Hello Digital Book Today readers. Our interview today is with Ami Blackwelder who is the author of She Speaks to Angels which is a YA (young adult) Angel Thriller. Book description: “I tried not to sound hysterical, but it’s not every day you find out the paranormal is hunting you.” What if everything you believed was a lie?
A Suicide - Seventeen year old Allison Maney attends Millennium High School in Manhattan. Nothing out of the ordinary, unless you consider the occasional suicides at the school. At least that is what everyone is told, what everyone believes. But Tommy Bachelor was a popular football player; why would he jump off the roof of the school?
Dangerous Liaisons - When Dameon pays attention to Ali, she couldn’t be more excited, because for the past three months he was all she could think about. But now that Dameon is finally pining for her affections, she is becoming more and more wrapped up in a clique of three who, as new transfers to the school, are proving to be trouble. But at least Dameon loves her, doesn’t he? Read the complete description on on Amazon.
Interview with Ami Blackwelder
1. What was unique about the setting of the book She Speaks to Angels and how did it enhance or take away from the story? The story is set in Manhattan, NY inside Millennium High School and on the streets of NY. I found this exciting as I always wanted to write in NY! Some scenes take place near the Hudson River and some of the popular biking trails.
2. What specific themes did you emphasize throughout the novel She Speaks to Angels? What were you trying get across to the reader? I like to play with the notion of everything isn’t what it seems or how impressions can be wrong, or how prejudice is misleading. All my books center around those themes and often include oppression, fear, hate, and how characters must overcome this misdoings.
3. Do the human, demon, and angel characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know? Yes, Ali Maney is very much like many girls in high school and even is a bit like me as well. Her girlfriends have a very real bond based on some of my own experiences. The predicaments are not something I ever encountered. I don’t think many students have had to face a teenage suicide and angel-demons on their streets. Even Kian is very much like any orphaned kid on the streets and Krysta like any jealous girl.
4. How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes? Ali becomes much more grow up as she realizes what love really is as well as what friendship really means. We see her trust people she should not and learn from that as well as betray her friends and having to come back around to them. She falls for the wrong guys and hangs out with some peers who bring about trouble.
5. In what ways do the events in the book She Speaks to Angels reveal evidence of your world view? I see the world as a kind a learning stage and Ali does exactly that. She learns. She grows. That is ultimately what I want for all my characters, which is why they always get into so much trouble:) Wink-wink.
6. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before? YES! When a certain character strangles Ali, I felt uncomfortable simply because their was a mix of sexuality and ecstasy involved that made it all the more hideous. I discovered with my first few books that I was not comfortable with writing sexy scenes. But I have learned to overcome that through out my writing.
7. Was there a basis for your story? A previous experience? Something else? I wanted to write about angels, because they have always intrigued me. But I did not want to do the usual cliché. I wanted it to seem like a cliché at first but in fact have it evolve into something else entirely. I hope the reader won’t be able to figure it out until later.
8. What research did you have to perform to back up your story for She Speaks to Angels? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession? YES! I had to research NY and Manhattan and Millennium High School!
9. What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method? When I’m writing a story, the characters stay in my head until they are on paper and so they are demanding. I have to devote a certain amount of time writing every week. Usually weekends are easier, but whenever I have the stamina. I love focusing on the plot and characters. Those two points are the most important for me. I want to feel something for my characters and also not be able to predict what will happen. I do outline to a certain extent, but am flexible as my characters chose their own path.
10. How do you get past writers block or distractions like the internet? Movies, a walk, a song, a good book. A break:)
11. Favorite book from childhood. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, who self-published by the way her first 500 books before the publisher picked her up.
12. What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around. A basket for “to-dos” and a bowl of Cheerios. A notepad for “to-dos” and a yellow pad for “writing promos”. A window with a beautiful lake.
Follow Ami Blackwelder on twitter @amiblackwelder
Follow Ami Blackwelder at her website http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com
Follow Ami Blackwelder on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2943699.Ami_Blackwelder