Our Author Spotlighter this week has written an amazing 30+ romances for Harlequin, sold over 1 million copies which have been translated into thirteen languages, has won a RUBY, was a RWA president for two years, organised two RWA conferences and still finds time to work as a Paediatric ICU Nurse! It’s my honour to welcome to the Author Spotlight, Amy Andrews!
Thank you so much for having me!
You’ve written across a variety of genres: medical, contemporary, and the KISS line. Which is your favourite genre to write?
I’m a contemporary girl through and through! Which is just as well as the two Harlequin lines I write for are squarely in the contemporary camp and the books I’ve written for Entangled, Harper Collins and now Momentum are also contemporary with a capital C!
You co-wrote ‘Sister Pact’ with your sister, Ros Baxter. What was it like to co-write a book?
It was fabulous – a truly great experience. I guess it helps if you actually know and like your co-author! Funnily enough though, prior to writing the book, I didn’t think I could feel any closer to my sister, but I was wrong. It was a uniquely bonding experience for us both. Our writing styles are very complimentary but I still learned so much from Ros!
You are clearly a very good time manager, can you give us any tips or hints on how we can improve our time management?
I suppose here I should be bestowing kitchen-timer secrets and snatching an hour at midnight to get some words down wisdom but the truth is, I think Nike has it right – just do it! Having said that, time-management is welded into my DNA. I was one of four kids growing up with a mother who was the consummate volunteer, heavily involved in our schools and a host of community organisations. It was nothing to find her making eight tarts for the school fete before she dashed off to pick up assorted kids from swimming, ballet, drama and Scouts whilst in the middle of campaigning for local council elections. She was busy, so she had to be organised – I guess it rubbed off. My mother always said, if you want something done ask a busy person and she was totally right. But it’s also important to know when to say no. I think prioritising is the cornerstone of good time management. Work out what’s essential and plan for it. Let the rest go through to the keeper.
From where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere. Everywhere. The TV. Newspapers. Bus advertisements. Airport arrival lounges. Work. Eavesdropping in shopping isles. I eavesdrop a lot! And sometimes an idea will just blast into my head when I least expect it – I love those moments!
Of all the characters you’ve created, is there one that you have a particularly soft spot for? Writers usually say whoever their latest character is and I’m no different – I think I have the softest spot for Jake in my soon to be released Holding Out For A Hero (actually, I have a soft spot for all of the zany characters in the book) but I wrote HOFAH six years ago so it’s not proximity that makes me so fond. I just adore his honour, even when he’s trying to deny it, even when he thinks his actions haven’t demonstrated it – it shines from him.
What would we find on your bookshelf or e-reader?
You’d find a lot of books on my bookshelf! And on my e-reader. A lot of Aussie authors on my iPad because I believe in supporting our local talent. In fact I just went and counted. Out of 112 titles on my iPad – 62 are Aussie/NZ authors!
If you have any spare time, what do you do with it? How do you unwind?
Read! Seriously, there is never enough time to catch up on my enormous TBR pile. I miss reading!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Read! Yes, I’m sounding repetitive now. But you gotta know your market – it just makes good business sense. Plus you know….you get to READ too!
Do you write one manuscript at a time or can you write multiples at the same time?
I have occasionally worked on more than one ms at once but I really don’t like to at all! I like closure before confusing my already full brain with another set of characters!
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I’m a planster. 🙂 I plot a little then pants a lot. 🙂
Congratulations on the release of ‘Holding Out For A Hero’. Could you please provide us with a sneaky peaky excerpt?
Absolutely – a little something to demonstrate that streak of honour running deep and wide inside the lovely Jake.
“Cerberus?” Ella looked from the dog to Jake then back to the dog.
“Uh huh,” Jake confirmed, squatting to give him a pat.
The dog looked up at her and gave his tail a wag as if in apology. As if even he knew that the name was rather ambitious. She may not have been expecting three heads but she’d certainly expected a more impressive specimen. This was the most miserable-looking hound of hell she’d ever seen. She couldn’t have been more surprised had it been a Chihuahua called Satan.
“This is the watchdog with the menacing personality?”
Cerberus licked her hand and gave her one of his well-timed pathetic trembles.
Jake nodded again. “Underneath this flea-bitten exterior lurks the dark heart of a ninja dog.”
She crouched down next to Jake. “Ninja dog, huh?” she murmured scratching behind the dog’s soft, floppy ear. Cerberus angled his head to allow Ella more access and gave a shudder of ecstasy. “What do you say, boy? Want to come live at my house?”
Cerberus whined his agreement and Ella smiled. “Okay, then.”
Jake watched her as she ran her hands down the length of Cerberus’s body. “Thank you.”
Ella glanced at him. A mistake. Out of the neon gloom his features were sharp and defined. He was breathtaking. As a teenager he’d been good-looking but as an adult his attraction had matured into a lethal weapon. Their heads were close and she watched as his gaze dropped to her mouth. How often had she dreamed about Jake’s kiss? The thrill of it was still burned into her lips two years on. She could smell beer and lime on his breath and her eyes fluttered closed as the air in the alley became heavy with anticipation.
Oh god, this was bad.
She forced her trembling legs into action and stood. She cleared her throat. “Consider us even.”
Jake laughed, pushing himself upright too, a raised eyebrow calling her to account. “Oh, I don’t think so.”
Bastard. “Come on, Cerberus. Let’s go home.”
Jake fell into step beside her and she stopped. “What are you doing?”
“I’m walking you home.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“What kind of a gentleman would I be if I let a lady walk home by herself in the dark?”
“It’s not dark yet, and anyway, I’m not alone, am I? I have the hound from hell, ninja dog with me.”
They both looked down at Cerberus, who wagged his tail and trembled at the same time.
Jake rolled his eyes at the pathetic combination and started walking again. “I insist.”
Amy is giving away either a paper or digital of any of her backlist which can be viewed on her website. (see link above).
You can enter by answering the following question: Bonnie Tyler’s classic 80’s rock song, Holding Out For A Hero, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f_HsjpSVaI has been playing on repeat in my head ever since Momentum told me they wanted to buy my book. Are you a fan? Or maybe a fan of one of the many You Tube “interpretations” of the song?
This competition is open world-wide and will be drawn on October 15, 2013.