Authors tend to write what they read, but not always. Amy Anguish is one such author. It’s not that she never reads her genre, it’s just that … well, I’ll let her tell you.
Welcome! Let’s start with what you write — how did you pick your genre?
Can I say my genre picked me? Is that weird? I write mostly contemporary romance with a little women’s fiction. I read a lot of Contemporary romance and women’s fiction, although I might actually read more historical. Why don’t I write historical? I’m too lazy to do all the research. 😉 But also because the stories that come to me are set in the here and now, and I have to write what’s in my head. Otherwise, it won’t shut up.
Same here! I love to read historical romance but have no desire to research and write it. So, what’s the most difficult part of writing your genre? How do you work through those challenges?
I’d say my biggest challenge is making sure my books and characters are all different enough from each other that people don’t feel they’re reading the same story over and over again. I’m sure that’s hard for authors across all genres. I try to give each character their own quirks and flaws and favorite drinks.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
I started writing (seriously) by participating in Nanowrimo. The goal is 50k words in 30 days. I’ve won ten times now, and four of those books have been published with another coming in Dec. Cram-writing seems to work for me. Editing, I have to wait a few months before I even look at a manuscript after writing it or I won’t catch much. Then, I can usually go through it again in less than a month. Finalizing? I’m honestly not sure. Each book has been different so far, so I don’t have a standard to go by.
If you’ve written multiple books, which was harder: the first book or the following books?
The first was obviously hardest simply because of lack of experience. I started that one knowing how it began and that there was a conflict, but having no idea why the conflict existed until I neared the end of the book. It evolved while I was writing it and became rather different than I thought it would. Now, I am better at knowing how and why things need to happen, and usually go in with a bit more of a plan, although I’m still a bit of a plantser (see below)
What’s your writing day like?
Being a mom of young children (4 and 6), I have to grab writing time when I can, mostly during naptimes and after they’re in bed. That includes all my editing, marketing, and other writing-related stuff too. But they’re both going to be in school in a year and a half and then who knows? I’m looking forward to finding out.
How do you prepare to write your books: pantser, plotter, both, something completely different?
Plantser—which is sort of both. I started a pantser, going in not knowing what all would happen. Now, I start with a VERY rough outline, which may or may not change as I write. And still not knowing everything that will happen.
What’s surprised you the most about the publishing process?
How long things take in the traditional publishing world. I knew books weren’t published overnight, but I’ve learned, more often than not, it’s more than a year between contract and release date.
Something else that surprised me is how amazing the Christian publishing world is. I feel like I’ve gained several families with my various publishers and editors and other author friends, and it’s so nice to have these people to walk through this world with.
What does your revision process look like?
I think I might be a little strange about how I write and revise. I usually write about two books a year now. One of those is most often during Nanowrimo in November, but the other is done in usually less than two months, if I have my way. With cramming all those words into just a few weeks, I’m exhausted afterward and wait for a bit before even looking at the manuscript again. This lets it be fresh so I can catch more mistakes. Then, I send to a friend or two who help catch a few more things and point out sentences that might have made sense in my head but didn’t on paper. Then, thankfully, if I get a contract for it after that, I have at least two more rounds of edits with professional editors.
Can letters from the past spur a couple on to the future of their dreams?
Christiana Jones dreamed her whole life of living in Huntsville, Alabama, so she can’t figure out why it doesn’t feel like home. Her relationships—on social media and in real life—seem shallow and empty. When she unearths a stack of her grandparents’ letters, it spurs an idea. Could she find something deeper with a penpal?
Jordan White is taken aback when his cousin Tina suggests he become penpals with her childhood best friend. What could a Louisiana boy have in common with a girl two states away? After all, he’s happily settled on his family’s property and working the job he always wanted. But every letter they exchange has him wishing for more.
As they grow closer through their written words, the miles between them seem to grow wider. Can love cross the distance and bring them home?
Amy R. Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.
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