Friday, March 11, 2011

Author Interview: Amy Holder of The Lipstick Laws!

INTERVIEW WITH AMY HOLDER!

I am very excited to post an interview with Amy Holder, author of The Lipstick Laws, due to be released on April 4, 2011.  Amy was gracious enough to answer a few questions I thought her fans would love to hear about her and her debut novel.  (See my review of The Lipstick Laws here.)  Without further ado...





Readergirl: How long have you known you wanted to be a writer?
 
Amy: I've known since I was a little girl.  I started writing when I was six, and I wrote my first chapter book in third grade.  It's always been a hobby of mine, but I didn't try to pursue it professionally until after college.  That's when I realized that I wanted a job that I loved so much, it wouldn't feel like work.  Writing is that job.
 
Readergirl: What was your submission experience in terms of number of manuscripts written and length of submission time before publication?
 
Amy: I was extremely lucky to have the first and only publisher that I submitted The Lipstick Laws to acquire my manuscript within a couple months of submitting it to them.  I'm still so thankful that it was never rejected!  I have had my fair share of rejection letters, however.  I had written one full teen novel and several shorter stories for children, which all collected rejection letters before I completed The Lipstick Laws. All in all, by the time The Lipstick Laws is published, it will have taken about two years from my submission date to the publication date.
 
Just for a fun fact, my first national publication was actually in the greeting card market.  My art and writing have been published by Oatmeal Studios and Hallmark.  I like to mention this to let writers know that there are other writing opportunities out there.  If you're stuck in a rejection rut, spread your writing wings and start looking for other ways to publish your creativity.
 
Readergirl: How did you celebrate receiving "the call" that your book was going to be published?
 
Amy: I jumped up and down and danced around like a crazy woman!  I also cried, which is sort of corny, but true!  So many emotions went through me at once; I couldn’t help but channel them into happy tears. After that, I told lots of family and friends. We had several mini celebrations throughout the publishing process. 
 
Readergirl: How did you get the idea for The Lipstick Laws?
 
Amy: The idea actually came from April, my main character.  Her voice was the first part of the story that came to me.  I started free writing in her voice and began putting her into what-if scenarios...before long, the whole plot of The Lipstick Laws evolved.
 
Readergirl: What made you decide on YA, and have you or do you expect to write in any other genres?
 
Amy: Writing for young adults comes naturally to me because I never lost my inner teen.  Plus, April's angsty teen voice really took over my keyboard once I started writing The Lipstick Laws....so she kind of decided for me. I do write other genres for other age groups as well, and I hope to have some of those stories published someday.
 
Readergirl: What has been the most challenging thing about writing and publishing The Lipstick Laws?
 
Amy: The most challenging thing about writing The Lipstick Laws was balancing April’s flaws with enough likable qualities to make sure readers would root for her.  This is something my editor asked me to focus on during the editorial process.
 
One of the most challenging things about publishing my book has been the waiting…and waiting…and more waiting.  It takes a LONG time to publish a book.  Don’t get me wrong, the experience has been exciting and fun, but there is typically a lot of waiting and downtime between each stage of the process. That is, until right before the release date when things get a little crazy and extra time seems to disappear. 
 
Readergirl: What has been the most rewarding experience?
 
Amy: The most rewarding experience so far has been hearing from readers who really enjoyed my book.  A debut author can’t help but feel vulnerable with not knowing how her first book is going to be received, so it means the world to me when I hear from readers who love my story!
 
Readergirl: Do you have any favorite authors or stories that have inspired you as a writer?
 
Amy: Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl probably influenced me the most when I was younger because their stories really sparked my love of reading and writing.  Nowadays, I love, love, love Sophie Kinsella!  Her humor has really inspired me as a writer.  I'm also a huge Harry Potter geek and am amazed and endlessly inspired by J.K. Rowling's imagination. I also really enjoy Meg Cabot, Louise Rennison, Alyson Noel and Eileen Cook, just to name some. The dramatic character growth and moral of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has always inspired me as well. 
 
Readergirl: Will you be taking part in any book tours, signings, or release parties that your fans might like to know about?
 
Amy: I'm participating in an online book tour with The Teen Book Scene from March 27 through April 16.  For more information, please check out this link: http://theteenbookscene.weebly.com/the-lipstick-laws-tour-details.html.  I'm still getting all the details together for in-person events, but I hope to do lots of signings after my book comes out in April.  I will be posting information about upcoming events on my News & Reviews page here: http://www.amyholdernews.blogspot.com/.
 
Readergirl: What will be your next project?
 
Amy: I'm working on several projects right now, but I'm hoping that my next YA book to hit the bookshelves will be the contemporary manuscript with a bit of a paranormal twist that I've been writing.  We'll see....
 
A very heartfelt thank-you to Amy for taking time out of what I know to be an extremely busy pre-launch schedule.  I am very excited for The Lipstick Laws to come out!!
 
 
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