced myself. It helps to write about them and express my feelings through her as a means of therapeutic release. Gracie’s friends are based on my friends as well. I even fashioned Gracie’s love interest, Ashton, after my own husband.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life?
The Harry Potter series. I am a fanatic for all things Harry Potter and am amazed that someone can create a world like that from their imagination. I can only dream of being that imaginative.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That’s a tough one. There are so many amazing writers out there. I’ve learned many things from many different authors.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Bitter Blood, Book 13 of The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Many amazing indie authors have captured my interest lately, especially Julie Cassar, Ruthi Kight, Tabatha Vargo, Stacey Rourke, Felicia Tatum, Sarah Ashley Jones.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on a Novella for my YA Paranormal Romance, The Parker Harris Series which will be technically Book 3.5 in the series and will be the bridge between that series and the spinoff YA Fantasy series called The Crispin Sinclair Chronicles. After I finish the novella and the first book in the Crispin series, I will start Book 2 of my New Adult series which will be called Curves in the Road.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Book Pages on Facebook or with blogs. One book page in general, Bex N Books, has supported me more than I could have ever dreamed of. They’ve not only reviewed books for me but also did an author spotlight for an entire month for me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Truthfully I see it more as a hobby for myself. I enjoy it so much that thinking of a career makes it sound like work and it’s more fun than work for me. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of work involved, but I try to keep it as fun as possible so that I always enjoy it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
For my latest book, no. I am very happy with the way Gracie came out and I haven’t been able to say that very often about my books!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current work is a Novella from the viewpoint of Mitchell Davis, a character from my YA Paranormal Romance, The Parker Harris Series. The Parker Harris Series is from Parker’s viewpoint so this novella gives you a perspective from Mitchell’s view and you get to see how it was for him to be changed into a Vampire, how things developed from there and then the story that bridges from Book 3, The Dark Moon, to the spinoff series of The Crispin Sinclair Chronicles.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Synopsis/Blurbs…they are my nemesis! The two hardest things for me with writing are coming up with a title that fits and coming up with the blurb.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
JK Rowling, she created an entire world with one main story but several separate side stories as well that could easily be branched out. I absolutely love everything about the Harry Potter series, it is my go-to series and I’ve read them or listened to them on audiobook, several times.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
At this point, no I haven’t done any traveling for them.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For the Love of Gracie, the cover was designed by Cover Lust Designs. The covers for my YA Paranormal Romance, The Parker Harris Series, were a collaboration between my husband and I.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making sure the story flows correctly and that it makes sense. Especially going from Paranormal, where basically anything goes, to Contemporary where things must be realistic and true to life.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned to take criticism. Before I started writing it was hard for me to accept criticism, I’d break down in tears. Now, I take it with a grain of salt and I learn from it and move on.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Editors are worth every penny! Don’t try to do it yourself. Fans are your lifeline, be good to them especially! Don’t put everything on the line over reviews. Bad reviews should be a learning experience, good reviews will be a confidence booster. Everyone will not like the same book and that’s okay!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! Without my readers I wouldn’t need to write. I love hearing your thoughts on my books and I appreciate them more than I can ever say!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies
My husband and I are avid movie collectors, we have almost 2000. I love most every genre of movies. I also love to read, which helps when you write. I enjoy drawing, though I don’t do that as often as I used to. When I was younger I loved to design outfits with my drawings and I wanted to be a fashion designer, I still draw them from time to time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching. There are so many shows I watch now, The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Mike & Molly, Dexter, Once Upon a Time, etc. There have been a lot of great series that have captured my attention lately! As for films, my all time-favorites would be Love Actually, Goonies, The Lion King, Harry Potter series, etc. I could name movies I love all day long!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite foods: Favorite food Mac N Cheese, anything chocolate, burgers. Favorite Color: Blue. Favorite Music: I love a little of every genre of music, to tell you the range of my favorites, Garth Brooks and Marilyn Manson are my two all-time faves! I enjoy a little bit of everything but my satellite radio is almost always tuned to the All 80’s station.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
Fashion Design. I used to have a notebook full of designs I drew. It used to be my favourite pastime to draw and design outfits, evening wear, etc. I designed a wedding dress for myself on paper, it would’ve been a dream come true to have had someone make it for me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it? I have an author page on Facebook www.facebook.com/AmyKMcclung and a blog http://amykmcclung.blogspot.com/