What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hello. My name is Amy Joy and I live in the United States.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
As a child I really wanted to be Santa Claus. I still do want to be Santa, but I have also been creating stories since before I could write them down. When I was five, I remember that my mom was having a particularly rough day, so I wrote her a poem to make her happy and remind her how much she was loved. That was the first time I remember writing to try to help someone. Now I enjoy writing to make people laugh, but often my main goal is to remind us all that we are never as alone as we sometimes feel.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
I put out two books out recently. The first is a young adult novel, The Academie. The short summary: Allie Thompson is torn from her life and boyfriend when teen violence causes the government to house everyone under 22 in a militaristic, public school system, The Academie.
My second title is a mid-grade novel, The Princess and the Pepperoni Pizza. It’s the first in a series of “What Happens Next?” ™ books I am developing for print and Kindle. It starts with Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Princess and the Pea” and readers can have fun deciding where they want the story to go next.
What can we expect from you in the future? i.e. More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have many, many books of various genres in the works. You can expect to see more paranormal and dystopian romantic young adult lit, as well as many more children’s and mid-grade novels. My first priority is to get a sequel to The Academie out, but I have another YA paranormal romance story itching to be told that may need to come out sooner, so we’ll see which one writes itself first.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
In addition to writing, I also teach writing at two universities. I think this has gone a long way to making me a better writer, and I enjoy helping others learn to write well, but there are so many story ideas floating around in my head (and more everyday) that I look forward to when I can make writing a full-time profession.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It really depends on a lot of things, including genre. I wrote half of The Academie in a month, but it wasn’t finished until two years later. This is partly due to the fact that it was my first novel, partly due to the fact that I needed to take on a heavier teaching load, and also due to the fact that I became quite ill during this time. I think it also took a while because the material is somewhat heavy and complicated to write about. I needed breaks between writing periods so I could sort out the story for myself and plan out where it would go with relation to the trilogy I was planning.
Kids books I find much quicker to write, partly because they are shorter but also because the material tends to be lighter. (hat being said, I’ve been working on a series of mid-grade novels that I think will break new ground for that age-level because it’s both very light and fun and deep and serious.
I find the more planning I do before I write, the faster I am able to write and the less I have to re-write later. However, sometimes the stories just start pouring out I just go with it. This is part of why I try not to make promises about what book I’ll finish next. I have to leave room for inspiration. Sometimes the characters seem to step up and demand their stories be told.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
When I think of Stevie, from The Academie, I just can’t help but smile. She’s so sweet, honest, down-to-earth, and able to be happy under almost any circumstances. In many ways, she’s more zen than even Shara. I find that so admirable and wish I could be more like her.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
I guess it depends on genre, but generally I think to be a really good book that could become a bestseller, it has to have something that connects directly with readers. This may happen by connecting with an experience we’ve had so we say, “I’ve felt that” or by offering us something we wish we had and allowing us to experience it vicariously.
Thanks so much for inviting me to share my thoughts with you. If you would like to find out more about me or my books, you can find me at:
My author website: http://amysjoy.com
The Academie website: http://theacademieseries.com
Happy reading! J
Thankyou for taking the time from your busy schedule to take part in this interview!