Today we are thrilled to interview Amy Brock McNew. Join us as we learn more about Rebirth: Book One of the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles and, more importantly, the author herself. Let’s get started!
We are so excited to have you on the blog today, Amy! Tell us a little more about your soon-to-be-released novel, Rebirth. How did you start writing the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles?
- I’ve been writing all my life, pretty much. Songs, poems, short stories. I have several articles in local publications. But I’d always wanted to write a novel. It wasn’t until after I started having back problems and had to give up my job as a nurse that I finally decided to write a book. No more excuses, you know? I wanted to write something that wouldn’t just entertain, but would help people too. To use my rather dark past to reach out to young women especially. But I didn’t want to write a memoir. I love speculative fiction (putting it mildly!), it intrigues and challenges me, so I knew I’d go the paranormal/supernatural route. I decided to bring the spiritual world into the physical realm, making internal struggles external, and mix it with my personal experiences. The idea took on a life of its own!
Do you have any writing rituals?
- Well, I’m OCD, literally, so yeah, I do! Music is number one. I can write on my laptop, my Surface, even my phone, no big deal, but I have to have my tunes. If I’m home, I crank up the stereo. If not, earbuds are my best friend. Once I have my music, I usually grab either coffee or a cherry vanilla Coke. Then I settle in a comfy seat and get busy. It doesn’t really matter where I am, as long as I have those things.
Wow, so music is huge for you! What do you listen to while you write? Do you have one big playlist or several?
- I’ve been a singer and played piano all my life. In fact, the first thing I ever wrote was a song. Music is in my soul, so it shapes and informs my writing. I listen to a rather eclectic variety of tunes, from classical to hard rock, to Christian metal, to country, to orchestral numbers. Some of my faves are RED, Tremonti, Two Steps From Hell, The Rigs, Fireflight, The Protest, and Audiomachine. I have several playlists. For each main character, the main couple, certain types of scenes. Each chapter title in TRWC is a song title, a song that encapsulates the mood of the chapter. For me, writing and music are inseparable.
Love that! “Writing and music are inseparable.” What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
- Two pieces of advice guide me. First: Get your characters stuck up in a tree, then throw rocks at them. The bigger the rocks, the better. And I follow that. I’m horrible to my characters! The second is a quote from Anton Checkhov. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Love that.
Although you don’t write typical CBA—your writing is intensely gritty and full of real-life heartache and struggles—Scripture seems to be a huge influence for you. Do you have a verse that inspires your writing?
- That’s easy. My life verse. Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV): Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Beautiful. Thank you so much for joining us today, Amy! Before we go, what’s one weird or quirky thing others may not know about you?
- Okay, confession. I have this thing about the packets you get with takeout orders that have utensils, napkins, and maybe salt and pepper or a hand wipe in them. I save them. In my kitchen, I actually have a drawer filled with them. Don’t ask. I have no idea other than it seems wasteful to pitch them, and hey, they may come in handy someday!
You never know, right? We hear you have some exciting news about your book’s cover? Maybe even a release date?
- Hmmm…maybe you’ll have to go to my website (AmyBrockMcNew.com) on March 31st to find out. ;)
Thank you again, Amy. We cannot wait until March 31st!
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~The L2L2 Publishing Team