Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Amy Brecount-White interview

1) How did you get the idea for Forget-Her-Nots?

Divine inspiration from the Muse of Gardening. Not really, but it's not too far off. I've always loved anything that bloomed, so when I saw a language of flowers book at a bookstore, I snatched it up. Later, I pitched ideas for non-fiction articles about the language, but didn't have any takers. Then one day, I made a tussie-mussie, a symbolic bouquet, with flowers from my own garden for a friend who was dying of ovarian cancer. I started thinking, what if my flower wishes came true.... Then my imagination -- or the garden muse -- took over.

What are you working on now?

It's a contemporary realistic novel called String Theories about the physics of relationships, starting high school, love v. lust, and getting even. After that, I'd like to write a companion novel to FHN.

2) What was The Call like? Tell us all about it!

It was so amazing. It came late on a Friday afternoon, when I'd already given up hope for the week. Christmas was less than two weeks away, so I knew that most publishing houses wouldn't be acquiring that close to the holidays. I'd have to wait until mid-January or so. I'd told my three kids that if my agent Steven called, they had to find me immediately, because he called only if it was big news. So I was in my basement office when my son came running down the stairs with the phone in his hands.

"Mom! Mom! It's your agent," he yelled. "Did you sell your book?"

Then he stood there waiting while I tried to focus on the wonderful words coming from Steven's mouth. I'm not sure I heard anything after, "We have an offer." I nodded to my son who jumped up and down and went running out of the room whooping and yelling, "Mom sold her book! Mom sold her book!" Then I pretty much did the same after I hung up.

3) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I'm in the middle of fellow Tenner Bree Despain's The Dark Divine. It's really fun so far, and I love the family and religion dynamics she's set up. Can't wait to see what happens. After that it will be Eighth Grade Super Zero, because I just got that arc in the Tenner exchange. Mostly, I read other Tenner books these days. :-) I'm really looking forward to Hex Hall and Before I Fall -- my release date mates, too!

4) According to your bio, you've taught English and writing at middle and high schools. Do you love teaching?

i do love teaching. And I miss it. (I stopped to stay home with my kids and pursue writing as a career.) I hope to get invited to lots of schools and libraries, so I can do some teaching there. I have wide writing experience from non-fiction journalism to academic writing to fiction, so I'd love to share what I've learned.

What's your favorite and least favorite part of it?

My favorite part is making connections and helping my students to understand something -- a poem, their own writing, a character -- in a new way. I love seeing that look of understanding on their faces when the connections click into place. Honestly, I loved everything about the classroom and kids and my subject (English and writing). I hated having to go to faculty meetings. Not a fan of meetings.

5) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Anything citrusy. Mmm.

And, as part of Amy's Spread the Flower Love blog tour, here's the flower I picked:

It's honeysuckle! I used to love these as a kid and would suck the honey out of them whenever I found one. What you have to do now is collect this virtual flower along with all the others this week (the list can be found here- we're in week three now) and email Amy with the list at amywords@verizon.net to enter. This week, you can win copies of Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins along with FHN swag and a Language of Flowers booklet. So follow the blog tour and collect those flowers! :) Good luck to everyone!


  1. What a life changing moment that was when you got the call. for all of you. Your kids must be so proud of you.

  2. Great interview! I love the call story!