Today I’m so thrilled to have author Amelie Howard on the blog to answer few questions for me. Amelie is the author behind different YA books, one is Alpha Goddess with its Indian mythology tale, which I have read and review two years ago. I enjoy that book so much and I am so glad that there will be a sequel coming out next year. But before that check first my interview with Amelie to know more about her writings, future projects and more.
Also, don’t forget to check Amelie’s bio and links after the interview to know more about Amelie and her books. Enjoy reading.
Interview with Amelie Howard
How is different for you to work on a novel now than it was at the beginning of your career? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Novel writing has evolved a bit since the start of my career. I used to be a full-on “pantser,” meaning I wrote without an outline and basically let the story and the characters take me on a journey. However, now, with publishing contracts and time constraints, I find it necessary to do an outline and some pre-plotting. Even one-page outline drafts are helpful to keep me on track. I also never imagined I would be writing two novels while editing a third at the same time. Therefore, time management has become key! Working on multiple projects is a challenge, but my trick is to use music playlists to help put me in the right zone. Classical music for historical romance, and hardcore dubstep for science fiction.
As far as doing anything differently, there’s really only one thing I would change if I could. When I first went out for agent representation with my debut novel, BLOODSPELL, in 2010, and got offers from eight agents in two days, I should have been more selective in my choice of agent. I made an emotional decision instead of a business one, and in the end, ended up separating from that agent after a year with no success. Sometimes, I imagine whether my career would have taken a different course had I chosen someone else with more experience in YA. As a result, I always caution new writers to weigh their options carefully and to look at agent/agency sales track record in the genre they are writing in. Connection and enthusiasm are important, but sales track record is a must.
In writing The Riven Chronicles, did keeping the world’s science consistent ever prevent you from going a certain place in the story, or did it drive and enhance the narrative development? How different is the final version from its original/draft version?
I love stories that are rooted in some truth, whether that’s a scientific theory or historical event, and I absolutely wanted the narrative in The Riven Chronicles to be driven by actual science.
I researched the fields of sub-quantum mechanics, astrophysics, advanced robotics, nanotechnology, and claytronics, including Hugh Everett’s “Many-Worlds Theory,” which is an interpretation of quantum mechanics where every possible outcome could happen causing multiple universes (though we wouldn’t be aware of them), Michio Kaku’s String Field Theory, which demonstrates that gravity could interact between two parallel universes, and Stephen Hawking’s contention that wormholes exist in a phenomenon called quantum foam.
In my narrative for The Riven Chronicles, using quantum theory and the microscopic gaps in the universe to allow two distinct points in time and space to connect, I decided to jump off of Kaku’s string theory, bolster it with Kip Thorne’s theories of anti-gravitational quantum vacuums to engineer my wormholes, and then tie it into zero-point energy as my “launch” spots to jump between universes (for which I invented the term eversion).
Ultimately, I had to make my ending concept work for my intended reader. I was looking for complex simplicity—something rooted in the laws of physics, but also accessible to my readers of any strata … meaning making it credible for savvy, erudite sci-fi readers and making it relatable for high-concept teen ones. It was a delicate balance, but I hope I got there.
As far as how different the versions are from draft to published, books do tend to go through a ton of editing, but I think the baseline scientific concepts in The Riven Chronicles, however, remained intrinsically the same.
Your YA novel Bloodcraft has been awarded by Independent Publisher Book Awards, how does it feel? Are there any expectations now after winning the silver medal in YA category?
As an author, it feels incredible to be recognized by the IPPYs and I was so honored that Bloodcraft received the silver medal in the national YA category for Young Adult Fiction. As far as expectations, I try not to overdo it. Expectations are capricious little things. However, I always try to produce a quality book, and that won’t change. At the end of the day, I do love writing and creating stories, and such validation and recognition only makes me fired up to write more.
If you had to pick a character out of the books you’ve written, the one you had the most fun writing who would it be? Do you have any favorite types of character you like to write (ex: villains, bad boys, heroes/heroine)?
I don’t have a favorite—that’s like asking a mom to choose her favorite kid!
With Tori from BLOODSPELL, I love that she doesn’t give up despite the overwhelming odds against her, and she finds a way to control the darker side of her magic. Tori is special to me because she overcomes something monstrous—she doesn’t let it win. Instead, she makes the choice to live and to survive her magical curse. This is something close to my heart because we all have our demons that we have to overcome. As a teen, mine was anorexia. I love her fierce will and her strength. And I loved writing about the magic, and creating all those fantastic magical spells.
With Riven from THE ALMOST GIRL, she has to dig deep down to embrace her emotions. A soldier first, she’s so hard on the outside but still vulnerable on the inside—I really connected with her struggle to just let go of all her rules and be a girl. We build so many walls to keep from being hurt that we don’t allow ourselves to connect with others. I love that she was brave enough to trust her heart. And, let’s face it, she’s a total badass. I loved writing those fight scenes with those double swords. Cyborg, for the win!
What I love about Nerissa from WATERFELL was her willingness to change the things about herself that needed changing. It’s hard to step back to take a long hard look at yourself and find yourself lacking. She evolves from a selfish princess to a queen her people can be proud of. To me, that takes insane courage because facing and acknowledging your flaws can be terrifying. And on top of all of that, she’s a gorgeous shapeshifting underwater dragon! Heck yes! Writing all the shifting scenes and the fight scenes was epic!
Lastly, with Serjana from ALPHA GODDESS, I love that she was able to bridge her past lives and make herself whole (past and present). Being a teen and finding yourself is hard. Being a teen and an Indian goddess with multiple incarnations is something else entirely. I really admire her resilience and her evolved sense of self. Writing about the Hindu mythology was an incredible experience. It’s so rich and diverse, and I loved being able to share that with my readers.
As far as writing specific types of characters, I do have a fondness for villains, especially misunderstood ones. Like Megamind. As a kid, when everyone else wanted to be Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Princess Leia, I was the kid who wanted to be Darth Vader. I don’t consider myself to be a villain, but I do appreciate both sides of the battle, and the lure of being bad. *whispers to you* … come to the dark side…
Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?
My next Young Adult book is DARK GODDESS, out from Sky Pony Press in 2017, and is the sequel to ALPHA GODDESS (which was an IndieNext Kids’ pick and a Best of VOYA magazine selection), and is all about East Indian mythology. I’m super excited about it because I get to write about one of the most misunderstood East Indian goddesses—Kali.
I’m also excited about my co-written adult historical romance series releasing this coming November (November 21, 2016) from Entangled Publishing, MY ROGUE, MY RUIN. It’s steamy historical romance with lots of intrigue and heart. The next book in the series, MY DARLING, MY DISASTER will be out in Spring of 2017. I’m super thrilled about these. Historical romance has always been my guilty pleasure.
So hopefully, something for everyone!
Thanks so much for letting me hang out with you!
Thank you so much Amelie for stopping by today and for answering all the questions above. So excited to read your upcoming books especially Dark Goddess. I am really looking forward to know what’s Sera’s next adventure will be.