Today we are very delighted to welcome author Amy Andrews to BLI in celebration of her newest release Taming the Tycoon, an all new and exciting romantic story published by Entangled. Amy stops by today to answer all kinds of questions and to give a chance to one lucky commenter to win a copy of her book. For more information on the giveaway, please check at the end of the post
Stella: Hi Amy, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Amy: Hi Stella, thanks for having me here. I’m 42. I’m an Aussie. I’ve been married to the same man for 22 years and have two teenagers who seem to have turned out alright thus far. I’m a part-time PICU nurse and a full-time writer. I love to read and sleep and am addicted to television. I believe “treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself” is the best way to live your life.
Stella: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Amy: I write while the kids are at school and try to get 2k down each day – which often times doesn’t work in practice but I’m determined to keep trying! Too often I’m writing 5-7k a day for a week to hit a deadline and that’s totally exhausting so I really must try and do better.
A typical day is spending the first hour (ish – depending on my procrastination levels) on social media/email/blogs etc and then I write until pick up and then again until tea time. Sometimes I’ll still be up at midnight writing which is pretty sapping especially if I have to back up the next day and do it all again.
I fall somewhere in the middle of the pantser/planner spectrum – I call it being a planster. Hello my name is Amy and I am a plantser I know my characters, I have a rough chapter outline and then I write.
Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Amy: A reader is someone who reads a book once and goes on to the next one. A book lover is someone who keeps their books, re-reads, has a favourite shelf and just can’t bear to throw a book away, even one they didn’t like! They actively seek out other like-minded people to have conversations and discussions about books. They live and breathe books. And if there was a perfume called “eau du book” they’d be wearing it!
Stella: Your latest release Taming the Tycoon was one of Entangled Publishing’s August Indulgence titles, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of it?
Amy: Thank you. I’m so excited to be part of the Indulgence line up. What can readers expect? A sexy, pacy, quirky read. A little bit of world’s colliding with a side of fake girlfriend and some pink fluffy handcuffs and cute alpacas thrown in for good measure!
Stella: Could you introduce Nathaniel Montgomery and Addie Collins, the hero and heroine of Taming the Tycoon?
Nate (Nathaniel) Montgomery
6ft 2 in.
Black, wavy hair.
Killer cheek bones.
Arrogant chin cleft.
Looks great in suit. And out.
Generally found with permanent blue tooth ear attachment and his PA called Margaret.
Heading for his first heart attack.
Addie (Adelaide) Collins
5 ft 2 in.
Long, blonde, wispy, straight hair usually found sporting a different style every day.
Penchant for crystals, natural fibres and ridiculously large purple sunglasses.
Wears flip flops and cut offs.
Meditation convert, reluctant activist.
Super intelligent – freaky numbers thing going on.
Heading for her five year all clear.
Stella: Do you still remember what inspired Taming the Tycoon? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?
Amy: It was an image of Addie that first came to mind. Standing in the middle of a bustling crowd, her face turned to the sun, wearing cornrows and big purple sunglasses. That was the start. And then as she stayed with me I realised she’d been ill and it had changed everything and from there Nate came along – very corporate and her absolute opposite. And then I knew it was going to get interesting
Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read Taming the Tycoon?
Amy: Because it will make them laugh. It’ll make them want to drag their nearest and dearest off to the closest horizontal surface. And, hopefully, it’ll be a timely reminder to stop and smell the roses.
We don’t do that enough in our lives.
Stella: Can you summarize Taming the Tycoon for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
Amy: A cranky tycoon. A boho chick. A precious garden. Find out what happens when an unstoppable force meets his first immovable object.
Stella: You have published more than 30 novels, was the writing, release of Taming the Tycoon in any way different than your previous ones? If so, how?
Amy: The writing – no different. I had a story to tell and I told it. The release has been very different. It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me to be with a digital publishing house. Grappling with social media and really having a personal stake in selling the book have been challenging for me but it’s been much more enjoyable than I’d anticipated and I’m nothing if not versatile
Stella: Your novels are published by Harlequin and Mills and Boon, why did you decide to seek another publisher and submit to Entangled?
Amy: I truly believe that the only way to survive in today’s rapidly changing publishing climate is to diversify. Spread your eggs around a few baskets. I’m looking forward to that – to having my name out there in a lot of different sectors reaching as many readers as possible. Entangled have done incredibly well for such a new company and you bet I wanted to get in on the ground floor of that – to be part of the buzz.
Stella: Most of your 30 already published novels are medical romances, why did you start writing in this subcategory, what was your inspiration? What are the challenges of making medical environments (diseases, danger, worrying) romantic?
Amy: Well, firstly, being a nurse, makes it easier – in some ways – to write for the medical line. But my inspiration for starting out in medicals comes from my very first experience reading one many years ago. There was this scene where a doctor gave a patient a bedpan! – what the? Given that I had/have NEVER in all my years seen this I was so flabbergasted it made me determined to try my hand at the line. I had already written one book for HMB which had been rejected (which incidentally had a doctor as a hero but wasn’t a medical) so I decided to change tack and try writing a medical. I didn’t know if I would ever get a book published but for damn sure there weren’t going to be any bedpan totting docs in my books!
I think medicals do have their challenges in that the subject matter they deal with is sometimes quite difficult or harrowing and yes, unromantic BUT a medial romance is still at its heart a romance first. The medicine should never take over – the focus should be on the H and H and their journey and the medicine is used to bring them together, reveal things about each other or sometimes even push them apart. And I think what medicals have in spades is the Alpha hero because he’s not a typical Alpha. Yes, he’s the head of his field, a hot shot and he knows it BUT he has a softness to his character, an empathy that I think a lot of true Alpha’s lack and that is what fans of medical romances really dig.
Stella: What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
Amy: It’s hard!!
I know that seems pretty simple but I truly don’t think people understand how hard it is. I wrote for 12 years before being contracted to HMB. That’s a lot of words and a lot of people telling you your baby is ugly. And then you get the call and you think you’ve won, you’ve reached the top of a very big hill and you’ve scored the prize and you can relax – wrong! Because now there’s a freaking mountain to climb and it’s a huge sucker with a slippery, rocky surface and you really need to watch your step!
So I’ve learned to really celebrate the highs and refill my creative well in between books because you can bet there’s going to be some backslide around the corner. And to never ever give up!
Stella: I saw on your Goodreads page that you co-write contemporary women’s fiction with your sister under the penname of Ali Ahearn, how does co-authoring work in practice? Do you and your sister share the same taste in books you like to read or your tastes differ and it brings something complementary to your writing?
Amy: I had THE best time writing Sister Pact with Ros and thanks to the world wide web co-authoring in practice is very easy. Or at least it was for us anyway – we each wrote one character and the book plays out in alternating POV chapters.
We do have very similar reading tastes and writing “voice”. Even though we are nothing alike physically, we are actually similar in almost every other way. Although Ros has a much more academic background than me – I have corrupted her over the years with “happy” books.
Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?
Amy: My schedule is craaaazy!
I’m currently writing a medical then I have a continuity I’m doing for the KISS line with Heidi Rice, Aimee Carson and Kimberly Lang. After that I’m going to be attempting my first Brazen – a bodyguard story, a very reluctant body guard – have always wanted to write one of those! I’m also very excited to be involved in a Christmas themed Flirt anthology from Entangled with three other writer mates.
I have a RIVA out in October (out as a Presents Extra in Feb next year) called The Devil and the Deep and I’m really excited about that one because the heroine is a historical romance novelist who has written a pirate novel that’s been a mega bestseller worldwide and the hero, who dives for sunken treasure, is her muse but doesn’t know it – but when he realises hijinks ensue I loved working the heroine’s “pirate” novel into Stella and Rick’s story and hope the readers like it too!
Amy Andrews never wanted to be a writer. She wanted to be a fairy, then a scuba diver, then Smurfette. Eventually, due to the fact that none of these were actual jobs (and no matter how hard she tried she just wasn’t blue enough), she became a nurse. But through it all she was a reader. And she loved words. When she was twenty-two and temporarily out of work she realised the voices in her head were actually a plot and she wrote her first romance novel. It was cold out and she discovered that writing meant she could stay in bed with her electric blanket. She has since written 28 novels for Harlequin (often in her pyjamas) and her proudest moment was winning the prestigious Australian RuBy award for the best sexy romance in 2010. She put on a frock for that occasion.
She now writes for both the Medical and RIVA/Presents lines and considers herself to be blessed.
Of course her two teenagers keep her grounded. One day she’s sure they’re going to admit to her being an author but she’s not holding her breath.
Where to find Amy Andrews:
Real estate tycoon Nathaniel Montgomery is one deal away from making his first billion and fulfilling a promise to his dying father. Nothing will stop him from tearing down the decrepit St. Agnes hospital and erecting posh condos in its place. Not even the crystal-wearing, health food store owner whose publicity stunt lands him in the hospital.
After her brush with death five years ago, child prodigy Addie Collins learned what’s truly important—health, happiness, and the two-hundred-year-old rose garden at St. Agnes. To make amends for the accident, she agrees to pose as Nathaniel’s girlfriend at his eccentric grandmother’s birthday party.
But Addie has an ulterior motive. To repay her debt to the universe, she must show him there’s more to life than making money. Nathaniel hates to lose, but as she breaks through his defenses, losing himself in Addie’s arms might be exactly what this tycoon needs…
Amy will be giving away 1 ebook copy of Taming the Tycoon to one lucky commenter.
All you have to do is answer Amy’s question:
Does a bodyguard plot automatically say “yes please buy me” or leave you cold? What about a reluctant one? Is there another plot type that appeals more?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on 15 September 2012 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.