Let’s start doing some author interviews, shall we? Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything, that was more of a royal “we” there. Anywho, semantics aside, I’ll be doing sporadic interviews and there is absolutely nobody better to start with than amazing writer (and a friend of mine), Amy Brock McNew, who is in the midst releasing her first self-published novel, “Sleeper” (though she also has a roster of indie-published novels and novellas, The Reluctant Warrior Chronicles, which you should also look into).
Amy Brock McNew on “Sleeper”
D.A. Williams: Thanks for being my interview guinea pig! Let’s dive right into it. I know you for always putting, in your words, your “guts on the page” and for being, creating and encouraging “warriors.” What do those things mean to you, personally, and how does that translate to the characters and stories you craft?
Amy Brock McNew: Guts on the Page is a way of life for me. It means everything. Anyone who knows me knows I’m up front, what you see is what you get, and I have no filter. That’s the way I live. Honest, real, and raw. Sharing those tough parts of myself in hopes that someone else going through similar crap will know they’re not alone. In my writing, that translates to no holds barred. There’s no subject I won’t touch, nothing I won’t talk about. It’s also freeing. It means I can turn myself loose on the page and let the characters and story come alive how they need to, no restrictions.
D.A.: That honesty and willingness to share is what readers love about your work, I think. I do. Now, I know you’re blazing your own trail in the publishing world with “Sleeper”, which you’ll be producing on your own, without a publisher. What drove you to make that decision?
Amy: Basically? I’m a control freak. I like to have the final say in things I put out in the world. And I wanted freedom. Freedom to write the story that’d been burning inside of me with no strings, no restrictions, no rules.
D.A.: “Sleeper” definitely needed to be written and produced with that freedom intact. What inspired “Sleeper”, and how is it different from your last series, The Reluctant Warrior Chronicles?
Amy: Sleeper was actually inspired by a song, Psycho by Muse. If you know me, that shouldn’t surprise you! I heard it and the story just came to life. I’ve wanted to write shifters for a while, and the song lent itself to what I wanted to do.
It’s different from my last series in many ways. Sleeper is Paranormal Romance while TRWC is Urban Fantasy. Sleeper has shifters, whereas TRWC is angels and demons. But the big difference is the content. While I always write brutal fight scenes and emotionally charged stories, Sleeper cranks all that up. A lot. Now, TRWC is dark as well, but Sleeper takes that to a whole new level. Plus there is language and sexual situations that aren’t part of the TRWC universe.
D.A.: Getting a little spicier! I like it! Give us a little backstory on “Sleeper”. What are we in for?
Amy: It’s dark, twisted, and not for the faint of heart! This story takes you on a ride. And by that I mean it grabs you by the throat, throws you on the plane, and expects you to jump with no parachute and hope you land in the water. There is a crap ton of amazingly bloody violence. There is a lot of strong language. There’s also sex. I have sexual situations in TRWC, but not to this level. If you’re looking for the same brand of clean with lots of steam I write in TRWC, you will NOT find it in Sleeper.
D.A: A little something for everyone based on their comfort level between the two, I’d say. That’s great. What advice can you give aspiring authors, and what advice do you wish you’d been given going in that you had to figure out on your own?
Amy: I wish someone had told me how much of being an author has nothing to do with writing. I have a degree in marketing and I love it, but I want to write! After all the marketing and arranging schedules and other tedious business, there are some days I just want to hide. Hide out in my cave and write. But it’s worth it. As for giving advice, my main piece of wisdom is develop a hard shell. This is not a business for the weak. There’s a lot that can get you down, really quickly. You have to shut the idiocy and ranting and bad mojo out and just carry on. Do what you do and let everyone else worry about themselves. Be true to you.
D.A.: Truer words have never been said, it’s a tough business, indeed! So, what’s next for the great Amy Brock McNew?
Amy: Great! Ha! Not so sure about that. But what’s next is I have several books coming out this year. Not only do I plan to release Sleeper and the next two in the Fianna series, In June Resilience, book 3 of TRWC is coming out. There may even be the next novella from TRWC, we’ll just have to see. I also run a video and graphic production company making book trailers and teasers, and that’s growing by leaps and bounds. I’m a busy chick and that’s just the way I like it. I’m finally doing what I love and I won’t stop.
D.A.: Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain and I can’t wait to devour “Sleeper” on Release Day! I’m excited to sink my teeth in and give a proper review. There you have it ladies and gents, Amy Brock McNew with “Sleeper”!