Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Interview with "Forget-Her-Nots" Author

We are so excited to be able to share with you our first author interview. Amy Brecount White is a local author who has recently had her debut novel published. Forget-Her-Nots is a YA novel which is already getting a lot of buzz in reviews and the blog-o-sphere. She was gracious enough to let us ask her a few questions about being a first-time novelist and about her new book!

-- Would you mind giving us a quick synopsis or book hook of Forget-Her-Nots?

Fourteen-year-old Laurel discovers she is part of a secret society dedicated to the magical language of flowers in this debut novel blooming with romance, mystery, and fun.

-- Do you think readers who have read certain titles will be especially drawn to FHN? Which ones?

Definitely. My books has a Victorian feel to it, so I think anyone who liked Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle books would like it. Anyone who enjoys Shannon Hale's Bayern books will enjoy it, too. One of the bloggers suggested that fans of Sarah Dessen would really enjoy it, too. It's more magic realism than fantasy, really. The cover is a good indicator too. If you like the flowers, you'll love what's inside.

-- How long did it take you to write FHN?

About eight years from conception to bookshelves. Yikes! I was working on other projects, too, such as my next novel, STRING THEORIES. The publishing industry generally works at a pretty glacial pace.

-- Do you have a favorite character in your book?

My MC, Laurel, is dear to my heart, but I had the most fun writing Rose. I'd love to hang out with her. Snarky with a heart of gold.

-- Do you have a favorite spot to write in?

Not really. It's more the quiet and frame of mind for me. I can't listen to music or anything when I write. Otherwise, I lose my characters' voices.

-- What sorts of things are you inspired by?

The natural world, especially anything that blooms and gives off fragrance. True friendship inspires me, and people who are passionate about their beliefs. Other writers, esp. Jane Austen, Markus Zusak, Kristin Cashore, and Melissa Marr, inspire me to write better.

-- What is your favorite part about writing for teens?

I think it's an amazing stage of life. Having taught teens, I know they can run the gamut of emotions, but I always really connected with my students. (I even won a Teacher of the Year Award, which was chosen by students.) It's a tough and exciting time of life when you're really trying to figure out the whole world. I love to speak to that age.

-- When you are writing, do you have any teen feedback?

I did have several local teen readers. Their comments were always very insightful and encouraging.

-- The cover is really striking, did you have a lot of input on the design?

None really. The designer at Greenwillow, Paul Zakris, just got the novel. I think if you like the cover, you'll love the contents. It's a flowery book. :-)

-- What has been the most exciting part about having your first book published?

I just love saying that I'm a novelist. I've always wanted to be able to say that, because books are such a huge part of my life.

-- Do you have a favorite YA Book or author?

I think Markus Zusak is amazing, and I can't wait to see what he does next. I'm also a big fan of Kristin Cashore and Shannon Hale.

-- Do you have any advice to give to our teens who enjoy writing or who might want to become an author one day?

Keep reading and writing. And definitely learn to read like a writer. If I'm wowed by a book, I read it twice. The first time, I enjoy the ride. The second time I try to figure out how the author does it. I did a guest blog about becoming a writer that I really love for Zoe's Book Reviews:

-- What is your favorite flower?

I really do love almost all of them, but I'd have to say the gardenia. It's so fragrant and lovely. I'm also a huge fan of peonies, daffodils, Virginia Bluebells, and anything that will bloom in my yard.

Thanks so much for having me, Nico!

Thanks Amy for stopping by, we can't wait to check out Forget-Her-Nots!

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