Thursday, April 7, 2011
Fresh New Voice of YA- Interview with Amy Holder
1) How did you get the idea for The Lipstick Laws?
I knew I wanted to write a humorous story about the ups and downs of high school and the social hierarchies within it from the start. I had enough of my own teen ups and downs to provide inspiration. However, April’s voice (my main character) was the first part of the story that came to me, so she really prompted the whole storyline to evolve.
2) Tell us all about The Call/The Email! Where were you when you got it? Did you do anything to celebrate the sale?
I was in my office on the morning of May 6th 2009 when I received THE email about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s interest in acquiring THE LIPSTICK LAWS. I think I was too shocked to fully comprehend what was going on at first. Once it sunk in, I jumped up and down like a crazy loon, cried like a baby, called my parents ecstatically, and then printed out the email to keep with me at all times for the next several days…just to make sure it was real. Yes, the email turned me into an emotionally-crazed lunatic for about seventy two hours. I don’t think I’ve been the same since…
As far as celebrating goes, I've used all the different stages of my publishing experience as an excuse to celebrate...starting with the sale. Celebrating usually consists of good food and drinks (a clear violation of Lipstick Law #3) with family and friends.
3) You have a degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. What brought you to that area of study?
I’ve always been fascinated by the study of human behavior. I’m more comfortable observing rather than being the center of attention, so I think studying how other people behave, think and interact comes naturally to me. That interest automatically progressed to studying it in college. I like to think that my observations and degree also help me with my writing and character building.
4) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor (or flavors, if you're so inclined)?
Hmmm… jelly beans aren’t typically my first candy choice, but I do love the Very Cherry & Chocolate Pudding Jelly Belly combination! Yummy nom-nom-nom-nom! (Note from BC: Did you all notice that Jennifer and Amy love the same Jelly Belly combo?)
5) In your bio, you mention that you own some animals. I love animals so tell me all about the ones you have!
Yay! I love other animal lovers! I could talk to animal lovers for hours and never get bored. Therefore, this answer will probably be longggg… hope you’re comfy. I have two dogs and two cats. They’re all rescue animals. Keara is a pit-bull basset hound mix (she has a pit-bull head with a very short, long body). I’m assuming there must have been some alcohol involved in that conception. Keara reminds me of Donkey from Shrek. She kind of looks like him….and she totally tries to talk like him! I adopted her from a pound in Pittsburgh on the day she was supposed to be euthanized when she was seven. She’s going on twelve now, and I can’t imagine my life without her! Spencer is a Pekingese… and he’s super adorable, easy going, sweet and partially blind (poor guy). I rescued him from a puppy mill situation where he was extremely underweight and neglected. He’s a very happy (well-fed) guy now! My two cats are named Jazz and Bugsy and they’re brothers. I like to refer to them as Double Trouble. They are from a litter of kittens from a stray mother cat that I rescued a couple years ago. I was able to find the mother cat and the two other kittens homes, but I kept the brothers. They are so fun and cuddly! I just love all of my animals! And I’ll stop now before I write a novella.
6) What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
My advice is to practice your writing craft daily, read the genre you want to write, study the publishing market, never give up, and network your arse off (networking may help you get out of the slush pile). I actually just wrote a blog post about this subject not too long ago over at the Class of 2k11 site. It's filled with lots of advice for aspiring writers from various 2k11 authors, if you'd like to check it out here: http://www.classof2k11.com/?p=1518
7) What book(s) are you reading right now, or are about to start?
I’ve been lucky to read many ARCs from my friends and fellow 2k11 authors. Most recently I’ve read OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy, ILLEGAL by Bettina Restrepo, THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski, and BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris. I’m currently reading THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS by Carole Estby Dagg. I also have a ginormous TBR pile waiting for me to read, but I haven’t had much spare reading time lately with the craziness of my launch coming up. I’m hoping that will change soon.
Picture Guide- Amy Holder (1st), Keara (2nd), Spencer (3rd), Double Trouble (4th)