Thursday, May 19, 2011

PR Special Edition (36): Amy Plum Interview + Giveaway!

Poisoned Rationality Special  Edition

Welcome to another Poisoned Rationality Special Edition!   Today we have Amy Plum, author of the recently released Die For Me!  Pay attention after the interview for a chance to win a copy!

Synopsis: In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

As a debut author, have you had any weird experiences or moments when you took a step back and said 'Wow! No one ever mentioned this to me!'?
You’re going to embarrass me here, because before selling DIE FOR ME, I had NO CLUE how the publishing process worked. So the first time I got my manuscript back from my editor with pages and pages of notes as well as mark-ups on almost every page, I just about died. I thought, “Well, why did they even buy my book if they think it sucks this much?” It took a little time to understand the shaping process that a book goes through on its way to being final. And my editor goes through two drafts of notes instead of just one, like some do. Now that I understand, I am so grateful for the input and suggestions and all of the questions that make me delve deeper into my characters and their story to make the book just that much better.

On a lighter note, I had to look up “ARC” when someone first asked me for one. Not only had I never heard the term, but I didn’t even know that advance copies of books existed!
You mention on your website FAQ that Paris feels you with a sense of wonder and magic, even after living there for five years. Do you plan on writing future novels in a similar way, based off your own experiences?
I can’t imagine writing a story without having some sort of experience to base it on. And almost all of the settings in my stories are based on places I’ve lived or that I know well. It gives me the framework or anchor I need to strike out into a fictional story.

However, funnily enough, I don’t feel that way about people. Although Kate is a lot like me, no one else in Book 1 is based on a particular person I know. Although, in Book 2, I’m intentionally modeling one of the bad guys on a friend who was thrilled to know that I’m casting him as evil!
From university professor to full time novelist (and pre-school wrangler), how much of the professor was part of the process of writing Die For Me? Was there ever a time when as a writer you loved an idea, but your professor side rebelled?
I taught English-as-a-foreign-language in the Science Department of a French university. So the actual subject matter didn’t influence the book. But being around 18-20 year olds day-in and day-out, I didn’t have to dig too deep to come up with realistic teenage behavior! And I have to say, there were a few male students who were very cute and extremely flirty. So I saved a little of them for my male characters!

As for loving an idea but my professor side rebelling, being an English professor, that didn’t happen. BUT I did come up with some ideas where my historian side controlled my decisions. (I studied medieval art history in grad school.) That definitely came in handy when creating the pasts of my characters, and I was careful not to base anything on a history that couldn’t have happened.
How are you planning to spend Die For Me's book launch? Any special events or plans with family or friends?
The actual day of—May 10—I have no idea! But a week or two afterward I’m going to have a signing party in Paris. And then hopefully another event like that in June in New York, where I have a lot of friends.
5 Quick Q's

Cake or pie? Pie. Cherry, chocolate chess, lemon meringue, any pie will do, as long as there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
Currently reading? I always have a few books going at once, as well as my favorite magazine “The New Yorker”. On my nightstand at the moment: David Sedaris’s “When You are Engulfed in Flames”; “Excellent Women” by Barbara Pym; and “Illusions” by Aprilynne Pike.
Comfort movie? Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Bridget Jones’s Diary
Favorite non-book related hobby? The New York Times crossword puzzle.
One thing everyone should do or try before they die? skinny-dip


Want to know more?  Check out Amy's webpage and blog and follow her tour with Teen Book Scene!


One lucky commentor will win an autographed copy of Die For Me!  Simply answer this question: what city would you like to meet your star-crossed lover in?

  • US and INT entries welcome
  • contest ends May 29th, 2011 11:59 EST
  • Leave email with comment!

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