August 30, 2013

Writing Tip: Connect With Other Authors, Like: Amy Sue Nathan

Amy Sue Nathan is the most generous of author friends. If you remember, we did our first (and thankfully last) video interview on Amy's blog last year when my book was published. Amy was a big promoter of my debut novel; writing reviews, linking to it on her blog, telling her friends about it...and we barely knew each other at the time. We connected because we share the same editor (the amazing Brenda Copeland) at the same publisher (St. Martin's Press).
Since then, through Amy, I've connected with other authors in the Chicago writing community and elsewhere. It's a she-tells-two-friends kind of thing, and I've found the author community to be amazingly supportive. And Amy's one of the best. She's a tireless supporter of authors everywhere.
Amy's book The Glass Wives debuted in May and you need to read it!
Meanwhile, get to know Amy. Here's an interview we did together:

SH: How did you come to write The Glass Wives?  
AN: I started writing The Glass Wives to see if I could write fiction, something I'd not done since I was a child. Once I was into the story I had to finish and shoot for publication. Probably because I'm stubborn and once I start something I have to finish and see it through. 

SH: Who is your favorite and why?
AN: I enjoyed writing all the characters, but my favorite characters to write were the men, Scott and Sandy. I am well-acquainted with the thoughts and ways of all different kinds of women and translating that to fiction wasn't easy, but it was natural. Making sure the men were believable was a challenge for me and a lot of fun. I liked writing the characters who were a bit selfish or nasty, like some of the Lakewood moms who showed up at soccer games and the grocery store, but if I met them in real life I wouldn't like them at all. 

SH: How do you create your characters? Are any of them based on real people?
AN: I don't base characters on real people but I do use real people and situations to help me create characters. A hair style, walk, laugh, tone of voice. All of those things and more can come from real life. Or not. I love totally making up characters too. And the best part is when someone thinks they're real.

SH: As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
AN: I always wanted to be a teacher which is one of the reasons I wrote that profession for Evie Glass. And now I'm teaching some writing workshops! But even with wanting to be a teacher I was a writer always. 

SH:  What was the hardest part of writing The Glass Wives?
AN: Definitely letting go of it and realizing I couldn't and shouldn't explain it (or even defend it) to every reader. 

SH: What do you do when you’re having a hard time moving the story forward?
AN: I usually procrastinate and do something else. I'm not a muse person, I don't have writing tricks or gimmicks I use to jumpstart my words. I just wait.

SH: Do you have any writing quirks?
AN: I need to write in the quiet. I can't write in a cafe or coffee shop or even the library. No music at all. I can get to the point where even the dogs walking around the house bugs me and I have to cover my ears, which makes it hard to type. 

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