Amy Brecount-White is the debut author of amazing book titled Forget-Her-Nots, which is now out!
Can you describe you newest novel, Forget-Her-Nots, in three words?
Flowers, memories, romance. [I'd be interested to see what your description was too!]
Are you similar to your main character Laurel in any ways?
Her life is harder than mine was at 14, but I've also lost people I adored (my dad and mother-in-law). And I like to think of myself as thoughtful and caring, which Laurel is ... most of the time. Plus, we both LOVE flowers.
How did the title Forget-Her-Nots come to be?
My awesome Greenwillow editors came up with it. They wanted something floral and catchy. I like it, because it makes you do a mental double-take.
Did you do any type of research while writing Forget-Her-Nots?
Yes, a lot. I read just about every language of flowers book and article I could find and also some books about flower customs. Plus I researched Shakespeare's use of flowers, flowers in Greek mythology, and flowers in poems. I had to make sure that I timed events to coincide with flower blooming times, which was tricky.
Some of them were easy, because I wanted to use floral names, and there are only so many. Tara's name changed a few times, but Laurel was always Laurel. Sometimes an editor will ask an author to change a name, because it might sound too similar to another and be confusing. Sometimes a name, like Justin, just feels right.
Did Forget-Her-Nots change in any big ways from first draft to final copy?
Yes and no. I think the basic idea was the same, but my learning curve as a novelist was a little steeper than I anticipated. Plus, there are lots of strands to the story, so it took me awhile to interweave the scenes just right.
Is there a specific message you hope readers of Forget-Her-Nots take from it?
Give and grow more flowers! I don't really believe that novels should have a specific message, but I do think the world would be a better place if people had more flowers in their lives.
Do you have a favorite scene or line in Forget-Her-Nots? If so, would you mind sharing what it’s about?
I LOVE the prom scene, because I think it's romantic, and fun with all the twists. But I hated to do that to Laurel at the end of it. :-(
How does it feel knowing your book is going to be in bookstores soon?
Surreal. This is a complete dream come true for me. I feel blessed and excited.
Since I always find this topic interesting, what was The Call like?
It was pretty funny. I'd told my kids that if my agent ever called, it was good news. It was about 5:30 pm on a Friday, so I'd given up hope for that week on a sale when my son came running down the stairs to my office, yelling, "Mom, Mom! It's your agent! Did you sell your book?" It was thrilling to be able to nod to him a few seconds later and watch him jump up and down. I could barely hear what my agent was saying.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you went, “ I want to be an author!” or was it something that developed gradually over time?
I've wanted to be a novelist since I was about 20, but it took me awhile to get the courage up to really do it. In the meantime, I taught high school English, freelanced for newspapers and magazines, and read a ton. Ultimately, I think all those life experiences made me a better writer.
You’re part of the amazing 10’er group which leaves me to wonder what you experience has been like working with all those talented authors.
It has truly been amazing. We share our experiences -- both good and bad -- which is very helpful and fun. I've learned so much from everyone and had great opportunities to promote my book and everyone else's. All of the Tenner books I've read so far have been excellent, so I'm honored to be in the group. I'm a critique partner now with two of the Tenners -- C.J. Omololu and Denise Jaden -- which has been very helpful for my next project. It's also so cool to read what they're working on!
What’s up next for you book-wise?
I'm working on a contemporary YA called STRING THEORIES. No flowers anywhere, but lots of other fun stuff and getting even.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Lauren! And thanks for all you do for the YA community!
No thank you, Amy! It's been awesome haveing the chance to interview you and read your (amazing!) book. :)
An Excerpt from Forget-Her-Nots (First FIVE Chapters!)
Amy's Book Borders/Amazon/Barnes and Noble
Now, that you've found out my flower choice be sure to head over to the different blogs hosting Amy this week here (this is the third week of the tour, by the way, so be sure to scroll down to that segment) and record their flower choices, since if you collect them all and precede to send the list to Amy, you can be entered into a contest! So again, remember to head over here to find out more.