Thursday, August 5, 2010

Get To Know Amy Corwin!!!

Wah-Hoo!! We're baaaackk!!!

Everyone recovering from all the conference buzz? Or for those like me, the didn't-get-to-go envy.

Good news is we've got a very talented author hanging out with us today. Please help me welcome AMY CORWIN!!!

If Regencies (yes, please), Paranormals, or Short Stories are your delicacy of choice, then belly up!! Amy has a flavor guaranteed to tickle your fancy . . .

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

Amy Corwin never expected to fall in love or get married, so she built a challenging career and a life independent of all that romantic nonsense. Little did she know that the pursuit of a lifelong fascination with bird watching and biology would lead her to the wilds of North Carolina and a man who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Faced with the choice of lonely independence and city life, or love and a log home with only ‘gators as neighbors, the decision might be easier to make than she once thought…

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Outrageous, fun, and warm.

3)What's been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing?

The biggest obstacle in my writing is the same obstacle I’ve faced in almost all facets of my life: fears that “I’m not good enough”. The writer, Bob Mayer, has an entire course about overcoming your fears to become the writer you can, and should, be. You can hide such fears in many jobs because once you’re hired, you can do your job and “cover up” your anxiety. But in writing, each manuscript is the equivalent of a job interview. Each one is judged on its own merits, independent from any other book you’ve written. And you know how frightening it can be to walk into a job interview for a position that may be slightly above your current abilities. Then, to make matters worse, to prepare you for that interview, you have nothing much in your hands except a pile of rejection notices that are guaranteed to thoroughly convince you that the editor or agent reviewing your work would be insane to offer a contract.

Despite this, you have to look them in the eye and convince them that your work will make them rich beyond their wildest imaginings.

So you can either push that fear aside and do your best, or let it drown you. I prefer swimming like heck against the current, knowing that my fear will give me that boost of adrenaline I need to make it to shore.

4)Novice Writer to Multi-pubbed Author: What have you learned? Any preconceived notions debunked?

I could easily write an entire book about all the preconceived notions and misconceptions out there. One such notion is that once you get your foot in the door, you’ve got it made. Having an agent doesn’t guarantee a sale. One sale doesn’t guarantee a second. There are no guarantees except that you are going to have to bust your behind with every book. And very few writers reach a point where they can live on their earnings, alone, until they have an entire library shelf of books published. Even then, you might still need a second job if you plan to eat more than peanut butter and crackers.

But although this is one of the roughest fields, it is one of the most rewarding (although perhaps not monetarily). There is nothing like the thrill of getting an e-mail from a fan. The sense of connection and realization that you’ve communicated your ideas to someone who “gets it” is amazing.

One of the things I’ve learned on my day job is how difficult it is to find someone who will listen to you. One of our basic human drives is to communicate, but very few of us get the opportunity to fully do so. I can’t tell you how many people have called me with problems, and while the problem was easily resolved, what they needed even more was someone to just listen for a few minutes.

That’s why getting that fan mail triggers such a deep, rich sense of success. You’ve finally gotten what so many people desperately need: someone to listen to them.

5)Any advice to aspiring authors on submitting to publishers/agents?

Polish, polish, polish. Finish the book. Get someone else to read it and give you real comments, not just the “Oh, I loved this.” While nice for your ego, getting “Oh, I loved this” is worse than useless. Learn to accept and go after real criticisms that will help you grow as a writer.

Above all, face your fears and use them to drive you upwards towards success.

6)What do you think a strong query letter should contain?

It absolutely must contain two things: the central conflict boiled down into a single sentence and the thing that makes your story unique. If you can combine the uniqueness with your conflict, so much the better. Think of it as a blurb in the TV guide. It has to encapsulate the theme or unique conflict in your book in the fewest possible words to entice the reader.

The query must make the agent or editor desperate to read your submission. It’s a teaser. The synopsis, on the other hand, must show the characters and story arc, including how you bring it home at the end, so they can determine if the story makes sense and is going to hang together.

Then, if you can actually write the story to live up to the query and synopsis, you may take home the prize.

7)You write in more than one genre or sub-genre (Historical, Paranormal, and Short Stories): Do you write WIPs simultaneously or focus on one book at a time?

I always have several manuscripts in various stages, although I only do “new writing” on one manuscript at a time. Right now, I’ve got first drafts done on two Regency romantic mysteries and a contemporary paranormal romance, while I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of a contemporary cozy romance with a romantic sub-plot. With luck, I also have other manuscripts “making the rounds” to publishers (at the moment, I have a cozy mystery submitted to a publisher).

The drafts are undergoing critiques to help me focus on the problem areas for revising them.

I wish I was faster as a writer, but I find I have to leave at least a year between the first draft and revisions in order for problems to become clear. I’ll never be one of those writers who can wip something out in three months, unfortunately. In fact most books take me 3 years with approximately 5-10 rounds of revisions.

It’s a lot of work, but definitely worth it.

8)Give us a little sneak peek into what your writing style is really like.

The best way to do that is to include a little bit of dialog from my latest Regency romantic mystery: The Bricklayer’s Helper. The heroine, Sarah, and William, the hero, are on their way to burglarize a house to try to regain a box that may contain information critical to saving Sarah’s life.

And Sarah is covering her nervousness by driving William completely insane—or at least insane enough to kiss her again…

“You still think this is such a good idea?” William commented when Sarah stumbled to a stop next to him.

“Where’s your heart?” she replied, struggling to sound undiscouraged despite the burning in her side. Then, the excitement of being out in the dark on an adventure with William caught her. Her breath sharpened. She wanted to laugh with the sudden, inexplicable joy of the moment.

“My heart is in my throat,” William replied dryly. “Have you considered that Mr. Carnaby might have dogs?”

“Did you see any dogs?” She pulled him forward.


“Perhaps we ought to stop at the butcher’s on the way. If it makes you feel any better.”

He sounded as if he were choking. “We are not going to burglarize the butcher’s tonight, as well as Carnaby’s.”

“Well, if you’d remembered to bring a few bones with you—“

“Forget the dogs,” he said in savage tones. “They can gnaw on my arm while you search for the box—no doubt cutting the throats of every inhabitant while you’re at it.”

“Maybe there won’t even be any dogs,” she replied consolingly, doing her best not to giggle. “And I won’t slit any more throats than absolutely necessary.”

“You know, I believe you’re enjoying this, you unholy wretch.”

“You know, I believe you’re right.”

“Have you no decent feelings at all?”

She chewed the tip of her forefinger She chewed the tip of her forefinger for a moment to allow his aggravation to reach the highest possible peak. “No. I really think I don’t. It’s very sad, isn’t it?”

9)What's up next for you? Any news you wish to rave about?

This year is a fantastic one for me. I’ve got three books due out and although I don’t want to jinx it, I may have a contract for a cozy mystery to celebrate in a few months.

The Wild Rose Press, is releasing two of the books:
The Bricklayer’s Helper, a Regency romantic mystery, releases Aug 6, 2010
Vampire Protector, a contemporary paranormal romance, releases Nov 12, 2010

Highland Press is releasing another Regency romantic mystery, The Necklace, in a few months. The artists are working on the cover right now.

Here’s the blurb from The Bricklayer’s Helper, just released in print and e-book from The Wild Rose Press…

A masquerade turns deadly when a murderer discovers the truth behind the disguise.

After her family perishes in a suspicious fire, Sarah hides her identity by working as a bricklayer's helper. But her disguise can't keep her safe when someone discovers she survived the flames and is now working in London. Alone and terrified, Sarah pins all her hopes on William Trenchard, an inquiry agent with Second Sons. William, however, seems far too handsome to have the wits necessary to solve the mystery, and Sarah fears that involving him may be her final~and fatal~mistake.

The pair are in for a wild ride as they try to solve a decade-old mystery of murder and deceit in Regency England.

Appearances can truly be deceiving.

OHH! The Regency fan in me is jumping for joy! THE BRICKLAYER'S HELPER sounds like a sweet read!! If you'd like more info on Amy Corwin here are some links to scope out:

Author website:

I'd like to thank Amy for sharing some valuable words of wisdom. It's been a pleasure having her here today!

THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! I'm in the mood for a rockin' weekend, so how about MIRANDA LAMBERT's WHITE LIAR! Careful, you'll be singin' it too. LOL I think she's an absolutely brilliant song writer. What's more, she is awesome in concert!! Stay out of the heat, ya'll! See ya back on Moanday!


Bronwyn said...

Amy, your own blurb sounds like a brilliant love story on its own! Thanks so much for sharing your writing habits with the rest of us!!

Sarah, once again your infectious positivity makes me smile =D

Have a great day ladies.


Beth Caudill said...

Congrats on the new release Amy.

Helen Hardt said...

Great to meet you, Amy!

Sarah Simas said...

Aw, thanks, Bronwyn! You're pretty uplifting yourself. LOL YOur post on missing out on Maccas was too funny!

And you're a smokin' hot blurb writer too. LOL

HI Beth! Thanks for joining the fun. :)

HELEN!! Great to see you, lady! ((hugs!))

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Amy,
Great interview. A bricklayer's assistant sounds an intriguing job for a girl in Regency times.And Williams certainly is hero material.

Best of luck with all your writing ventures.



Sherry Gloag said...

Amy, I love your own blurb, that was fantastic. I enjoyed the excerpt too.
So many books coming out so close to each other. Best of luck wiht all of them.

敬周喜 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carly Carson said...

Hey Amy, Fancy meeting you here! I love the heroine in your excerpt. Might as well have fun while doing your nefarious deeds, right?

Sarah said...

So many genres--I bet that keeps you on your toes. Thanks for sharing the blurb; it made me laugh, and that means great fun in store for readers!