My Books!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Welcome Aimee Dyar

Welcome to the blog, Aimee. Thank you so much for coming today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First of all, I am so glad that I get to answer this question in writing. In person you’d hear a lot of “um … er … uh …” as I stammered through some sort of response. Writing is so much easier because you can’t hear the stammer, so maybe I can fool you into thinking I’m charismatic and smooth. (At this point I really have faltered and am trying to think of something relevant to write …) Ah-ha!
I live near mountains, which is important for me since I love to climb them. I have a son who just turned 3 years old on the 6th of January. I tend to spoil the little guy but I think that’s normal, or at least I tell myself that it is, and am enjoying every moment of being a mother. While having a toddler does affect my writing times, I’ve learned that I’m actually a better writer because of him.

Aimee, you crack me up. I know exactly what you mean about charismatic and smooth. I feel the same way. Congratulations on that wonderful little boy. I'm baby sitting my grandson this morning, and we've played with our dragons all morning. (From the movie How to Train Your Dragon.) You’re a new author. How did you celebrate when you got “the call”?

I was actually at work when I learned that my novel had been accepted. All my co-workers say I “squealed” but that seems so undignified. Let’s just say I made a sound of ebullience. And then I went out and bought some sort of sweet, red wine (not a wine connoisseur so I couldn’t say exactly what it was) and sipped on that while I spent the evening reading the book that had just been accepted.
Subsequently, I then spent a month and a half editing the thing for the eighth time, trying to anticipate what my Editor was going to tell me to change.
That doesn’t seem like much of a celebration, I know. But I did take my son to the park the next day and we romped around for a while.

It sounds like a fine celebration to me! Has being an author changed you in any way? How?

Well, I’ve always been a story-teller. From the moment my mother bought me my first empty journal I’ve written larger than life tales with larger than life heroes against insurmountable odds. There’s just something about watching flawed characters reach beyond their own strength that appeals to me. But I will admit that, after signing my first contract, I started to look beyond just the story and into the craft of writing. As much as I’m in it for the characters and the compelling plot-line and all of that, the real craft of writing comes into play when you start to focus on the words you’re using. So I suppose the way that I’ve changed is that I’m not only looking at what words work best on the page, but why those words work better.

Seasoned authors would do well to copy your lead. How long did it take to write your book? Did you have a critique group?

The rough draft of this book took me about two years, three false starts, four horrible endings and about seven hundred 3x5 cards. And it took me another two years for editing. I hand write everything first (hence the 3x5 cards) and at the time was in the military, toting my work around in my cargo pocket. It wasn’t until I was out of the Army before I actually sat down to compile those cards into a book form. I have learned a lot since then and can manage 600+ words a day, transcribing them to the computer after my son has gone to bed every night. (This is massively important since the hardest part of being a hand-writer is taking the work from physical page to computer screen.) I had the great fortune of finding the Forward Motion for Writers website in the middle of this process and joined a small critique group there known as the Dreamers. One such Dreamer is David Toft, who is also published through Wings ePress. The Dreamers were absolutely wonderful to me, helping to educate me in the professional art of writing and submitting works and so forth.

I'm so glad to hear you say how long it took to finish the book. It was like that for me with Return Engagement. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, I sold my second book to Double Dragon Publishing and it is due out sometime this year – I’ll know more later – but that development altered my original projection of having at least 4 books out in the next five years. It just doesn’t feel challenging enough to have the goal already halfway met, you know? And since I work on two or more projects at a time I think I’d like to bump that number up to 6 books. That’d be great.

I have every confidence you'll achieve that goal. Would you share your links with us?

Certainly! I have a website that looks very stringent and professional and it has a couple of small excerpts in it and such, but I also have a blog (which is linked to the website) that is decidedly more creative and free-form. I’ll list them both – (that’s the website) and (that’s the blog).
I know the blogspot name is a little strange. Some people might look at it and think I’m an archery hunter or something but I really meant I was hunting precision in my writing. Convoluted and weird, I know, but I already warn people that I’m pretty quirky.

We’d love to read an excerpt from Sedition. Don’t forget to give us a buy link.

Buy Link -
ISBN Numbers ::
ISBN 978-1-59705-610-6 (( This one is for the paperback. ))
ISBN 978-1-59705-228-3 (( This one is for the eBook lovers out there. ))

And the excerpt!

“You kissed me last night,” she murmured, her eyes moving to watch his mouth.
His mind flew backward, searching for the occurrence she spoke of. Yes, he remembered. A light kiss on the forehead, after he’d thought he’d lost her to the river. He hadn’t thought she would recall such a thing and if she did that the consequences would be most dire. Instead he was met with a quizzical, baffled look.
He found his feet again, hovering over her even as he swayed unsteadily. She gripped his elbows again and tried to urge him back into the chair with a soft, almost crooning command. “Stay down, Highness … I would not want you dropping dead in my home.”

His mouth settled on hers before he’d even made the decision to kiss her. Her hands gripped his elbows more tightly and he made a low rumble deep in his throat, tilted his head and nipped at her lower lip. Her responding gasp opened her to his further kiss and she melted against him. She moved her hands to his shoulders, freeing him to draw her more firmly against him.

Gods! She felt so good.

Then his head reel again and he had to pull away. Confused at his own lack of self-control, at the very inability he seemed to have to stay on his feet, he allowed her to sit him back down. There was a rosy blush to her cheeks and she would not meet his eyes.

“Trenna …” he started, but couldn’t quite discern what to say.

Her smile was kind, understanding. “It’s the Gypsy weed,” she stated matter-of-factly and pointed at mortar and pestle beside them. “I know. You wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

Aimee, thanks again for coming. I've enjoyed our time together, and if you want to know, you did sound charismatic and smooth. Come back and see me soon.


Anonymous said...

Great interview! And loved the excerpt too, but....WOW on that cover most of all!

Happy Writing/Reading HUGS,
Kari Thomas

AJMaguire said...

I loved the cover, too. Richard Stroud did excellent. I remember when we talked on the phone he called and he said it wasn't quite done and I looked at it and said - No! It's perfect just like that!