When I first signed with my agent — the awesome Stacey Glick — I made it a point to check out the other authors she represents and came across Amy Plum. I love young adult books, paranormal books, great writing, and Paris, so naturally I loved Amy’s books. And isn’t the cover stunning? Not to mention the gorgeous author! Here she is in her own words:
1. Describe your writing routine and/or schedule?
When I am in first-draft mode, I try to write 2500-3000 words per day. That’s about a chapter and a half for me. I’m a “pantser” so I don’t really know what I’m going to write until I sit down in front of the computer.
So basically for me it’s:
1. open computer
2. read 2500 words I did the day before and make edits
3. send those 2500 words to Claudia, my Beta reader
4. write new 2500 words
5. if I get stuck or can’t figure out what’s going to happen next I take a walk until it comes to me – sometimes up to an hour.
For second drafts I try to edit double of what I write in first drafts, so 5000 words/day. And I can do that in a much more relaxed atmosphere, with music, in a library, whatever. But for first drafts I usually write in bed.
2. What do you do if you get writer’s block?
*knocks on wood* I don’t get writer’s block. I only get lack of motivation where I go around and do everything else I need to do except writing.
3. Who do you read, or recommend other writer’s read, in regards to craft?
My favorite book for writing is Stephen King’s book “On Writing.” He too is a “panster” —not a “plotter”—which appeals to my way of working. And everyone I’ve referred the book to has gotten a lot from it.
4. Who do you read for fun?
The New Yorker magazine.
5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Tell us about it.
I taught myself to read when I was 4 years old, and have been a book fanatic ever since. I had a poem printed in the school newsletter when I was six, and kept writing poetry until I got a rejection from the college literary magazine and took that to mean that my writing must be crap.
After that it took a long time for me to get my confidence back. I didn’t think I could make a living writing, so concentrated on getting a masters in Art History and working in the art world.
It wasn’t until I began writing a blog about my experience of living in the French countryside, and accrued a large following of very enthusiastic readers, that I began to think that I might have a talent for telling stories. I wrote my experiences into a memoir, and that is how I got my agent!
6. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
For aspiring writers, I would say, “Write every day.” Your creativity is a muscle—you have to work it out to make it strong. The more you write the better you will get. And get a broad spectrum of readers to show your work to – not just people of your own background or age group.
7. What do you think is the most important skill to have to succeed as a writer?
Tenacity. And self-motivation. And a capacity for being alone.
8. What is your favorite food and/or drink?
My favorite food is Wonderful Salt & Pepper Pistachios. And my favorite drink is San Pelligrino with frozen-lemon-juice ice cubes. (But if we’re talking drink drink, a dirty gin martini.)
9. Do you have a favorite book or movie?
My favorite book is The Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. Although the author rejects the label of “magical realism,” that’s how I see it—New York described in a way that gives a glimpse of the magic lying underneath its deceptively ordinary mask.
10. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share?
Thanks for hosting me on your blog!
Amy Plum is the author of the International Bestseller DIE FOR ME, which is an Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal. DIE FOR ME is the first novel in a YA trilogy set in Paris. Book 2 in the series, UNTIL I DIE, releases in May 2012.
Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café.
Her website is: http://www.amyplumbooks.com