Amy McGuire has been writing stories since she could pick up a pen. She developed a love of English Literature at a young age and as the child of missionary parents who worked in Africa, has gained a rich knowledge of the world around her. When not writing, she enjoys spending sunny afternoons on her deck with some chocolate and a good book. Amy lives in Toronto with her husband and their daughter. The Heart’s Discovery is her first novel. And Amy is here at the Scribes today.
Welcome Amy! We are glad to have you.
Can you tell is if you have ever thought about writing something that is completely different for you? Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before.
Absolutely. I actually already have a few different genres in mind. I tell my friends and fans that I didn’t choose YA, it chose me. So of course I write it now but I would love to write something else in the future. I already have at least two sci-fi stand alone novels plotted out in my head as well as a clean adult romance. My book about Damian entitled Runaway: Damian’s Story , which I hope to release in February 2013, is also going to be in a direction I’ve never taken before. There will be a tiny bit of romance, but a lot of action, tragedy…a much darker book than any I’ve written. It will be different and a real challenge but I think I’m up to the task. When I was a teenager I wrote a love story that had a lot more action and Runaway: Damian’s Story will be an action book with a little bit of romance. I’m looking forward to really getting into the plotting out of all my different books in various genres.
What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?
I would say that the most surprising thing was the feedback. I know I’m new to the scene and have a lot to learn in the writing field but so many people, those who know me personally and those who don’t know me at all, have said how impressed they are with my writing.
What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?
I would probably try for a fairly well paying job that would allow for flexibility so I could travel. There are so many places on this wonderful planet that I’m dying to see. I am a mom and so I would have to make my travel include my daughter and her schedule, but I can definitely see myself doing a lot of travelling during the holidays. A place I have never been but would love to go is Jamaica. Ireland is a definite close second. It’s a big dream, but I don’t think it’s entirely undoable.
They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere. What is yours? What is it about? What makes it terrible? Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?
Oh my. Where to begin. Yes, I actually have several. Sadly, I threw out all but a sequel to one of my half written stories back when I was too embarrassed to have anyone read them. I looked at them and went, ‘what was I thinking?’ I had one story that was a romance, thriller, crime, drama and the genres it filled were endless. I could never come up with a decent ending and by the time I got to what I considered ‘the end’ I thought it was absolute drivel. I probably should have had someone else look at in hindsight, but that’s in the past. I had another book I wrote that I liked so much I began to write the sequel and then dropped it when life got too busy. I wrote it as a sort of therapy for myself and to try my hand at drama.
Reading it a few times over though depressed me. I think possibly because the two main male characters in the story reminded me too much of two friends of mine and I had killed one off. I don’t like killing characters in my book but do so if the story calls for it. Back when I wrote the book entitled ‘The Bully Slayers’ I didn’t have the same perspective on character killing as I do now. I also got way too close to my characters. I would like to go back and dig up the book if I can still find it. I would love to just have it to archive. I don’t know if I would ever resurrect it fully, but I might include elements of it in my other YA books.
Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book. How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories?
Very carefully [laughing]. It can be very easy to let my personal life slip into my stories and then do damage to my characters. And if I’m not very, very careful the people I base my characters off of can pick up on that character being very similar to them and become offended. Aside from bad days though, I do incorporate my life into my stories a lot. The Heart’s Discovery is a good example. There are a lot of scenes that are based off real experiences I had living in the basis for HopeValley. Nearly all my characters are based on people I actually knew at the time as well as elements of the location. I even have a section in my ebook version that is strictly photographs taken of ‘the real HopeValley’ while I lived there. I find it brings some realism to the story.
I also find that pretty much anything can inspire me if I’m in the right mood. An example is my Wii. I try to work out on it for weight loss and general health as often as possible and there is a section in Wii Fit Plus that is rhythm boxing. I have a little note in my notebook for one of my later novels, suggesting how I can incorporate boxing into the story. A food I’ve never tried before or a place I’ve never been but want to visit can also become inspiration. Quito, Ecuador is a good example. In researching it for my novel I fell in love with the city and country. I definitely want to travel there someday.
What is your junk food of choice?
Chocolate. It’s my kryptonite. There’s something just so calming and like a mini vacation in even the smallest amount of chocolate. My favourite desserts and drinks contain chocolate and I can’t imagine a world without it. I like white chocolate and milk chocolate but of the two, milk is my favourite. Sadly, since it’s super fattening, I have to limit how much I have, but when I do get some, it’s a tiny slice of heaven.
Tell us about your book!
The Heart’s Discovery is a love story based in British Columbia with a brief foray into Quito. Anjaline is a native of Quito, Ecuador and Gabriel is a native of Hope Valley, British Columbia. You couldn’t meet two teenagers more different and yet they find a common ground in their mutual attraction. Of course, being teenagers and having low self esteem on both sides, they deny their feelings and further complicate each other’s lives. Jealousy from friends and family threaten to destroy any chance of friendship, let alone something deeper. A story of growing up in the harsh mountain country of British Columbia, there are moments of frustration, anger, joy, tenderness and tragedy. As the book is a love story, the ending should be predictable yet it’s not. The ultimate romance between the characters is inevitable, but all the twists and turns it takes to get there is not. The ending will surprise you.
The Heart’s Discovery
In her opinion he’s a judgmental snob who thinks he knows everything. In his opinion she’s beautiful, yet spoiled. Can they set aside their preconceptions and take a chance on love? Or will they be forever separated when a tragic accident claims the life of someone close to them both?
Anjaline Rodriguez plans to live forever in her hometown of Quito, attend the prestigious CotopaxiAcademy and become a world-famous journalist. Then her stepfather’s job as an anthropologist takes her away from all she knows and loves. When she arrives in HopeValley she is immediately attracted to the shy mountain boy with fathomless eyes. Does her new home hold promise after all?
Where you can purchase the book
Ebook: $4.99, Paperback: $9.99 plus shipping and handling
Paperback or pdf on my site: http://www.shesanauthor.com/apps/webstore
Where you can find Amy:
My site: http://www.shesanauthor.com