Friday, February 19, 2016

Interview with Amy Rivers, author of Wallflower Blooming

An exclusive interview

with author Amy Rivers


Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Amy Rivers on the release of her novel, Wallflower Blooming! Let's welcome her on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!


1. What inspired you to write Wallflower Blooming?

I’ve spent the last few years working with women as colleagues, friends and survivors of sexual assault. It would be an understatement to say that I have tremendous respect for the work women do and the ways they cope with trauma and adversity. When I sat down to write a book, I wanted to write about a successful woman who was also dealing with complicated social and emotional issues. It was important to me to have her reactions be real and believable. But she perseveres, just like so many women who have inspired me in my life.


2. Can you give our readers an idea about what they should expect in Wallflower Blooming?

Wallflower Blooming is the story of a woman who’s wrapped herself in a bubble, so to speak. Past heartaches and complicated family issues have caused her to hide away socially and emotionally. In fact, the only person who could possibly induce her to change her reclusive ways is her cousin Gwen, and that’s exactly what happens. Gwen is running for office and begs a reluctant Val to help her. What follows is a tale of personal growth, dirty politics and yes, even love.


3. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Wallflower Blooming?

The book is largely based on my own experiences working within the local political arena in my hometown. I did have to do some research on election procedures in Colorado but, for the most part, the story is a work of my imagination inspired by real experiences.


4. Tell us something personal about you that your readers may be surprised to know.

Let’s see. I’m visually impaired and have never driven a car in my life. And my mom and dad are folk musicians so I grew up singing. Last summer I started learning to play the ukulele. I’m pretty terrible but it’s a lot of fun. Oh, and I’m completely obsessed with The Golden Girls. I generally have episodes running in the background as I work so they’ve become the soundtrack of my life. I have a “this one time, on the Golden Girls” story for just about everything.


5. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges or learning experiences you faced throughout the writing and publishing process.

Probably the biggest challenge I face is figuring out the right timing for different things. For instance, Wallflower Blooming is self-published. I spent the better part of last year submitting to dozens of agents, determined to go the traditional route. I did two in person pitches and got several partial and full manuscript requests. I got a lot of very positive feedback, but no takers. I had to make a decision about whether to put this book on the backburner so I could focus on other writing projects for a while, and that was my plan.

Then, over the holidays, I was inspired to take a different path. And here I am, promoting a self-published book. It’s been a strange and exciting ride so far. As a former marketer, I’m pretty comfortable promoting my work but the learning curve is so high. I feel like I learn something new everyday and I feel confident that the next time I get ready to publish, it’ll be from a wholly different place in life.


6. What is your favorite place to think or write down your ideas?

I live out in the country in Colorado and I adore my home office. It’s a big mess but it reminds me of all the things I’ve accomplished in my life. I’m quite happy to sit here in my office and type away. I have a laptop that I adore and I do take it out on occasion, but being visually impaired, laptops aren’t the ideal workstation. During the summer, I often grab a notebook and go out on the desk to enjoy the sun and brainstorm.


7. What do you do when you are not writing or reading?

I’ve got two energetic kids who keep me on the go. When I’m not reading and writing, I’m usually helping with homework, cooking dinner, playing endless rounds of Phase 10 or doing laundry (I spend a ridiculous amount of time on laundry!). As a full-time writer, I’m fortunate to have a flexible schedule so I’m able to do things like chaperone field trips and volunteer at my kids’ school. I feel very lucky.


8. Any tips for aspiring authors?

Write! The truth about being an author is there are a million distractions from actually just sitting down and writing. Making sure to take time to write everyday is really important, even if what you wrote never sees the light of day. Find fellowship. There are some amazing writing groups out there and having the support of fellow authors can make the difference between taking chances and getting weighed down by fear or rejection. Rejection happens. A good writing group will help you get through the hard times and celebrate every success. Most important, they will make the things you write better.


9. What's next?

I write regularly for ESME.com and Novelty Bride Magazine, so between articles, I am working on a new novel and brainstorming a sequel to Wallflower Blooming. I never really thought about making WB a series before, but the more I think about it, the more ideas come rushing in. So for everyone out there who reads it and loves Val and John, you may just see them again really soon.


10. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?

I just want to express my heartfelt appreciation for all the love and support from my friends, family and fans. Being an indie author is a full-time job, and there are moments when it feels overwhelming. Then I read a new review or something tells me they picked up the book and it’s all worth it. I hope you’ll enjoy Wallflower Blooming and that my work will entertain and maybe even inspire. Thank you all! 


Wallflower Blooming

by Amy Rivers


Page Count: 222
Published: January 16th 2016

Publisher: Createspace (Independent)

Goodreads




Preview


Val Shakely is a list-maker. Daily routine. Check. Calm, quiet (but successful) business. Check.

No drama. No excitement. Some might call it boring, but it’s precisely the way Val likes it. She loves her hometown of Cambria, nestled in the mountains of Colorado, and runs a fruitful PR firm. And that’s more than enough for Val. So what if she doesn’t have a social life?

Then, her cousin Gwen decides to take on the local political bully, the Mayor, in head-to-head combat for the Mayoral seat and Val takes her company reluctantly, and against her better judgment, into the fray. The minute Val takes on Gwen’s campaign, the safe world that she has carefully constructed begins to unravel. She feels the pressure of the campaign and the personal attacks by Gwen’s opponent.

And as if that wasn’t complicated enough, Val finds herself falling in love. Val’s desire to stay on the sidelines is put to the test and she’s forced to reexamine the life she’s built as she trudges toward a new and more exciting future.



Buy the book



About the author


Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado. 

She had an idyllic childhood despite a severe visual impairment and, perhaps because of her disability, she learned a lot about compassion and empathy from a young age. Her keen interest in social issues and violence prevention led to a Master's degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics.

She was the director of a sexual assault response program and remains an advocate for social justice. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, ESME.com and Splice Today.






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