Author Interview: Amie Irene Winters
Name: Amie Irene Winters
Latest Release: A Darling Secret
Genre: YA Fantasy
Contact: Website form
1. How long have you been writing?
Since I could hold a pen. Creative writing was my favorite subject in grade school. I remember my math tutor rewarded me for completing problems with creative writing exercises. One of my favorite prompts was: ‘If you were a princess fairy on a shopping spree, what would you buy?’ I still have the paper with my drawing and story. It’s funny looking back at it now. In the story I bought a magic wand which could grant me wishes. I wished for what every little girl wants – “a huge bowl of ice cream”. Ha ha! I think my tutor’s technique was certainly effective. Creative writing is still one of my favorite things to do.😊
2. What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I primarily write young adult fantasy. I love creating fantastical worlds and magical scenarios where anything is possible. My next book will be a standalone psychological fiction.
3. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?
To inspire others, to continue growing and improving as a writer, and to keep writing more books.
4. What inspires you?
Discovering unexpected magic in everyday life.
5. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.
I’ve never fallen in love with a literary character, but I’ve certainly found myself intrigued by some. Who doesn’t want to be swept off their feet by Westley from The Princess Bride? *swoon.
6. How do you find or make time to write?
Organization is key. Each week I write out my schedule and make sure that I plan for adequate time to sit down and write. Sometimes things come up and I can’t write, which is frustrating. 😛 Over the years though, I’ve learned that forcing writing when I’m frustrated or crunched for time only adds to my stress.
7. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
Both. When I first started writing, I thought I needed to be a “plotter” and followed tedious guidelines and wrote everything out. Not only did I felt trapped, my creativity suffered. There were a lot of missed opportunities for my characters to do something unexpected, or for usual twists into the story. After A LOT of trial and error, I realized I’m a “panster.” In other words, I fly by the seat of my pants when I write.
My writing process involves the following: Come up with a general story concept and then create as I go. For example, in Strange Luck, the concept was creating a world built using stolen memories. When I started writing the book, I had no sense of how my characters were going to get there, but that was part of the fun. My writing technique might not work for others, but just like those creative writing exercises that my math tutor gave me, this kind of “panster” freedom works for me.
8. Who would play you in your life story?
Gosh, I have no idea! If I had to pick, maybe Reese Witherspoon. People tell me that we look similar. I’m also a big fan of hers.
9. What projects are you working on at the moment?
A Darling Secret just released last week. It is the conclusion to the Strange Luck series, where you’ll learn the fate of your favorite heroes and love-to-hate foes. It’s a little darker than The Nightmare Birds, with lots of occult themes, magic, and psychological games. My favorite! 😊
I wanted this book to answer remaining questions and leave the reader with a satisfying sense of completion. I spent a lot of time talking to my readers to find out what they wanted to see happen, which characters they wanted to see more of, and what they liked most about the previous books. I hope my readers will enjoy the result.
10. What process did you go through to get your work published?
I originally went the traditional publishing route, but didn’t have the best experience. I felt that my book wasn’t a priority and I was asked to make substantial changes that I didn’t agree with. My books are my life, so I decided to try an avenue where I had more control over the process. I published via CreateSpace Independent Publishing and have been extremely happy with the results.
11. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Writing the opening and the ending of a book. I usually come up with a dozen different openings, which I then rewrite repeatedly. It’s hard to pick the one I like best. That’s where friends and family come into play. They tell it like it is! The ending is also quite difficult to write because there needs to be a sense of closure.
12. What do you enjoy most about writing? Feel free to share your favorite work.
Creating different worlds. All the worlds in my stories (the Nameless, Theater of Secrets, and the Realm of the Shadows Gods) are dear to me, and I try to make each of them unique and original. I love all of them!
13. If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?
Hermione from Harry Potter. She seems to always have everything figured out, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s awesome at magic.
14. Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story?
When I saw the movie Blended and Bella Thorne came on, I remember saying, “She would be a perfect Daisy Darling! She looks just like how I imagined Daisy would!” Then when Zak Henri came on screen (her boyfriend in the movie), I said, “Oh my God, and he’d be a perfect Roger Donovan!”
Daisy and Roger have a lot of similar characteristics to those characters. Daisy is very tomboyish and awkward with red hair and freckles. She starts off unsure of herself and as she builds her confidence she accomplishes great and unexpected things. Roger is very quiet and dark, offering encouragement from the shadows. He’s also devilishly handsome.
15. What is your favorite escape from day to day living?
Kickboxing. It is so much fun!
16. What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
Social media is probably the easiest way to promote books, but I also think it’s the most distracting.
17. Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
H.P. Lovecraft is my all-time favorite writer who has had the most impact on me. He creates compelling stories and worlds that get under your skin and leave a mark. My favorite stories of his are The Lurker at The Threshold and The Strange High House in the Mist. My goal as an author is to leave a mark on my readers. I want them to be thinking about my stories long after they’ve read them.
I also adore Sheridan Le Fanu, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, and Joanne Harris.
18. Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?
Let your mind go and try not to overthink the ideas that come.
19. What are you currently reading?
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.
20. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
More digitization. I’m old-school though. Nothing beats holding an actual book in your hands.
Thank you for allowing Our Write Side to interview you.
A Darling Secret
Strange Luck series, Book 3
Learn the fate of your favorite heroes and love-to-hate foes in the thrilling conclusion to Amie Irene Winters’ bestselling Strange Luck series.
Before the Theater of Secrets was formed, before the Nameless was built, before Daisy Darling learned of her magical bloodline, there was the Realm of the Shadow Gods—ruled by the most powerful and wicked creatures known.
For nearly two decades, Daisy’s twin sister, Rose, was held captive by the Shadow Gods and survived. Now Rose has come to find Daisy to stop their impending evil from spreading into the human world. But Rose bears a terrible secret that has the power to destroy everything.
In the devastating Realm of the Shadow Gods, dark magic holds no bounds. Daisy will risk everything to save those she loves, but will the truth finally break her?
Unlock the final book in the Strange Luck series with A Darling Secret.
* * *
A Darling Secret excerpt:
A slow, creeping fear wound its way around me.
Tiptoeing around the mysterious plain, too afraid to call out, a surprising wisp of music came floating through the air. It was a jingly little melody—like a music box—followed by soft voices.
I paused. Through the violet-stained sky and swirling rainbow mist I saw something moving. My eyes narrowed as I stealthily approached an illuminated cave.
Shadows were gathering there.
Strange Luck Series Buy Links:
Amie Irene Winters was born and raised in California but now lives and writes in western Pennsylvania. She is the author of the award-winning Strange Luck series.
When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dog, baking desserts, or breaking a sweat in kickboxing class.
To learn more about Amie and her books, visit amieirenewinters.com.