Thank you to all who have left a comment on my last post. Yes, that was a review of the enthralling novel, Witch Song. Today, I bring to you the author behind it, Amber Argyle!
What was your job before you became a writer?
The same job I have now - a full time mom. I love being at home with my kids (most of the time). One of my favorite parts is reading them stories.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time? What's that? LOL With three kids, cleaning, cooking, writing, editing, and marketing; I really don't have much spare time. Although I have been doing Zumba aerobics. I'm terrible. Really, really terrible. But it's so much fun. I love it when you get an amazing workout and you don't even realize it.
If I had a spare time, I'd scrapbook and play basketball.
Did you struggle to get published? Can you tell us your experience on getting published?
Long, long story. I’ll try to give the short version. Being an author meant so much to me that I didn’t pursue it for a while for fear of failing. After the birth of my very colicky baby, I desperately needed some sort of stress release and started writing January of ‘06. I was offered a publishing contract for my first book (Priestess Prophecy) fall of June of ’08. I turned that contract down because the terms were rotten. Shortly after, I found an agent who subbed Priestess. I broke up with my agent after about a year. I shelved Priestess and started circulating Witch Song. Rhemalda Publishing offered me a contract August of 2010. I’m so grateful/lucky to have such a fantastic publisher.
Where’s your favourite place to write - is it inside your own home or do you have to go out somewhere - into the woods, by the beach or in a cafe - to find the inspiration?
I’m trying to imagine myself writing in a café with my three kids tipping over the displays and running out into the road. It’s making me very tired. ;) I write at home, in my family room so I can keep an eye on my chillins.
Let’s talk about your debut novel, Witch Song – how long ago was it when you began to write this novel?
I started writing Witch Song summer of ’07. I finished the first draft in a month. I edited it pretty steadily for another 6 months. Then I worked on it off and on when the muse struck.
Can you tell us about Witch Song? What is it about?
My 14 year old protagonist, Brusenna, is the last Witch left. All the others are being held captive. And without the Witches to control nature, seasons are crossing hardened boundaries, seeds rot in the soil, and the heavens are sealed shut. If Brusenna doesn’t find and free the others soon, there might not be anything left to save.
Did you have to research to write the story?
There’s an epic sea battle near the middle of the book, so I had to do a lot of research on cannons, ships, and sailing. I also had to do a lot of research on tropical climates.
Are you working on another novel right now?
I’m editing Daughter of Winter, which should come out next year (finger’s crossed). I’m trying to fit in the first draft of The Forbidden Forest, but I just can’t find the time.
What would you like to read? Any favourite books? Favourite authors?
I absolutely love Shannon Hale and Kristin Cashore. Let’s face it, the girls can write an write well. I also like Brandon Mull, Tolkien, David Farland, Jessica Day George, Clare B Dunkle, Jennifer Roberson, Suzanne Collins, Clare B Dunkle, Aprilynne Pike, and Robin McKinley. I could probably go on forever.
Do you think any of your favourite authors has influenced your writing?
Absolutely. David Farland has taught me so much about the craft of writing. When I get stuck, I read a great book and that usually propels my writing into high gear.
Do you have any tips to share with aspiring writers out there on how to get published?
Worry more about becoming a great writer than about getting published—because being published is a byproduct of great writing. Also, improving your writing is something you can control. Being published is not (unless of course you self pub).****
Thank you very much, Amber. It’s been a pleasure to have you on my blog.