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Amy Christine Parker
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message 1: by Colleen (last edited May 31, 2016 02:43PM) (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Welcome to the group! Amy will be answering questions in June in this thread only. In the meantime if you have a question for the author or just want to introduce yourself feel free to do so in this thread.


message 2: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
My first question/comment is about Gated and Astray. I loved/hated your villain. He was so creepy! How did this series come about?


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments I'm glad you enjoyed Pioneer! He was my favorite character to write. The series was inspired by a documentary I watched about elaborate doomsday shelters. It was about a year before the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to happen. I remember being fascinated by the idea that people would invest serious amounts of money into shelters they most likely would never need. It made me wonder what they were like and that led to my first "what if".

What if you were a teen whose parents were preparing to go underground? What would happen if you had doubts?

The idea of a collective group of people all buying into the same idea also got me thinking about cults--something I've been fascinated with most of my life because I'm old enough to remember watching news footage of Jonestown and Waco and Heaven's Gate. Those stories always frightened me. I could never understand how people were mislead enough that they sacrificed their lives.

Gated was my way of explaining all of this to myself and Astray was about learning what happens after you break away from a cult.


message 4: by Milena (last edited Jun 03, 2016 05:27AM) (new)

Milena (love_tea78) I like blurb of Smash & Grab, it sounds like such a fun read. Amy, what inspired you to write about heists, how did you come up with the idea for the story? Thank you


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Glad you're interested in Smash & Grab, Milena! The story was inspired by a news story I read about a father who convinced his teen son and daughter to rob banks with him. Here's the link to the story in case you want to take a look. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime...
Reading the article made me wonder what it might be like to rob a bank as a teen and of course I'm also a big Ocean's Eleven/The Town fan as well, so it didn't take much for me to get excited about writing a heist!


message 6: by Erika (new)

Erika Estrada (erika_estrada) | 2 comments What inspired you to start writing? Favorite place to read?


message 7: by Milena (new)

Milena (love_tea78) Amy wrote: "Glad you're interested in Smash & Grab, Milena! The story was inspired by a news story I read about a father who convinced his teen son and daughter to rob banks with him. Here's the link to the st..." Thank you for sharing, the article is fascinating. I find it interesting that it was so easy for father to justify his crimes. He is single dad, who lost his wife and is trying to support his children, he lost his job, etc., etc. In the article father and children all come across as likeable characters not as vilians.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Erika wrote: "What inspired you to start writing? Favorite place to read?"
My inspiration to write was the equivalent of a mid-life crisis! I had been a stay at home mom for nearly eight years and I was burnt out on diapers and Dora. I was a teacher in my former life and the thought of returning to it didn't thrill me. I began asking myself what else I could do when the time came to go back to work. I really wanted to do something I was passionate about and story telling/writing was my passion. Once I gave myself permission to consider it seriously as a profession it was an all consuming desire!

As for favorite place to read? The beach or somewhere cold by a fire.


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Milena wrote: "Amy wrote: "Glad you're interested in Smash & Grab, Milena! The story was inspired by a news story I read about a father who convinced his teen son and daughter to rob banks with him. Here's the li..."

I love that you felt that the article showed the family as people, not necessarily villains! That's exactly how I felt! I love complicated people and try very hard to make my characters mirror them.


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Pierson | 2 comments When you first started to write, did you see it as a career or just a fun hobby?
Is this your only job or is it your 2nd/part-time job? I know a lot of authors write as a part-time job.


message 11: by Shara (new)

Shara Lotti lane | 79 comments Mod
Do you write anywhere else but home?


message 12: by Shara (new)

Shara Lotti lane | 79 comments Mod
Was it hard for you to write from the boys point of view. Did you feel like your female perspective dripped into his thoughts?


message 13: by Shara (new)

Shara Lotti lane | 79 comments Mod
What was your 2nd choice of a name for Pioneer?


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Kate wrote: "When you first started to write, did you see it as a career or just a fun hobby?
Is this your only job or is it your 2nd/part-time job? I know a lot of authors write as a part-time job."


I liked writing when I was younger--high school and before--but lost touch with it as I got older. Once I was in my thirties and wondering about my future and what I was passionate about doing, I realized how much I loved it and missed it and needed it. In that moment I knew I wanted to make it a profession--to be a published author--and so my goal always was to get published and be able to write full time. I'm lucky in that I have been able to do it as my full time job from the moment I got the first book deal because I have made enough yearly to replace my pre-publication salary. However, I was a teacher before and I live in Florida, so the money I need to make to justify the writing as a career is much lower here which makes it more attainable.


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Shara wrote: "Do you write anywhere else but home?"
Definitely! I travel a lot during the school year doing visits, so I am used to writing in hotel rooms, airports, restaurants, conference rooms between panels. That said, when I'm home I mostly write in my office and keep to a set routine, especially if I'm under deadline because all of my plotting boards are there and there's easy access to a refrigerator and bathroom!


message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Shara wrote: "Was it hard for you to write from the boys point of view. Did you feel like your female perspective dripped into his thoughts?"

It was hard to write from a guy's point of view! This book was the first time I attempted it. Add to that that he was Mexican--and I am not---and I was pretty intimidated in terms of getting him right. I rewrote his sections of this story so many times.

As for the female perspective thing invading...I know it did no matter how hard I tried not to let it. I think it's impossible to truly leave behind your whole self when writing a character. Part of you always creeps in.


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Shara wrote: "What was your 2nd choice of a name for Pioneer?"
There was never a second choice. From the minute I thought him up, he was always Pioneer. It would've been crazy, crazy hard to come up with something different if my editor had requested me to! And in my mind he will always look like Hugh Laurie--the actor. He was the most defined-from-the-beginning character in Gated for me.


message 18: by Linda (last edited Jun 20, 2016 09:01PM) (new)

Linda Clinard | 14 comments Mod
Where did you get the idea to write Smash and Grab? Did you enjoy writing this novel or your Gated series more?


message 19: by Linda (new)

Linda Clinard | 14 comments Mod
How easy/hard was it to break into the writing world? Any tips and tricks for aspiring authors?


message 20: by Tonnie (new)

Tonnie Anderson | 21 comments Mod
How did you get started writing?


message 21: by Tonnie (new)

Tonnie Anderson | 21 comments Mod
Who has been your favorite character to write?


message 22: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Linda wrote: "Where did you get the idea to write Smash and Grab? Did you enjoy writing this novel or your Gated series more?"

The story was inspired by a news story I read about a father who convinced his teen son and daughter to rob banks with him. Here's the link to the story in case you want to take a look. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime...
Reading the article made me wonder what it might be like to rob a bank as a teen and of course I'm also a big Ocean's Eleven/The Town fan as well, so it didn't take much for me to get excited about writing a heist!

Gated was easier to write and so probably I liked writing it better, but I will always count Smash & Grab as one of the novels I'm most grateful for writing because so much of what I had to do: write from more than one POV, include a giant cast, plot two heist schemes were firsts for me as a writer and really challenged me to grow. I know I am a better at my craft because of it.


message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Linda wrote: "How easy/hard was it to break into the writing world? Any tips and tricks for aspiring authors?"

I didn't think breaking into the writing world was hard so much as it was overwhelming. I had so much to learn. Getting published was definitely a challenge, but then again, so is staying published. My advice is cultivate your courage, patience, and determination. Also research your craft and the business of publishing exhaustively. Everything a writer needs to break in can be found online now. Read everything in all genres and enjoy the process as much as you can. Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and cultivate your creative joy, but also cultivate your more practical business minded side. Being a full time author takes a balance of both.


message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Tonnie wrote: "How did you get started writing?"
I had zero training. The basic English classes in high school and college and that was it. But I was a huge reader and I always loved pretending and telling stories. I got started when I woke up one day and realized I was in my thirties and didn't want to go back to teaching after my kids started school. I began to ask myself some soul searching questions about what I wanted for my future and it was literally a thunder bolt moment when I realized I really wanted to be a writer. There weren't any writer's groups for novelists near me, but there was one for poetry, so I started there. Then out of necessity I recruited writers from the poetry group to start a novel writing group. I read everything I could on craft and publishing and stayed up late into the night studying novels and watching author interviews about their publishing journeys. I was a woman obsessed! But it was worth it. I was able to get published in a little over two years from the time I started.


message 25: by Amy (new)

Amy Parker (amychristineparker) | 12 comments Tonnie wrote: "Who has been your favorite character to write?"

Pioneer from Gated is my all time favorite. I love writing a good villain! I also like Christian a lot from Smash & Grab, though. He was my first stab at writing first person from a guy's POV and I feel like I know him so well now. I have a soft spot for my male characters I guess!


message 26: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Houck | 1525 comments Mod
Congrats to Kate who is our chat winner! I'll be sending you a copy of Smash & Grab as soon as it arrives. Congrats and join me next month when my featured author is Renee Ahdieh!


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Books mentioned in this topic

Gated (other topics)
Astray (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Renée Ahdieh (other topics)