Almost there, my friends! Today, we have the lovely Amy Brecount White visiting the Book Swarm. Her debut YA novel, FORGET-HER-NOTS, was published March 2010. Currently, she lives with her husband, three kids, and Jessie the wonder dog near some woods and a stream in Arlington, Virginia which is the inspiration for her second novel, tentatively titled STRING THEORY. You can read more about Amy and her books on her website HERE.
What inspired you to create Laurel, whose connection to flowers is magical?
After researching the language of flowers for an article I wanted to write for a magazine, I made a tussie-mussie (a symbolic bouquet) for a friend of mind who was very ill. I wanted so much for my flower wishes to come true!! When I started to imagine a whole novel about the language of flowers, I knew I needed a main character who wanted something very badly, who was mourning the death of someone close to her, and who needed for her life to be transformed in a major way.
How did you go about researching your story?
I read every book I could find about the language of flowers. I hung out in gardens and observed them. I stuck my nose into lots of blooms to try to translate their fragrance into words. It was all so much fun!
Describe your journey to becoming a published author.
I usually say that it was a long and winding road with lots of potholes. It definitely wasn’t instant and my learning curve as a novelist was a lot steeper than I’d planned. (I’d freelanced for newspapers and magazines, so I thought it would be a breeze.) I also had some agent issues (not with my current one), but that’s pretty typical. And I must say I’m awfully thrilled to be here!
Tell us about your writing process—are you a plotter or a pantser?
A plotter light. I like to have a very loose plot to go by, especially in the early writing stages. It gets more technical and structured for me the closer I get to a final draft. Writing a novel is similar to putting together a giant floor puzzle. You have to make sure it all fits, and sometimes it’s tough to see the big picture. 🙂
Where do you do the majority of your writing?
In my basement office, but it’s not dreary at all. The back of our house opens into a woods, so I like to watch the seasons change as I write.
Since you’ve been published, what’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you?
Definitely fan mail. I never expected it, and it’s so cool to connect to readers.
Finish this sentence: When I’m not writing, I am… thinking about what I should be writing next, preferably while biking, roller blading, or gardening.
White bellflowers and snowdrops to you, Mary! Thank you so much for stopping by, Amy. Write hard!