Amy's (first) book, 'The Soul Seekers - will be on the shelves on August 7th
calling at .........
Book Bite Reviews
Whitney Boyd, Tanned, Toned & Totally Faking it
Angela Brown in a Pursuit of Publishness
My Interview with Amy Saia
Amy, how old were you when you started to write?
Well I remember trying to illustrate and write a book at about 8 years old, then at 12, I attempted a young adult novel with a brother and sister switching voices every other chapter. I had visions of being on 'The Tonight Show' with Johnny Carson as the youngest novelist ever. It's fun, I was always trying to do something fabulous so I could be on that Tonight Show couch! Unfortunately I didn't finish the book but it did teach me about getting into a character's head. Also any writing is one step toward better writing. I've continued to work on little stories and poems, but music is my main passion.
Did you ever read them out to anybody?
Only in a creative writing class. I was still pretty naive and undisciplined. I can see now where I had talent, but not enough sophistication. At about that time, though, I sent out a few poems to a literary journal and received a very detailed note back. I showed promise it said, but little things should be tweaked. My tender psyche took it as a big rejection, but I know now that such letters are rare. Had I kept working ..................... My instructor also held back an essay I'd written about one of my favourite films of all time 'Il Postino'. She said she wanted to use it in future classes. I remember being very pleased as I've always sought appraisal from teachers and such. But, again, music pulled me back. It may sound trite, but music and the literary world, as well as intellectualism and philosophy have fought for my time and attention. I go back and forth constantly, trying to find balance.
'The Soul Seekers' is a tender love story. How long did it take you to write?
The first draft took a little over a month. It was a big blur of me writing in notebooks during the day, while my kids were swimming in the backyard. I typed it into the computer during the evenings, and if things were flowing well, late into the night. But then came the second draft, then the third, fourth, fifth. The more I wrote, the more I grew, and as such I felt the need to edit, edit, edit. They say a manuscript is good to go when you find yourself changing commas back and forth. My problem went deeper than that: I had a rough first few chapters that needed fine-tuning. After a rejection from a dream agent, I paced back and forth just trying to come up with something clever. In the end, I had to go with what I LIKED and what was true to the story. You have to live with a book for the rest of your life, and if you don't like it, then why should anyone else? Just like life you have to stay true to your convictions, and those that appreciate it will stay, those that don't won't.
Have you any plans for a second book?
Oh yes. Grin. Yes. I think I need a small break from writing to work on some songs, though, then I will be able to concentrate on finishing up a manuscript again.
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