I am very excited to welcome Tenner Amy Brecount White to Ellz Readz today. Her debut novel releases March 2, 2010. Let's get started.
1. Please tell us about your debut novel Forget-Her-Nots.
AW: The word that keeps popping up to describe it is "original," which I'm thrilled about. It's more magic realism than fantasy, in that it's set in this world, in this time, with a lovely and elusive element of flower magic. I had great fun creating the setting of Avondale and its extensive gardens. It seems like a real place to me, where the characters are busy doing their own things until I visit them again.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
AW: As a former English teacher, I used to tell my students they should choose writing topics they REALLY cared about and wanted to explore. I adore flowers, and I do believe that giving them to one another releases a special kind of magic into the universe. I had a great time envisioning that magic and researching the language of flowers.
(FYI, there are actually studies that show receiving flowers can improve your overall mood and help you to heal more quickly. More on that in a later blog post!)
Do you have a green thumb?
AW: I like to think so! I do grow lovely things -- hellebores, daffodils, clematis, azaleas, and mums, to name a few -- in my flower garden.
3. How would you best describe your heroine Laurel?
AW: Curious, persistent, and hopeful. Open to possibilities beyond the realm of logic. Lonely, at least at the beginning of the novel. Not at the end. :-)
I hope everyone who reads it can see a little of herself in Laurel.
4. If you could collaborate with any author, alive or deceased, who would it be?
AW: It would be absolutely fascinating to collaborate with Virginia Woolf and see how her mind worked. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE is simply brilliant.
In terms of living authors, I'm a critique partner with two Tenners, C.J. Omololu (DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS) and Denise Jaden (LOSING FAITH). They're both wonderful writers who have helped me tremendously with my WIP. It would be fun to pen something with them!
5. Are you currently working on any other projects you would like to share with us?
AW: I'm writing a YA novel called STRING THEORIES. It's about connections, a watershed, the varieties of friendship, and getting even. It has nothing to do with flowers, but I'd love to do a companion book to FORGET-HER-NOTS one of these days.
6. If you had magical flower power, how would you use it?
AW: I'd try to awaken what's really in people's hearts. I think sometimes we get blinded by so many worries and distractions that we forget to feed our hearts. And parts of us can die, metaphorically speaking.
7. You write nonfiction for a variety of outlets. Is it a challenge to jump into the world of fiction, especially YA fiction?
AW: Non-fiction is much easier for me to write, because there's always a given logic to any article you write. You need to draw in your audience with an interesting fact or teaser, and then present your information clearly and concisely to reach the conclusion you want.
Fiction is more of a challenge, because the logic -- thus the unfolding of events -- isn't immediately obvious and can be told in different ways. Sometimes you write and rewrite from completely different points of view or in different voices to see what works best. That happened with my WIP.
YA fiction is also incredibly well-edited and has to be very tight. My journalism background helped with that, I think.
8. Lastly, what do you enjoy doing in your free time (what there is of it)?
AW: I do make sure I have some free time. I try to exercise, because I turn into an irrational, blobby monster if I don't. I hang out with good friends and my family. I garden when I can, and I read every night, usually a YA novel.
Thanks so much for having me.
Amy it is my pleasure and I am very excited to read Forget-Her-Nots.
For more information about Amy Brecount White and her stories, visit her website.
Forget-Her-Nots can be preordered from popular bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also preread the first 5 chapter of FON by following the link.