Doing interviews

Recently I have done two interviews, they haven’t yet been posted so I can’t link to them. But it made me think about previous interviews I’ve done. I thought it would be interesting to look back over different ones I’ve done in the past couple of years. Here’s one of the first one’s I ever did (by fellow author Rachel Jones), just before my fourth book released. It’s interesting to see how things change and how others stay the same. Check it out:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I loved to write when I was in school but I never actually thought I could be a “real” writer. When I was a teenager, a favorite aunt used to predict that I would be a writer since I loved books so much, but it wasn’t until my husband challenged me to give it a try when he got a little frustrated with how much time I spent reading. He thought it would be a more productive use of my time 😉 That was close to ten years ago now. Wow! The time has flown!

What genre(s) do you write?

So far, everything I have written has been Sweet Regency era Romance.

How many books have you written and how many of those have been published?

I have completed eight manuscripts. Three are published, one is in production (releasing May 5th) and a fifth is in final draft stage, about to be sent off to our publisher.

How many hours a day do you devote to writing?

Unfortunately, I tend to be very sporadic – for spurts of days/weeks I will write feverishly, then I will go weeks without writing. But the “business” of writing, now that I’m published, requires attention more regularly so I would say I average a few hours/week devoted to promotional activities and social media as Wendy May Andrews.

What’s more important: character or plot?

To me they are equally important although romance books are more character driven than plot driven. The majority of my books tend to have a mystery woven through them that requires the characters to interact and grow.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Promoting it 🙂 I would be as happy as a lark if I could just write and forget about trying to sell the books. The good news is, everyone says that the best promotional tool is the next great book.

What does your family think of your writing?

My parents are my biggest fans and have read every word I’ve written with enthusiasm, including multiple drafts of the same book. My husband is very supportive of the idea of my writing but has only read one of my books (he’s not a prolific fiction reader). But he’s very proud of me and is willing to order pizza when I’m deeply embedded in my writing cave. All three are very vocal in telling everyone they meet that their wife/daughter is a writer. That means the world to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Like all writers, I am an avid reader. I also like to be active, taking long walks around my city or in conservation areas in the outskirts of town. I also do a lot of volunteer work. And my husband and I love to travel. I think exposing myself to other environments and observing people makes me a better writer.

What authors do you like to read?

My favorite Regency writer is Georgette Heyer. I also love Julia Quinn and Susan Elizabeth Philips. I’ve also recently discovered a new favorite – fellow Clean Reads writer, Rachel Jones 🙂

Do you have future projects in mind?

I am working on a final draft of a sequel to my first Clean Reads release, The Duke Conspiracy. I also have a few other completed manuscripts that need sprucing up before submitting them to our publisher. And I have a fabulous idea for a Western Historical trilogy that has been scratching at the door of my muse so I’m hoping to get to work on that shortly.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Sweet romance of any type – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, etc – I have yet to meet one I didn’t like. But I will read just about anything. I love cozy mysteries as well as thrillers and women’s fiction. I also like to read the news and advice columns.

Do you write every day?

I should, but I don’t. What tends to work best for me is if I block off a couple weeks or a month in which I plan to write a book. I prepare for it by freezing meals and scrubbing my house, then I clear my schedule and set my word count goals (5000-7000/day). Then I will write for 5 or 6 hours to accomplish the daily goal. This works for me because I am immersed in the book and keep track of the characters and story threads. It is not at all a balanced way of doing it but it has worked for me for my most recent few manuscripts. I love NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – which is every November.

How did your writing journey begin?

With a dare from my husband 🙂

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Luckily, I haven’t yet been struck with true writer’s block, but if I ever have trouble with a plot point, I have a circle of writer friends that I can turn to. And my critique partner is very helpful. We get together periodically and discuss our plots and any challenges we might be facing.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Keeping myself entertained 🙂

What motivates you to write?

I find it remarkably satisfying. This kind of ties in with the previous question. I find these two questions difficult to articulate. It just makes me happy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it. Learn more about the craft of writing, no matter where you are in your career. We can all learn to be better writers and grow.

Latest News

It seems that everyone I know is SUPER busy these days and I’m no exception. I’m excited to have released my newest book, A Dangerous Debut, last month. I’m trying to get the word about that one while also editing my next release and writing the one after that 🙂 I also have to make decisions about cover art for the next book and have indepth discussions with my editor. Very exciting.

Unfortunately, where I am, it’s winter. And we’ve been having a rather grim one this year with VERY little sunshine. As a result, I find I lack motivation. So here’s my question for you – what do you do to boost your motivation when all you want to do is sit around and read?

Research – the Stagecoach



Mr. Andrews and I recently traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and toured the Wells Fargo museum. They had an actual stagecoach there as well as a replica you could climb around in. This was very exciting for me as both of my new series require stagecoach travel. I never gave it much thought, but I didn’t realize quite how crowded it would be to travel by stagecoach. They had a display of a small suitcase that you would be able to bring with you. There wouldn’t be room for anything else. We complain today about how crowded airplane travel is, but at least you get to your destination within a few hours. Depending where you were going, traveling by stagecoach could take you days or weeks! All cramped in this tiny, dusty space. Whew! I do love writing about the past, but I’m happy to be living in the present 🙂 What do you think, would you have liked to travel by stagecoach?

Feature Fiction Friday – Brigid Amos


Check out this fascinating Young Adult Historical Novel by fellow Clean Reads author, Brigid Amos. Tag line: If the West doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger. Doesn’t this sound great?
A little about the book:
Travis Cooper was not meant to be a prospector. Small for his age, he has never been much help on the family farm in Missouri. How could he survive the journey west to take up such backbreaking work? But when he sees a copy of the California Star in the fall of 1848, everything changes. One shining word jumps off the page: GOLD! Now staying alive is a struggle. Keeping his partner from getting himself killed is even harder!

Brigid is giving away an ecopy of West From The Cradle from the retailer of your choice to one random commenter, so let us know what you think in the comments 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:
In the fall of 1848, Travis Cooper walked into Hillerman’s General Store for a quarter keg of nails and walked out with a dream.

When Travis pushed through the heavy wooden door into the well-ordered mercantile, Raymond Hillerman’s hefty frame rose up from behind the counter. The shopkeeper’s fleshy face, fringed by a scraggly red beard, was flushed from bending down and reaching up to stock the shelves. Rotund arms sprouted from an overstuffed plaid shirt and ended in massive hands with fat but dexterous fingers. Hillerman was nearing sixty, but Travis knew that under the aging paunch lay a veritable Samson. Once, when a tornado twirled through their little town of Larksville, Missouri, Raymond Hillerman saved a family of five by lifting up the pieces of their house that had landed on top of the root cellar where they had taken cover.

“What’ll it be?” Hillerman said.

“A quarter keg of nails,” Travis replied. “We’re going to do some repairs on the barn. It’s all chewed up from the winter.”

Hillerman scooped up the nails and poured them onto the scale with a loud clatter. “I hear your pa’s taking a stab at the cattle business.”

“That’s right,” Travis answered. “He and Mr. Ellerbee rode up to the auction in St. Joe yesterday. They’re coming home tonight.”

Hillerman sprinkled the nails into a wooden box, his actions slower than usual, as if he was thinking of something other than nails. “I know,” he said. “Melvin Ellerbee came by last week with some things I asked him to pick up for me the last time he was in St. Joe.” The expression on his face changed, as if he had remembered something that made him jumpy.
Travis paid for the nails and was almost out the door when Hillerman called to him and beckoned for him to come back to the counter. “Come here a second, son. I want to show you something.” Reaching down behind the counter, the shopkeeper pulled out a stack of newspapers. “Melvin Ellerbee brought me these newspapers from St. Joe. It’s this one I wanted you to see.” Hillerman handed Travis the newspaper on the top of the stack.

California Star,” Travis murmured. “This newspaper’s from California?”

“It’s from San Francisco to be precise. That newspaper was sent out this way by the editor, a Mr. Brannan of San Francisco, to recruit new American Californians. Clever fellow, that Brannan. What I wanted you to see was this article by Victor something or other. His name’s French I guess. Here, look!” Hillerman pointed to an article on the front page.

As Travis skimmed the article, one shining word jumped right off the page. “Gold?” he asked, looking up at the shopkeeper for confirmation.

“Gold!” Hillerman said. “They found gold in the American River. I figure there’s more where that came from, and there must be plenty of other rivers and streams out there that have it in them.”

“Those folks are lucky, aren’t they? I’d call that being in the right place at the right time.”
“They’re lucky all right. But so will be those who emigrate out there this spring. It sounds like there’s plenty to go around.”

Travis put the newspaper down and searched Hillerman’s face. “Is that what you’re thinking of doing? Going out there to California?”

Hillerman shrugged his shoulders. “It’s a notion I’ve been tossing around in my head. I got my store here. Don’t know that I’d want to give all this up. Of course, I wouldn’t make the trip on my own. I’d be looking for a partner.”

To read more, you gotta buy the book… 😉
Barnes & Noble:

Here’s a little about Brigid:brigid-amos

Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffinThe StorytellerWilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. Her first novel, A Fence Around Her, was published by Clean Reads in 2016. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the boards of Angels Theatre Company and Women Writing the West. She is also an active member the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

She’d love to stay in touch with you. You can find her here:
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Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of West from the Cradle!

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