This weeks Spotlight Author is Amelia Smith!
Tell us about you, the person. What do you do when you are not writing? Hobbies? Guilty Pleasures?
When I’m not writing, I’m a housewife. I used to have actual hobbies, now I just do laundry, bake, grow vegetables, and herd the children off to school in the morning. I also keep the books for my husband’s business and nag him to charge more for his time. I do a big sewing project every couple of years, and buy fabrics a bit more often, thinking I’ll do something with them.
Of course, I also read books. That’s not a hobby so much as it is a part of life, like breathing or walking.
What genre(s) do you write? Can you give little insight as to why you write in that genre?
I write fantasy and historical romance. I used to think that this was an odd combination until I found a few other authors with the same mix of genres. I also noticed that it’s a common mix on readers’ shelves on Goodreads. Both secondary world fantasy and historical romance offer an escape into another way of living, an exploration of a world in which the rules are not quite the same.
Grab your iPod…Hit Shuffle, and tell us what the third song on the list is. Does that song have a special meaning to you, or is it simply awesome?
I don’t have an iPod, an iPhone, or even a “smart” phone! I’ll have to skip this one.
Pimp your book(s)! Start with your first release and end with your next release. Throw in a little synopsis of each, if you’d like.
Darna wasn’t supposed to be born – priestesses aren’t supposed to have babies – and she most certainly shouldn’t see dragons. After all, no one else does. Darna gets teased for her limp already without people thinking she’s loony, but she hears that in Anamat, some still see the dragons.
She sets off for the city, just another scrappling trying to find a place in Anamat’s guilds. There are temples, too, but Darna doesn’t want anything to do with the corrupt priestesses and their sweaty lovers. On her journey, she meets an older scrappling girl with an eerie sense of hearing. They join up with another pair, a charming boy and a girl who actually wants to be a priestess.
Apart from these four, the city seems to be nearly as dragon-blind as the provinces. Darna scavenges valuable scraps from the city dump, but trade is slow. When she’s offered a sack full of gold beads for a small bit of thieving, she takes her chances… and ends up angering the dragon herself.
Scrapplings will be published on December 1st, though the paperback may be available a week or two earlier. I am planning to have the ebook in Kindle Select for 90 days, and to make it available everywhere at the beginning of March.
Book Two, Priestess, is due out in April 2015.
My first self-published book was a novella inspired by the sea chantey, Eddystone Light. It’s the story of a Victorian accountancy student who learns that his mother is a mermaid.
How long have you been writing? When did you realize, that you wanted to share your stories with the world?
I wrote some stuff when I was a kid, some more in high school, and one very unmarketable novella/poetry collection the year after I graduated from college. I circled back to writing again and again, between variously failed attempts at other careers. I think I really committed to writing as my primary profession around the time that I quit architecture school, when I was 30. That was over a decade ago, and I’m still just chipping away at it.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with three people, who would they be?
Is it totally lame to choose my husband and children? But then I might have to eat one of them, which wouldn’t be good.
What is the hardest part of the story to write? Beginning? Middle? End?
I work hardest on the beginning, but I worry that my endings are weak.
If you could have ONE of your characters over for dinner, which one would you choose, and what would be on the table?
Myril, and she would help cook. We would make some kind of whole grain flat bread, lamb kebabs, a salad with lots of bitter greens, and soup. We might also have a cheese or three, red wine, and something like baklava for desert.
Who inspired you to write?
My grandmother, Nancy Woollcott Smith, wrote what would now be called Middle Grade books. Because of her, I grew up thinking of writing as a normal thing that people did, something that grown-ups could do for a living (not that she probably ever made much money at it). I think that was more important than inspiration – writing was never just for school assignments and exercises.
When you sit down to write and you are in the zone, describe the room around you? Is there music? Complete silence? Snack? Wine?
I tend to write in the middle of the day. If it’s earlier in the day I like to be drinking chai in a cafe. At home I drink regular tea, sometimes decaffeinated. I might also have two or three really good chocolates to jump start my brain. I like the background music when I’m out and about, but at home I prefer silence when I can get it.
If you could change the color of the sky, what color would it be?
I don’t want that kind of power – too many ways it could go horribly wrong. There’s lots of variety in the color of the sky already, especially if you pay attention at sunrise and sunset, or when a storm is brewing. I like the sky telling me what’s going on in the atmosphere. I wouldn’t necessarily want it to reflect my mood.
Where can we find you online? Post your links!
Twitter (though I really only use this to mention when I have a new blog post): https://twitter.com/ameliawriting
Same thing at Google+ and on my never-used Facebook author page.
What do you prefer? E-Reader or physical book?
These days, I do most of my reading on a Kindle Paperwhite, but I recently had to read a hardback novel and I liked going back to that, too. I’ve tried to use ebook cookbooks, and those have completely not worked for me at all – I prefer paper editions for reference books and cookbooks.
What is the ONE item you can’t leave home without? (You can only choose ONE)
I don’t like to go anywhere without a cup of tea in my hand.
Okay, last question….Tell us about your fans.
I don’t have a big following. A few of my old friends have become fans, and I hope that more people will find my work and like it.
I would like to thank Amelia for being our Spotlight Author of the Week!
Look for her newest release to be out December 1st!
Thank you and have a great weekend!