Amie Irene Winters is a very diversified lady. She's had a multitude of wonderfully intriguing jobs, from Park Ranger to Archaeologist, and is also the author of the Strange Luck series.
I met Amie through a little bit of luck, and an e-mail, and I find she is a girl after my own heart. Yes, another dog lover, and a self-admitted chocoholic.
Amie married her High School sweetheart and spends a great deal of time outdoors, but she also does something I've never been able to get quite right, she bakes desserts!
I have to say I am grateful she agreed to interview with me, and now I'd like to pass a little insight into Aimie on to you.
This is what Amie had to say...
Why did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
Writing books full-time never entered my mind until I completed my bachelors in anthropology and religious studies, masters in environmental leadership, and an eight-day wilderness solo in the Rocky Mountains. After having tried a variety of unique jobs - from park ranger, grant writer, natural history curator, to archaeologist - did I start to experiment with writing fiction as a career. I can’t imagine a more perfect job for me. I love the flexibility and creative freedom.
What was the thing that drove you the most to do so?
Having the opportunity to explore the mind, memories, and what it means to be a good person through creative fiction.
Why did you pick the genre/s that you have?
When I starting writing my debut novel, Strange Luck, I didn’t have a particular genre in mind. I just wrote the story that I needed to tell. It wasn’t until much later that I realized I had written a YA Fantasy book.
Who is your favourite character, and why?
I tend to always root for the villain, so I would say that the entity was my favorite character. Since he is a dark wizard, his powers are limitless, so it was a lot of fun coming up with magical, strange things he could do.
Do you have any particular quirks when writing?
Chocolate is a must…and a good cup of tea.
What does your family think of your work?
Everyone has been very supportive of my writing. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received though is that my dad (who is not a fiction reader at all, nor a reader of books in general) actually read the whole thing! Not only that, he kept calling me for weeks after he finished it asking questions about the story and how I got my ideas.
How do you deal with writers block?
Neil Gaiman put it perfectly when he said, "This is how you do it: You sit at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." These are certainly some words to live by and I am constantly fine-tuning my process and figuring out what works best for me. In general, if I have writers block I’ll go for a walk, talk with a friend, or go see a movie. Studies show that distractions can usualy be good for creative thinking. I also carry around a notebook with me at all times if I get any ideas.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
Connecting loopholes. You can plot, organize, and storyboard a book a thousand times, but there will still be loopholes. That’s why it’s extremely important to let other people read your work, especially a professional editor. When you are so close to something it’s very easy to overlook holes in your story.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Yes! Daisy Darling is based on my own thoughts and experiences, especially the desire to pursue her dream of writing. We share a lot of little quirk like over-analyzing, competitiveness, a crippling addiction to chocolate, oh, and being incredibly stubborn. Fun fact: I was actually born with red hair, too (but then it turned blonde). Daisy’s relationship with Roger started out in a similar way to how my relationship started with my now husband. We actually met in high school and became good friends, but I never thought he liked me until one day he asked me for my phone number. Roger is similar to my husband in a lot of ways in the sense that he is very grounded and calming no matter the situation. There are a lot of other tidbits in Strange Luck that are based on real things like Roger’s dog, Millie, that could bark I love you and some of my unusual antiquing experiences.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I love everything outdoorsy like camping, hiking, and kayaking. When inside, I play keyboards, paint, and bake sinfully sweet desserts.
What do you like to read?
Pretty much anything having to do with magic, witches, and evil. The Neverending Story and Harry Potter are some of my favorites. Right now, I’m reading a lot of Victorian and Gothic literature.
Who is your favourite author?
H.P Lovecraft immediately comes to mind. He was not only a genius with creating a complex pantheon of gods, but his style of writing has a way of getting in your head. Lovecraft never really tells or shows you anything to evoke fear; instead, it subtly creeps into the story on its own. Genius!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything. A song, movie, a painting. I was actually inspired to write Strange Luck while passing a cemetery on the way to work one day. I started thinking about memories, regrets, life, and experiences. Having as many experiences/memories as possible has always been a personal goal of mine (don’t even get me started on my mile-long bucket list). Anyway, my mind wandered to the idea of collecting our most cherished memories and I thought it would be a unique concept for a book.
Where are your books available?
Barnes & Noble
What are you working on right now?
Book II in the Strange Luck series called The Nightmare Birds.
It will be very H.P Lovecraft meets The Night Circus. Muhahaha! It’ll be a little darker than Strange Luck and have more philosophical components. Look for it this autumn 2016.
Here is how you can find Amie Irene Winters
I'd like to take this last moment to thank Amie for agreeing to my interview, and hope she had as much fun as I did in her participation. It was a pleasure to get to know her, and see inside her head a little. I hope you'll take the time to connect with Amie wherever you can, and hopefully pick up a copy of her book before book two arrives.
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I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
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