Today I’m conducting a session with…Amanda Uhl!
Amanda is giving away an e-copy of Charmed by Charlie!
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Enter to #WIN an e-copy of Charmed by Charlie @AuAuthor! #AOTC Click To Tweet
~ First things first, if you missed Amanda’s first session you can take a quick look at it HERE.
Me: Have there been any big changes in your life since our last session—good or bad? Tell us about them.
Amanda: At my last session on your couch, I had just released my first novel, a paranormal series romance called Mind Waves, with The Wild Rose Press. I have since published a second novel, a humorous contemporary romance called Charmed By Charlie, with Boroughs Publishing Group. I’ve spent the past couple of months promoting the book — hosting book launch parties at local venues, giving talks at libraries, joining blog hops, and even participating in a cable television show. I’ve just recently returned to writing, working on the second book in the series, Cross Waves. It feels great to back in the saddle (or at the keyboard). I also signed a contract to narrate the audiobook of Mind Waves. This has been more challenging than I anticipated, since I only have time to tape on Sundays and can only record about four chapters at each session. But I’m happy to say the recording is now complete, and it won’t be long until the audiobook is released.
Me: Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
Amanda:I am most like Grace, the heroine of Mind Waves, with all her insecurities and worries. At one point in the novel, Grace tries to think of every bad thing that could possibly happen because she reasons most bad events in life are surprises. Therefore, if she thinks of all the bad things that can happen, they won’t materialize because they won’t be a surprise. I’ve tried this—I’m happy to say it works. I’ve avoided a lot of catastrophes…at least in my mind.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Amanda: I’ve written two novels and about half of a third. I work full time at a demanding job and I have a husband and three kids to keep up with, so I don’t have much time to write. Even so, I’ve managed to churn out a book in six months.
The most painful part of the process for me is plotting. I write intuitively, putting myself in the character’s shoes to tell a story. But I have learned that plotting is also important because it can make the writing process easier. At a minimum, I try to analyze each character’s goals, motivations, and conflict. I have found this helps me build a stronger story, and I spend less time floundering, trying to figure out what should happen next.
Me: What causes stress in your writing life? Why?
Amanda: The biggest stress is not having time to think and dream. My life is filled with activities and responsibilities. But my best ideas come during peaceful, quiet times. For instance, the idea for Mind Waves came when I was on the shores of Lake Erie by myself, bent over the sand looking for sea glass.
Me: What’s the most painful rejection or review you’ve ever received? How did you get over it?
Amanda: I received harsh contest feedback for Mind Waves. The judge said my manuscript would never be published—that no editor would ever accept it if it were to cross their desk. By the time I received the contest results, I’d already signed a contract with the publisher. Guess I had the last laugh there. The lesson? Writing is subjective. What one reader loves, another hates. The trick I’ve discovered is to listen, incorporate what makes your manuscript better, ignore the rest, and continue forging ahead.Writing is subjective. What one reader loves, another hates. @AuAuthor #AmWriting #AOTC Click To Tweet
Me: How do you deal with rejection or bad reviews? What advice can you give others about how to handle rejection and bad reviews?
Amanda: Bad reviews can be great for book sales. Readers mistrust books that have only five-star reviews. That’s because we all know not everyone is going to like a book. Take this Amazon review of Jane Austen’s Emma: “I hate it. So boring. I fell asleep at the first page. its great if youre into that old 1800s kind of speech.”
If even a classic like Emma can receive a negative review, then author’s should expect that their books will also receive negative reviews. I try not to take them personally. Also, I read all the negative reviews I receive because sometimes there is a kernel of truth in them I can use to improve.The biggest stress is not having time to think and dream. @AuAuthor #AmWriting #AOTC Click To Tweet
Me: What’s the secret to your success?
Amanda: Any successes I have achieved to date have been the result of a lot of failure, hard work and persistence. That’s my secret if I have one. For every step forward, I take two steps back. The secret is to keep moving forward. I try to enjoy the journey and not focus on the successes. And that doesn’t just apply to the book world. To quote Miley Cyrus, “There’s always going to be another mountain.”Successes is the result of a lot of failure, hard work and persistence. @AuAuthor #AmWriting #AOTC Click To Tweet
Me: What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?
Amanda: I own a necklace that reads, “Creativity takes courage. Don’t give up.” I had to conquer a lot of fears to become a published author. What if I tried to write a book and failed? What if my family and friends laughed at me for writing romance? What if I could never get published? What if no one read my books? What if I got only bad reviews? Wearing the necklace reminds me to be brave, have faith in myself and keep writing despite my fears.Creativity takes courage. Don’t give up. @AuAuthor #AmWriting #AOTC Click To Tweet
Me: Tell me about your contemporary romance, Charmed By Charlie:
Everybody loves marketing whiz Charlie Solanger…except the woman he really wants.
PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION
Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.
Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your book,Charmed By Charlie.
Charmed By Charlie was inspired by binge-watching old Gilmore Girls episodes with my teenage daughter. I love the humorous banter between the characters and wondered if I could do something similar. I think the excerpt below captures that flavor.
“How exactly did you meet George?”
Don’t answer him. Don’t. “Oh the usual way.”
He watched me carefully, his blue eyes gleaming with intelligence and laughter. What he thought was funny was beyond me. George was not a funny topic.
“Let me guess. You needed a haircut and George gave you a trim.”
“Of course not. What would I be doing in a barbershop?”
“True. So, you met him in a bar. George likes to party.”
“A grocery story or laundromat.”
“Ah-ha. It just came to me. George was picking up his drycleaning. You came in to pick up yours and noticed that some of his shirts still had ring around the collar. You pointed it out and suggested a home remedy. George was intrigued and asked if you could show him how you make it. He invited you to his family barbershop. You showed up, cleaned his dirty shirts, he invited you to taste his spices and the rest is history.”
Boy, this guy did have a good imagination. No wonder he was hired to provide a creative solution to our sales slump. I couldn’t help but crack a smile. “Wrong.”
“You met over coffee?”
“Am I warm?”
“So it was over food. Of course. George was at his favorite Lebanese joint, scoping the place out for future ownership, when in walks his dream girl. He looks at you with his big brown puppy dog eyes and tells you to try the hummus. Then he tells you that he supplied the spices in the hummus and the rest is history. You and George are getting married. You fell in love over Lebanese food. The way to Val’s heart is through her stomach.”
I couldn’t stop the giggle from forming and escaping from my lips. He was funny, as well as cute and smart. Jackpot. I was in real trouble.
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is available now.