Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Novice To Watch: Meet Debut Author AMANDA FORESTER!!

Happy Monday, TLN'ers!

Welcome back to another installment of A Novice To Watch! Well, in this case, it's a Debut Author I'd like you to meet. Through the Sourcebooks Casablanca Author's Blog, I learned of this break-out romancer. Not only does she have one insanely funny sense of humor, she's very, very talented as writer.

Please help me welcome Amanda Forester to the TLN Hot Seat! Her debut novel from Sourcebooks, THE HIGHLANDER'S SWORD, is set to release tomorrow morning! How exciting is that?!

If you've a hankering for Highlander romances, get ready to add another author to your "Keeper Shelf"!!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Stressed-out wife of a deployed soldier turns to romance novels to help cope through the pain of separation. Reading these novels awakens a desire to tell her own adventure romance stories. Her husband returns home and steadfastly supports her new career as she makes ga-zillions and lives happily ever after. (Ok, I kind of made up the last part– but I think it makes a nice ending – don’t you?)

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Entertaining, Adventurous, Witty

3)Novice writer to Published Author: How has your writing changed?

The biggest change in my writing is how I begin the story. In my original manuscript I had a lot of descriptions of the hero and heroine before they ever met each other. As I developed as a writer I realized there’s a word for that – back story. With each subsequent revision I shaved more off the beginning until about four chapters had hit the cutting room floor (yeah, I admit I wrote a lot of back story). Now my hero and heroine meet in chapter one and the pacing of the book moves faster.

4)Seeking publication: What's been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome?

Generally in life, my biggest obstacles have been the ones I built myself. In terms of seeking publication, one the hardest parts was actually sending a query to an editor and agent. Putting yourself out there to be judged and evaluated (and often rejected) by editors and agents is really tough. One of the hardest things for me was actually writing that query e-mail and pushing ‘send’. Actually, I think I had my husband push ‘send’.

5)Do you have any advice for aspiring writers on staying motivated?

Writing is great fun – for the first few weeks. Then other stuff gets in the way, priorities and obligations press for your time. It’s hard to stay motivated. For me, it was really important to join writing organizations like Romance Writers of America and my local chapter GSRWA. I learned a lot, I got support and encouragement, and it kept me motivated. For aspiring writers, I would encourage them to join with other writers to make goals, learn from each other, and keep each other motivated. Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

6)Tell us a little bit about how you got "The Call".

The story of my “call” really ties into the importance of connecting with other writers. A few years ago I went to the Emerald City Writer’s Conference and signed up for Cherry Adair’s “Write the Damn Book Challenge”, which encouraged me to complete a book in a year. The next year, I returned with a finished manuscript, ready to pitch it to editors and agents. There I met Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks and Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, and both asked me to send in a full manuscript. With some trepidation I sent fulls to both of them, and the rest is history! So for all those who heard that NO ONE ever sells off of conference pitches - I’m happy to say it’s not true!

7)What does 2010 hold in store for Amanda Forester?

My first paperback baby, my debut novel, THE HIGHLANDER'S SWORD will be released tomorrow! I’ll be doing a blog tour this month, and I’d love for folks to stop by or come find me on facebook. Also, check out my book trailers (didn’t know quite what I was doing so I made two). Vote for which one you like best and be entered to win a free copy of the book!


Swept up in the turmoil of 14th century Scotland, Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent until her brother’s death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught in the conflict between the hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot’s insistence that she take her vows, the Scottish Laird who kidnaps her, and the traitor from within who betrays them all. Her new husband, Padyn MacLaren, is a battle-hardened knight, scarred by betrayal, who seeks Aila’s fortune to save his clan. Yet the outwardly shy Aila is nothing he expected… and everything he needs.


Aila entered her father’s solar with some difficulty, her feet growing heavier with every step. Confirming her fears, MacLaren stood next to her father. The two imposing men stared at her, saying nothing. This could not be good. Her father folded his large arms across his massive chest and turned to MacLaren.

Aila was struck at the change in MacLaren. She had known him years ago when he had been a friend to her brother. The warrior now before her hardly resembled the braw, cocksure young man who had left Scotland to fight the English in France. He looked older, his slate eyes cold. A red scar carved a wicked path from the corner of his left eye down to his chin.

“Well?” demanded her father.

MacLaren looked her up and down in a manner that brought heat to her face.

“Aye, I’ll have her.”

Aila’s mouth dropped open. She stared at one then the other. MacLaren frowned and turned to Laird Graham.

“Ye’ve no’ told her then?”

“I’ve told no one,” replied her father. “Watch yer back, laddie. I warrant there will be some what will take offense to yer marriage.”


Well, ain't that a tasty teaser to leave you wanting more?! I'd like to thank Amanda for taking the time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her. I know she's destined for a dazzling career!

If you'd like to know more about Amanda Forester, check out her very lovely website:

Here's a big ole THANK YOU to you, TLN'ers!! Hope your week treats you right! How about a little Loreena McKennit singing THE MUMMER'S DANCE! I fell in love with song when I heard it played on Ever After. A beautiful song for a truly lovely author!


Amanda Forester said...

Thank you Sarah for inviting me to chat with you today! Nice choice in mood music too!


Helen Hardt said...

Great to meet you, Amanda, and that is one gorgeous cover!

Sarah Simas said...

Thanks, Amanda! The entire album that song is on is awesome. Plus, I just love the movie, too! I don't know who many times I've watch it. Hmmm, sounds like a fun flick to watch today. LOL

Howdy, Helen!!((hugs!))
There is nothing better oogling the hot hunks on covers and Amanda's is definitely one to oogle! :) But then, you've got some hotties on your's too! Loved that pic of you and the cover model last week. Too awesome!

EA said...

Hi Amanda and Sarah,

Amanda, I hear you about that "back story". Joining a critique group helped me immensely to get over this bs problem. ;) I love the blurb about you. What a great question for Sarah to ask.

Best wishes for your work.

Kaye Manro said...

I love Highlander books. This one sounds great, Amanda. What a yummy cover too. Congrats!

Amanda Forester said...

Hi EA,
Good luck with your writing! Sometimes if I'm stuck for a scene I just write a bunch of backstory nothing until I come to something and then edit out the nothing. Critique groups can be really helpful to tell the nothing from the something!

Hi Kaye - I love Highlanders too! Er... books, I meant to say Highlander books...