Amy S. Foster's Blog

June 23, 2017

Okay, so, Imagine you write this YA novel. This novel is intended for kids 15 and up. You write this novel because you love YA but, it often frustrates you. You have teenagers in your home all day long but often, dialogue in YA doesn't sound at all like how the teens you know talk. So, you write a book with this, with them, in mind.

Then...you get a book deal. You get a very lovely big, fat book deal with an editor who adores your book and you are very happy. Thrilled. And you assume that your book will be in the YA section because it's so TOTALLY YA. It doesn't occur to you that it will be in the adult sci fi section because it's sci fi for sure, but sci fi for teens (and adults who love YA, like yourself).

So what do you do when you are told that your book is in the adult section? When you are told that it was indeed bought by a publisher who has never had a book in any other section of the bookstore but sci fi? You can't quite believe this because everyone read the same book. You don't know how these things work. You figure that a book can go in two different sections of a book store. A book can be two or three different things...What do you do when you are told that this is never the case. That once your book is labeled one thing, it can't be something else.

And then you come to a space like goodreads and all you read again and again are people who are like THIS BOOK IS SO ANGSTY! THIS BOOK IS SO OBVIOUSLY YA! WHY IS AMY TRYING TO FOOL US? THIS IS NOT PROPER SCI FI!!!

Imagine for a moment what you would do if this happened to you..And then you will know how I feel. This book was never meant to go into adult sci fi. And while it really pisses me off when I read comments like all my characters are trying to do is have sex (they so aren't, it goes so much deeper but you would have to be an actual intelligent, thinking human being to understand that because it's implied, not stated). The reality is, teenagers, especially teenagers who are infantilized by their parents or who are made to believe that sex is morally wrong -are super horny and very curious. It's a motivator for my character sure BECAUSE IT'S A YA BOOK.But, it's not the only motivator, not by a long shot.

So please, please give me a break. This is not at all going according to plan. If you read the book hoping for adult sci fi and are disappointed then I feel you. I also promise you that you can't be more disappointed than I am.
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Published on June 23, 2017 22:21 • 175 views

November 17, 2016

So, I love Goodreads. I am on here all the time looking for new books and digging around. I try to avoid looking at reviews of my own books because they can be soul crushing but sometimes I just can't help it. It's like that sore tooth that you keep pushing because it still hurts when you apply pressure but it also feels kind of good?
Anyhow, my last blog post was about how I found it frustrating that my book was being labeled dystopian. It's not dystopian. It's a type of genre called Crypto-Historical but that's a blog post for another day.
This time I feel compelled to point out that there is not insta love in this book. There is insta curious. There is insta connection but she is not in love with him the moment she meets him.
Yes, Ryn's curiosity about Ezra and the feelings she has for him (which she WOULD NEVER CALL LOVE IN THE BEGINNING) are the catalyst that starts her asking questions she probably should have asked earlier. But, so what? I've been a teenager and I have a teenager and I've done a lot of stupid shit for a boy. Like a lot. I ran off with a boy to go on a ski trip after three hours of knowing him when I was 17. EPICALLY stupid shit. I know I'm not the only one. Insta love isn't just a trope or a device. It happens when we're young and naive and hopeful and haven't yet been punched in the proverbial gut by love yet.
I needed an outsider. I needed someone to get in Ryn's face early on in this story and be like "don't you see how totally ridiculous it is that you have this job?!" And there are things going on with Ryn..Spoilery things that actually are happening with her that sets this up in a way that makes sense.
I just don't get why some readers are so offended that Ryn's connection to this boy is what sets her off on her journey. I'm a feminist. I'm also a realist, a romantic and like I said, a mother. You can be all these things at once. Now maybe some of these people who are calling me out on this have never experienced this kind of connection and if that's the case then okay, cool, your interpretation makes sense. BUT if you've ever done something crazy and impulsive because you had intense feelings for someone you didn't know all that well....All I'm asking is that you forgive poor Ryn who is a moron when it comes to feelings and boys and is under enormous pressure and okay, isn't always making smart choices because her life is really effing hard. Give Ryn a break and let her fall for a boy even if it feels kinda quick.
Okay, yeah, much better, rant over, thank you...
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Published on November 17, 2016 19:51 • 109 views

August 10, 2016

Hi Everyone..
Well things are gearing up here for the book release and I am super excited!
I've been reading some of the early reviews and some the bloggers have begun to post on their sites after receiving (but not yet reading) the Advanced Reader Copies.
I just wanted to say that some people are under the impression that this is a Dystopian novel.
It isn't.
I love me some Dystopian hijinx, but this book does not fall into that category. This book is set only slightly in the future -2020 and everything is pretty much the same for everyone on the planet- except the protagonists of the novel.

I really wanted to write a book for young people where the young people in it sounded and acted their age. In my experience, this doesn't really happen in Dystopian novels.

So I just wanted to clear that up and my hope is that this will want to make you read it even more!

Stay tuned. Lot's of fun stuff coming up..
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Published on August 10, 2016 23:36 • 100 views

May 2, 2016

Hey Everyone!
I am so incredibly excited because my new book "The Rift Uprising" has a cover and is up here on Goodreads!
People are even marking it as 'To Read' which just puts my lil heart in a flutter.
Yes, the book is YA and yes, there's a female ass kicking protagonist. Honestly though, this novel is far more like The Breakfast Club (that's a movie Amy) than the Hunger Games.
I promise you, it's not what you think. Although being compared to the Hunger Games is no bad thing.
I will be checking in a lot more often now that thinks are ramping up here. So stay tuned.
If my body was still capable of doing cartwheels, I'd do them.
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Published on May 02, 2016 16:11 • 157 views

October 17, 2012

Long time- no write.
Sorry folks, had a baby, moved to Canada and then moved back to the US. A LOT going on. In the midst of this I felt the books I had written post When Autumn Leaves simply weren't good enough so I had to start all over again.
I really have not read any reviews of this book in years but I was so shocked to see literally thousands of people had rated it so I had a peek.
Bad move Amy.
Listen, I'm not going to address the people that didn't like my book. It's fine, and all a matter of taste, but I feel I must address this one point.
My "daddy" a RECORD PRODUCER did not pull any strings to get me published. Only morons who know nothing about how publishing works would assume this. No one is going to invest thousands of dollars on a book in the hopes that his name alone would sell copies. Most people, don't even know who he is! And last time I checked he did not run Random House, St. Martin's Press, Little Brown or any other publishing company. He is a musician and knows nothing of this world OR ANYONE IN IT.
Like I said, go ahead and hate on my book and my talent. There are many thousands who disagree. But please don't insult my father, my very small indy publishing house or the people who worked their asses off with no help from any major entertainment biz moguls by insinuating that my dad snapped his fingers and made this happen.
This is all on me.
I have always said there will be sequels. I wrote them. They weren't good enough so I scrapped them and started again. If this was some vanity project I wouldn't have spent the past three years getting my writing to the best possible place I can. I would have delivered sub par work and been fine with it as "princesses" so often do.
All I can say is that I have a finished manuscript, a great agent and a wing and a prayer that this new book finds a great home. Feel free to rip it to shreds based on the content if you must but leave my family out of it. Please.
That's all for now, more to come!
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Published on October 17, 2012 23:29 • 760 views

February 10, 2010

I recently moved to Vancouver from Nashville. That's quite a culture shock I can tell you. I am Canadian, but I had grown used the genteel nature of the south, the politeness, the warmth. Canadians are OF COURSE polite, but they are reserved by nature. It's so gorgeous here, but different from what I have been used to for the past 6 years.

Regardless- that's a whole other post.

This is about new love.

I was married for a while. It didn't work out. It wasn't catastrophic, but I had been young. Too young to settle down (or settle for him for that matter.)My marriage was over a couple years before it was actually over- if you know what I mean. So about four months after we separated I reconnected with a highschool boyfriend. I wasn't expecting it to be true love, but suddenly, much to my amazement, it was.

Matt and I have known each other for 21 years. We have a shared history and shared context. And I can honestly say, after a lifetime of relationships, that Matt may be the first man I am in love with, FOR REALS. How do I know? Because we've been together for well over two years and I still get excited every time he walks in the room.

So anyways, I moved, we moved, to Vancouver together. We have this shared life, and he has not only taken me on, but my two daughters as well- he is brilliant with them. A couple weeks ago, we closed on our house and I was finally able to unpack boxes.

I have plenty of framed photos of my girls. But as I unwound yards of paper and bubble wrap I noticed something else. I have not 5, not 10, not 15 but 17 framed photos of Matt and I. When they were all unpacked they sat stacked around me, I felt for a split second, just a little pathetic!! First of all, I must have been taking a picture of us every five seconds, but then on top of that I needed to frame it too!

But then I really looked at those pictures, those records of the first few months we were together. I knew what I was trying to do...save it. Save that version of me that was so incredibly happy. And I was happy! The happiness radiates off me so brightly its a little hard to believe its for real. But it was. That's new love, and I suppose because I had been so badly married for so long, I knew the difference and that's what all the pictures were about.

I don't need ALL those pictures to prove anything anymore. Matt is here (well in the next room) still making me happy. So I probably wont put them all up, but I will display more than a few. Because they are all windows, with great views of a beautiful time.

Happy Valentine's day to you all, I hope you have a photo or two of your own.
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Published on February 10, 2010 19:50 • 480 views

January 22, 2010

Because of my current (and thankfully temporary) living conditions, I have to watch a movie every night.

There is a TV here, but it's Canada, and US cable has spoiled me forever. Not to mention that there are leather couches in this rental and the TV is about 5 feet too high so I have to crane my neck to watch.

Regardless, I watched this movie last night, and it was TRULY horrible. It was called "Gamer. The film stars the very gorgeous (and morally casual I think) Gerrard Butler. It's about convicts on death row given the opportunity to gain their freedom by living through 30 battles. They must give up all control of their bodies, and gamers play them (like yes, a video game) in a violent rush of shoot em up cowboy.

So the story, much like an updated "Running Man" wasn't so bad. In fact the first 30 minutes were okay. And then it went so wrong. The wonderful Michael C Hall and Kyra Sedgewick were made into near comic caricatures. It was so poorly executed that I marveled at how it even got a release date.

When I relate this to books, I think that the opposite is usually true. There are some great books that throw you off the deep end from word one and you get to ride the thrill all the way down. But usually, it takes a few chapters to hunker in and settle down. Im reminded of a Hundred Years Of Solitude. I couldn't be bothered with the first 50 pages of that book, then I fell in love.

Some books are just crap, and you wonder how in today's publishing climate something so horrendous was chosen over better books. But a book investment (which usually ranges from anywhere to 10 to 50 grand lets say for a publisher) is NOT 50 million!

You do edit a book by committee and it is a SLOW process. But with movies there's the director and multiple producers, the studio and even the talent wanting to be heard. With so much money on the line and so many people involved how does a movie so bad get made? It boggles the mind.

Originally I wanted to post about how some books, like this movie start great and end up boring and weird. But I honestly couldn't think of any, though I know there are plenty. Maybe you have an idea?
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Published on January 22, 2010 13:58 • 350 views

January 6, 2010

I remember being a young adult. Barely! And I realize things have changed in the world since the 80's, I get it. Kids are supposed to "know more" than we did. And Lord knows there are far more books out now geared towards teens then back in the day.

But come on.

I can tell you now that in 1985 women were NOT reading the same books I was. What is going on? It's not like Judy Bloom and Madeline L'engle aren't as good as Stephanie Meyer or Libba Bray or whoever that guy is that wrote "The Specials". In fact, IMHO Jude and Maddie wipe the floor with them but whatevs.

I am an author. I write about magic and women and romance and MAGIC. I write under the guise that readers can suspend disbelief, even if they are not children. Otherwise all the fun stuff there is about being an adult like uhh, say...having sex and complex relationships and grey morality and being WISE have to be left out of the equation.

So the question I have, is why is that probably 8 times out of 10 when I click on someone's profile here on Goodreads, it is an adult woman who primarily reads YA? Why even bother calling it YA anymore? What is going on? Is it that women are nostalgic for the innocent trappings of youth? Or is it that the really imaginative books, with fantasy or sci fi premises are only getting media attention in the YA genre? Is it "more" okay to buy into the concept of the supernatural if its happening to a girl or a boy?

Either way I'm getting a little sick of this. YA publishers know that an adult is just as likely to read their book now as a young person, so just like that, adult audiences are catered to. And let me tell you as a mother of an eleven year old girl and a six year old girl, no matter how grown up they SEEM, they are still children. I wish to God Twilight had not been marketed to tweens. Where are you Sweet Valley HIgh?! I feel like girls are missing out on a truly innocent time of reading.

But not only that, women of the world, hey! There are fantasy and URBAN fantasy books out there geared towards you! I wrote one! Check it out!

Rant over:) Happy day.
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Published on January 06, 2010 18:40 • 432 views

December 2, 2009

Last night, Matt, my not-husband shook his head and wondered why in the hell Tiger Woods would make a public statement about his private life.
"Why'd he do it?", Matt asked. "It's nobody's damn business who he screwed, so what was he thinking? Man, he should have just risen above this crap and kept his mouth shut." And in typical dude form, he returned to his laptop ready to continue on with whatever he was reading.
I, on the other hand, in typical chick form, was ready to deconstruct.
"I know exactly why. His wife probably said to him, 'Tiger, you son of a bitch. If you think that I'm going to deal with being hounded by the press for the next 6 months, think again buddy. You're going to go out there and fess up to what you did so the whole world will experience my feelings of loss and betrayal right along with me. The whole world can see what a prick you are, and I'll hang here and maybe do Oprah, or Barbara Walters and play victim. I won't even need to say what I think about you, in fact it'll make me look better if I don't. You're going to do penance. So on your knees Tiger, start paying.' That's what she said, and he said okay because guilt's a powerful motivator." Matt wasn't overly impressed with my take, but sensing I was climbing atop the soap box, he backed off.
I love that Ellin Woods has the power that many women don't have, to publicly chastise a partner who strays. The mean, petty part of myself who has experienced betrayal and who wishes that I too could have had the public at large on my side and my partner could have felt that particular pang of icy lonliness that hits you when you've been really let down by something or someone you think you understand completely.
But the larger, more intellectual side of me doesn't approach this situation like another woman scorned. It isn't good, or right that our society must pass moral judgment on a situation we really know nothing about.
But the media (and lets face it, us personally) somehow feel that we are entitled to this. We stand the moral high ground and our opinion sways while it's impossible to know all the sides of the story you need to really understand what happened. And really, we shouldn't know what happened anyhow. It is none of our business.
To feel somehow that Tiger Woods, or John Edwards or who ever, needs forgiveness from us for what they do that isn't illegal and behind closed doors makes us look puritanical and immature.
Tiger doesn't own me an apology. It's not like he's my dad, or god forbid, my not-husband. He doesn't owe me anything, I don't even know the guy, do you?
So you know, this is my blog, and my two cents. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just wish that instead of printing Tiger Woods' statement, why doesn't the media print a statement from a soldier fighting in Afghanistan, or the average person who is only "mostly" healthy trying to medical (or in my case in Canada, trying to find a doctor to see you!). I mean I realize I'm grappling with generalities here. But really- there are just so many things we should be getting actual apologies for, and sorry Tiger, you doin' the full tilt boogie with a cocktail waitress doesn't make me feel any better or fill any kind of a void.
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Published on December 02, 2009 15:27 • 352 views

October 16, 2009

It strikes me as strange that as I begin this post I see an advertisement of michael buble singing words that I wrote.

I feel pretty confident in my songwriting. Im an old hack, I've been doing this for a while.

But as an author, Im new to this game and everything is still a bit tender. Im used to rejection in the music business, but this book, my absolute baby, it's still a tough pill to swallow.

Recently someone rated my book with two stars. Here's what she wrote "I guess this is not my cup of tea. I didn't buy into the magic of the story at all. I couldn't wait to be done with this book. She uses the word "friggin'" one too many times also. "

I don't really understand the concept of buying into the magic. Do I buy into the fact that Edward Cullen being 90 years old would choose to go to high school instead of being a freshman in college and then fall in love with a sixteen or seventeen year old girl. Hell no, actually I think it's a little pervy. But I still really enjoyed the book. Magic is magic. You suspend disbelief.
Saying that you couldnt wait to be done with the book, well that's hardly constructive.

my comment to her was "thankfully you're in the friggin minority."

I know, I know I should have let it go. I should have risen above it (especially because she demoted me to one star!)

I thought then of leaving goodreads. That it probably wasn't a good idea for me to agonize over every review. But then I thought about it again. I do want the criticism. I don't expect everyone to like my book, but I do expect that a review should contain more than a general pissed off-ness because you're irritated you didn't get what you wanted.

When Autumn Leaves is the first in a series. So if one was to say a character wasn't believable, or a scene or a bit of dialogue seemed out of place- I can use that. I can think about that as I continue this journey.

I'm thrilled that Iv'e gotten so many amazing reviews from so many trade publications. More than a debut author ever generally receives. I'm thrilled when my editor and pr people and the press in general love the book. But what's really meaningful to me, as an author, are you folks out there. When you reach out and tell me how much you connect with the book, that's better than any review from any publication I could ever get.

Basically what I'm saying is, feel free to be a hater, but back it up with useful critique. I would be grateful for that. Remember this is all new to me, and as a community of people who love books, let's try to act like one.

And for all of those that have shown incredible support, I thank you from the bottom of my friggin heart.
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Published on October 16, 2009 16:11 • 347 views