Name: Amity Grays
Where are you from:
Southwest Idaho, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m married with two daughters. I’m an accountant in my day job. My passion is writing. I write romance, but I have a very hard time sticking to a specific subgenre.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve had a couple releases already this year. Guardian of the Stone, a time travel surrounding the final era of the Knights Templar. Hard Copy, a contemporary romance built around the Idaho Vineyards. And I have a new release coming out soon. A treat for Halloween called Count Dragomir. The hero is not a vampire, but everyone wishes he was. In a word, I’d describe it as endearing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always had stories bouncing around in my head. They can come sometimes from the simplest moment—a bus passing by, two cowboys emerging from a dusty trail, a song that lingers. They just come to me. The itch to write them down has always been present. I used to draw story books when I was really young. I got serious and started my first manuscript over ten years back.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can’t remember the exact date, but it was years into my journey. I’d had countless rejections, a few contest wins, and as I often do, I was struggling with the brutal reality of this extremely competitive market. Someone laughed and said, “You’re a writer. That’s the life.”
My day was made. I was a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It sounds really funny, but the truth is, the voices in my head made me do it. I don’t remember what sparked the first idea, but I remember the whole of the story coming to me fast and furious. I fell in love with the idea. For fear of losing the visions, I started writing them down. Pretty soon I was writing a book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a mix, 20% pantser—80% plotter.
I write in third-person, but I adore a good first-person. Someday I may even tackle one.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Guardian of the Stone started out as Little Girl Edeline, but several people advised me against it. I changed it to something more fitting the plot.
Hard Copy got its name from a turning point in the book. The editor and chief of the heroine’s on-line newspaper, asks her for a hard copy of her article. He wants to avoid having to look at the computer screen any longer. The heroine prints and takes him the right article, but accidently places the wrong one out on the shared drive.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Guardian of the Stone is loaded with ideas for readers to ponder. The Knights Templar and the truths, mysteries and secrecy around them really are fascinating. There’s a scene from the book which I think sums it up well:
There were countless theories surrounding the treasure linked to the Knights Templar. Many liked to believe they’d held and/or still possessed the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant. Absurd it might seem, but it was hardly surprising—the myths, the mystery, the speculation. The world’s fascination with the Knights Templar wasn’t exactly a fluke. It was the result of a wealth in unusual facts all surrounding an order pledged to the highest power of all—God.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic:
The introduction takes you too an actual event.
On May 12, 1310, after recanting confessions of heresy, which were drawn through torture, 54 Knights Templar, were taken to the fields outside of Paris and burned at the stake.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw. I read it when I was probably fifteen—I think as a challenge to myself. But even then I really got it—the connection between choices, drive and conscience. I plan to reread it someday, hopefully soon, to see if it still hits me as so profound.
Mostly I’ve read romances. They make me happy. I like happy endings. Real life is tough enough.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, none. I have too many projects going on. The last book I read for enjoyment was Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger. The name almost turned me off, but I’d read an insert and thought it genius. I’m so glad I bought the book. I haven’t laughed so hard in a really long time. It’s awesome. She’s fabulous.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
All the time, though one specific name does not pop out. I’ll follow various contests where work is displayed openly, and I’m always amazed at the talent that’s out there. There are countless talented authors still waiting to be discovered.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have a new book going through edits. Land of Wind and Song. It’s about a strong family doing their best to hold things together after some incredible loses. To save their land, they agree to let a movie studio use their ranch to film a movie—a movie based on a popular book called Land of Wind and Song.
The money from the deal saves their ranch, but it’s the book that ultimately changes their lives.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My critique partners: Stephanie Berget, Judy Keim and Coeur du Bois RWA group of Boise Idaho, my always-reliable beta reader, Shelley B, and an impressive handful of amazing and supportive friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I fear the answer to that will always be yes.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It’s always been there to some degree, but an English teacher my Sophomore year in college suggested I make it a career. I did not choose that route at that time, but the thought never left me after that.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Land of Wind and Song
Wrapping the camera’s cord around her neck, Fawn lifted her face into the breeze and took a moment to enjoy the hushed sounds—the wind’s whish as it whipped lightly through the air, its hum as it brushed over the earth, its whistle as it tumbled between cracks and through hollows. It was a treat rarely found in her world—the silence that wasn’t really silent.
The soft, sweet twing of a glass chime rang in as a duet to nature’s orchestra. Soft and gentle, it seemed as natural as the wind itself. Fawn stood still a while longer. That’s when she realized the duet was actually chorused.
You could hear it if you really listened—the echoes of life—cows mooing, equipment purring and the far-off chatter of men working together to make a living on a land, where the land, and the land alone, reigned under God.
Fawn headed for the house, the crunch of her steps over gravel adding a semblance of percussion to the orchestra already at play. Reaching the veranda, she took the steps two at a time, turned at their top and looked back toward the hills. It was beautiful here. So very different from the world of box-style, low-rent apartments she’d grown up in.
Who was it who’d described this land as dry, desolate? She couldn’t remember, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Lush, green, vibrant—that’s how she’d describe it. Dry might lurk, but it didn’t live here, and though she might grant it private, desolate was way too harsh a word for this striking oasis.
“So what do you think, Alice?” she asked the story’s imaginary heroine. “Will this place do?”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time, there’s never enough of it.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many favorites. It would be too hard to pick one.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only in my dreams.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The staff at Omnific Publishing designed Guardian of the Stone.
Winterheart Design, Lex Valentine designed Hard Copy and is designing Count Dragomir.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’m not one who can leave a problem for later. If something doesn’t sound right, I waste a lot of time trying to fix it, when stepping away and coming back is the right answer.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
To believe in my instincts.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Study the art. Listen to advice then do your own research. Learn from the best.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for giving me a shot. I love hearing your feedback.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Honestly—Dick and Jane…and Spot. There was a puddle and a fence. That’s what I remember. I was very young.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Humans, life—I love the real stuff I can relate to.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My Grandmother who died before I was born. I’d love to know what she was like.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Loved and was loved. (In the end, it’s all that matters.)
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Bridget Jones Diary, Bridesmaids and Burlesque are my favorite movies
The Originals and Big Bang Theory
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chocolate cake. Love all colors. Like most music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d like to work in medical research.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Amity-Grays/e/B015RA956W/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1