Monday, 23 July 2012

Amy Saia In Black & White

Hey Amy.  All your friends here in blogsphere are so thrilled for you!
Amy's (first) book, 'The Soul Seekers - will be on the shelves on August 7th

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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  1. Lovely interview Molly.

  2. Great interview Molly, and I'm glad Blogger was not playing any tricks on you today. I have my calendar marked for August 7th to download Amy's book. I am so excited for her. She is a talented writer, singer and musician (have her album), and a kind, sweet lady who has paid her dues. I wish her much success.

  3. Molly, thank you so much for the interview. You're a big factor in me not giving up on the road to publication. I love that you are a rare reader of the uncut manuscript!

    Love you, amy

    1. Went all right didn't it:) I loved your answers Amy. We're so chuffed to bits with your book xxxx

  4. Interesting discussion of youthful attempts and learning experience. It's about insight, discipline and motivation in the end.

  5. you never know just what you are going to read in blogland do you!
    well done

  6. A great interview and it was fun to get to know Amy, a blogger friend of mine, better. I must say that those things that are competing for Amy's attention in life, plus her kids, are really worthwhile and impressive, even.

  7. Just stopping by again to say thank you to Molly and all you awesome people who commented!

  8. thanks for introducing me to Amy, I'm unfamiliar and love your interview. Good job!
    The "flowers" in my latest post are actually seeds from my Amur Maple tree. It's been a very very dry summer here, so I suspect that the tree may be damaged and is heavily fruiting to ensure the continuation of the species. I hope it will be alright. I'm unable to water everything - the two sour cherry trees that I planted in spring and my vegetable garden and that's about it. At least the temps have cooled somewhat for today - but still no rain. happy week to you Molly.

    1. I hope your tree will be OK too. Weather conditions have been difficult here but not half as difficult as they have been for you. Take care Becky and have a good weekend too xx