Author on the Couch: Amy Patrick (Amy DeLuca)
This week on Author on the Couch, I conduct a session with…
GIVEAWAY! Amy will send a signed paperback of the winner’s choice from either series (U.S. only) or ebook of choice to non-U.S. winner… Just do these two things:
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- Leave a comment for Amy.
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Amy: My parents’ separation (and later divorce) when I was in high school had a tremendous effect on me and my relationships. It happened right at the time I was beginning to date, unfortunately, and the circumstances were pretty dramatic. I became terrified of letting myself be vulnerable. After seeing so much pain as the result of trusting and loving, I was determined to protect myself, to be in control, to be “strong.” Falling in love seemed like weakness to me. It seemed dangerous. I dated, and even had a serious boyfriend, but there was always this constant tug of war between my desire for closeness and love and my determination to protect myself. It fouled up many a relationship through the years and caused me to run away whenever I found myself actually falling for someone. I’m happy to say I eventually stopping running, and I’ve been married to my loving, supportive husband for nearly 22 years now. Additional positive note: I’ve been able to mine that early love-averse experience of mine to inform some of my characters. Messy lives make great romance novels!
Me: I know! There’s something about transforming our personal pain into something creative that is almost magical.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Amy: I am an optimist. When I got out of college with a broadcast journalism degree, some of my professors stressed how difficult it was to get an on-air job doing TV news—the numbers were stacked against me- but I just *knew* I’d be the one out of all the thousands of hopefuls who’d be hired. It worked in that career, and I feel that it helps me in this one. I know achieving visibility as a new author is difficult. I know there are four million books on Amazon and that literally thousands are released every day. I can’t focus on that. I have to write the best stories I can and trust that my ideal readers *will* find them. I’m not talking about magical thinking—I don’t just sit back and do nothing, expecting the sales fairy to sprinkle magic dust on my new releases. I work hard on my writing, study the market and advertising trends, take chances, try new things, strive to be patient, and I don’t ever allow myself to despair or believe that it’s “too hard.” I just keep going and *know* that success will happen, as long as I don’t give up.
Me: That kind of optimism is invaluable! And powerful. Sometimes thinking that good things will happen makes those good things happen.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
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Amy: I have always been a pleaser, caring (sometimes too much) about what other people think. For a while it kept me from pursuing options (such as self-publishing) that I thought might be unpopular among my peers. I have to remind myself that most people are so busy thinking about their own careers, families, and concerns they frankly don’t have time to obsess over mine!
Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high?
Amy: That’s a hard question! Right now is a really happy time, with sales of my Hidden Saga books doing well and so much encouragement from my readers. But if I had to pick one high point, it would be attending the 2013 RWA conference as a Golden Heart finalist. It was my first year to enter the contest, and though I knew it was a good thing, at the time I finaled I didn’t realize just how monumental it would be in my life. That experience was crucial to my writing career, mainly because of the relationships I formed with my fellow finalists. We got to know each other online, and by the time I got to the conference and was able to meet them all in person, I had already learned so much and felt such a close bond of friendship with them. I didn’t win the Golden Heart, but it truly didn’t matter. Just being a finalist was the most amazing prize. It was also my first RWA conference. I attended every workshop I could, found my tribe, and for the first time, I felt like a “real” writer.
Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened?
Amy: I’m not sure I’ve questioned my path as a writer (not yet anyway!) but I do remember feeling pretty crappy about the whole thing right before my first book came out. It had been up on Netgalley, offered to reviewers, which was exciting but also terrifying. I’d been warned by writer friends to stay away from Goodreads and not to read reviews but of course I didn’t listen. I’d also read over and over again the adage “You can’t please everyone.” I guess I’d been hoping to anyway, because while most of my reviews were very positive, some were not, and it really hurt. I couldn’t seem to *not* take it personally, and some of the reviewers seemed to take such joy in leaving negative reviews. I focused on the few bad ones to the point where all the good ones didn’t seem to matter. Then I spoke to my very kind (and very wise) friend Jay Asher, who directed me to a blog post he’d written about reviews. It really helped. In a nutshell it said once you publish a book, it becomes the “property” of readers, and their reactions to your words are so much more about them than about you. Their own experiences, preferences, and current circumstances in life determine how they’ll react to what they’re reading. They might read the exact same book years apart and love it one time while hating it the other, depending on what transpired during those years in between. Someone else advised me to look up my very favorite books, those I was sure *everyone* must love because they’re SO brilliant, and to read their reviews. Sure enough, no matter what the book or who the author, there are five stars and one stars, glowing praise and hideous insults written about each one of them. Now, two years later, reviews really don’t bother me anymore. I usually don’t read them, but when I occasionally do, I get so much pleasure from the reactions of readers who love my books—that’s who I’m writing for, after all.
Me: Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
Amy: In many ways, I’m like Ryann, the main character of my Hidden saga books. She’s a small-town Southern girl experiencing her first love while reeling from her parents’ messy divorce and trying hard to protect her heart. My most autobiographical book is probably Still Yours from my Channel 20-Something series. Mara is a love-phobic TV news reporter forced to confront her first love (whom she left without an explanation) when she’s assigned to interview him for a special report.
Me: What’s your life motto? Why does that motto speak to you?
Amy: Everything you want is on the other side of fear. I just love that. Everyone experiences fear of new things or the fear of “what if?” and certainly the fear of failure– but you cannot let it stop you. It’s folly to try to control all the outcomes, and I’ve often discovered the things I worried about weren’t even real to begin with. And pushing through fear gets easier the more you do it. Your fear-conquering muscles grow with each use, making you stronger.
Me: Everything you want is on the other side of fear–> I love that so much!
What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?
Amy: First drafts are allowed to suck. I love knowing I don’t have to be perfect right out of the gate. It’s very freeing to just let ideas flow and know I can go back and fix them later, shaping and polishing a book until its ready for the eyes of others.
Me: Tell me about your paranormal, fantasy romance novel HIDDEN DEEP.
Give in to the Glamour of the Hidden Saga…
Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she’d be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She’s a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he’s not supposed to exist.
Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don’t get careless and Don’t get caught.
It’s allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Lad’s never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He’s not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.
Me: Share a few of your favorite paragraphs with us.
Amy: From Hidden Danger, Book 5 of the Hidden Saga (releases May 23rd)
I like this excerpt because it shows how Culley (whom I adore) hides his true feelings, and it hints at the tension between him and one of the other main characters, Ava.
From somewhere behind me I heard the screech of car tires. Another town resident getting a first look at the carnage, no doubt. At the sound of footsteps hitting the pavement at a dead run, I turned at the waist to look. I’m not sure why. I guess that’s just what you do when you hear someone running toward you.
It was Culley. Great. I got to my feet, now feeling stiff and sore all over, prepared to walk away from the devil approaching me with his designer clothes and tense expression and treacherous beauty.
With his unnaturally good looks and tall, athletic physique, he resembled an actor on the set of an action movie more than a real person happening upon a real disaster scene. Of course he wasn’t a person, not in the literal sense of the word.
When he spotted me, Culley’s pace slowed to a saunter. And I didn’t walk away. No, I wanted to confront him, make him account for what he’d done.
By the time he reached me, his face had lost all traces of concern and displayed his typical nonchalance. His eyes roamed over me, assessing, perhaps checking to see whether his plot against the humans would lead to any unfortunate collateral damage. Then his gaze slid to the side, taking in my destroyed car, and back to me.
“Good thing you dumped me, Angel. If I’d been in that passenger seat, the world would be minus one Culley Rune.”
“Yes, that would have been tragic,” I deadpanned.
Book 1 of the Hidden Saga is FREE to download!
Check out the Links below!
AMAZON US http://bit.ly/HIDDENDEEP
You can find Amy here:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Patrick/e/B00MAXNU8O/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. Her debut novel RACE THE DARKNESS is available for pre-order now.