Today I have the pleasure of hosting the “Meet the Indies” blog tour. Who am I speaking about? Why Danielle Bannister (Author of Pulled and Pulled Back) and myself. Yeah, I know. It’s a bit cheeky but you want to know more about us, right?
Here’s some dirt about our upcoming co-written book NETHERWORLD and some insight into just how crazy fun the writing world can be.
MEET THE INDIES BLOG TOUR
Both of us have a few projects in the works. Here’s a glimpse of what is to come for this year- spoiler free, of course.
Amy: I am always working on something. Usually more than one thing at a time.
In my spare time, I’ve been diving into a rough draft of a new book idea, which will jump start readers into my Cherished Hearts inspirational romance books. I’ve always had a passion for inspirational romance, but up until this point have always remained in the fantasy realm. It’s great to break out of that every once in a while.
I’m also obsessing over the completion of my Arotas Trilogy. REDEMPTION has a lot going on, with several POV shifts and tons of action, so it’s kicking my butt right now! As soon as I finish with REDEMPTION, I will be jumping straight into the prequel, IMMORTAL ROSE. I hadn’t actually planned on writing this book but so many of my fans wanted to know Fane and Roseline’s tale, so I caved. (It didn’t take much because I’ve got a soft spot for Fane!)
I’m also currently working with Danielle on NETHERWORLD. This joint venture has been a lot of fun, melding romance with fantasy and of course Banshees ROCK! I’ve having a blast designing the underworld and playing around with some mythology. It’s a good thing Danielle loves writing about human’s cause there is no way I would give up working on the hot and steamy, Aed, god of the Netherworld!
Danielle: Amy and I came up with the idea to co-write Netherworld almost as a joke. A sort of ‘We should totally write a book together!’ But the more we chatted about it, the more it makes sense. We write in completely different genres, I do romance she does fantasy. So we thought what if we had a fantasy sort of character fall in love with a human character? We tossed out some ideas and soon the Netherworld was born. We’ve just started drafting the early scenes and I’m really excited about what we’re coming up with! The Netherworld puts us into the world of the Banshees, the mythical creatures sent to carry the dead to the other side. The Banshee’s are supposed to be unseen by the living, but one mortal sees a banshee. What happens when they fall in love? It’s soooooo cool! She writes the fantasy parts, I write the human parts! It’s perfect!
Between the two of us, we’ve been building a pretty good sized fan base. Many of them tend to ask for sneak peeks into upcoming books. Here are the questions that we get most often.
Amy: There are several burning questions that I hear quite often. Will Gabriel and Roseline end up together? Does Sadie live? Will Bastien return in the sequel to Defiance Rising? Am I Team Bastien of Team Eamon?
If you have read my books, you know that I don’t make romance easy for my characters. Life happens, people get hurt, hearts get broken. I love a happy ending just like the next gal, but I also like realism. If my characters are going to be happy in the end, they are going to go through some tribulation along the way. Also…I hate to be predictable.
Danielle: I think most people want to know if Pulled Back Again will finally deliver the happily ever after ending they are looking for. All I can say is…maybe? Ha!
Many of you want to know…are our characters based on a real people?
Amy: Yes and no. I have never chosen a specific person to emulate, but I have used phrases, facial expressions and quirks. I typically hop on Google, select an image that calls to me and begin to hear their specific voice before I even write the first word.
*Disclaimer* If you think you resemble anyone in my books, I can assure you that it’s completely accidental, but we should totally be friends!
Danielle: Perhaps shadows of people I know. None of my characters are dead on in terms of people I’ve met, but I might pick up a characteristic or hair style or some small tid bit of a person I’ve met before.
Authors have different styles of writing. Here’s how we approach outlining vs. freestyle writing.
Amy: *hangs head in shame* I rarely outline a book. I always know the beginning and the end but the middle is always up for grabs. I like it that way. If I really wanted to, I could easily plot it out, but I find not knowing what is coming to not only be very freeing but it’s also fun. I love going on a journey with my characters.
People mention all the time that my books are unpredictable and I believe a lot of that is because I don’t know the twists and turns until I write them. Some of the best scenes come unexpectedly.
Danielle: I’m gonna steal my writing method from E.L. Doctorow, because when I read this, I literally screamed out loud and said ‘That’s exactly how it is!’
“writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
With several novels out between us, we have learned from some bumps in the road along the way. Here is some basic advice we’d like to share with those just starting out in the indie world.
Amy: The best advice I can give is to write what you love. Yes, it’s important to know your market, but you don’t have to follow the money train to stand out. Be yourself. Do your thing and people will notice.
I learned a hard lesson with FORBIDDEN on the importance of hiring an editor. In the beginning, I didn’t have the money to pay for an editor so I figured I’d do it on my own. Big mistake! Editors don’t just look for typos, they look for character development, holes in your plot and inconsistencies that you are too close to see for yourself. Find an editor that gets you and gets what you’re trying to accomplish and you will be thankful you did.
Another crucial point is your book cover. Pick something that captures the feeling of your book’s theme or character. I have met my fair share of “book whores” and they will be the first to tell you they only buy a book if the cover appeals to them.
Danielle: The best advice I ever got was summed up by writer Ron Carlson, who said that want-to-be-writers are often ‘distracted by things they put in their own way, all day, all the time: leaving the room to get coffee, checking the mail, get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee. The writer is the one who stays in the room.’ I never knew how hard just being at the computer and actively writing actually was until I had to do it!
We get tons of questions from fans, and most of them are a blast to answer, but there are a couple of things that might have gone unnoticed.
Amy: What my favorite food is. Seriously? I’m willing to take bribes for sneak peeks into my upcoming books. Haha.
Um…this is a hard one because I’m pretty open about things happening in my life. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m rather vocal about my obsession with Game of Thrones, my love of movies/books and I’m always bragging on my guys. I’m an open book!
Danielle: I guess what I’m working on? This is a hard one.
If we were trapped on a desert island, this is one character that we would love to be stranded with and, of course, our one staple of food that we couldn’t live without.
Amy: My characters are all so much a part of me that it would be hard to pick just one, but I think I would choose Bastien. He’s hard core but compassionate. He makes sacrifices when he must for the woman he loves. Plus he’s H O T!!! Yeah, I would go with him.
Food…oh goodness me. I would totally go with Ranch Doritos. Those suckers are worse than Chinese food filled to the brim with MSG! Oh phooey, now I’m craving Chinese food! Do you think they deliver?
Danielle: This is so not an easy question! I guess I’d wanna be stuck with Etash, so I’d have a warm body to snuggle up against! As for food…hmmm…I suppose wine doesn’t count as food, so I’ll have to go with egg salad. Love that stuff!
Everyone should have at least one goal in life. Now that we’ve met our goal of being authors, here is one goal yet unaccomplished in our lives.
Amy: I want to see the pyramids in person. I have always been fascinated by mythology, no matter the race it pertains to and Egypt is on the top of my list. As a kid, I used to write notes to a friend in hieroglyphics. Yes, I was that child!
Danielle: I want to go to Greece. I want to walk on the first stages!
Here is an area that Danielle and I have spent MUCH time in debate over. The question is: do we believe in love at first sight or a slow burning love?
Amy: I’m a slow burner, all the way! I like building tension, making readers squirm just a tiny bit, but I also like to hold back on the sultry romance. People see and feel love in different ways. For me, I love security, affection and sacrifice, so that’s what I write about.
Danielle: Um, romance writer here! Love at first sight AND slow burn!
How about soul mates?
Amy: I honestly believe that each of us are created to be with one specific person. Someone molded to fit you, to become your partner in life. That doesn’t mean they were created to bend to our will though. Haha. Love in real life is all about give and take. Compromise. Sacrifice. Learning and growing together. I wake up each morning beside my soul mate, but that doesn’t mean we are without faults.
Danielle: Since my novels are about soul mates, guess I need to say yes, right? Ha!
Final question: People always want to know if we relate in any way to our main characters.
Amy: Roseline (Arotas Trilogy) and Illyria (Rising Trilogy) are both very strong gals. They make the decisions that are necessary, even when it seems to cost them everything. They love, fight, survive and are fiercely loyal. Both of them have attributes that I have. I always joke around about how Illyria is my alter ego.
Danielle: My characters, unlike Amy’s are typically weaker at first and work to find their strength. I think a lot of people have felt weak or unworthy at some point in their lives, especially at a younger age when you’re questioning everything.
Amy Miles has been a carbaholic since birth and is hopelessly addicted to Dr. Pepper. When she’s not chatting with fans on Facebook she can be found goofing off with family, traveling or stomping her husband at Scrabble. She is an obsessive writer and an avid reader and loves to chat about all things books.
Her teen paranormal romance books, Forbidden and Reckoning, have been on several of Amazon’s Top 100 lists as well as best seller lists in both America and the UK. Her highly anticipated final book in the Arotas Trilogy, Redemption, is due out 2013.
She is currently hard at work on a two new series, The Rising Trilogy and The Remnant Trilogy.
Find Amy on Facebook: Amy Miles, Author
Want to check out Amy’s Books on Amazon?
Danielle Bannister lives in Mid-Coast Maine with her two children and husband. She holds a BA in Theatre and a Masters in Writing and the Teaching of Writing. She has two novels currently out, Pulled and Pulled Back and is working on several others, including Pulled Back Again, releasing soon, and Netherworld which she is co-writing with author Amy Miles, which is due out in December, 2014. She also has a collection of short stories, brilliantly entitled, Short Shorts, and her work is also featured in several anthologies: GooseRiver Press 2012 Anthology and the Maine Writing Project’s anthology, Writious. Both titles are available on Amazon. When not writing, she can be found pouring her heart out on the stage.
Follow Danielle on Facebook: Bannister Books
Blog: Danielle Bannister