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A lil' chat with Amy Plum!

October 7, 2011
If you haven't heard of Amy Plum or her debut novel Die for Me, where have you been? *grin* In any case, Amy has very kindly agreed to a short Q&A with yours truly, and she has a signed bookmark giveaway for y'all! Read on!

drey: Hello Amy! Welcome to drey's library; thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A!

How long have you known you were meant to be a writer?

Amy: I have always written. But I never imagined that I could do it as a career, so I always wrote for myself and for my friends and family. I'm talking EPIC letters with stories of my experiences in the different places I was living (Chicago, Paris, London, New York). I am convinced that one long-distance relationship I had worked out for as long as it did because I entertained the guy the stories that I sent him by fax (no email back then).

But I never thought I that what I wrote could be published until I had been writing a blog for a few years, and my blog readers insisted that my writing was good enough to try. I only had the confidence to send my first book out to agents because a big group of people who I respected were cheering me on.

drey: I am jealous of all the different places you've lived--all those sights, all the architecture, all the different food! *grin*

What was your first story about? What happened to it?

Amy: The first story I remember writing was a poem about a turkey who didn't want to be eaten for Thanksgiving. It was published in my school newspaper. I was six.

drey: Six! Wow! I'd say that's an early start...

How did you celebrate getting published?

Amy: There were a few celebrations. The night I got my book deal, my husband popped open a bottle of champagne. I was too broke to buy anything until I got my advance (several months later), but once I did I had my “I Heart Revenants” Chuck Taylor Converses made. And my husband and I took a trip to Brazil for a friend's wedding, something we would not have been able to do if it weren't for DIE FOR ME!

But I think the biggest celebration was when my husband and I were sitting in bed with our laptops (we're total nerds that way), and I noticed that the book advance had showed up in my bank account. I immediately began doing online payments for all of my debts and loans, which were considerable (credit cards, students loans, medical bills). And after about ten minutes, I turned to Laurent and said, “Hey guess what? We're debt free.” And we both started bouncing around we were so relieved and happy.

drey: Nice (on both the Converses and being debt free)!

die for meWhat was your inspiration for Die for Me?

Amy: My first book was a memoir, and although it got me my agent, it didn't sell. So I wanted to try a different genre. Since I had just read TWILIGHT, and had had so much fun immersing myself in Stephenie Meyer's stories, I figured it would be an interesting exercise to try to write my own paranormal romance. (Never thinking that it would actually sell.) As for the inspiration behind the story of DIE FOR ME itself, a lot of it is taken from my own experience of living in Paris in my early twenties. Except for the dead guys, of course.

drey: Of course... I doubt there are very many of them wandering around. At least, I hope that's true!

How much is Kate like you, or not?

Amy: Kate is so much like me, it's ridiculous. The big difference between us is that she is much more confident and independent than I was at her age. I wish I had possessed more of her wisdom and insight as a teenager.

drey: Who are some of your favorite authors, and how have their work influenced your Revenants trilogy?

Amy: Mark Helprin is a favorite. What I admire in his writing is the way he seamlessly weaves in a magical world with the everyday world that we all live in. That was something I tried to achieve in DIE FOR ME and its sequels. I love Edward Gorey for his dark gothic humor, and feel that a bit of his morbid comedy has rubbed off on me and my writing. And I admire Madeleine l'Engle for her creative imagination and her delight in words and in learning. Since she was a pillar of my early reading, I like to think that some of her ethos has been infused into my own writing.

drey: There we go--more authors to add to my list to check out... I need more hours in a day!

There are some who say Die for Me is just another take on Meyers' Twilight. What do you say to them?

Amy: I say look a little deeper. If you try to find similarities between our books, you will succeed, as you will if you attempt the same exercise with half of the other paranormal romances out there. (There is a reason the words “paranormal” and “romance” are used to describe them - they are all bound together by similar elements that are necessarily included if you take those two themes and work with them.) But try the same exercise in reverse - what is different about our stories - and I think you will find that the list is longer and more profound.

drey: I agree. And I liked Kate way more than Bella (who's much too angsty for me)...

What are you reading now? What new releases are you anticipating?

Amy: I just read Kelley Armstrong's THE SUMMONING, which I really enjoyed. I'm reading Pablo Neruda's TWENTY LOVE POEMS AND A SONG OF DESPAIR to get me in the mood as I write Book 3 of the DIE FOR ME trilogy. And I am eagerly awaiting Marie Lu's LEGEND and Beth Revis's A MILLION SUNS.

drey: MORE books to check out... Where's that magic gimme-more-time-fairy when you need one? *grin* Thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A, Amy!

Y'all, find Amy online at her website, on facebook, and on twitter. And lucky you, Amy has a signed bookmark for two of you! This one's open internationally. To enter, fill out the form below before October 15. Good luck!


holdenj said...

What a great interview! I love the cover of the book and will definitely check it out!

drey said...

I am such a dork. Here's the link to my review of Die for Me... And yes, the cover's why I picked it up!

ArtemisG said...

I just finished the book. I really loved. It has very beautiful story and the characters are great!

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