Interview with Author Amy CecilPosted: June 26, 2017 | |
I’m happy today to be interviewing Amy Cecil, author of the Knights of Silence MC romance series, as a part of her blog tour surrounding the release of Book 2 in the series, Ice on Fire. (See my four quill review of Ice on Fire.) Amy is married, and she and her husband have three dogs and a horse. She is also the self-published author of four novels. She writes both historical and contemporary romance.
Kaye: Your new release, Ice on Fire, is the second book in your Knights of Silence MC Would you like to tell us about the contemporary romance series, and how Ice on Fire fits into it?
Amy: The Knights of Silence MC series is my pride and joy. It is my first attempt to write my own characters, develop them and subsequently fall in love with them. And, it’s in a genre that is totally different than what I started in. It has been a challenge for me and the result is a product that is all my own. That makes me a very proud writer. The series right now is going to consist of four books, but who knows, that may change. Ice, the first in the series was published in September. I am currently working on book 3 in the series, Celtic Dragon, and I am hoping on a spring 2018 release.
Kaye: You wrote your first novel in thirty days and went on to be a two time NaNoWriMo winner, in 2015 and 2016, where contestants are challenged to write a novel in a month’s time. What is the secret to writing a novel length work in thirty days?
Amy: NaNoWriMo requires 50,000 words in 30 days to win. That’s seems pretty tough to do, but if you break it down, it’s not so bad. I divide the 50,000 by 30 and come up with my daily goal. It’s 1,666 words a day. Doesn’t sound so overwhelming when you break it down. And then the hard part is to adhere to that goal. Some days I will write more, other days I will write less, but by the 15th of the month, you can bet I will make sure there is 25,000 words written and that I am on track. And then periodically throughout the month, I make sure I am still on track. NaNoWriMo does this for you and it is really helpful.
Kaye: Today many independent or small press authors are using what are called street teams to spread the word about their books. Could you explain what your street team does and how you go about building a street team?
Amy: When I first started writing, I never knew what a street team was, until my PA’s Alicia Freeman and Michelle Cates told me I needed one. These girls are amazing and built my team to over 400 members in just a few months. This is where I can talk with my fans and actually let them share in the writing process. They have not only shared my books and teasers, they have contributed in many ways to my books. They are a great group to bounce ideas off of and they are always there to support me when I am doing an author takeover event. I’d be lost without them.
Kaye: What are some of the differences between writing historical romance and contemporary romance?
Amy: From a writer’s perspective, the biggest difference is how they talk. Historical romance is more formal, more polite. Things are very proper and liberties are not common. Contemporary is more relaxed and casual. They are less formal in the way they speak and you can use contractions. That’s a big no no in historical writing. Also, you can take liberties with your characters that you would normally have to be careful within a historical romance. Because I write Jane Austen Fan Fiction, I have to be conscious of keeping my characters the way Jane Austen created them.
Kaye: What do you see as the pros and cons of independent, or self-publishing?
Amy: When I first started writing, I went the traditional route. I sent my manuscript to several publishers and of course, was turned down by all of them. Discouraged, but not ready to give up, I learned that I could self-publish. Since then, I have self-published four novels. I’m not sure what I would do now if a publisher wanted to publish one of my books. I really like the freedom I have to write what I want and when I want. I have no deadlines. The hardest part of self-publishing and requires the most amount of work is PR. Getting your name out there is difficult if you don’t have a publishing house or an agent behind you. But I have found two great PA’s, Alicia Freeman and Michelle Cates. They not only help me promote my works on social media, they all put together an amazing street team for me.
Kaye: Where does the title come in the writing process for you? How do you decide the titles for your books?
Amy: My titles usually come first. I don’t have any special formula to specific way I do. Some just come to me, some have been suggested by friends and the latest one, Ice on Fire came from my husband.
Kaye: What’s the most fun part of writing a novel? What’s the least fun part?
Amy: I would have to say that my favorite part of writing a novel is coming up with the initial story line. Creating the characters and just watching it all play out. My least favorite part is the editing. I know, it has to be done. But it is always a struggle for me. Luckily, I have an amazing editor Carl Augsburger of Creative Digital Studios who makes this process a little less agonizing for me.
Kaye: What’s your favorite way to get exercise?
Amy: I walk my dogs – I have three of them.
Kaye: Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?
Amy: My husband is in the Air Force, so I spend a lot of time at home alone. I work full-time for a home improvement company. Also, I have three rescue dogs and a horse that keep me busy. I enjoy other creative hobbies as well like painting and basket weaving.
Kaye: Where do you get your cover art?
Amy: Ellie Augsburger of Creative Digital Studios designs my covers. We use stock photos and get most of them from Adobe Stock. I’m not sure what other resources she uses.
Kaye: What’s your favorite social media site for promotion? Why?
Amy: I guess I would have to say Facebook. I use it the most because I am most familiar with it. I really want to expand my social media reach, but I guess that will come with time.
Kaye: What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Amy: “Write your own.” These were the exact words from my best friend who encouraged me to write my own story. I’m so glad I took her advice.
Kaye: What time of day do you prefer to do your writing?
Amy: I really don’t have a specific time of day to write. Usually it seems to be when the ideas hit me. I don’t write everyday, but that doesn’t mean I am not working on my books. I spend a lot of time doing research.
I want to thank Amy for joining us here, on Writing to be Read, and sharing some interesting facts about herself and her writing. You can find each of Amy Cecil’s books here:
Learn more about Amy’s Amazing Street Girls:
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