When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first book when I was 9 years old. It was 80 pages long, filled with blood and gore, where no one survived in the end. My parents probably should have rushed me to a therapist, but they didn't. Instead I ended up writing in notebooks throughout high school and college, but never pursued fiction writing until my 30s. I was under the false impression that writing stories was a great hobby, but journalism and advertising were more respectable and secure professions. There's nothing wrong with those careers, but I simply couldn't stop the stories. My late husband was the one who finally encouraged me to just go for publication. There's a line in the movie Housesitter that says, "All a dreamer needs is one person who believes in them." That's very true.
What genre do you write and why?
I write romantic suspense because I love a good thrill. Suspense writing with its darkness and perpetual challenges for the characters keeps my mind snapping with ideas. Romance with its raw emotion and intensity ups the stakes for the characters who often have everything to lose. Love is universal...we all seek it whether we admit it or not. When I put the the two together, it's like tossing a match onto gasoline. Creating complicated plots with equally complex characters who are often damaged is addicting. In my world, romantic suspense combines all the elements of a good story--sex, action, danger, darkness, complexity and intensity.
Tell us about your latest book.
Ah, Riptide. I love this story. It's about a woman, Lauren Biltmore, who had to kill a stalker to save her own life. On top of her physical wounds, she has a hard time dealing with the trauma she's survived. Self-defense doesn't justify her actions, at least not in her own mind. An anchorwoman in Atlanta, she's used to reporting the news rather than being the lead story. She retreats to her brother's home on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, hoping to figure out how to start her life over and to distract herself from reality.
Distraction arrives in the form of sexy screenwriter and dive master Noah Reynolds who's not at all what he seems. He knows he should maintain a "hands off" policy with Lauren, especially when her brother is one of his best friends and when the worst night of her life has unlocked his writer's block. As if that's not enough, he suddenly has a stalker of his own who's determined to bring his scandalous past to the surface. For years he's lived with a firm set of rules. Rule 1: stay busy. Rule 2: avoid relationships with women. Rule 3: confide in no one. Rule 4: never forget rule #2. But with Lauren, the rules don't matter. In her, he senses someone who's as alone as he is.
But as Noah's stalker intensifies her torment, Lauren's forced to question if her paranoia is real or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined? All those memories she's fought to suppress refuse to be buried alive. Noah's being hunted by a maniac and his not-so-reformed-bad-boy ways are coming to light. Tentative trust is tested against a riptide of deceit, revenge and murder.
Like I said, I love this story. Why? Because it's dark and highly emotional. The relationship between Noah and Lauren is as intense as it is sexy.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
Well, my publisher helps me with the launch with their various advertising sources. Outside of that, I utilize virtual book tours, twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, local press when possible and my own blog.
What formats is the book available in?
Riptide is initially in all ebook formats (kindle, nook, etc) directly from my publisher, Bookstrand.com, until released to distributors like Barnes and Noble and Amazon in mid-August 2012. It will also be out in paperback, but not until November 2012.
My other romantic suspense novel, Kiss Me Slowly, is currently available in all ebook formats and paperback from Barnes and Noble, Amazon andAmazonUK.
|Amber Lea Easton|
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Well, I'm always taking a class of some kind. I guess you could call me a perpetual student of life. I'm curious about everything, which is one reason I love being an author. I'm also a widowed mom of two teens so they keep me busy with their sporting events and school activities. Solo parenting can sometimes be overwhelming, but we manage to have fun. I love traveling, yoga, Pilates, stargazing, going to movies, concerts, plays, hockey games (Go Avalanche!), comedy clubs, and socializing with friends when possible.
Who are your favorite authors?
Heather Graham, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, David Sedaris, and Wayne Dyer to name a few.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Always be willing to learn from others, but use your own judgement about what works best for you. Not everything will click with you so it's okay to adjust accordingly. Also, be resilient. It's a tough business--and it is a business, take off the rose colored glasses and accept that. After you finish the manuscript, revise until it's at its best. Utilize the talent of a good editor because every writer needs one, no matter how gifted you are. Have faith in yourself and your work, always be true to you, but know when to bend so you don't snap. I like to use the metaphor of a palm tree that stands firm in its roots while bending with the wind.
What's your favorite quote about writing/for writers?
I have many favorite quotes, but can't think of one that's specifically about writing. I'll share this one instead, which to me is essential for nurturing our human spirit, especially the artistic soul. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you don't like that one, then I have a quote from my U2 concert T-shirt that says, "Every artist is a cannibal." Gotta love Bono's wisdom. Take your pick! And, yes, I know how different they are.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
I think the best thing is the freedom it gives me, especially as an only parent who happens to live in the forest in the Rocky Mountains. Commuting and working long hours in the city at this time in my life would be disastrous for my family. As an author, I'm able to have a flexible schedule that works around the kids' activities.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?