Name Amy K McClung
Where are you from Smyrna, TN
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
My husband and I have been together for 11 years, married for 10. Currently we have no children but it gives us the opportunity to spoil our five nephews and one niece. I work full-time as a medical coder and write in my free time. My favorite past times include watching movies, drawing, and reading fantasy novels.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I submitted one of my works to a publisher and I’m hoping to hear back soon on whether or not it will be accepted. *Fingers crossed*
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2011 when I lost my job of 11 years. It was a difficult time for me and I was speaking to my husband on the phone one day about a television show and how I would change the plot. He suggested I write my own story to express my creativity as well as take my mind off waiting for the phone to ring for interviews. My husband, Daniel, and I were the only ones who knew I was writing the book. I wasn’t out of work long but I continued writing and self-published it in May of 2012. The day after I published it, I finally told my friends and family.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took me a long time to come out and call myself writer. I had written a four book Young Adult series and it wasn’t until my fifth book, For the Love of Gracie, a New Adult novel, that I truly began to feel like a writer. I think the reason is I did all the promotion and set up for the book much better than my first series. I had beta readers, an editing company, and it ranked on Amazon for the first week of sales. It wasn’t the money making me feel like a writer but all the amazing reviews and feedback I received on the book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband has been the most inspiration for me. I was watching a show about Vampires and telling him how I’d do the plot differently. He suggested I rewrite it. My book began as a rewrite to the show and then I decided to do a completely different story and make it all my own. I expected to write twenty or thirty pages and instead I’d written over two hundred pages before I even realized it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I jot down a story idea with key points, character information, and an idea of an ending. Many times that ending will change by the time I finish the book. I also will sit and write as much as possible and then go back and add in more details and extend the story to keep it from being too rushed. I love writing series so having a document ready with details of all the characters for each book helps me with the next so I don’t contradict myself.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
With my Parker Harris Series: The first book was titled Cascades of Moonlight. The name of the town in the book is Cascades, Idaho. The main character is a werewolf and her special place is a waterfall in town, so the name relates to the town, character, and special place. The other three books incorporate moon in the title somehow and coincides with the story. With my titles for the Southern Devotion Series: For the Love of Gracie came from the summary of the book and the main characters name. ie: What lengths would someone go to for the love of Gracie? For the other titles, my husband helped me come up with each of them after I explained the plots. He also came up with the series title, The Southern Devotion Series. He is my muse.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The Southern Devotion Series has several messages within. The stories are about friendship and the family you choose. It’s about stereotypes and how they can affect people. Each story is also about acceptance and imperfections. The characters in the series are flawed or deal with being different than what society considers ‘the norm’.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
There are several true events in the books, things that have happened to people I know. However, they didn’t all happen to the same person. Some real life events of my own are in there as well. As far as realism, I try to keep it as realistic as possible. There are some moments that seem like they wouldn’t happen to most people, but they aren’t impossibilities. I would say at least seventy to eighty percent realistic.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Each of my books contains stories pulled from my own life. Many of the characters are based on some of my closest friends as far as personality. I’ve always heard the phrase, ‘write what you know’ and that’s what I enjoy doing.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I have so many favorite authors and books that have influenced me. One set in particular is the Harry Potter series and JK Rowling. Her background story and the way she came up with such in depth characters and an entire world of magic. I can only dream of writing something as amazing as that series!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading Let Me Be the One by Lily Foster and listening to the audiobook of The Green Mile by Stephen King
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kaithlin Shepherd, Gen Ryan, Taryn Eliott, these are just a few of the new authors I’ve read this year so far. They’re new to me at least and I’m a fan of all of them now.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The final book of The Southern Devotion Series is what I’m working on currently. It will be told from the perspective of two of the characters in the series to tell their separate stories of love and the struggles they face in life simply because of who they are. I am also working on a standalone Adult Romance, currently untitled. .
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Book blogs in general have been a great support. There is one in particular, Bex N Books, who has always offered me support and even advice when needed. I appreciate them more than I could ever express.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d love to make writing a career. Currently it isn’t possible, but the dream would be to one day be able to stay home and write full time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Each time I finish a book and publish it, I go back eventually and feel like I should’ve written things differently. In the end though, I’ve been pretty happy with the conclusion of each.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is unedited, but here is a brief snippet from Twisted Fate:
Bracing myself against the counter I took a deep breath and tried to get my nerves under check. I hadn’t been this nervous with a guy, well, ever. I felt like a girl in puberty discovering boys make her tingle down below. Once I gathered my courage to go face him again, I grabbed the freshly poured teas and met him in the living room. I’d been in there longer than I realized because he was paying the Chinese delivery man.
I gazed around the room noticing he’d lit a few candles and dimmed the lighting in a smooth move. I’d never been romanced before, this could be a nice feeling. He turned and smiled, his gleaming white teeth adding even more glow to the room.
“I like what you did in here.”
Marcus blushed a little when he asked, “I hope I didn’t go overboard.”
We sat down to eat and I picked up the chicken lo mein first attempting to eat it with chopsticks. When I dropped the first helping down into my bra, Marcus leaned forward and said, “Let me clean that up for you.” I swatted his hand away playfully when he reached out to touch my breast.
I leaned forward to grab a napkin from the table, used it to clean up the noodles, and reached to place it in the bag. Marcus took the opportunity to lean over and kiss me. The moment our lips met, I felt a surge of electricity rush through my body.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Blurbs, I hate them. They are my worst enemy. I think a lot of authors feel that way though. Some of my other challenges are remembering to explain myself on paper. What I mean by that is I tend to write thinking what I’m saying is getting across to the reader. My editors have caught many things that when I reread them I think it seems obvious before I realize it’s only obvious to me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
JK Rowling. I’ve only read her Harry Potter series, but it’s enough to make me love her for life. I’m amazed at how she came up with an entire world and so many complicated characters. I’m in awe of her.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far I have only done local signings and such for my book. However this year I do have two signings I am attending out of state and I am really looking forward to them. With working a full time job, I can’t travel too much with my books, but I am excited to attend Once Upon A Book in Frankenmuth Michigan this August as well as Penned Con in St Louis in September.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My husband designed the covers for my YA series and the spin off. For my New Adult series, the covers for books One and Three were designed by Cover Lust Designs. Book Two was designed by Sprinkles on Top Studios.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Knowing other people would read it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It’s not as easy as it seems and people pay more attention to detail than you can imagine. Even the slightest detail being off can ruin a story. It’s made me pay closer attention to things I read as well. I’ve found more pet peeves in my reading, but it’s also improved my writing along the way.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I feel as though I’m still learning. The only advice I know to give is to not go this route alone. Befriend other authors because they are as scared and unsure as you are. Reach out to established and new authors to build a support group. Take things with a grain of salt. Not everyone will like your story. I’ve seen too many people get upset over bad reviews and confront the reader about it. Bad reviews hurt, but they also help you grow.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. My readers are the reason I keep writing. I have met so many wonderful people along the way who have read every book I’ve written and have lifted my spirits at the lowest times. It’s been an amazing experience and I couldn’t say that without the readers.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really. As a child I loved Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, Choose Your Own Adventure Books, and Nancy Drew Mysteries. As a teenager I loved John Grisham books. Then for a while I stopped reading, probably for about ten years. One day my friend suggested a book to me. She handed me her copy and it was simply a pair of hands holding a bright red apple. I started it that night and couldn’t put it down. Twilight started my reading habit back up and since then I read four to five books a month.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband makes me laugh more than anything else. As for crying, I’m a wuss. Romantic movies, sappy books, commercials, they all have potential to bring out the tears.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
JK Rowling, I’d love to get advice on writing from her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Amy McClung, She Saved the World…A lot.
Sorry, I’m a Buffy the Vampire Slayer nut and that’s what was written on her tombstone for those who don’t know. That’s the only thing coming to mind at the moment.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, Drawing, and I collect movies and Pop Funkos
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Walking Dead is my absolute favorite. Supernatural, Flash, Arrow, Big Bang Theory, The 100, Z Nation. I love a variety of genres, superhero and paranormal are some of my absolute faves. I’m a giant nerd.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite Foods: Macaroni and Cheese is something I could eat every day and every meal and never get tired of it. I also have a sweet tooth and love chocolate.
Color: Blue. Every shade of blue is my favorite, in fact my second favorite color is purple which is about as close to blue as any color can get!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d love to run a comic store with my husband. We love movies, movie memorabilia, Pop Funko dolls, Transformers, etc. I would love to run a store with him where we could sell collectibles and talk about our favorite things with people all day.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a Facebook page, Twitter, and Blog and they are:
The Parker Harris Series (YA Paranormal Romance)
The Crispin Sinclair Chronicles (YA Fantasy)
The Shimmering Pool Book #1 http://www.amazon.com/Shimmering-Pool-Crispin-Sinclair-Chronicles/dp/1494840197
The Southern Devotion Series (Adult Contemporary Romance)
For the Love of Gracie Book #1 http://www.amazon.com/Love-Gracie-Southern-Devotion/dp/1484117387
Curves in the Road Book #2 http://www.amazon.com/Curves-Road-Southern-Devotion-Book-ebook/dp/B00MG6W98M
Complicated Relationships Book #3 http://www.amazon.com/Complicated-Relationships-Southern-Devotion-Book-ebook/dp/B00V861900
Promises in Stone (YA Contemporary Romance) http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Stone-Amy-McClung-ebook/dp/B00SFO0MJW
Amazon Authors Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-McClung/e/B0084PYM7K