Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview with Amy Holder, and a GIVEAWAY

So, in yesterday's post, I recommended Amy Holder's The Lipstick Laws. And today, Amy stopped by for an interview! (Because she's just awesome like that . . .)

This is Amy. You can also find her:
Oh, and she's ALSO awesome because she sent me a BUNCH of swag to giveaway to y'all! And I'm throwing in a copy of The Lipstick Laws for one of you, too! (Find out how to win at the bottom of the post.) 

Don't forget. I've got enough for FOUR winners!

Without further ado . . . (I'm in black, Amy in orange. I think you would have figured it out. But still. Doesn't Amy look amazeballs in orange?)

* * * * * * * * * * *

Amy! Thanks for stopping by today :) Let’s start with my one of my favorite things about The Lipstick LawsThe humor!! April, your main character, had me cracking up from the very first sentence all the way to the end. How did you keep the funny going throughout the entire novel?      

Thank you so much!  That is the best compliment you could give me about my book!  Truth is, I’m not a super serious person, so I typically like to keep things light and fun.  When April’s character came to me, it was a very quirky, self-deprecating, sarcastic take on teen angst… so her voice plus my avoidance of most things serious seemed to meld well.  I love to laugh and I wanted to have fun writing this book, so it’s great to know that it came across throughout the story. 
Oh, it totes came across! Now . . . Fact One: You studied psychology and sociology in college. (That’s right, I stalked you enough to figure these things out. taptaptap Hear those rocks hitting your window? *waves*) Fact Two: You nailed the popularity mindset and teenage interactions in The Lipstick Laws. Coincidence? I think not… No, seriously—you tell me: was it a coincidence, or did your background help you write the story?     

Wow!  Thank you again! Your compliments are seriously helping my inferiority complex. Are you for hire?  To answer your question, I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior and am naturally a people watcher.  This is what led me to study psychology and sociology in college.  I also think this innate interest helps me build characters and their interactions, because I believe writers have to be good observers.  This, paired with the fact that I never fully grew up helped me get in a teen mindset while writing this book…in fact, I’m still sort of stuck in it.  
YES! I never fully grew up either. Maybe that's why we get along so well. A large portion of my blog readers are aspiring writers. And you’ve made it—so share! Let us live vicariously through you :) What’s been the best part of your journey so far? What’s been the hardest? Any tips for those of us (*clears throat**points at self*) working toward that dream of publication? And, of course, what is your writing process?    

The best part of my journey so far was the feeling of achievement, adrenaline, joy, and validation that I felt from getting “THE CALL” (or in my case it was an email) from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt wanting to publish THE LIPSTICK LAWS.  I will never forget how amazing that moment was!  Seeing my book in a bookstore, getting my agent, and receiving television interest from a producer that I admire have all been huge highlights as well! 
The hardest part so far has been dealing with the bad along with the good. I’ve quickly found out that my book isn’t going to please everyone, naysayers love naysaying, most writers experience disappointments (minor or major) in the industry at some point or another, and there isn’t always enough chocolate to get through tough revisions.  Granted, the good far outweighs the bad… but this industry is filled with ups and downs and you need thick skin to be able to bounce back from the downs. 
My tips are to practice your writing craft daily, read the genre you want to write, study the publishing market, never give up, and network your tail off (the more people you know in the industry, the better your chances will be to get a personal referral). I also think it’s important to be careful not to stifle your own writing by comparing it to other writers’ successes or failures.  Always avoid a creative comparison coma by celebrating the uniqueness of your individual writing style and journey.  
My writing process can vary depending on what I’m working on… but I usually expand an idea spark for a story by asking what-if questions.  Once I’ve brainstormed most of the plot, I’ll create a loose outline that keeps me on track, but still allows for ad-lib surprises and story growth.  I usually edit as I write, which will add time onto writing the first draft, but it spares me a lot of the pull-your-hair-out-revision-headache later on. Once I’m done with my rough draft, I’ll put it away for a bit and come back to it with fresh editorial eyes to revise.  When I feel it’s complete and clean, I’ll celebrate like crazy!  This usually involves chocolate, high-caloric drinks, indulging my reality show addiction, and dancing the robot in a hula skirt.  Clearly I know how to party. 
You dance the robot? In a hula skirt? Ummmm. I MUST SEE VIDEO PROOF. Seriously, send me some! Or better yet, we should have a hula skirt-wearing robot dance off. What do you say?


What? You don't want to go up against my mad robot skillz? 

SIKE. You'd totally win... Soooo anyhoo, let’s chat books—four questions in one! Ready? Set? GO! What are you currently reading? What’s been your favorite book to read so far this year? What’s your favorite book of all-time? What book are you most excited to read that hasn’t yet come out?

1) MEMENTO NORA by Angie Smibert
2) I can’t choose!  I have so many friends debuting this year, and all of their books are amazing!
4) I’m really excited to read POPULAR by Alissa Grosso.  It comes out this month (May)!
Congratulations on an outstanding debut novel! What’s next for Author Amy Holder? Anything you can share with your fans? (If they’re anything like me, they’ll be lined up waiting anxiously for your next book. I’ll be the one shoving my way to the front of the line . . .)   

Thank you! I’m hoping to write more books in various genres and age groups, but right now I’m working on another humorous contemporary YA novel with a bit of a paranormal twist.  I’m also thinking about a Lipstick Laws sequel…but that isn’t set in stone yet.  Another exciting thing that’s happened recently is that my TV rights for THE LIPSTICK LAWS have been optioned, so I’m keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, elbows and hair crossed hoping it will go to production. In the meantime, it’s tricky to write with all of these crossables crossed.

Dude. TELEVISION RIGHTS. So. Awesome. Can we have a viewing party at your place when it first airs?? What? I do too know where you live. Remember the window tapping from earlier? 

QUICK! The fate of the WORLD* * * depends on your answers to my final red-hot questions!

Would you rather give up your Chi straightener or never eat grape pie again??? (I mean, as a Chi girl myself, I know which one I’d choose. Just sayin’.) I’m with you on this one!  I would give up grapes altogether if they came in between me and my CHI! 

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?  I’m a huge animal lover & have adopted four fabulous pets…but I always wish I could help millions more.  My superpower would be to have superhuman abilities to rescue as many animals in need as possible.  This would require flying, super strength, mind control over animal mistreaters, telepathy with animals, Cesar Millan’s training abilities, and a continuous stream of money to create stellar animal sanctuaries. Yes, I have found a way to sneak several superpowers in one; I’m crafty like that. (You are seriously a girl after my own heart.)

Best grunge musician, alive or dead? This question is slightly evil seeing how I was (and may still be) clinically obsessed with grunge music. I’ll say Chris Cornell from Soundgarden… but Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain can’t go without being mentioned. See, you made me cheat by asking this question – shame on you!

What’s the best thing about the month of May? Well, the expected answer is flowers, but I’ll say Book Expo America. (You'll be at BEA? I'm so jealous. And now even more sad that I'm missing it. Sigh.)

What’s the first thing you see in this inkblot? I see a circus clown with a cocktail shaker on his head and two abnormally shaped birds perched on both sides of his face looking at each other.  Perhaps this is part of the circus clown’s act, or he just likes to go about town balancing a cocktail shaker and birds on his face. Hey, we all have our quirks; I’m not judging him…or the birds for that matter. 

Er… does this inkblot translation mean I’m crazy… or a strange bird-watching clown woman?  Hmmm…on second thought, I don’t think I want to know that answer. 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're a strange bird-watching clown woman ;-) But it's cool. Because I love bird watching. And clowns. Okay, not really. Clowns scare me. But YOU don't. Because you're awesome.

Seriously, thanks so much for stopping by! Come back anytime. 

Now for my bloggie friends: Amy sent me enough swaggliciousness to send out FOUR packages!! So, if you want to enter to win some swag, all you have to do is leave a comment with your email address! And one commenter will win a copy of The Lipstick Laws!

One point for leaving a comment, two if you tweet about this! (Let me know if you've tweeted in the comment you leave . . .)
The giveaway will close on Friday at midnight. I'll announce the winners over the weekend.


* * *Okay, the fate of the WORLD didn't really depend in the answers, but still. Isn’t it more fun this way?


  1. What a totally FUN interview! Amy, you have a new fan in me. :)

    My email, in case I win (*crosses fingers*): linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. What an awesome interview! I love this: "The hardest part so far has been dealing with the bad along with the good." So true. My email is Kmust21@gmail.com :)

  3. What a fun interview--and her book sounds awesome. :)


  4. Great interview! I really want to read this book! And Amy has the smoothest hair I've ever seen! So now I covet her book and her hair...
    I'll tweet about the contest today!
    kpolark at yahoo dot com

  5. Love the interview. The book sounds great. My type of character voice. :D

    I tweeted about the contest. Okay, I cheated. I copy and pasted and RT'ed Kelly's Tweet. :D

    stinalindenblatt (at) shaw (dot) ca

  6. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  7. So I know we discussed yesterday how this isn't really a book for dudes, but this interview was awesome. Well done Sara and Amy, and now I'm following your blog (Amy's not Sara's, I did that ages ago)!

  8. +JMJ+

    Ah, the dreaded inkblot question! But I suppose Amy has the advantage of being a Psychology major who knows what the "sane" answers are. ;-)

    I see a cyclops wearing a mask. (Was it safe to admit that? LOL)

    If this giveaway is international, please enter me. If not, I hope you still appreciate the comment! =)


  9. Awesome! Count me in for the contest:) arobinsc at gmail dot com

  10. LOL I love the interview!!!! So much fun! :)


  11. Fantastic interview!!! So glad you stopped by my blog so I could find you:)

  12. Kick ass interview (can I say that aloud?)! Seriously! I heart Amy Holder like so much!!!!!

    I already have her swag and book so don't worry about giving anything to me but what fun this interview was! She is seriously one badass chick!!!

  13. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway!

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  14. Yeah keep the clowns away from me too ;) That was a fun interview! Thank you.

  15. haha I loved the interview it was great. I have heard about this book the Lipstick Laws and I have it on order from the library. I cannot wait to check it out. Thanx for the giveaway.

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  16. Thanks for the great interview! (And a giveaway is a total bonus :)

  17. Ooh, Lipstick Laws, I can't wait til I can get my hands on a copy! Hope to win!

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Neku234/status/70641553311399937


  18. That was an awesome interview! I've had Lipstick Laws on my wishlist for a bit! Sounds terrific! :)

  19. Awesome interview. Very funny! Loved the Rorschach test... I saw Jared Leto. (That doesn't surprise you Sara, does it?hee hee hee). I will most definitely be adding this book to my TBR pile!

    I am tweeting this btw :) *hugs*

  20. you seriously are a most FuN interviewer! LuVd it :)
    infuse at live dot ca
    thx for the xtra opps + SwaG!

  21. I am super excited for Amy's book and wish her massive success with her debut AND the TV show gets produced and picked up.

    Fun interview, ladies. :)

    Count me in, please, on the contest, and I tweeted.


  22. I cannot wait to read this book! Awesome interview, Sara! I tweeted -- but I hope I win something! ;) <--Did you like my semicolon use?? :)

    I love that she chose A CHRISTMAS CAROL! I used to teach that to my 8th graders -- and it is one of the best examples of story structure fo sheezy!


  23. Super interview - thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great read. Please enter me - thanks for hosting.

  24. I love the superpower chosen. I would totally pick something like that if I could too!

  25. What uppp! annerileybooks9(at)gmail(dot)com, and I tweeted!

  26. Can't wait to read this book, great interview!


  27. The television rights is totally awesome. Congratulations Amy.

    aleetha.ally at gmail dot com

  28. This sounds like a great book! Loved the interview! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  29. Fab interview, ladies! I'd like to see the robot dance in a hula skirt, too!

  30. Love the interview! I'd love to see that Robot video too!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  31. What a fun interview, Sara and Amy! Holy schmoley, you even had an inkblot test! Love it!

    Amy, congrats on the book! It sounds great! I love light and fun, too! :)

  32. I love Amy's voice, even through this interview. She's such a doll. So happy for her success. And thanks for the great giveaway!! I tweeted you, and I'm following now. Thanks for following me. Shannon was one of the first bloggers I started following when I fired up Writers Ally over a year ago. I can't believe I hadn't found you. #slapsforeheadbutgrins

  33. What a fabulous interview and giveaway! Wow, how exciting. Thank you so much!
    I tweeted also.

    laura.newcombe (at) hotmail (dot) com

  34. What a fun interview. I wish I knew what CHI is. Thank heaven for Google.
    I'm a new follower and can be reached at michelleteacress at gmail dot come. Thanks for the chance. :)

  35. Ha! I totally saw a dog in that inkblot.

    Great interview! So funny. If her voice in her book is anything like this, I'd imagine it would crack me out.

    Also, grape pie? I had no idea there's such a thing.


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)