Ester: Today I’m speaking with Amber Kallyn. Thanks, Amber for being here. What made you decide to become a writer?
Amber: I never actually sat down and decided to become a writer. I’ve just always been one. But after our fourth child, we decided it was better (and cheaper) for me to quit working and stay home, I decided to take my love of writing and try to get published.
Ester: How long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?
Amber: From the time I decided to try to get published to my first contract was almost four years. It’s about average in the industry. There were many close calls along the way that fell through, too. During that time, I’ve taken numerous online classes with other authors, and made sure to write nearly every day.
Ester: What would you do differently the next time?
Amber: My biggest mistake was querying and submitting too soon. When I look back at the first book I finished (and queried) I can imagine agents and publishers sitting at their desks laughing crazily at reading it. The story wasn’t all that bad, but the craft definitely sucked 🙂
Ester: What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Amber: The best advice I could give anyone is to never give up. The publishing world is notoriously slow. As long as someone perseveres, writing, honing the craft, learning everything they can, they will be published someday.
Ester: What (or who) inspires or influences your writing?
Amber: My favorite author, maybe cliche, is Stephen King. I devour his books, his skill at storytelling is legendary. I’m also inspired by Anne Rice (yeah) because she was one of the first to bring urban fantasy and the ‘good, sexy’ vampires to the stage. JK Rowling is not only inspiring, but enthralling as well. She managed to get not only a good portion of kids reading again, but adults, too. Because of her, the young adult genre has exploded.
Ester: I’ve noticed that, too. Tell me, Amber, after you got your first contract, were you asked to do revisions? How did that go?
Amber: Yes. I was planning 8 books for the Dragos series, but was told readers prefer only 3-4 in a series. So, I had to cut down my overarching bad guy’s plot. This required adding a bit more to book 1. I was also asked to go through the story and get deeper into POV in places. Then I had two rounds of edits and a copy edit to go over.
Ester: So do you write full-time or part-time?
Amber: I write as much as I can. I’m a full time student, but I take classes online so I can accelerate them as I want. My evenings are for my kids and family — school, scout and sport events, eating, and just chilling together. This year, my baby started kindergarten, full day. Now, I have my days for writing and school work. It’s been a bit of a transition, but my semester is almost done and now I have a lot more time for writing.
Ester: Wow! I had a hard enough time juggling classes and a part-time job when I was single. I can’t imagine trying to do what you’re doing now.
Amber: I do tend to try to get something (writing, editing, revising) done every day, though I’ll take the weekends off occasionally.
Ester: What do you do for fun when you aren’t writing?
Amber: Fun? As a mother of four and a full time student, writing is my fun. That’s why I do it 🙂 I also have an addiction to horror movies — except most of the time they’re stupid or funny. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I love zombies. I recently heard a term ‘Torture Porn’ in reference to slasher movies like ‘Saw’ (I, II,…XX). I devour those kind of movies with glee. Tells you how strange I am.
Ester: Tell us about your latest release/releases.
Amber: My latest release, Dragos 1: Burned is about a dragon shapeshifter who falls in love with a fireman. I had this idea for years before I sat down to write it.
I just turned in Dragos 2: Scorched, for release in January. This month, I’ll be working on Dragos 3, as well as some short stories and one of my novel length paranormal erotic romances.
Ester: Do you have any appearances/book signings scheduled?
Amber: I’ll be at Night Owl Reviews for their Winter Treasure Hunt during December. Players can win great prizes from many authors, including an Amber Kallyn story. On December 6th, I’ll be guest blogging at TRS Blue (The Romance Studio). December 10th is my Release party at TRS. Win great prizes from a ton of authors, and get sneak peeks of their books. Release day for my short story, Mistletoe. On December 17th, I’ll be guest blogging at Whipped Cream Reviews.. And on December 22nd, TRS Book Giveaway. Win a free copy of one of my books.
Ester: I want to thank you again, Amber, for taking time out of your busy day to answer these questions. Amber Kallyn lives in hot, dry Arizona. Check out her website and blogs at www.AmberKallyn.com, and Amber Kallyn Blog, as well as Higley Browne Blog. Her group blogs are: 7 Evil Dwarves and Plot Mamas.
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