Straight Talk with Amy Andrews

Aug 28, 2012 by

Please Welcome Amy Andrews for Straight Talk!

When you are getting ready to start a new book, what’s the first thing you do?

Google hot men on the internet. Purely for research purposes, of course.

How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

I think celebrating when you finish a book is an absolute must. It’s a hugely draining creative experience so I think it’s essential to fill the well back up again. I usually take a couple of weeks off to read, catch up with friends, go to the movies etc. All the things I miss when I’m deep in my writer cave and the whole world could have slid into an apocalyptic nightmare with zombies running amok and I wouldn’t know!

Have you had any fun fan moments since you became a writer?

Last year at the RWNZ conference a woman was introduced to me and she literally squealed in delight and gasped “I love you!” That was the first time I’d had such an effusive fan moment and I will never, ever forget it!

If you could have dinner, coffee, or drinks with a fictional character, who would you choose and where would you go?

I know I should say something intelligent and literary but boo hiss to that. I’d love to go to a wine bar with Stephanie Plum. And if she wanted to bring Joe and Ranger along I wouldn’t object.

Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?

Hmm. I usually begin with a character I guess but sometimes it’s with a scene. For example in Taming the Tycoon I saw Addie in her cornrows and big purple sunglasses and I instantly wanted to know more about her.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests you’d care to share?

I guess it’d be kind of cool to say I knit or do water ballet or something but the truth is I am too busy for hobbies and special interests in their strictest definition. I have a rich volunteer life and a night job as well as a crazy writing schedule and family commitments but if reading, sleeping and enjoying a glass of something made from grape can be stretched to a hobby then I’m Queen! I also love to travel and would dearly, dearly, dearly love to make this my hobby for good one day!

What was the inspiration for your book?

That image of Addie mentioned above to begin with. And then, as all writers do, wondering who she was and what was her story. Knowing in that way that you do after ruminating for a while that she’d been ill and radically changed her life. Then Nate came along in his suit and I knew their lifestyles, their outlooks, were going to clash and I knew Addie was going to challenge him like no other woman ever had. I knew she wasn’t going to be one of his “yes” women. And then I smiled.

How difficult is if for you to come up with a title for your books?

Truthfully I suck at titles – have never kept one I’ve come up with in 30 books. But I love Taming the Tycoon! Seriously, how sexy is that?

Who would play your hero/heroine in the tv or film version of your book?

Nate has always been Richard Armitage in a suit and dark sunglasses and Addie is Amanda Seyfried with her youth and vigour and gorgeous blonde locks!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Oh man, I have soooo much advice for aspiring writers. Firstly, NEVER give up! Write, submit, take rejection on the chin and learn from it then write again but better this time and keep writing, honing, improving. You WILL get there but you won’t if you keep lugging the same book around for ten years unchanged. Write something new. Listen to people who have good advice and discard the naysayers. Join a writer’s organization (RWA is amazing!!), get a crit partner, buy how-to books, go to workshops and book signings and library talks, pitch at conferences – you WILL get published, just don’t give up!

What jobs have you had on your way to becoming a writer?

I’ve been a nurse for 25 years – a PICU nurse for the last 18. It was my first full time job out of school and I love it as much today as the first day I climbed into my uniform! Night duty is no picnic but I really think it’s enmeshed into my DNA. Just like writing.

Did you have any interesting experiences when you were researching your book, or getting it published?

I’ve had some interesting experiences with language differences in the editing process which I’m sure Heather (lovely, lovely ed!) would attest to. Australians are great big sponges and our major language and cultural influences come both from the UK and the USA so we can flick between our three everyday languages with ease but it can be slightly confusing for others. I used “scatty” at one stage and Heather adored it even though she had no clue what it meant. And there was a very confused conversation about the differences between a trolley and a gurney and what a “cubicle” was in the context of a hospital. It’s been very amusing!

Who are your favorite authors? What authors have influenced your book?

Well that’s a hard question because I read fairly broadly but as far as romance goes anyone who knows me will know the answer to this question is always, Jennifer Crusie. I discovered her category romance some time ago now and she totally blew my mind. Like, exploded it! This led me to read a lot of other writers of that ilk – SEP, Janet Evanovich, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Rachael Gibson. I like sassy characters and humour in a book and the feeling of “community” and I hope my writing reflects this influence. Two of my fav category authors are Kelly Hunter and Sarah Mayberry – I want to BE them when I grow up. It was an absolute fangirl moment when Sarah read my book, loved it and said she’d be thrilled to give me a cover quote.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Boringly, I’m a little bit of both. I plot a very basic outline, I generally know my characters in my head before I get started, then I just write. Having some planning behind me does help when you get “stuck” so I’m happy with my system.

Where does the magic happen? Where do you write?

I write on my office which is just off my bedroom and has a gorgeous mountain view. We live on acreage so “the bush” as we call it here is all around me. But I can write anywhere – at my night job, balancing my laptop on my lap in a train or at a café. I do tend to need silence when I write so if I chose to “work” somewhere noisy, it’s usually just editing. Noise stifles my creativity. Can’t even listen to music. I so envy those people who can!

Aside from writing, what do you do in your free time?

OMG – people have free time? Like a lot of women out there today, I’m a juggler. I have lots of things on the go and I just keep hoping none of those damn balls are going to fall on my head. Free time, if any, involves books, movies, catching up with friends.

Do you prefer print books or eBooks?

A couple of years ago I would have said print without thinking. But I now have an iPad groaning with digital books and I love that thing more than is natural so I guess I’m into both equally. I do love the smell of a print book though – as soon as they invent smellovision, iPad needs to have a “book smell app” and then it’ll be win/win!

What’s in the works for you?

Wow – lots! I’m about to attempt a Brazen with a bodyguard storyline – have always wanted to do one of those. I have The Devil and the Deep coming out in October which involves a heroine who is a historical romance author and a treasure hunter (slightly inspired by Romancing the Stone!) and I’m so looking forward to the Christmas Flirt anthology I’m involved in with three other fabulous authors. There’s a soldier, an older woman and a snowed in cabin on New Year’s Eve. What can I say – there’ll be fireworks!

 About Taming the Tycoon:

An unstoppable force is about to meet his first immovable object…

Real estate tycoon Nathaniel Montgomery is one deal away from making his first billion and fulfilling a promise to his dying father. Nothing will stop him from tearing down the decrepit St. Agnes hospital and erecting posh condos in its place. Not even the crystal-wearing, health food store owner whose publicity stunt lands him in the hospital.

After her brush with death five years ago, child prodigy Addie Collins learned what’s truly important—health, happiness, and the two-hundred-year-old rose garden at St. Agnes. To make amends for the accident, she agrees to pose as Nathaniel’s girlfriend at his eccentric grandmother’s birthday party.

But Addie has an ulterior motive. To repay her debt to the universe, she must show him there’s more to life than making money. Nathaniel hates to lose, but as she breaks through his defenses, losing himself in Addie’s arms might be exactly what this tycoon needs…

Title: Taming the Tycoon
Author: Amy Andrews
Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 244 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-972-1
Release Date: August 2012
Imprint: Indulgence

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