Author Interview with Amie Irene Winters

  • Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067]How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a pen. Creative writing was my favorite subject in school. It was the only thing I ever did that didn’t feel like work. I still have all of my old writing journals. Each month I incorporate the stories I wrote (and funny pics) in a Throwback Thursday post on my blog that I call #TBTWriter. The things I wrote about were pretty hilarious, like a $20 ice cream sundae and a horror story about an old bald guy. Spooky, I know. You can check out some of my stories, and my terrible 90’s hair styles, on my blog: https://golden-cricket.blogspot.com/search/label/tbtwriter

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Fantasy! It actually wasn’t until I stopped writing for the market and started writing what I really wanted to write did I realize that I was writing fantasy. And the more I wrote, the more I loved writing about magic, other worlds, and supernatural creatures. I’m completely in love with the limitless possibilities for imagination.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. I have a mischievous pug puppy appropriately named Loki and people are always telling me that he would make a great premise for a book. I’d like to explore that once the Strange Luck series is complete.

  • Please tell us about your book.

The Nightmare Birds is the newest YA Horror story in the Strange Luck series. It’s about Daisy Darling’s quest to uncover the truth about the mysterious Theater of Secrets – long thought a dark legend by many, but known as a frightening reality to those who truly know its powers.  Only the invited may find it and once they do, they cannot go back. What Daisy doesn’t know is that this mystery will forever change her life and her future.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I always tend to root for the villain. When I watched Disney movies growing up I always wondered about the villain, why they were so vengeful, and why they didn’t deserve sympathy. That said, Mr. Black, the Theater of Secrets’ dark ringleader, is my favorite character in The Nightmare Birds. I love his dark sorcery and mind games. It also helps that he looks like a medieval prince. Swoon. J

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Coming up with an ending where there is closure, but still some unknowns so that the story can continue since it’s part of a series. I changed the ending probably a dozen times. The second to last ending I thought was fine until my editor bluntly told me that it was disappointing. I thought about alternatives for a solid week and was afraid I couldn’t come up with anything. Then, I sat down at my computer and cranked out something in five minutes. I was pleased with the new ending, and thought it was much better, but the final test was if my editor agreed. I handed it over to her and she loved it. I can only hope that my readers agree.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I get up at the same time every morning, eat breakfast, then take my puppy for a walk. After sorting through my emails, and drinking some coffee, I get to work writing. I’ll write for a few hours before I take a break, usually to go and work out. After some lunch, I’m back at my desk writing until dinner.

I need a quiet, clutter-free atmosphere to write. My desk always has to face a window. There’s just something about unconsciously gazing at birds and squirrels that helps with my writing process.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

About a year. I write solidly as much as I can and try to leave a few months for editing and finalizing the book.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

Every time I sit down to work on my master doc, I always re-read what I had written previously and edit accordingly. I’m constantly editing and revising. Once I’ve written the entire story, I’ll go back through and read it several times before printing it out and reading it on paper. I’ll fix anything that needs works and then read it a few more times. Then, I hand it over to my editor and focus on the final edits. After that, there’s more reading and revising.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes, The Nightmare Birds is part of the YA Fantasy books called the Strange Luck series. I have four books planned, including a prequel. My newest book, The Nightmare Birds, is the second book in the series.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t ever give up writing even if you’re rejected or receive negative feedback. The path is going to be difficult, it’s going to be trying, but in the end, it will be worth it when you finally hold your book in your hands.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

I think reading fiction, especially fantasy, fosters creativity and imagination. In The Nightmare Birds, readers get to visit a beautifully menacing world of suspense, magic, and limitless possibilities.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

H.P Lovecraft is my favorite author of all time. Not only was he an amazing writer, he seemed like a really neat, and peculiar, person. Simone de Beauvoir is my favorite philosopher. She was an exceptional feminist, thinker, and author. Last but not least, Neil Gaiman. He’s been a major influence on my writing and I would love to pick the brain of someone so imaginative.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired to write Strange Luck while driving by a cemetery on the way to work one day. I was thinking about memories and if it would be possible to create the perfect memory. That idea spiralled into a world built using stolen memories. For The Nightmare Birds, I’ve always loved the concept of the supernatural creeping into the real world. My love of horror and dark magic were the inspiration for this story.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m currently developing my ideas for the next book. Stay tuned for details.

Author Bio

AmieIreneWintersHeadshot(1)As an environmental conservationist, AMIE IRENE WINTERS has had a lot of unique experiences—from participating in archaeological digs and camping solo in the Rocky Mountains, to designing natural history museum exhibits—but writing fiction has always been her passion. She’s the author of Strange Luck and The Nightmare Birds, and is currently working on the next book in the Strange Luck series. Visit amieirenewinters.com to learn more about Amie and her books.

Strange Luck

Hidden deep in the forest, beneath mounds of forgotten memories, lies the secret world of the Nameless – a magical realm as beautiful as it is dangerous.

Daisy Darling used to think of Sea Salt, the small mountain town she has always called home, as a boring place where nothing ever happened.Then she met a peculiar wanderer who reveals a mysterious world hidden beneath the town all along. A world where mind-bending, magical, life-altering phenomena happen. A world harboring a dark secret under its snow-capped mountains, aquamarine waters, and perfumed jungles. A world built using stolen memories.

Now that Daisy’s eyes have been opened to the truth about the Nameless, there’s no turning back. Driven to save the other Collectives, Daisy is pulled deeper into the world’s tangled lies, finding herself ensnared in a dangerous network of tunnels and time-altering portals. Somehow Daisy must discover the strength to win back her freedom before the Nameless claims her forever.

The Nightmare Birds

TheNightmareBirds_FrontCoverOnly those who possess wild eyes, an impulsive heart, and a wandering spirit hunt for the Theater of Secrets—and once they witness the darkest of magic, they don’t return.

It promises to change your life forever—but is the mysterious Theater of Secrets legend or something more? Tasked to answer that very question, Daisy Darling sets out to uncover the truth and is thrown headlong into a life where inexplicably strange and dark things happen nightly. A life of deception and uncertainty. A life in the spotlight as the theater’s ringleader.

As Daisy assumes her new role, she not only discovers a surprising connection between herself and the previous ringleader, but also the haunting truth behind the theater’s limitless power. Determined to expose the theater and foil its wicked plan, Daisy must first embrace her heritage before she can defeat the dark forces at play.

 

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