Please welcome this week’s featured Beau Monde PRO member, Amy Nichols.
 

The love of happily ever after drives Amy’s writing and characters inspire her stories. Amy lives in North Carolina with her family. During the day she’s an IT Data specialist, but she saves her nights for writing. She has been Treasurer for the Carolina Romance Writers Chapter of RWA for two years and volunteers with conferences every chance she gets. Visit to Amy’s web page, and you will be treated to some truly marvelous pictures from her 2009 visit to Bath, a city seeped in Regency History.

Thanks for being here, Amy! As usual, let’s start with the twitter (140 characters or less) pitch for your favorite finished manuscript.

Can a woman hide from her past and the man she once loved?

Short, sweet and intriguing! I love it. Can you tell us some more about the manuscript?

Sarah Gettys is trying to rebuild her life after the loss of a child she had with Robert Graham five years ago. Settling in a village where no one knows her past, Sarah tries to resume her life before she was pregnant, burying her loss deep.

After five years in the military, Robert Graham has had enough. He has sold his commission and is ready to make good on the promises he made Sarah five years ago. He finds a woman full of secrets. As he works to renew his relationship with her, a new and more dangerous force emerges.

Together, Sarah and Robert struggle to make peace with their past while trying to figure out if they will survive the threat and find their happily ever after.


Sounds fabulous. What is it about this story that you love?

I love the characters and how they just won’t let me go until I get their story told the way they want. It sounds kind of nuts, but there it is.

It’s not nuts at all! What’s wonderful about belonging to RWA and the Beau Monde is being among like-minded people. Other writers completely understand when you talk about characters who don’t behave or need coaxing to unfold.


Of course, inspired moments often come with more difficult blocks. Is there anything you’ve discovered that you would characterize as an ah-ha moment?

I am struggling with technical issues especially dialogue tags. I was on the RWA website going through the handouts from 2010 Nationals and found a handout from Julia Quinn on the topic. It was a true aha moment and just made me realize what I was doing wrong.

Oh yes, the Julia Quinn dialogue workshop. I think that was the single most influential workshop I’ve ever taken (and well worth scribbling notes in the while sitting cross-legged on a home-plate sized area of the overcrowded room!). Speaking of wonderful Regency writers like Ms. Quinn, who and what is your favorite romance?

It is hard to pick my favorite romance. I read so much. Right now my favorite Romance is Sarah MacLean’s Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord. I tend to re-read that one the most lately. It will be a different one next week.

I have that one in my TBR pile! I read Nine rules to Break when Romancing a Rake and loved it.


It was wonderful to have you here, Amy. Before you go, are there any last bits of advice you’d like to share?

Learn to proof your own work. I am awful at reading and finding mistakes in my own work, but I’m trying every trick in the book to get better at it. Also, never give up. I’m starting a new career as a writer. It took 25 years to get where I am in my day job. Becoming a published author won’t happen overnight either, but it will happen.

Humm, both great bits of advice. I love to use text-to-speech software (like free Natural Reader) because it helps me find typos I miss when reading.


On a personal note, I’d like to thank Amy for her patience and support while I took a break from blogging to attend to family matters. Thanks Amy!


In honor of my Beau Monde mentor Sally MacKenzie’s most recent release The Naked King, I’m departing from my usual e-book commenter award and will send one lucky commenter a paper copy. Good Luck commenters!

11 Responses to In PRO-suit of Publication: an Interview with Ms. Amy Nichols

  • Great interview!   And I so want to read your ms after that intriguing twitter pitch.

    I also really like your advice to other unpublished authors.  It really doesn’t happen overnight.  Just like any other career, it takes time to get to the top!

  • Great interview Wendy and Amy. And what an interesting way to look at writing. It took years to get to a great place in my career as an opera singer. Then it has taken years to get to where I am in my current day job. I never really thought about the same process being in play in my writing career. Great way to look at it! And I LOVE reunion stories, Amy. Yours sounds like a great one!

  • Nice to meet you, Amy!  I love your proactive attitude to editing your work and increasing your knowledge of the craft.  The story is important, but so is the way it’s told and I think that’s great advice for new writers too.

  • Karen,

    Thanks for commenting.  I get my attitude from my mom who is a professional artist.  She is always saying that she has yet to reach the maximum times she will take rejection.  She has been a great help in keeping myself motivated through learning the craft.

    Amy

  • Louisa, I am worried that I will never be finished with editing to get the story right. But with each try I learn so much.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Amy, you’re among friends with your willful hero/heroine.:) Looking forward to hearing about your successes in the near future.

  • Thanks, Sarah.

  • Thanks Angelina. I wanted to focus on stories that did not always include an earl or a duke though the hero is the second son of an earl.  I think that the gentry class has been somewhat overlooked, though that is changing.  There is lots of material to work with too. 😉

  • Thanks for the compliment, Louisa! Thanks to everyone who commented and a big thanks to Amy. 

    Today’s winner is Angelina!!  I’ll contact you for your address.

  • Amy,
    I *adore* a reunion story! Can’t wait to read it when it hits shelves one day. 

  • Wendy,

    Thanks for this great opportunity!

    amy

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