Amie Irene Winters is a writer and multimedia artist who loves a good antique store. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has degrees in anthropology and environmental studies. Amie has written and published in a variety of genres- from technical and grant writing, lifestyle articles, to travel blogging and has been a copyeditor for academic textbooks, non-fiction books, and corporate communications. An avid outdoor enthusiast and activist, she derives inspiration from nature.
Q: What were some of your favorite books as a child?
A: I read The Secret Garden a lot as a kid. It has a dark vibe, which definitely influenced my writing. I also really liked to read classic fairy tales about magic, witches, and other worlds.
Q: What is your writing process, and how much research does it include?
A: Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Coaraline) put it perfectly when he said, “This is how you do it: You sit at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." These are certainly some words to live by and I am constantly fine-tuning my process and figuring out what works best for me. Inspiration knows no schedule. Sometimes I write all day on a Saturday or for five minutes during a week day. Sometimes nothing for a week or more. When I'm inspired, I just jump in and see what happens.
For Strange Luck, I did a lot of research on antiques and haunted items, like how they behaved and why they scared people. If you Google haunted antiques you’ll see some of the creepiest things ever that will most certainly haunt your dreams. The show, Oddities, was also inspirational for ideas about bizarre, yet realistic items. My favorite item I write about is the German mantle clock made by a mad puppeteer and how it emits phantom smells of apple pie and cinnamon. I would love to own something like that!
Q: How long did it take you to write your book?
A: It took a little over a year to finish researching and writing it, and about six months to do the final edits and finish the publication process.
Q: Do you ever experience writer's block, and if you do how do you get through it?
A: Sometimes I do experience writer’s block. I have found that by not thinking about it, I’m able to quickly get over it and get back to writing. I have lots of hobbies to keep me busy, like painting and playing piano, and more often than not, I’ll get an idea or have a breakthrough when I’m just chilling out.
Q: What is your favorite place to write?
A: Sitting at my little antique desk in my office overlooking the garden. There’s just something about unconsciously gazing at birds and squirrels that helps with my writing process.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for Strange Luck?
A: I get a lot of good thinking done when I’m driving and have a note pad and pencil in my glove compartment to write down ideas. I drive by a cemetery nearly every day, which often makes me think about memories, regrets, life, and experiences. Having as many experiences as possible has been a personal goal of mine - don’t even get me started on my mile-long bucket list. One day, my mind wandered to the idea of collecting the most cherished memories possible and that’s when I got the idea for a story about just that. Strange Luck was a lot of fun to write because it allowed me the unique opportunity to explore how I feel about the mind, memories, and what it means to be a good human. Having discourse with my husband, who has a Ph.D. in Philosophy, also helped me to think through a lot of these concepts. And, because I’m a huge fantasy fiction and magical realism fan, I decided to weave in lots of magical and supernatural elements, too.
Thank you Amie for being on our blog today! =) Below I've listed information about Amie's book Strange Luck along with a link to my review of it in case you missed it.
Details of the Book
ebook, 210 pages
Published by Amie Irene Winters
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Synopsis: Daisy Darling has never believed in the supernatural nor the spooky claims about the items sold in her family’s antique shop. She’s never sprouted wings, shaken hands with a time-traveling wizard, or even had a boyfriend. All she knows is a boring life taking care of her ailing father in her tiny mountain town.
That all changes when the seventeen-year-old opens a mysterious letter with a map to an incredible place far from her world. But Daisy finds out that the inhabitants of this world refer to themselves as prisoners, and her adventure quickly escalates into a dangerous journey where memories are stolen—the more cherished the memories, the higher the risk of losing them. Daisy possesses the unique ability to destroy the world and set its prisoners free, but first she must find the courage to battle the dark forces at play before her identity is erased and she’s trapped forever.
Read my review here.