Friday, 20 January 2012

Author Interview - A.M. Hargrove

I had the pleasure of interviewing A.M. Hargrove, author of two YA paranormal romance novels, Survival, book 1 of The Guardians of Vesturon series, and Resurrection, book 2 of The Guardians of Vesturon series.


You can find SURVIVAL here (FREE!):
 
"Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."

While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places only to find that perhaps it was all for nothing.

  You can buy RESURRECTION here:
"Maddie knew she was dying. Her life started to flash before her. She had visions of running down the soccer field, scoring a goal, eating her mother’s yummy, homemade, sticky cinnamon rolls, standing in her foyer listening to the police tell her father that her mother had been killed in a car accident. Each vision was disturbingly clear—as if it was happening again."

Rayn Yarrister, the first-born son and Leader of The Guardians, has been imprisoned on Vesturon for breaking their most sacred of covenants. He is suddenly jolted by Maddie's telepathic pleas for help, as her life hangs in the balance. Can he alert The Guardians in time to save his soulmate? Or will he face his trial alone and broken without his one true love?


In Resurrection (Book 2), The Guardians of Vesturon are facing their biggest challenges as Earth is threatened by an invading species from a distant planet intent on destroying it for its resources. The Guardians, as protectors of the universe, have been assembled to defend not only Earth, but other vulnerable worlds as well. The Yarrister family is threatened by an unknown entity intent on discrediting them. Will they uncover this plot in time to save themselves from ruin? Will The Guardians succeed in stopping the Xanthians, or will Earth be invaded and ravaged by this marauding species?
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**We are also giving away a copy of Resurrection, newly released on January 18, 2012, to one lucky winner. See below for give away details.**
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A.M., thank you for stopping by the Making Connections blog and taking the time to talk with us!

1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I always enjoyed writing and minored in journalism in college. I have always been an avid reader and had all sorts of story ideas but after college, I got caught up in pursuing a career that totally veered away from journalism. My major was Public Relations but I always toyed with the idea of going to medical school. I actually went to work as a pharmaceutical sales rep and then moved up the ranks into management. Honestly, I would still be there today if the company I worked for hadn’t been bought by a larger firm. My job was eliminated so I looked at that as my opportunity to make a break and go for a major career change. I think I’m the only person in the world that looked at her job loss as a good thing!


2. Do you have a favorite character in Survival? Which character did you have the most fun writing?
Most definitely. All of them J! Actually, I don’t really have a favorite. I love writing about all of them. I have distinct pictures in my mind of each and I love to see where their personalities take me. I know that sounds the opposite of what you think I would do, but when I start writing, my characters take on a life of their own and often times develop in different directions than what I had originally intended.


3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I like to write about four hours everyday. However, when I am deep into the book I am writing, I could stay there for twelve hours. My hands can’t work the keyboard fast enough. Mind you, I am talking about the roughest of drafts! I am now coming off three weeks of intense activity. I was on a deadline for Resurrection and I am getting ready to launch a website (http://www.amhargrove.com/) simultaneously. It’s been a bit crazy here :D


4. What was your main source of inspiration for your writing?
This sounds crazy, but running inspires me. I have created almost every one of my characters and plots while I’ve been running. I listen to music and just go and by the time I get home, I have all sorts of ideas that are eager to move from my head to my Mac.


5.  What is the hardest part of writing a novel?
Editing and revisions. Editing makes me insane. There are times I want to scream. When I write, I often edit as I go along, but the book is still a rough draft. When I move into the crucial edits is when I get crazy. It’s like I know a part needs to be changed, but when I start changing it, the whole story somehow gets mucked up. So then I have to go back and rearrange a bunch of stuff. Not much fun at all.


6. Is there someone in your life who inspired you to write? Was there another author or a teacher who encouraged you?
My husband really was the one who encouraged me to go for it. He had more faith in me than I did initially. Also, I had a couple of journalism professors that pushed me. I say I minored in Journalism, but I was only one class short of a double major, so I wrote a ton in college.


7. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Lots of them actually. First off is the strong female. (Possible spoiler here—you’ll see that come out more in Resurrection.) Second, sometimes there are things out of your control that have drastic effects on your life. How you handle those situations can set you apart from everyone else. Third, the whole sex thing…(possible spoiler here—the MCs couldn’t have premarital sex because of the Vesturion covenant. I wanted to show that sometimes waiting can be a good thing. Knowing your partner, trust, honesty, integrity, etc can save you a ton of heartache in the end). Fourth, there are some really good guys out there. Just be patient and keep looking if you haven’t found the right one. Fifth, sometimes a higher power can be at work when you least expect it.


8. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
First off, a good story. If there isn’t a good story, no matter how good the writing is, everything flops. Second, good character development. I like to be able to see and picture the characters I read about. Third, conflict. I LOVE conflict. Well, I’m sure most readers do, but I will read a book that everyone seems to love and I’ll be disappointed in the lack of good, solid conflict. Last, I want the story to move. Sometimes I find I have rushed through writing a scene because I fear it is moving too slow. I have to temper myself many times.


9. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am currently writing Book 3 of The Guardians of Vesturon, which is at this time, untitled. The main male character is Rykerian so all of you Rykerian fans will be glad to see him move to center stage. I can’t tell you much more than that though.


10. What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to cook and eat! I also love to camp and backpack. Much of what was written about the Smokey Mountain National Park in Survival came from my own experience on the trails. It’s an incredible place and I’m fortunate enough to live very close to it. I also love to snow ski (which I only get to do a couple of times a year). I live in the south so I usually go out west for my snow skiing thrills. I know none of the above sounds relaxing, but it all takes me away from all the stresses of life.


11. What book are you reading now?
I’m getting ready to start 50 Shades of Grey. I just finished Blood Warrior. I have so many books in the queue it’s crazy!


A.M., I want to thank you again for taking the time to talk with us. I wish you all the best for your future novels!

You can contact A.M. Hargrove or find out more about her books at any of these places:



























































a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. I entered, lol I know I can't win but it was fun haha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: news@apolitical.info. Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92126

    I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.

    Yours,
    James.

    ReplyDelete