Author of the Month #4 - Amalie Silver: Interview + Giveaway!Sunday, February 07, 2016
"Author of the Month" is a feature that I created to honour some of my favourite authors by featuring their works for an entire month!
This feature will:
This feature will:
- Run for entire month.
- On every Sunday of the month (excluding the first week where I will have a blog post introducing and interviewing the author), there will be a blog post dedicated to the author. The content of the blog post is entirely up to the author's choice.
- The "Author of the Month" button will be displayed in my blog's sidebar during the entire duration.
- If you have any questions to ask the author(s), you can leave a comment below the blog post or privately message me at email@example.com.
For the entire month of February, I am proud to feature author Amalie Silver.
Amalie Silver resides in Minnesota with her husband, two toddlers, and German Short-haired Pointer, Saba. She consumes approximately three pots of coffee a day, and credits this for her survival over the past decade. When not completely consumed in her writing, she can be found taking road trips to northern Minnesota, engaging in fierce Scrabble games, or reading a good book. She’s a sucker for all romance genres, literary fiction, and psychological fiction.
Contact her through:
Hello Amalie! It’s a pleasure to have you on my blog and I’m beyond excited to get the interview started.
Thanks so much for having me!
Here comes the customary question *winks* Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, when and why did you start writing?
Well, I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life and I wasn’t ever much of a writer. In fact, I failed Modern American Literature in high school and it almost kept me from graduating on time. I used to write really bad poetry and tried my hand at a novella when I was in my twenties. But it was horrible. Ha!
I went to college for graphic design, but like all the other jobs I’ve had, it never stuck. It wasn’t until my baby girl was born in 2012 that I decided to try again. Progress was the first book I ever tried to write. I originally published the book in 2013, along with the other two books in the series, but with time and experience, I eventually took them off Amazon to rewrite them in 2015.
Recently, I have read your new release, Progress which I acquired from Netgalley (yay!) and absolutely adore the storyline and the characters, Jesse and Charlie. The story was based on “dysfunctional romance” and you delivered their story perfectly (heartbreakingly to be honest :P ), what was your inspiration behind Progress, and most importantly, Charlie and Jesse’s persona?
Whoa, loaded question. ;) For every character that I write, there are parts of myself and parts of people I’ve known in my life. I’ve always had the ability to see people in ways that others can’t, or won’t.
When I was working as a server in my early twenties, I met someone whose mind worked so differently from my own. At first I was intrigued, smitten, in awe, but after knowing him for several months I realized that he was so much more complex than anyone I’d met before him. He blew my mind. Without realizing what he was doing, he assisted me in a journey of self-discovery that I wouldn’t have taken if it weren’t for a few life-changing conversations that we’d had.
This story was my way of thanking him for being extraordinary.
So in a way, you could say this is based on a true story, but not really. One book (not even three) can sum up an entire lifetime. I took many creative liberties that strayed far from actual events.
When you are writing Progress, what do you want your readers to feel or to take back with them?
There’s much debate over why Charlie lost the weight. Everyone will draw the conclusion they want to draw. I think that’s the true beauty of the book. It holds a mirror up to you and asks you what beauty means to you. Not what it means to me, to Charlie, or to Jesse. You. And no one is wrong in their definition or the conclusions they draw from the book, it simply reiterates your beliefs of how the word is defined. Because I can tell you (from personal experience) that no one would lose over a hundred pounds for anyone except themselves. It’s a decision each one of us makes to engage in a healthier lifestyle than the one they were living before. The kind of dedication it takes to stick to that kind of routine has way more to do with who they are deep down than the influence of one person.
There’s also a huge stigma when it comes to mental health and depression. You can’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll be happy today!” Depression doesn’t work that way. It’s not mind over matter. I wanted to shed some light on this topic and try to get readers to understand that life for people with bipolar isn’t easy and depression isn’t a choice.
And lastly, Progress touches on the human condition. How we treat each other; the assumptions we make, the judgment, the cruelty. It doesn’t throw it in your face, but I wanted people to think about the lives that haven’t been as fortunate their own, and how we’re quick to write off someone for erratic behavior or for a mind that works differently than ours. The society we live in today is a sheltered one. We see what we want to see. But if we keep our eyes open, we can come to realize that each one of us is capable of making the world a better place. Even if it’s just for one person.
Book 2, Interrupted is coming soon this year! Can you ease my agony and spare me a few details? *fangirls*
Ahhh, Interrupted. Well, Charlie has a lot of explaining to do, doesn’t she? ;)
Life isn’t the same for either of these characters. Opportunities arise for both of them that seem to be logical next steps. So they will be spending some time away from each other. They have a lot of growing up to do apart.
But don’t worry, this isn’t the end of their story. Big changes are coming.
A new character is introduced and things heat up a bit. But souls like Jesse’s and Charlie’s can’t stay away for too long.
If you could have any actor/actress portraying Jesse and Charlie, who would they be and why?
Great question! But it’s always so hard for me to answer. If Heath Ledger were still alive (sobs), he’d be perfect for the role. And Charlie? Hmmmm. Some have said Adele, which is probably the closest I’ve seen to the character in my head.
Progress was such an intense book, did you come across any writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome them?
I didn’t with Progress, but I have endured writer’s block with Interrupted. Sometimes music helps, other times not so much. My mother lives in northern Minnesota, and if I have a bad block, the road trip helps me focus. So I arrange with my husband to watch the kids for the weekend and I hop in the car. The four hour trip usually helps me with a sticky scene.
I am in awe with your writing, what are the other works that you have previously and/or currently working on?
Thank you! For real, it’s weird to hear but completely flattering. I have a few other books available on Amazon. My bestseller is Word Play, a romantic satire about the romance reading and writing community. Agents, readers, authors, blog tour coordinators… I poke fun at all of us. It’s a fun and sweet little story. I also have Four Play, which is a collection of novellas that had previously been published in anthologies. Four Play includes the prequel to Word Play. But Progress is not a romantic comedy, which is what my preferred genre was up until this point.
Now for some fun-fact questions! What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you wake up one morning, only to find that you’re in bed with a stranger?
“Where is the bat?” (Let me explain: It has been decades since I woke to anyone besides my husband, so the furthest thing from my mind would be wondering if I’d had sex with them. We keep a metal softball bat next to the bed. So my first instinct would be to arm myself.)
You only have 10 days to live, what would you do?
Assuming I would be healthy enough, I’d go on a cruise with my family. Someplace warm. Sand, sun, teal waters, and a cruise that served coconut drinks with little pink umbrellas.
Which do you think it’s harder? To tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
I’m a bit of a hippie when it comes to love. I honestly love everyone. But telling people I love them has always been difficult (unless it’s my kids).
But I would imagine it would be a hundred times more difficult to tell someone you don’t love them back.
In conjunction with Valentine's Day, we are spicing up our "Quickfire Questions" section with a special edition of "Short Story Sunday". Inspired by Charlie and Jesse's complicated and totally messed up relationship, we decided to go with the theme of:
Please continue the story with the opening sentence “The light in her eyes faded, just as the life in my breath was sucked away…”
“What did you just say?” she asked again. Her brow knit as her small frown lines made an appearance.
“Nothing.” I swallowed thickly. “I didn’t…” I was at a loss for words. I’d already put it out there. The words she’d warned me about months ago had flown from my lips in a desperate attempt to keep her there.
But they were the wrong words. And I knew it.
It wasn’t up to me. I wasn’t allowed to have her.
“No! You can’t take it back. Not now.” Her pulse raced, and her heartbeat could be seen under the soft skin that draped her neck. She shot up and looked around my floor for her shirt with a quivering chin and shaky breath. “You can’t just say that and then come back with a ‘just kidding, Katie, I didn’t really just say I love you. I was talking to myself, it wasn’t meant for your ears.”
I closed my eyes, wishing I had a way to turn back time and slap some sense into myself. Tell the man who’d fallen so hard and fast for the brown-eyed beauty before me that it would only make her run. The woman who believed she was cursed in love; the woman who didn’t dare jump off that ledge again; the woman who’d loved and lost more than anyone ever should have.
The woman who would’ve been content lying in my arms for eternity believing her heart was an organ that had stopped working years ago. A part of her that lie idle in the old shoebox in her closet with the rest of the pictures of him.
And I knew it. I knew the whole time that this was inevitable. I’d felt it every morning she’d left my bed for the past three months.
“Katie, please,” I begged. She slid her arms through her sleeves and shut down. She wasn’t listening anymore; I’d seen that expression before.
“Katie,” I continued. “I need you to hear me. Please, stop!” I grabbed the button on her jeans and tugged her closer. She shot me a look, but before she could protest, I yanked her down to the bed and pinned her arms down.
She didn’t fight or try to break free. There wasn’t a struggle at all. Her eyes glossed over and she kept her eyes away from mine, though she knew I desperately needed them. She’d been fighting her own personal hell for some time, she wasn’t going to fight me too.
“This isn’t about you right now, Katie,” I whispered. The thin and delicate hairs on her arms stood on end, and her nostrils flared. “Because I know that in two minutes, you’re going to walk out of this room forever and you’ll be okay with that. But I won’t be. Not for a while. But I also need you to know that it would’ve been a thousand times worse if I wouldn’t have told you I loved you.” I blinked, setting my jaw just as tears flowed from the corners of her eyes. “Regret, my love, isn’t something I do well. You can carry it with you for eternity, blaming yourself for something you had no control over, but I don’t plan on living my life that way. I had no control over falling in love with you, but I won’t let you cripple me for the rest of my life. If you leave, I will love again. And if you stay, I will love you, and only you, for the rest of my days on this Earth. I promise you.”
It was a moment I’d never forgotten. It had been years…almost twenty. I was an old man now.
But there she was.
Sitting behind the window in a swanky uptown café sipping tea, camomile I’d guess, Katie sat alone in a white blouse with a distant look in her eyes. She grinned and it took every ounce of strength not to run to her.
When she sensed my presence, she glanced over, giving my breath purpose again.
Popping open the umbrella, she jogged over to me. I was covered in rain; droplets flicked off my shoulders, and she stared at me in wonder.
“Felix?” she breathed.
“Katie,” I said.
She shook her head. “What’s wrong?”
I grinned and wrapped her in my arms. “I’ve missed you.”
She pulled back with a chuckle. “Have you?”
I nodded. “I was thinking about that morning you left.”
“The one where you’d left for good.”
She dipped her chin and smiled. “Only to return twenty minutes later?”
I smiled. “You came back.”
“And I’ve stayed back. Now hurry up and get inside. Your tea is getting cold.”
“I love you,” I blurted.
“I love you too,” she whispered.