I. Am. So. Excited. To feature Amy Good this week! She has such a wonderful, exciting story to tell, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. Check, check, check it outtttttt…
1. How did you get your start in writing? And how long have you been doing it?
One of my earliest memories is wanting to write. I wrote stories and little picture books before I could even properly spell. I bought a secondhand grammar book and studied it for hours on end, even on weekends! I read the dictionary and made exhaustive synonym/antonym lists. I spent my summer vacations learning Microsoft Word. My childhood really doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?
And really, it is kind of a boring story, because I never had that epiphany moment of realization that I wanted to write. I’ve been pursuing this dream for as long as I can remember – which is basically my entire life – and it just feels so amazing to finally share my work with the rest of the world!
2. What was your inspiration for “Rooted?”
A lot of “Rooted” came from my homesickness for Seattle. My first year in Ireland felt like one solid year of winter –icy, rainy and wholly unwelcoming – and we even had snow right up until Easter weekend.(Oddly, my first year in Ireland mirrored my first year in Seattle!) So I channeled all of my love for the Pacific Northwest into “Rooted,” and specifically into the main character, Chloe.
I was also a new mom, which heavily inspired the book. I started thinking of my own teenage years, and what my daughter’s adolescence might look like. I read an article about a young girl who’d lost her parents, and then was bullied so badly that she ultimately took her own life. I couldn’t imagine how hard that was for her, and she became part of the inspiration for Chloe. Teenagers today, it seems, are living very public lives – with their mistakes, missteps, abuse and harassment enshrined on the internet – and I wanted to explore that. It almost makes our world into a dystopia, don’t you think?
Around the same time, I watched a marathon of MTV’s Teen Wolf and by the end, I knew I wanted to write a story about werewolves! Shapeshifters just don’t get a lot of love in most fiction. They’re not as sexy as vampires or as tortured as wizards/witches. They’re not as beautiful as fae or as creepy as ghouls/zombies.Seriously, how many times does the werewolf get the girl (over the brooding vampire)?
3. Is that the first novel you’ve written?
No, but thankfully the other books I’ve written are hidden in a deep, dark vault without any digital backups! Seriously, they were awful. AWFUL. The important thing was that I finished them – because I think it’s so important for a writer to finish projects – but they will never see the light of day! NEVER.
4. What has the road to publication been like for you? “Rooted” is self-published correct? Sorry for my ignorance on that question!
Yes, “Rooted” is self-published! All in all, it’s been a pretty quiet journey. After I’d finished a few drafts of the book, I started putting the final edits of each chapter on my website. A few friends read it and the feedback was cautiously positive. Once I finished the last chapter, I made it available for download right from my webpage. A Twitter friend put “Rooted” on Goodreads after she read it and loved it – I hadn’t even planned to do that! Another Twitter friend asked me to post it on Wattpad, so I did. Yet another Twitter friend asked me to upload it to Smashwords, so I just posted it there around the first of October, and from there it’s been pushed out to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and a few other ebooksellers.
And unless someone asks me to post it on another platform, I’ll probably just leave it at that. One of the joys of not being able to earn money on my work is that I’m not overly concerned with maximizing distribution, or marketing my book by gathering reviews and hopping on blog tours. Yes, I don’t have a large publishing company behind my book, but that also means I have no boss! I don’t know about you, but I like being able to set my own pace and my own expectations!!
5. Why did you choose to self-publish as opposed to traditional publishing?
Being in Ireland on my husband’s Visa means I don’t have permission to work or earn any money, so traditional publishing is not an option for me right now. It was a choice between waiting five or more years, or throwing caution to the wind and putting my work out there anyway. Because the universe had already conspired to show me the true cost of waiting, I decided to dive in head first. And I’m really glad I did! Sharing my work has given me newfound confidence and my fans mean the world to me. At the end of the day, it’s so much more fulfilling to put my work out there instead of hiding it away on the vague hope that a publisher might want it!
6. I see you are in Ireland, and omg I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOU! I have never been, but it is one of my goals. How did you find your way over there?
Through my husband, actually. He had a job opportunity over here, and so we moved from Seattle to Dublin last year. It was kind of a whirlwind move, but ultimately one of the most exciting things I’ve done in life! Moving to Ireland provided the spark I needed to write “Rooted” and it continues to be an amazing adventure. I’ve made several large moves in my life, but Ireland is by far the best!
7. I saw on your website that you can’t make any profits off of “Rooted” because of your Visa. What is up with that?
I know, right! We moved in such an extremely short period of time that I never had time to do the needed research to find out how I could earn a living out here in Ireland. Apparently, I would’ve had to stay in the U.S. and earn a good living as a writer for at least a year. Only then would I be able to submit the paperwork needed to earn a living in Ireland through writing.
Is it hard for you?Oddly, not really! It’s a very Western concept to assign value to a thing depending on how much money it makes. So not being able to earn money on my book has made me completely rethink what I value and how I assign worth. So when someone messages me, either through Facebook or Twitter, and tells me that “Rooted” affected them, or that they loved it and connected with the characters, it gives me such a stronger sense of value and worth than money ever could!
8. What has been a struggle in your career? How did you overcome it?
I have aphasia(a language disorder that can affect a person’s ability to comprehend and/or formulate words) from a brain injury. It makes writing extremely difficult, and I doubt I will ever truly overcome it. But I’m stubborn, so I just keep plodding along regardless!
9. Who is your support system?
My Hubs! Without him, I really don’t think any of this would be possible. Not only is he tech-savvy beyond my wildest imagination, but he also supports my dream and is my biggest fan. Without my Hubs, I doubt I’d have finished a book while still in my thirties!
10. I will take a moment to say that you are an author who I aspire to be like. I think your connection with your followers is so amazing. Not to mention your writing is wonderful! What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to be successful in this business?
Awww, thank you!! You’re making me blush… I’m sorry, what was the question again? 😉 The only advice I can give – to any aspiring writer, really – is just to keep writing. Don’t let negative criticism (or the super-harsh voices in your own head) stop you! As for being successful in this business, I really have no idea how that happens… But if anyone has any pointers, I’d love to hear them! Seriously. Anyone?
Amy Good is a writer from the U.S. currently living in Dublin. She writes part-time, but only when her tyrannical toddler allows it! When she is not writing, she tweets about the joys and troubles of being a writer, a geek, a toddler mom and a non-native Dubliner.Her first book, Rooted, is available (at no charge) for download at http://www.amicgood.com.
Find Amy at:
Rooted is the story of Chloe Chastain, a not-quite-average teenage girl living in the Pacific Northwest. Chloe is a tree spirit doing her best to avoid the local werewolf pack,and she’s determined not to get caught up with the werewolf hunters that have descended upon her small town or fail her sophomore year of high school. Or get stuck in detention. Again. But just because she wants to keep a low profile doesn’t mean she’ll be able to! Soon Chloe’s friend is turned into a werewolf, she attracts a dangerous stalker, and she finds herself investigating missing girls and murder. It turns out there is so much more at stake than her permanent record.