Today’s guest is author Amber Gilchrist. Thank you for stopping by Amber; here is a small bio of Amber.
Amber Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and three children. She writes YA for upper teens, as well as LDS Romantic Comedies. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another 'experience' for her books and not an inability to settle down. Amber loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.
A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Amber likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom and wife. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don't appreciate being served lunch and told, "This is the hot dog of your discontent." So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.
Amber loves to hear from readers and can be reached at email@example.com
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1. How long have you been writing, Amber?
Just for myself and not with the intention of publishing, for about 22 years, give or take. With the intention of publishing, probably about six years.
2. What was the name of your first novel and what compelled you to write it?
My first novel was when I was in the 7th or 8th grade. I don’t know if it even had a name. I can’t recall. I am atypical as a writer, in that I wasn't a short story writer or a poet or anything of that nature until one day in middle school I decided I wanted to write something and I wrote an entire novel. I was a voracious reader, but I never felt compelled to write. I’m not sure there was an inciting incident for that first book, but if there was I just don’t remember it now. However, I can tell you it was a plain awful book lol.
3. I agree, life and work in specific experience, can give writers great inspiration for a story. Have you ever used a specific incident from your life in one of your books?
I don’t typically do that, no. Although there is a running undertone of my general life experiences in my books. I haven’t always had the best experiences, especially when I was young, so I used all of those things to help add texture to every character I’ve ever written. But generally, I don’t mimic specific events.
4. Tell us about your favorite YA book you wrote and why you like it better than any of the others.
My favorite YA book, bar none, is the one that just came out, Into Darkness Peering. I feel like it’s ‘the one’, you know. The book that really comes from my heart, or my soul, or however you want to phrase it. I wrote that book in ten frenzied days and I couldn't stop. Those characters still talk to me frequently and I wrote that book about four years ago.
5. Tell us about your favorite LDS romance book you wrote and why you like it better than any of the others.
I think my favorite LDS book so far is one that hasn't been published, as of yet. It’s also not a romance, though certainly there is romance in it. It’s a dystopian futuristic book about a world where everything that distinguishes people has been outlawed, as well as any religion, among other things. Missionaries are truly ‘the army of God’ and all hope rests, in the end, on a disillusioned man who works for the government, raises his much younger sister, and hides the fact he’s the grandson of the last prophet before ‘the change’.
6. Have you ever used real people fictionally in any of your stories?
Probably parts of people I know have shown up in books, and of course a little of me is in every character, usually the heroes believe it or not, but I’ve not used a specific person, no.
7. How old are your children?
They are 12, 9 and 3. Obviously there’s a big gap there. I would have had more children but I’ve not been blessed that way. It was a struggle to have all of them and we’re very grateful to have them in our lives. But we’re also licensed foster and adoptive parents and we’d love to find a sibling group to fill in some of the gaps between our kids haha.
8. Do they understand what you do as a writer, or do they just know that you spend a lot of time on the laptop?
The older two understand. And my son, who is 12, especially understands that most of the expendable income, in other words the stuff he gets to spend on video games, comes from me. So he’s especially respectful of my need to work. The 3 year old is less interested in what I’m trying to do and she doesn't care that I’m busy. Which is why I do most of my work late at night. It isn't unusual for me to be up until 2AM.
9. Where do you write? By that I mean, do you have a specific place in the house you type every day or just where ever you are when you decide to write?
I actually hate laptops. I will give up working off a desktop when someone hauls it away after prying the keyboard away from my cold, dead hands. So I work at a desk. I discovered long ago that if I want to be able to work at all while people are awake, which mostly doesn't work but sometimes I make a go at it, I need to be where everyone else is. Otherwise it would cut into family time and that’s not acceptable. So my computer is in the loft, with two other computers that belong to my son and husband. The family hangs out in there so I can sometimes get a little work done during family movie time or whatever.
10. What is the name of the last book you published and where can we find it?
The last book I put out was just a few weeks ago in May. It’s a YA urban fantasy called Into Darkness Peering.” It’s for sale at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
11. Are you working on a new book now?
I am. I’m working on the next book in the ABQ.LDS.YSA series. “Glitch”, my last book before “Into Darkness Peering was the start of that continuation. It’s the story of a very type-A woman so desperate to get married that she’ll do anything to reach the alter, and the man who is trying to reintroduce sanity to her marriage frenzied brain.
12. When will your next book come out?
It’s my hope that “Eat, Drink and Get Married” will be available by the end of the summer.
Thank you for your time today, Amber. If anyone wants to contact Amber and get a list of her titles she can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org