After I read a great self-published book, I contact the author and ask to spotlight them on the blog. 90% of the time the author responds right away with an affirmative yes. So thanks to the indie writing community for the willingness to answer a few questions for me and the blog!
This month I interviewed Amy Martin, author of the In Your Dreams series. I read and reviewed the first in the series last month. Amy tells us a little bit about her dreams, being a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and balancing work with writing.
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing.
I’m originally from Missouri, but I currently live in Lexington, KY with my husband and cat, and I work in higher education. When I’m not writing, I like to watch sports and movies, and I spend way too much time on social media (usually just lurking rather than participating). The In Your Dreams novels are my first published novels, although I’ve been writing off and on for my whole life.
The In Your Dreams series, in a sentence, is about a basketball-playing girl nicknamed Zip who meets a boy named Kieran who suffers from a strange narcolepsy-like condition that brings trouble and adventure to the two of them and their families.
What draws you to write young adult fiction?
I’ve worked with young people my entire adult life, so I feel like I know more about the 17-24 age group than I do people my own age. And as many of my friends’ daughters are becoming young adult readers, I wanted to put stories out there that feature strong heroines—heroines who can fall in love and be vulnerable but who can still maintain their lives and interests and not sacrifice everything to their relationships.
What does a typical work day look like for you? How much time do you spend writing fiction compared to marketing, blogging, working another job, etc?
Unfortunately, I still work full-time, so my writing and marketing time ends up crammed into those corners of my life in which I’m not working or taking care of things around the house. I try to write a little every day, but sometimes after a long day at work, it’s just not feasible. I really struggle with balance, and it’s something I hope to get better at this year.
In Your Dreams was a semifinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Tell us a little about the process and the benefits for you from reaching the semifinals.
I submitted an early version of In Your Dreams along with a pitch (a version of the book description that currently appears on the book’s for-sale pages). Amazon reviewers first judged the book solely on the pitch and then on the first five-thousand words. Once I progressed to the semifinal round, a Publishers’ Weekly reviewer read and reviewed the entire book. I didn’t progress any further, but comments from the reviewer and other readers gave me the confidence to revise the novel and self-publish.
Last month, I read your novel In Your Dreams. As the title suggests, the novel explores the dreams of one of the characters. I’ve always found dreams fascinating and have some pretty strange dreams. Do you have a strange dream of your own that you are willing to share?
I have trouble remembering my dreams (much like Zip—at least at first), but I do know that one of the strangest things that always happens in my dreams is that I’ll be in a place I remember from growing up, and people who aren’t supposed to be there show up. For example, I’ll be running around my high school as an adult (I haven’t been back to my high school in years) and people I went to college with will be there.
What is on the horizon for your fans this year?
I’m working on the fourth and final book of the In Your Dreams series—tentatively titled Beyond Your Dreams—which I’m hoping to have out this summer. After that, I’m hoping to put out a new adult title later on this year, and I’ve got ideas for other young adult books that I hope to start working on before the year is out.
Finally, I’m always looking for recommendations of great self-published books and indie authors. What are a few of your favorite self-published fiction books?
I really enjoyed the Deck of Lies series by Jade Varden—I read that in one day. Honestly, my “to read” list is so long at this point with both self-published and traditionally-published books, I’m not sure I’ll ever dig my way out. I think I may need some recommendations to help me sort out my list.
Thanks again to Amy! You can check out her books on Amazon by clicking the images or find her on social media via the below links.
Connect with Amy on her website.
Follow Amy on Twitter.
Like Amy on Facebook.