Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to http://andyrbunch.weebly.com/. Here are links to first two books http://goo.gl/iHP1i and http://goo.gl/kK13W

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview with Amber Michelle Cook

Tonight is the awesome Author Speed Date, as mentioned before. I believe NIWA author Amber Cook will be there as well. I’m honored to have Amber as a Guest Blog today. Here’s the interview we did. Don’t forget to go to kickstarter and support Amber’s latest project. She’s really kept her budget down to the minimum.
Here’s her other vital info followed by the interview: ______________________________ My novella, What the Faeries Left Behind, is now available on Amazon, BN.com, Kobo, the Sony.com store and Smashwords. Check out my Wubbulous Writing website, Caution: Adults Playing blog, and Chromatic Daffodil Shadows: www.ambermichellecook.com ______________________________ What inspired you to become an author? No one thing—but when a friend asked me if I’d like to write a treatment of a screenplay for a script company she was starting, it started me down the path toward being an author that only made more and more sense the longer I pursued it. I grew up a big reader. I love language and languages, I studied linguistics and literature. And I’ve been guiding others through my fiction creations via role-playing for years. I’ve always had a strong imagination, and I believe in storytelling as a means to entertain and refresh, to promote emotional release, and inspire each other on to bigger and better things. No one person has a bunch of answers to solve people’s problems, but it is possible to glean bits of wisdom and insight by exposing yourself to other people’s life experiences—and whether fiction or non-fiction, stories are always about people sharing their experiences with life. What made you decide to go Independent instead of traditional? A couple of key things. I don’t write the kind of stories you’re supposed to write to please the mass market. With increasingly cautious legacy publishing houses, I decided not to sit around and wait an unknown quantity of time—that could run into a decade or more—for an agent, and then a publishing house, to decide to publish me. Indie publishing is me going for it now. As a graphic artist as well as an author, I also have strong feelings about the images and designs that represent me and my books, so why put myself in a place where someone else will make those choices and I will have absolutely no say in the matter? There will never be an underclothed, underweight female of unrealistic proportions and positions on the cover of one of my books or anywhere in my marketing. And now no one can make me! Who, if anyone, has supported you in your writing efforts? I’ve been part of a couple of really good writers/crit groups (the Plot Ninjas and the Feedback Circle), and have a couple good friends/writing buddies. Author Mary Rosenblum has been a mentor, and my parents have shown me a lot of support this year. What advice would you give an up and coming writer? Be careful of whose advise you follow. There are hundreds if not thousands of people out there trying to make money off of new writers. And the best way to get someone to pay out money is to promise them the system to success. Like all artists, writers don’t follow one formula and then succeed, they get there a million different ways. Make sure you know what you want to get from your writing, and what you want to give with your writing. Then you can take bits and pieces you hear from different people and assemble them into your own plan for success—because that’s your best chance for having a good experience along the way, as well as reaching your goals. What do you do when you aren't writing? Sleep. Grin. Okay, also read. Surprise, surprise, huh? I’m also an artists (photography and graphic arts, see my Chromatic Daffodil Shadows). I love 19th century lit and period pieces, esp. really good mini-series adaptations. Anything aquatic. I love going to aquariums, and I love watching Tanked and The Fish Tank Kings as they build custom, luxury aquariums of all kinds. Improv writing. And hitting SF cons.
What has been the most challenging thing about becoming (or living as) a writer? I was coming put of depression when I found my calling, and so not working at the time. That gave me the ability to dive right in and study the craft of writing and write books, short fiction and screenplays full-time before heading into the publishing part of my career. The other side of that is that it can take awhile to establish yourself as an author, and while some seem to manage it—working full-time and writing are very hard to do at the same time because being an author is already a full-time job with lots of overtime. What was the inspiration for you latest book? The City Museum in St. Louis, MO. Part family play-land during the day, part youth hang-out in the evening, the City Museum has eye-opening art everywhere, local history, crafts, rides and slides, indoor fountains, an adult ball pit, all kinds of things to climb, caves for exploring, on and on. Made from found-objects. Not corporate-owned. And it contains a whole aquarium inside it as well. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. The story concept for Defense Mechanisms is something I’ve wanted to write as a novel for years. Alternate dimensions fascinate me as a writer, and I’m drawn to urban fairy, so this is how I put the two together. The catchphrase is: what if your déjà vu was really flashes of a life running parallel to your own? Right now I have too much queued up for fine-tuning and release to write anything new except short fiction, so I thought I’d give the idea a try by writing a short story in the meantime. Halfway into it I realized it needed to be novella-length, and that made it the perfect follow up for my first book, What the Faeries Left Behind (also a novella). Ultimately, Defense Mechanisms is part of the trio of urban fairy tales for adults I’m releasing as my first three books this year (with Sleepwaking, a modern adaptation of Through the Looking Glass, a full-length novel, coming in fall). My Kickstarter for the release of Defense Mechanisms runs through July 15th. So only one week left! Sign up for an advance copy of the book, and be part of the process as it goes from manuscript to published. How would you characterize your writing style? Prose-wise I tend toward the playful—not always in tone, but in some way. It could be word play, it could be writing richer, period prose that delights in the use of language, or it might be lacing sly humor into more serious text. I say I write stories of deep, meaningful fun. That means I like to dig into meaty topics but do so with at least some amount of humor and playfulness. A favorite theme: as I say in my blog, Caution: Adults Playing, we work so hard to make ourselves into responsible adults, that we give up fun, wonder and play at just about the time we begin to need it most—to counteract the drudgery, over-responsibility and accumulated disappointments than can lead to being stuck in a rut and on to bitterness. The two aren’t mutually exclusive—you can take your responsibilities seriously and enjoy the innocent delights of life! Just for fun, what's something about you that you don't normally share with people? My toothbrush. Oh, something about me. Let’s see. I love dancing to 80s music. The term ‘dancing fool’ comes to mind… Thanks, Andy. Write on!

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