SCAVENGER HUNT STOP #13: Interview with Amy Green

Hello dear Reader. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I also hope that you are having fun on this Scavenger Hunt! If you’re just starting, have no worries, you can follow the hunt from here and find your way back around to the beginning still!

Welcome to the 13th stop on the Author Scavenger Hunt. I hope you enjoy this interview with author Amy Green. Be sure to write down the clue (found at the end of this post) and continue to the next stop. If you’ve missed a stop or if you are ready to enter the full phrase for your chance to win an iPad Mini and 32 books, head on over HERE. Otherwise enjoy the interview and find the next clue on the scavenger hunt!

Amy and Book

1: Why don’t you introduce yourself?

I’m the author of four books, the Amarias Adventures, and the type of person who you can distract from writing in about two seconds if you need help baking something or want to play a board game with me. (Or both at once—highly recommended.) I’m currently working in the marketing department of a publishing company, trying to keep the US Postal service alive by writing a lot of letters, and dreaming of the day when my closet will actually lead to Narnia (no luck so far). Also, I’m 22 years old.

2: Um…isn’t that a little…young? 

Yep. I wrote Quest for the Scorpion’s Jewel when I was 17 and got a contract for the first two books when I was 19. The bad part about being published so young is that, in a lot of ways, I feel like I’m still learning and developing my voice as a writer. The good part is that I have the rest of my life to keep getting better. That, and the fact that I got a call from the editors at Warner Press saying they’d like to publish my book while I was doing American Literature homework. On a beanbag chair. In a two-story blanket fort that took up our whole suite. (You can see me constructing it in the photo below.) Who has a publishing story like that? It just screams “college student.”Photo 2 Blanket Fort

3: Please tell us a little bit about your books.

The first book, Quest for the Scorpion’s Jewel, was a present for my twin sister’s eighteenth birthday, although it went through lots of revisions before publication. The series goes in order (although it wouldn’t be terribly confusing to start in the middle). The books follow the adventures of four Youth Guard members—Jesse, Silas, Rae, and Parvel—who are fighting a corrupt government in a highly personal way…by going on a mission to save some of their friends who have been condemned to die.

My favorite thing to do is stack the odds ridiculously against them. They’ve faced assassins and a cave-in, been sold into slavery, solved a series of ancient riddles, and survived poisonous snakes, a sandstorm, a wild boar, and a really spoiled, flirtatious noblewoman. Sometimes even I don’t know how they’re going to get out of whatever perilous situation I put them in.

4: What inspired you to be a writer?

My parents and elementary teachers encouraged my love of writing from an early age. And by “encouraged,” I mean they told me to get to work and practice writing. The practice is what makes the difference. I wrote about seven chapter-book length works before the two that got published, and most of them were terrible. Well, actually, all of them were pretty terrible.

I remember in about fifth or sixth grade going to our school’s library and finding the shelf with all the authors whose last name started with “G.” I traced the spines until I got to “GRE,” and I said to myself, “Someday, my books are going to be there.” And now they are.

Books on Shelf

(This picture is of Amy’s books on the shelf at the Focus on the Family bookstore in Colorado. She did an internship there in 2011, which is where she met Brock Eastman, the “man behind the curtain,” as it were, of this scavenger hunt!)

5: Do you have a favorite character?

Actually, yes. Captain Demetri, who you meet in the very first chapter of Book One. He’s…um…the villain. Which means he really shouldn’t be my favorite character. It’s mainly his backstory, I think. When I wrote a flashback scene from when he used to be in the Youth Guard and had to watch the rest of his squad die, I actually cried, which rarely happens.

6: What are the steps you went through to write the books?

Everyone has a different method, but mine is kind of like my approach to the rest of life: I plan out a vague outline, then make up the rest as I go. For these books, I started with Jesse moping around and wanting something interesting to happen. Then I decided what that interesting thing would be. The poor kid didn’t realize what he was getting into—I tend to put my characters in peril of their lives about every other chapter. After I got the rough draft done, I edited it like crazy and had several other people make corrections too: my mom, my twin sister, my roommate, my suitemate, and the fifth graders in the small group I led. After that, I edited some more, fixing the bigger things like plot flaws and smaller things like fine-tuning dialogue.

Then I edited again. And again. Contrary to myth, lots of boring, old-fashioned hard work goes into writing.

7: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?

I think a lot of people associate Christian fiction with a moral tacked on the end of a story, which is not how it’s supposed to be at all. If your faith is really important to you, it’s going to come out in your writing, whatever that looks like. For me, fiction is a great way to think through what I believe and why. Jesse’s a lot like me in the sense that he asks a lot of hard questions about God and faith, especially how a good God could allow suffering.

8: Which book in the series so far is your favorite?

The fourth one, Secret of the Giants’ Staircase. Hands down. I love the setting—a crumbling ruins in the middle of a swamp. I love the new characters we meet, especially Owen, who is a hilarious kid and a lot of fun to write. But, I’ve got to be honest…most of all, I love the fact that the plot is basically a treasure hunt. And I didn’t know how Jesse and friends were going to find the treasure (without dying) as I wrote it, so it was an adventure for me too.

9: What’s some advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

I don’t know that it’s advice so much as a statement: if you are doing things right, you will write terrible stories. Lots of them. There will be whole scenes that are pointless, dialogue that makes you groan when you read it later, and plots that traipse off into nowhere that you can’t even salvage. And you will think that you’ll never be a writer. But guess what? If you’re writing, you are a writer. And you’re ahead of about 99% of the population who talk about writing but don’t actually do any. Really, the reason a particular project is hard for you is probably because you’re taking a risk, trying something new. Writing is hard work, and you are not a failure for recognizing that. The more you plunk yourself down, get rid of distractions, and write, the better you’ll get.

Find out more about Amy and her books:

Book website: amygreenbooks.com

Blog on writing: Just the Fiction Ma’am

Facebook: Amy Green

I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview and will take a moment to check out Amy’s great books, I know I will! Before you go though, you’ll want to write down this part of the clue: “for the gift” and you might want to enter the extra giveaway I’m hosting below. Now head on over to Amy’s website for Stop #14!

33authorHunt-nextStop

And now for the extra giveaway that I’m hosting on this stop. We have THREE awesome prizes from Stormcave Studios (my publishing house) that you could win just in time for Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ jenelle

82 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Amy, I love the titles for your books and the covers are amazing as well. I hope to check them out soon.

And, wow, 22, and already started on your writing career. That’s impressive. All the best to you with your future books!

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shelly

My favorite Christmas memory is the year that my dad gave me a sled for Christmas and I came downstairs and it was under the tree. I was so excited and then he took me sledding!

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C Marie

My favorite Christmas memory – yikes, so hard! Maybe the year we drove halfway across the country to have Christmas with my uncle’s family, then stopped by my aunt’s house on the way back and had Christmas all over again. Twice the presents, and more importantly twice the time with people I rarely get to see!

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Maria

Favorite Christmas memory is probably sitting around the fire at my aunt and uncle’s house while “tia” played the guitar and we sang.

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sjnday

My favorite Christmas song at the moment is Mike Donehey’s version of Oh Holy Night, on the International Justice Mission Christmas cd. :)

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~Angie~

My favorite Christmas memory is finding the pickle on my Grandparents’ christmas tree. Every year my grandma puts up a green pickle ornament while all the grandchildren wait outside the room. Then we all rush in, trying to find it to win grandma’s prize!

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jenelle

That sounds like a really fun tradition! My Grandma used to hide something, er, it was either candy canes or gingerbread cookies, all over her house for us grandkids to find. It was super fun.

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Erika

My favortie Christmas memory is from 7 years ago spending it out of town with family I don’t get to see. It was a lot of fun and I hope my family can do it again someday!

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Jan Hall

My favorite song and memory is Silver Bells. When I was young we took the train from California to Alabama to visit my stepmom’s parents. Her mom let me go to town with her without all the other kids. I felt so special. She turned on the radio and I heard Silver Bells for the first time.

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M May

My favorite Christmas memory is falling asleep on the couches in our family room under the pine garlands covered in soft colored lights.

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Lady DragonKeeper

One of my favorite “new” Christmas songs is Relient K’s “I Celebrate the Day” =)

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Delaney

One of my favorite christmas songs is Wonderful Christmas Time by Jump5. I also like Sleigh Ride by Jump 5 as well.

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Heather

These books look interesting. I think I’ll try them out.
Oh, and thanks for hosting the scavenger hunt.

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jenelle

Thank you for participating in the hunt, and for leaving me a comment! I love getting comments! (I am apparently very behind on replying, though… this is what happens when I take a weekend away from the internet on the same weekend I am participating in a massive blog-hunt!) haha

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Julie Smith

My strongest Christmas memory is when I was about 10. I was elated to receive both the Baby Alive doll AND the Easy Bake Oven. Oh my goodness! One child should be this happy every minute! Felt so blessed!

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jenelle

:) It is so fun now that my daughter is old enough to really “get” the whole gift-giving thing. The sparkle in her eyes and the excitement she expresses are wondrous to behold!

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Sarah

Amy Green is on my list of authors-whose-books-I-want-to-try.

My favorite Christmas song at the moment is probably “The Promise” by Michael Card, but I love a wide variety of songs. Christmas music is awesome!

Thanks for being a part of this scavenger hunt!

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Kim

My favorite Christmas memories are of the many men and women who took their time to help my family have a special Christmas due to our poverty. These memories definitely remind me of how selfless people of faith truly can be.

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Georgina C

Thanks so much for hosting giveaway and for participating in the scavenger hunt! It’s such fun to meet so many Christian authors. :)
I just love Christmas music! My favorite Christmas song has always been O Come, O Come Emmanuel. It’s so amazing to think about the long Advent to Christ’s birth and His people finally being able to rejoice that He has come.

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jenelle

Thank YOU for going on the hunt! I love O Come, O Come Emmanuel, I think that’s definitely up there in my top favorites. I was thinking about how everyone is answering this question… and I’m pretty sure I can’t pick a favorite Christmas song, myself!

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franktan (@franktan)

My favorite Christmas story is the one where Jesus is celebrating his birthday as the oldest brother in the family and his younger sister wanted to bake him a special cake/bread.

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Sierra Faith

I am excited about this giveaway!!! What is the name of the series mentioned above? The one that the picture was taken of? It looks amazing!!!

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J. L. Mbewe

My aunt and uncle had a tradition where they would have all the family over at their house in early December and have St. Nick visit their home so that the children could sit on his lap and tell him want they wanted for Christmas. Personally, I think they wanted to know what the kids wanted. I’m sure all the moms and dads, uncles, aunts, were taking notes. ;-) Afterward, he’d give us all a paper bag filled with treats.

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jenelle

That sounds like fun! (And like a clever/sneaky way for parents/aunts/uncles to find out what the little ones are just dying to get) :)

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Julie

Thank you for the opportunity! Thanks for taking part in the hunt – I would never have heard of you otherwise.!

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jenelle

You are most welcome! Honestly, I feel so incredibly honored to be a part of this wonderful opportunity. Thanks for hunting!

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Charlotte

Thanks for being part of the scavenger hunt. I have enjoyed learning about new authors (to me) and finding lots of interesting books for the ‘to be read list”.

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jenelle

Thanks for hunting! I’ve found a lot of new (to me) authors and “to read” books as well! All sorts of exciting things going on this week!

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Ally Morcom

I loved having colored mini-lights up around my bedroom window all Christmas season long when I was young. :) I still do it now that I have my own place!

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Nancy Porter Walker

I really love “Joseph’s Song,” by Michael Card. :)
I also like “Welcome to Our World,” by Chris Rice. :)
Have a Wonderful Christmas! (I can hardly wait to see you and your family in TWO DAYS!!!) :D

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jenelle

I love both of those. I also recently discovered “While You Were Sleeping” by Casting Crowns and fell in love with it (not REALLY a Christmas song… but sort of)

Can’t wait to see YOU all in TWO DAYS!!!!! YAY!!!!!

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Tina

Love learning about new authors and would love to be the proud owner of 32 more books to read…my favorite past time. Thanks so much!

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Tina

Oops, wasn’t paying attention to what I was supposed to comment on. My favorite Christmas memory was going to my Gram’s on Christmas Eve with the whole family and watching her open her presents. The next day, she would visit all of us grandchildren at our homes and see what we got. Very special memory as my Gram is no longer with us.

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jenelle

Oh that’s all right! I just find that if I ask people to leave a comment and give no guidelines, most people don’t comment. :)

That sounds like a wonderful Christmas tradition.

Reading is pretty much my favorite pass-time as well :)

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Tima Murrell

One of my favorite memories is how our little fake Christmas tree would be so piled up with gifts that it fell over when we had opened them all. It didn’t have anything to hold it up. It was one of those crazy family memories that still makes us laugh.

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I love hearing from you, dear Reader!