This is my interview with Amy Keen, author of Embers. I am delighted to be doing this interview and hope you enjoy learning more about Amy.
So Amy, what made you want to become an author?
It is hard to answer this question without sounding twee or corny, but I don’t remember deciding to become an author; I have just wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I have always loved books and wrote poems and stories from a very young age. It was just ‘my thing’ and almost felt inevitable that I would write in some capacity forever. I am just now very lucky that people are reading what I write!
Do you have a favorite author?
I don’t have one, no. I think it is almost impossible to pick as I love reading so much. I suppose I would have to say one of my great loves is Shakespeare. His works played a significant part in my obsession with language and the power of words. In terms of more contemporary authors I have read some great books lately such as; Moonset by Scott Tracy (It has witches so I was hooked!), I also love Kendare Blake, who wrote Anna Dressed in Blood…. and on the other end of the spectrum, I adore the work of Mitch Albom. Albom has a style which is very touching and simple, but exceptionally clever; he knows how to evoke a reaction in a reader.
I recently reviewed your book, Embers, what gave you the inspiration for the book?
The book started as the idea which featured as the prologue. I had an idea about someone hiding something under floorboards and so the research began as to who was hiding what and who from. It was exciting figuring out the detail. I picked Salem as the Witch Trials as so dark and fascinating and I have wonderful memories of a visit there when I was younger, so I felt I could get really into the descriptions and feel of the place. I also love anything supernatural or paranormal so it seemed natural to me that I would write that kind of story.
How do you feel Embers was received?
I have been overwhelmed by some of the messages and comments about Embers. I find it fairly odd to get my head around people spending their time on words that came from my brain, but it is a real honor that people choose it and even more so when they take time to tell me they liked it.
You now have another book out, Ashes; did you have a plan for the whole series when you started?
I started writing Embers very much as a stand-alone story, but as time went on I felt strongly that there was so much mileage in the secrecy that Embers was built on, that it started to morph into a bigger picture. By the time I reached about three-quarters of the way through Embers I knew I wasn’t going to be finished with Scarlett just yet. A trilogy felt right and didn’t feel a stretch. I was very conscious that I shouldn’t drag the books out and I really wouldn’t have called it a trilogy unless I was confident I could sustain the thrills and suspense that long as I have been a disappointed reader before when a series has just gone on that bit too long. So, here we are and hopefully I can deliver a third installment that will satisfy Scarlett’s fans!
I, amongst others am doing a book tour in honor of Ashes, how do you feel about that?
I am really, really excited about the book tour. It is a wonderful way to connect with bloggers, without whom Embers and Ashes would not have reached as great an audience. I am thrilled that people are intrigued by the books and feel interested in the premise and the story to a degree that they would want to speak to me or delve into the story for themselves. I don’t think I will ever stop feeling grateful or excited/nervous when people start getting involved with the books, it is a great feeling.
Do you have any more books in the works right now?
I have the final installment in The Foresight Series on the go as we speak…Phoenix will be the climax to Scarlett’ story so I am taking my time to make sure I deliver on as much of the expectation as I can. Importantly, I want readers to feel rewarded for sticking with it, so that is my main focus.
I do have two other ideas, one in particular I have done a brief outline of, which I am really excited about and hope to start in the New Year, but Scarlett comes first!
Do you have any words for aspiring authors?
I am sure anyone who writes has heard this before but, DON’T STOP. Write for you, or for anyone who will read it, but do it because you love it and cannot imagine not doing it. It is a huge bonus if something comes of it, but writing is a passion and it takes practice like everything else so we have to do as much as possible to get better. I will always write, even if the books weren’t published, because for me it is quiet, relaxing time and who doesn’t want to escape to a world of their making???
One of my favorite quotes is from Charlotte Bronte: “I am just going to write as I cannot help it.” I think that some ups the attitude of anyone who is passionate about writing.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview and have any other questions you would like to ask Amy please comment below and I will add it into my interview with her for the Ashes Book Tour in June. The tour comes to Rebbie Reviews on June 12th so don’t miss it!