People love to ask me questions about my journey to become a published author.  Here are answers to some of the most popular inquiries.

Getting Personal

What do you do when you’re not writing?  If I’m not goofing off in the backyard with my family, or cuddled up with a good book then I’m probably helping to renovate my home.  Sunday afternoons are my time to stomp my husband at Scrabble, a favorite pastime of mine.

Anything quirky we should know about your family?  My husband was born and bred about thirty miles from London.  (It’s my fault he now lives in Southern Illinois.)  My son is an avid fan of any predator with sharp teeth (What 5 year old actually LOVES River Monsters?!) and he adamantly supports all of the bad guys in his cartoons.  Our dog Molly grunts like a pig in her sleep. 

Where do you live?  South of Chicago, where fields of corn grow tall in the summer and cows graze in the fields.  No, I’m not a farmer.  I’m a city girl that’s been plunked down in the middle of the country.  But after nearly thirteen years, it’s starting to grow on me.

What are your favorite books/music/tv/movies? 

Books: I’m an avid reader of teen fiction.  Gotta keep up with the market somehow, right?  Favorite teen books that I’ve read in the past year are The Maze Runner Trilogy, Nightshade Trilogy, Firelight, The Fallen series and most of Amanda Hocking’s ebooks.

Music: I’m a pretty laid back kind of gal.  As long as it’s not opera I can listen to it.  Cd’s in my car include Daughtry, Lifehouse, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Muse, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

TV: The Biggest Loser, Once Upon a Time, River Monsters, Two and A Half Men (the older seasons), Smallville (sob!) and Disney Jr. morning shows.  I’m a mom, give me a break!

Movies: This is a hard one because I’ve got so many.  I’m an old school Star Wars Fan.  I love action, romance, comedy and anything that’s gonna make me think. 

All time favorite author?  J.K. Rowling, hands down!  I don’t care if you like the story line or not, the woman is brilliant!

How old are you?  Eek!  I’m inching my way towards 30.

Work Stuff

 Are you full time writer?  I’m a full time wife and mom who sneaks in as much face time with my laptop as I can manage. 

When is your best time to write?  I’m a recovering night owl.  My new year’s resolution for 2012 is to be in bed by 10pm every day.  Ahem.  Apart from tonight, of course. 

I do the bulk of my writing during preschool hours, while sitting on a rock hard chair at my local library.  I’ll trade a sore back for peace and quiet any day!

Is it hard to juggle a writing career and a home life?  Fitting any type of work into your family time is difficult, but being a writer comes with great distractions when you work from home.  I can be sitting at my kitchen table typing away and out of the corner of my eye see a pile of clothes begging to be folded.  Normally I don’t have too much trouble ignoring it.

Where do you get your book ideas?  My brain never shuts down, literally!  I get ideas from my dreams, from the grocery story, while playing with my son or lounging on the couch.  Inspiration hits like a bolt of lightning and then coils around in my brain until I either get it all out or go into muse lock down.

Are any of your characters based off real people?  Honestly, no.  I might use a character trait here or there but each character is birthed right on the page.  Makes it much more exciting to see how they turn out.

Is there a method to your writing madness? 
This is a question I have asked myself over and over again. 

I have never sat down and wrote an outline for any of my manuscripts.  They just spew out until the well runs dry.  Then I go back and fill in the outline to make sure the threads tie together.  Editing is crucial!

Typically I will write the final chapters first and then write beginning to end from there.  It helps to know where you’re going to end up.     

Were you successful with self-publishing?  I’m a firm believer that you have to work hard for what you want most in life.  This is true for writing.  Some people will publish a book and sit back to wait for their checks to roll in.  No wonder they only end up writing one book! 
Self-promotion is hard.  I won’t lie about that.  I spend time each day reaching out to my readers, meeting new people, reviewing, commenting, selling, and marketing.  It’s hard work but I love every minute of it.
Forbidden is the first book in a trilogy and I’ve had great reviews so far.  I am excited to see how well my sequel, Arotas, will fare.

Are you working on any new books?  I am always working on something, usually more than one book at a time. 
Defiance Rising, a teen SF/Fantasy novel, is my baby.  It is technically my debut novel and took two years to write.  Since then I have come to understand far more about editing and the writing market and am currently rewriting the manuscript to tighten up my word count.
Ignite is a new teen dystopian romance that I’ve been playing around with the past couple weeks.  I’ve having such a blast working on it that I find myself procrastinating on my other writing.

Are you actively seeking an agent or publisher?  My goal for 2012 is to start sending out queries.  I am working hard to build a readership so I can have something to present to an agent/publisher beyond a simply desire to be published.  If I can’t show a potential buyer my dedication now, why should they believe I will invest the time later?

I loved Forbidden, when can I read the sequel?  People ask me this all the time and I have to give the same answer.  I refuse to set any specific date for the release of Arotas.  I do not want to disappoint you or myself.  Arotas  is coming along beautifully and I’m so excited to share it with you, but I refuse to publish anything that is not my best.  Please be patient, I promise it will be worth the wait.

Will you be a guest speaker for our function?  I am always happy to help in any way that I can.  If you have a class or event that you would like for me to attend, please email me atAmyLMiles@live.com

Would you be willing to critique my manuscript?  Honestly, no.  I’ve gone down that road of trying to help by critiquing and it backfired.  I don’t want to say anything that might discourage anyone from their dream of becoming a writer.  I wish you the best of luck and advise that you gather a group of people that you trust to help you look objectively at your work.

Will you read my book?
My schedule is always tight.  Between my son’s activities, husband’s soccer, writer’s group, blogging, marketing and working my own books, I’m left with little time.  If you have written a teen fiction novel (sorry, it can only be teen fiction) then go ahead and send me an email with a description of your book.  If I am interested, and have the time, I will let you know.