Saturday, 27 August 2016

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Amy Christine Parker!

    Amy always had a big imagination and would often pretend that her baby dolls were abandoned on her doorstep and she had to secretly take care of them without her parents finding out. Although she did not know she wanted to be a writer, she was often told by her teachers that she should become one. She was horrible at just about every sport except swimming and spent much of her waking hours reading. 
     After graduating from Southeastern University with a degree in Elementary Education, she spent half a year in a factory making dolls and planning her wedding. Afterwards, she moved with her husband to Atlanta where she taught for six years before staying home to raise her own children.
    After nearly eight solid years of tending to her daughters, she finally realized her own mother and teachers were right all along. She was a writer and telling stories was her destiny. Since then she's published three novels and is actively working on more. She writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and three very mischievous cats. 
She has written:
Gated (Gated, #1),
Astray (Gated, #2)
and Smash & Grab Smash & Grab 

Suprise Giveaway!!!
    Heads up, there is an awesome giveaway of Amy's Smash & Grab and SWAG going on at another part of the blog. To get there click the Smash & Grab mini image or the link bellow! The giveaway is restricted to people living in the  US and Canada. Good luck with the giveaway!

Now on to the Interview!!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
   I’ve written on and off throughout my life either in journals or for fun, but I didn’t really get serious about it until my late thirties. I was always a huge reader, though.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
    More than anything I’d like my books to do two things for readers: give them an escape from the drudgery of everyday life and make them think about some issue or moral question after they’ve read. Most of what I write is an exploration of an issue or circumstance for me. I’m trying to figure something out. For GATED and ASTRAY it was how people get sucked into cults. For SMASH & GRAB it was who do you decide to trust and where are the limits to that trust. I’m not trying to give an answer to the questions I raise so much as I’m trying to open up my perceptions about the world and hopefully, the readers’ perceptions as well.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1.      Don’t put too much pressure on the work. Make it fun for yourself as much as possible. That joy will come through and make the work better.
2.      Don’t be afraid to persevere with an idea that scares you. Most of the stories I’ve tackled terrified me. I worried I wasn’t good enough to tell them. But every time I’ve fought through that fear, I’ve improved my craft—even if the story didn’t work in the end.
3.      Develop a community of good writer friends. Writing is solitary and can make you an insecure mess at times. The only way to hold on to your joy is to surround yourself with a strong support system.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
   I can’t pick just one! How about my top five in no particular order? I have a lot of favorites, but these books affected me deeply at some point in my life and formed me as a writer.
Intensity by Dean Koontz
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
***And I’m going to cheat again! EVERYTHING Stephen King has ever written. Seriously.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
   Stephen King. The man can write. Reading his work sometimes I feel like he’s almost a musician too. Some of his lines are like jazz riffs—amazing, just beautifully constructed. He knows character development and I love his approach to the writer’s life. It very closely mirrors my own beliefs.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
    I love to read of course, but also travel, draw, go to the movies, and go on bike rides with my family.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
    Hmm, probably my grandfather. Whenever we stayed at his house, he’d make up stories to tell us at bedtime about two bears named Jinkie and Junkie. I loved those stories so much.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
1.      Travel to every continent.
2.      Write at least 30 books over the rest of my lifetime and get as many of those published as possible.
3.      Sky dive.
4.      Learn to play the piano.
5.      Meet Stephen King

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
    Oh man, there are many. Maybe the time I accidentally set my bedroom on fire? I had my cousin (who was also my best friend) over and we were goofing around in our underwear---pretending that we were high fashioned models in bikinis doing a photo shoot—I know, I was weird! Anyway, I had a lit candle on my dresser and I’d put it too close to a box of tissues. One of the tissues caught fire. In my panic, I blew on it and it flew behind the dresser! Fire whooshed up immediately, climbing the wall. I was afraid to call my mom for help because I knew she’d be mad I lit a candle without permission and I was embarrassed because I was in my underwear and suddenly our pretend photo session seemed weird. So my cousin and I ran from to the bathroom in utter, terrified silence, grabbed Dixie cups and filled them with water. We ran back and forth at least twenty times, but we got the fire out. I never told my parents. They found out when we moved from that house and they found the wad of burnt tissues stuck to the carpet when they moved the dresser!

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
    Work hard.
    Persevere at all costs when it comes to realizing your destiny.
    Be open to change and new ideas. The minute you become closed minded and set in your ways, you lose your youth.
    Read. It opens your mind, broadens your perspective, and grows your empathy.
    Find your passion and incorporate it into your daily life. You don’t have to make it a career, but you do have to make it a priority to feel fulfilled in this life.

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