Hi Amy! Thank you so very much for spending this time with me. I'm quite excited about being able to step inside your world for a few moments and catch a glimpse of what it's like to be you. First, though, would you mind telling us about some of your current and future projects?
It's my pleasure to be here with you today! As you know my first release, WAVES OF FATE, is available now. CANNIBURY HILL will be available in May 2004, ALONE IN FORRESTER ROCK and WITH LOVE, COMES TRUTH release dates still to be announced. At the moment I'm working on my fifth novel, HOPES FOR A LOST DREAM. Feel free to visit my web site at: http://amymistretta.tripod.com to read the excerpts of all my books. WAVES OF FATE and CANNIBURY HILL are available through: www.whiskeycreekpress.com and www.Amazon.com. For anyone who would like to purchase an autographed copy of those books, you can contact me directly through my web site to make arrangements.
While writing your first novel, WAVES OF FATE, you mentioned that it began with jotting down some thoughts on a napkin while waiting for your daughter to be dismissed from school. Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think that those scraps of paper would become your first published novel? May I please ask where you now keep those napkins?
I so hoped that it would! But like some of the most famous writers, I had a rejection along the way. The first publisher I contacted was Silhouette Desire, which rejected WAVES OF FATE. The novel is about a rock star and a model, and Silhouette said it was NOT what ordinary women wanted to read. But my theory for the novel was to make the stars WANT to be ordinary people. I was told to change the story - that the atmosphere I created would never sell. But it did! And since getting my first contract through Whiskey Creek Press back in April of 2003, I've written several more novels. Oh,and those napkins you were asking about, they have their own little spot in my files where they will never be forgotten!
I can't even begin to imagine the thrill of receiving word that your book has sold, that you're going to be published. How did you react, Amy? How did you tell your husband and children this wonderful news?
To say the least, I was on cloud nine for about a week! When I first received the contract, I was blown away. Not only because I was going to be a published author, but also because I sold a story that other authors told me I wouldn't be able to sell! My husband very rarely calls me from work, but that day he did. I screamed the news to him through the phone. He told me to calm down so I didn't have a heart attack before he got home! He was so proud!
In WAVES OF FATE, the location you've written about is West Palm Beach, Florida. It's as if you've walked along that stretch of sand, Amy. Your description of Max's Place and the beautiful homes left me wondering if you've wandered that beach you so lovingly wrote about.
No I haven't, it's just a secret dream of mine. When writing those scenes, I just imagined everything I would want my ultimate dream home to be. And you never know - maybe someday I'll be able to buy and move into Jessie's house!
I'm a lover of poetry and I understand you write poetry, also, and have had a poem published. Is this another side of Amy Mistretta that one day will find its way into book form?
That's true. I did have a poem published in a small poetry anthology. The poem was titled I LOVE YOU. I wrote it as a gift to my husband on our wedding day. I actually incorporated the poem into WAVES OF FATE through Jessie's wedding vows to Mark. As for strictly writing a book full of poems, I don't think that's a venture I'll be taking anytime soon. I love writing romance novels too much!
Please tell us, Amy, what were some of your favorite books as a child? Have you shared those same books with your young children?
As a child, and like so many other young girls, I have to say my favorite author was Judy Blume. As far back as I can remember I have been an avid reader. And I'm so proud to say that I've passed that love along to both of my children. My daughter, now in fourth grade, has a few Judy Blume books of her own on her bookshelf.
When you're in the process of thinking about your characters, do you imagine how they look and sound as you're writing about them and speaking for them in their dialogues?
I most certainly know what they look like and how they'll act. That's why you'll never see a character on the cover of my books. A cover artist just couldn't possibly create the vision of my characters that I have. When reading a book, everyone has their own idea of what the characters look like. So by me not including them on my covers, it just gives the reader their own added touch to my stories. I can control in my mind what they look like, but no matter what I think the characters will do, they always seem to have a mind of their own. It sounds crazy, but it's true.
As a writer, do you draw from your own life experiences when creating scenes and characters?
No and yes. I don't write about things that have happened in my life. Sure I may include a certain situation, but never a basis for the whole story plot. I have written about familiar places. For instance, all the scenery and material things in my second novel, CANNIBURY HILL, are real. I actually grew up on that exact farm as a child. My family still runs it to this day. So I tried to incorporate every detail possible. After finishing the book I visited my grandparents there, which I do frequently. But that time going back was different. It looked different somehow - I half-expected my characters to walk out of the barn. The reactions really made me feel connected to what I do.
Amy, please share with us the place where you do most of your writing. Do you have one special area set aside in your home where your thoughts are able to freely roam?
If I only had one extra room in my house, it would be perfect. But I don't, so I had to compromise. My dining room just so happens to have a whole wall of built-in bookshelves. So one day I took the table apart, moved the china closet into the kitchen and turned the room into my library/office! It has all worked out well, and we never ate in there anyway!
I just have to ask this next question because I'm a mother of a teenaged son. Having two young children, please tell me how you manage taking care of your home. My mom used to always tell me that the cleaning would be there the next day. And, she was right.
I have to say I don't have any problems in that department. I've always been a clean freak, to the point where I drive myself nuts! When the kids were babies, my friends-who had kids of their own-would come over and be amazed at how neat I kept the house. Since becoming a writer I've had to adjust my routine a bit. I get any cleaning that needs to be done before I even get the kids off to school, so I can devote at least four hours to writing. And I even manage to get my three soap operas in before the kids come home! After that, it's hectic until bedtime.
In WAVES OF FATE there are two beautifully written romantic scenes that swept me away. Is there such a place? Is there really a Mrs. Weatherbee?
There is such a place, but it's only in my dreams. As you know, my characters are very wealthy. So that alone makes anything possible. Now there is a Mrs. Weatherbee. I used the last name of my first grade teacher. Something about it just fit the name of my fairy godmother-like character.
Please tell us your memory of how your children reacted upon their first introduction to snow.
They were amazed that something so white and fluffy came from the sky. And that it was fun to play in too!
I'm a chocolate lover - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite. What candy brings a smile to your face, Amy?
Oh, this is so bad, but any-and I mean any-chocolate will do the trick for me!!!
If you were going on a picnic with your husband on a beautiful spring day, what would be hiding in your picnic basket?
Well, I'd have some red wine for me, and probably a Bud Light for Bob. As for food-maybe some cheese, and pick foods...but those weren't the answers you were looking for, were they?
Thank you a million times, Amy. You're such a sweetheart. Your beautifully romantic ways are truly felt within your writing. May you always share your imagination with us.
Thanks for having me! I want to thank Patti and the whole staff at RomanceJunkies.com for all they do to help promote our books. And a big thanks to all my readers! It still seems so weird to think that I have fans, but so many of you have been extremely generous with all of your compliments and support!!! With greatest appreciation, ~Amy Mistretta