Author Interview: Amy MartinPosted in author, interview
About the Author:
Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age if 10 and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn't share it with anyone. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams series will be published in late February/early March 2013. A native of St. Charles, Missouri, Amy currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and sometimes doing all 3 at once).You can follow her @ThatAmyMartin.
What made you want to become a writer?
Books have been such a profound influence on my life, and I wanted to impact people in the same way my favourite writers have impacted me. I've always been told that I'm good at making up and telling stories, so I've been writing from an early age.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
I get my inspirations from the world around me, mostly--I';; read something or see something on TV and think, "You know, if I just changed this or tweaked that a little, this would make a great story." Sometimes, I draw inspiration from incidents in my life. And I work with young adults, so I get inspiration from them as well.
Other than writing books, what else do you do in your free time?
I spend too much time on my iPhone (tweeting, texting, emailing) and I love to watch sports, especially college basketballs. My husband and I also like to sit around and watch movies and bad TV with our cat. Occasionally, I get motivated enough to exercise (I need to do more of that).
If you could work with another author, who would it be?
Judy Blume has been such a huge influence in my life that I'd love to work with her.
What are major themes of your work?
I think that some of the themes I see emerging in my work are lack of control vs. taking control of your life, coming of age and the collision of fate, destiny and coincidence (and how those three things impact human behaviour and decision making). You know-nothing major.
What do you think people look for in a book?
That's a tough question. I think it depends on the person. I think everyone is looking to be entertained, but what "entertained" means varies from person to person. I like a book that's going to keep me interested but that's also going to challenge me and make me think about the plot and the characters for a long, long time and keep me asking questions days after I've finished. Some people just want pure entertainment, and that's fine too. Sometimes, I just want to read something light and fluffy that isn't going to hurt my brain too much.
Are there any recent works you admire?
I devoured John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" and David Levithan's "Every Day". I also really admire "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher.
Questions About the Book (In Your Dreams):
Which character in the book do you think you can relate to the most?
Probably Zip, although there are pieces of me in several characters. I was a tomboy like Zip when I was a kid (but much younger than she was in the book). Zip is my outwardly confident, inwardly awkward and panicked side, and Kayla is my girly, fearless, wild child side. And I definitely share some qualities with April (Zip's mom)--April has this whole "I'm so bad at this adulthood thing" going on, and I feel that on an almost daily basis.
How did you come up with the character's names?
I knew I wanted my main character to be an athletic tomboy, so I wanted to giver her an unusual nickname that would contrast with a very girly real name. "Zip" just sorta came to me--she's fast and her speed ends up being an important part of the novel, so "Zip" worked for me. And "Zara" is a very girl but unusual name, and Zip's mom is the kind of unusual person who would choose that name for her daughter. I've always like Kieran as a boy's name, and the names Kieran and Kayla sounded good together as a brother/sister duo. For the rest of the names, I usually think about who the character is as a person and choose a name that--to me, anyways--fits the character's personality.
What gave you the idea of Kieran's powers?
I've always been fascinated with brain disorders and how the brain works, especially after seeing family members suffer with dementia. So I gave Kieran a fictionalized narcolepsy-like disorder as a way to accomplishsome of the things I wanted to accomplish with the plot. Those diagnosed with real narcolepsy often have vivid hallucinations, so I took that concept and gave Kieran the ability to see bits and pieces of the future in his dreams. His ability helped me to explore some of the themes I mentioned earlier.
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I really wanted to write a strong (personality-wise) and athletic heroine--I didn't feel like I was seeing enough of those YA books, and I have several friends with daughters who are going to be old enough to read YA in a few years, and I wanted then to see girls who were like them represented in books. As far as the plot, I wanted to put Zip--an ordinary rural teenager--in this extraordinary situation (meeting and falling for someone with a disorder that's not what it seems) so she'd be challenged and grow as a character over the course of a few books.
Do you have anything else you would like to say to your readers?
Book two of the In Your Dreams series is coming--I swear! And I'd also like to say that I love you all. Your encouragement and support keeps me writing, and I take your comments and criticisms seriously. Keep them coming!
Go to her giveaway here!
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