16 May 2013

Author Interview - Amy Kessler!

Happy to have the fabulous Amy Kessler on my blog today for an interview!

1. Have you always had a passion for writing? 

I've always had a passion for stories, but I didn’t really start putting them on paper until middle school. I really got serious about it in high school. Now I can’t imagine not writing, I’m pretty sure my head would explode.

2. Does what you read influence what you write and what are some of your favorite authors/books?

 I think what I read does influence my writing, mostly I learn tricks of the trade by reading the same genres I write. I think you grow as an author when you read. My all time favorites are Sherrilyn Kenyon and Karen Marie Moning. I will read just about anything I can get my hands on, though.
3. What are your biggest inspirations? 

I’ll find inspiration in anything really, but I find music will keep me going. Each character seems to speak to me with different songs. Occasionally I’ll find a picture that strikes up an idea and I’ll go from there. Even something as simple as an over heard conversation can bring on inspiration. I’m an author, I observe, and from observation comes inspiration.

4. Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings? 

Characters chose me. They start as a little voice in my head, some times they tell me a piece of their story, some times I just know a name or what they look like. There is not method to that madness. With Kassity, I knew she was a panther who had control problems, and that’s where she started out. I gave her a name and she flourished from there. With Mae, I knew she was searching for someone named Josh and I had to discover why. Cora I knew played violin and snuck out at night. I formed the story around that. As for location, I base most of my (non-alternative world) locations off of Colorado Springs, CO, because it’s a place I know. Occasionally I refer to small town life, and base that off Grand Junction, CO or Delta, CO. (I’m a Colorado girl, what can I say?) It has everything I need, mountains, deserts, and spontaneously wacky weather.
5. Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces? 

When I write, yes! I love having music speak to my characters and playing as I type away. However, when I edit, I prefer silence. I don’t always get it because of having a child and a husband, but I do what I can.

6. What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?

 I work on multiple projects at once, so if I get stuck I switch gears. Occasionally when I’m super stuck, I’ll do something not writing related, go for a walk, take a shower, do those dishes that always seem like they are there and normally something comes to me.
7. How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?) 

I’m shocked at what I've accomplished. Every day I look around at what I have going on and think “Is this really my life?” When I first started on this journey I dream't of big money and being famous, obviously I didn't get that (yet! ;) ), but really I’m enjoying what I've gotten from this experience. My favorite part is hearing that a stranger has enjoyed my book and meeting new people. Every corner I turn, every obstacle I get over, is a new adventure and I’m loving it.

8. What are your biggest challenges as an author? 

Social networking, as much as I love to interact with my readers, I struggle with creating an engaging social networking experience for them. Also writing blurbs, I hate blurbs. I rather gush on and ramble about my writing, not fit it into a nice, neat paragraph.

9. Do you have any pets?

 I do, I have two black cats, Jynx and Sophie. They are rescue cats and are part of the family. They look almost identical, except Sophie is a bit smaller and poofier than Jynx. Originally I adopted Jynx to eat the spiders in my apartment, but leave it to me to get the only cat that doesn’t hunt spiders. Sophie was a wedding present from my husband.
10. What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing?

I’m supposed to have other hobbies? Okay, when I have time for it I sew. I love making costumes and I’m self taught. I’m an anime nerd so I watch a lot of that. Occasionally I’ve been known to play video games with my husband.
11. Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world? 

The Isle of Skye, Scotland. It was beautiful and I fell in love with it. We stand at the neatest hotel there and got to mingle with the locals. I was between my junior and senior year in high school when I got to go on a school trip. It was breath taking and I love the lore and history of Scotland. I really want to go back one day.

12. Tell us about your latest work in progress or most recent published work… 

Friday I released the prequel to In the Light of the Moon (book one in the Dark War Series, DWC for short), The Touch of Night (DWC #0.5). It’s a free read short story where you first meet Kassity, but it’s Mae’s and Josh’s story. The series is a paranormal romance series about a war between all supernatural creatures, where everyone is fighting for something different. As for the humans, only those who have had an encounter or are part of the government know about the supernatural world. There’s lots of love, some sex, and fantastic characters. I’m excited about this series because it doesn’t just focus on vampires and shifters, but will bring in all sorts of creatures. Different sides of the war will be seen and my hope is to keep the readers on their toes. In the Light of the Moon (DWC #1) will be released June 11th in both e-book and paperback. 

You can pick up The Touch of Night here on smashwords

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