USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amy Vansant has written over 20 books, including the fun, thrilling Shee McQueen series, the rollicking, twisty Pineapple Port Mysteries, and the action-packed Kilty urban fantasies. Throw in a couple romances and a YA fantasy for her nieces… Amy specializes in fun, exciting reads with plenty of laughs and action — she tried to write serious books, but they always ended up full of jokes, so she gave up.
Amy lives in Jupiter, Florida with her muse/husband a goony Bordoodle named Archer.
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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
When I was very little I wrote Winnie-the-Pooh — complete with original drawings. I didn’t know much about copyright infringement then. But I’ve been writing since I could. I was East Coast Editor of Surfer Magazine and freelanced… then I quit for a while because it was easier to buy food working at my web development firm at the beginning of the Internet, but I came back! (About three years too late to really enjoy the beginning of Indie publishing. Grr!)
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Like my character Shee McQueen, I see the days of the week in colors and calendars as shapes in my head. Doesn’t do much for me but I was surprised to find out others don’t see it that way!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in Sea Isle City NJ, a tiny beach town a little north of Cape May. Graduating eight grade class of 12!
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them. PLEASE?? 😊
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a new series that was a little more intense than my more “cozy” Pineapple Port mysteries and took place in Jupiter, Florida, where I recently moved.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I often have my readers pick names for me by running giveaways on my site at https://AmyVansant.com – or I just Google baby names.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Shee McQueen had her whole life interrupted by a man out to kill her. Now that she’s back on track and free to live again, she feels a little lost — unsure how to proceed with her life. The fact that her young love has come back into her life only complicates things — she can’t just start fresh because she also desperately wants to get back all the things she lost.
Who designed your book covers?
Lance Buckley https://www.lancebuckley.com/ Gorgeous, aren’t they? He did a GREAT job! The photo on the cover of The Girl Who Was Forgotten I took down at the end of my street!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I just released it. Please don’t even say that out loud!
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m always learning little bits and facts as I research my books. Most of it horrific. Never look at my browser history. If Dateline ever got hold of that…
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Sandra Bullock. She definitely has that tough, smart and yet likable and silly thing working for her!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
There is a passionate scene of longing and regret between Shee and her leading man, Mason. I tear up when I read it!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My husband is a little piece of all the leading men. Mariska in the Pineapple Port series is my mother-in-law. Seamus in that series is loosely my brother-in-law… there’s no end to the people whose lives I’ve stolen…
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They tell me what to write. I just type.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
The Shee McQueen series is the perfect blend of thrills, action, mystery, humor and romance. I can’t seem to ever write in one genre! Thrillers with a sense of humor are my favorite, so I decided I’d write one.
Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I started AuthorsXP.com, a website for readers and authors, and through that I’ve gotten to meet and befriend a lot of great authors. I pick their brains all the time!
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
None. Often I start a book with no idea where it is going. Mostly, I think of great scenes and then figure out how they all stitch together. The plot comes to me in the process and changes 1000 times.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Silence. I’m easily distracted.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Usually one, but once or twice I’ve gotten stuck and wrote a few scenes for another in the meantime.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Someone writes with a pen??
Advice they would give new authors?
Keep writing. The only thing wrong you can do is to give up. The more you do it, the better you get, whether you mean to or not!
Describe your writing style.
Fun, fast and creative. I like making up unusual metaphors and similes that make people laugh or snort.
What makes a good story?
Make sure something is always happening. Don’t take whole chapters just to move people from one place to the other without any action or secrets!
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Not listening to feedback. You can’t listen to everything but if the same feedback keeps coming, chances are it is true.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About two months.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No, but it occasionally believes in me…
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