Monday, May 18, 2015

Interview with Author Amalie Howard

Ladies and gentlemen, meet best-selling author Amalie Howard! Her first piece of published writing was a poem in the University of Warwick journal (she was just 13!). Now she writes young adult books. Amalie’s first book, Bloodspell, wasn an Amazon bestseller and was names a Seventeen Magazine Summer Beach Read. Since she’s guest blogging for us on Wednesday, we thought a short get-to-know-you session was in order.

You've done so much traveling, but of all of the places you have yet to visit, which one are you most excited to go to next?

I’ve visited nearly a hundred and eighty cities in the world, and I’ve had some wonderful (and surprising) experiences. I’d like to visit Hawaii next. I’ve never been to any of the Pacific islands, and I think I would really enjoy experiencing the culture there. I’m also a surfer, and would love to do some surfing!

How did growing up in the Caribbean shape your writing?

Growing up in the Caribbean, an area of the world full of folklore and mysticism, gave me a great foundation for dreaming, reading and writing fantasy! My imagination had a lot of food for thought. On top of that, being able to explore such a rich cultural heritage has given me a great foundation for experiencing different cultures and understanding the true meaning of diversity, which I think gives my writing a unique edge and voice.

Tell us about your tattoos! Are you the kind of person to get them just for fun or to represent something deeper?

My tattoos each have some personal significance to me, either because I got them during a special time in my life to mark some personal milestone or because they mean something specific. I’m thinking of getting a half-sleeve that incorporates my books and my kids in a cherry blossom type design, but that’s a big commitment.

Do you work with a critique group or beta readers? Why or why not?

I am lucky to be part of a wonderful critique group, and I strongly encourage new writers to find similar writing groups in your area. For children’s writers, you can check your local SCBWI chapter for a listing of groups, or even start one yourself. A writing group is helpful for brainstorming, getting beta reads, editing help, and general commiserating. Writing can be a lonely job—it’s nice to have conversations with people who understand the challenges and frustrations as well as those who can share in your successes and achievements. A personal support network is always a good thing to have.

What have you learned as a world traveler that you wish everyone else could know, too?

To more readily accept people who may be different from you. Everyone has something to offer—if we were all the same, the world would be a pretty boring place. Celebrate the differences around you. Embrace your world.

Authors spend a lot of time explaining “Why” and “How”. What question do you wish you would be asked more often, and what is its answer?

I really like the question: What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Rock what you’ve got. Be resilient. When life throws you a curveball, don’t be afraid to take a swing. Life’s not going to be easy at the best of times, and it’s about how you respond to those challenges. Face what comes your way with courage, trust yourself to do the best thing you can do. Sometimes, you just have to take the jump without knowing what’s on the other side.

Here's a teaser to Amalie's first book, BLOODSPELL: 
The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

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