Welcome to Writer Wednesday! Today, I’m excited to introduce you to Amy Martin, a YA author currently working on the second book in her second series. Read on for her Q&A and more information about her books and where to find her.
Hi Amy! Let’s start with a little bit about you. Where are you from?
I’m originally from Missouri–I grew up near St. Louis. I now live on Long Island, NY.
When and how did you first get into writing?
I’m not sure how I first got into writing because I feel like I’ve always been a writer. I used to make up stories as a little kid, and sometimes I’d write them down. And I’ve always been an avid reader, so I wanted to be a writer so I could make people happy in the same way my favorite authors had made me.
Tell me about your writing and editing processes.
I can be either a pantser or a plotter on any given day. I usually start a novel with a rough outline of where I want to go, but sometimes as I write, different plot choices make more sense or characters seem to start doing what they want, and then I go with the flow.
I’ve been writing 1-2 books per year so far, so it takes me a while to write a book. I’m hoping to speed that up. When I write, I can work for up to four hours at a time before I have to do something else. Right now, I’m writing mostly in the afternoon. I’ve also started using dictation software occasionally–part of the fun of that is that the software doesn’t always understand what I’m saying, so I have to go back and figure out what a word or phrase is supposed to be. It’s instant editing!
What inspired your decision to self-publish the In Your Dreams series? What has your experience been like as an indie author?
I decided to self-publish the In Your Dreams series because I thought I might have trouble finding a home for the series at a traditional press because it bridges a couple of genres. Also, In Your Dreams was a semifinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition, and the feedback I received through participating in that contest motivated me to get the series out into the world.
Being an indie author is difficult sometimes, to be honest. Some people don’t consider indie authors to be “real” authors, and that can be a challenge as far as marketing books. But the good definitely outweighs the bad. When I get an email or a comment on my website from someone who’s enjoyed my work, I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I have great fans.
Your newest series is called The Quinn Callahan Chronicles and is a YA mystery/suspense series. Can you describe Quinn Invisible in one sentence?
A young woman struggles against a powerful family and a closed-minded town to clear her late mother of a murder she didn’t commit.
What can you tell me about the second book in the series, and when can we expect it to be released?
The tentative title for the second book is Quinn Dramatic. I don’t have a firm release date yet, but I’m hoping to release it this summer. In the second book, Quinn’s struggles against the Thalmann family continue as she learns more about her mother’s relationship to them. Meanwhile, at school, someone sabotages the fall musical and Quinn and Evan Thalmann work together to unmask the culprit although they are supposed to be keeping their distance. Readers will learn more about some of the characters from the first book, and there are some great new characters I think readers will enjoy getting to know.
Who could you see playing Zip McKee from In Your Dreams in an on-screen adaptation of her story? What about Quinn Callahan?
I could see Chloe Grace Moretz or Abigail Breslin playing Zip, and Molly Quinn (Castle’s daughter on Castle) playing Quinn–she has the right name!
You have several published works under your belt now. How has your writing evolved as you’ve gained more experience? Any advice for people (like me) just starting out?
I feel like I’m getting better with plotting and characterization in my novels the more I write–at least, I hope I am! And I feel like I’m just getting more confident as a writer with each novel.
The best advice I have for people just starting out is: Don’t give up. You’ll get bad reviews or your book might not sell as much as you want it to, and you’ll have days when you just want to quit writing. But if you believe in your story, someone else will, too. The connections you make with readers are everything. Just hang in there.
What are you working on now?
Right now, my focus is on the Quinn Callahan Chronicles, but I’m hoping to start some other young adult projects as well.
What are you reading now?
It’s not a young adult novel, but I’m re-reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m a hardcore introvert who sometimes feels out of place in the world of constant social media and reality television, so I like the reminder that there are other people out there just like me.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to join Amy’s mailing list on her website, where she sends out information about contests, book releases, and excerpts from her books. You can also follow her on her social media sites, linked below.
Sixteen-year-old Zara “Zip” McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone’s known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip’s life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.
Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip’s heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret–he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.
But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran’s parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm’s way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she’s afraid of what might happen.
*Recommended for Young Adult readers 13 and up (mild cursing, some adult situations).
When her cop father is killed in the line of duty, Quinn Callahan returns from New York to her hometown of Shady Springs, Missouri, to live with her aunt. Unfortunately, Shady Springs holds nothing but pain for Quinn, whose mother allegedly murdered Quinn’s popular best friend Emma before killing herself, leaving Quinn a bullied outcast at her upscale prep school.After almost four years away, Quinn finds not much has changed at Harrandale Preparatory Academy, although her bullies have grown older, taller, and crueler. And Emma’s twin brother Evan is still indifferent to her, which is more painful than any punishment her classmates can inflict.
Determined to clear her mother’s name, Quinn begins re-investigating Emma’s death with the help of some new friends and–eventually–Evan. But will Quinn and Evan be able to live with what they learn about their families in the process?
Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else.
The first book she published as a grown-up, In Your Dreams, was a semi-finalist in the Young Adult category of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. The second book in the In Your Dreams series, As You Wake, was released in 2013, and the third book in the series, Before You Sleep, came out in 2014. The final book of the In Your Dreams series, Beyond Your Dreams, was released in September 2014.
In 2015, Amy released the first book (Quinn Invisible) of the Young Adult mystery suspense series The Quinn Callahan Chronicles. The second book of The Quinn Callahan Chronicles, Quinn Dramatic, is due out in 2016.
A native of Missouri, Amy currently lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she’s usually watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin, visit her Facebook fan page, or reach her by email at email@example.com.
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely adding Quinn Invisible to my TBR. Thanks Amy! If you’re interested in being a featured author, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time! <3 Cassidy