For the final Author Q&A of the year, I bring you the brilliantly talented Amy Hale. Another World Indie Warrior, I had to share with you the details of her latest release, Neurosis. A bit different to my normal read, a psychological thriller, it sounds like a real page-turner!
Since childhood, best-selling and award-winning author Amy Hale has been using the written word to inspire, encourage, and entertain. She loves creating characters and worlds from nothing but her imagination and a few glasses of wine.
Her popular paranormal series, The Shadows Trilogy, has earned multiple awards, as have the Havenwood Falls books, of which she is a participating author. She’s also a participating author in the Feisty Heroines anthology which became a #1 New Release and Bestseller on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Nook shortly after its release.
She debuted her first fiction novel in 2015 after retiring from 13 years of non-fiction writing for various online entities. In 2020 she and her husband, John, started the web-based interview show Creative As Hale. They interview creatives in various mediums to inspire and educate.
For the last couple of decades, she’s also carried the titles of Laundry Goddess, Chef, Butt Wiper, Soother of Temper Tantrums, and in more recent years, Moderator of Sarcastic Eye-rolls and Sass. She resides in Illinois with her husband, one dog, one cat, various reptiles, and 17 chickens. In her spare time, she enjoys music, photography, watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 with her family, and long rides on the back of her husband’s motorcycle.
Getting to Know You
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I’ve always loved to read, and I’ve always enjoyed the art of great storytelling no matter the medium. Writing my own stories turned out to be a natural progression.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy photography, music, movies, and reading. And if the weather allows, going with my husband on motorcycle rides.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love seeing a story go from a general idea to a full-fleshed book. The details that make a story unique are fun to work with.
The Writing Process
What is your writing process?
I’m kind of all over the place. Usually, I plot out my beginning and ending in Scrivner (and I also use index cards and a cork board.) I sit down with a drink, maybe a snack, and my laptop to start writing. I’ll usually have my headphones on with music that fits the mood I’m working toward.
Once the beginning is written I allow the characters to work through the middle, only re-plotting those parts that seem to go off the rails, as they sometimes do. Then I add the ending and begin the tedious process of re-working the entire thing to assure it all fits together properly. Then after a few self-edits, it’s off to the professional editor.
How do you get inspired to write?
I find inspiration just about everywhere. Music, photos, art… even just daily life stuff. Sometimes I’ll hear a snippet of a conversation and it’ll spark ideas.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Just write and make time to read. Some of the best learning is by doing. You can’t fix what you haven’t written, so don’t dwell on the perfect. Get it out, then worry about perfecting the details. And you can learn a ton from reading other fantastic authors. Study their sentence structure and how they present world-building or dialog. Obviously, you should never copy or plagiarize, but learn other styles then work to find your own.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love so many books that it’s hard to choose. I’ll list the first 5 that come to mind.
- One of my all-time favorites is The Duke & I by Julia Quinn (Some of you may recognize it as the first season of Bridgerton.). I read that book when it first came out 20 plus years ago and it’s been one I always go back to when I’m in a reading slump. Daphne is such a great character.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read it in school, and I always seemed to identify with Jo.
- Confess by Colleen Hoover. I loved the unique storyline, and the way Colleen integrated the amazing artwork of Danny O’Conner.
- Anything in the Vesik series by Eric Asher. Eric is a great friend, and his necromancer Damian Vesik is one of my favorite characters ever. He’s hilarious, snarky, and a bad-ass when he’s protecting those he cares about.
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley. This is a newer favorite. I love the way she writes, and this story line keeps you guessing until the end.
How do you discover the books you read?
Some are recommended by friends, others I find when searching a specific genre. And then there are some authors I just auto-buy. I’ve also recently started finding reads on TikTok using the BookTok hashtag.
What books are on your reading list this year?
I’m sure I’ll die before I finish my ever-growing TBR as my reading time is limited, but for 2022 I hope to read at least the following:
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
The Dark Things series by Kelly Martin
Once Upon a Nevermore by Juliet Harper
27 Dates by Ben Hale
Center Stage by Denise Grover Swank
They Who Fell by Kevin Kneupper
See Them Run by Stacy Green
The Choices I Made by J.L. Berg
Seeing isn’t always believing.
Trapped by her past trauma, Macy McCall worked with a variety of therapists and medications- most yielding minimal results. Her newest doctor, Daniel Yates, helps bring forth her biggest breakthroughs and she believes she can see the light at the end of a very dark and scary tunnel. With a boyfriend and a good job, she enjoys her blooming independence.
Then she sees her.
The woman that looks exactly like her.
This mirror image plagues her life in a way that she would never have expected. And when it all unravels, she won’t be the only one left wondering what is real and what is imagined.
Trigger Warning: This book deals with the topic of mental illness & trauma with mentions of abuse and self-harm/suicide.Neurosis – Amy Hale
What inspired you to write Neurosis?
I love a good spooky or thrilling tale. I’d been wanting to try my hand at a thriller for some time. When the idea for Neurosis hit me, I decided it was the right story to start that particular writing path. I know how badly the mind can play tricks on you, so with that knowledge I created poor Macy McCall. And her adventure is a psychological nail-biter.
Is there going to be a follow up to Neurosis?
Yes! I’m working on a sequel now titled Psychosis. We don’t have a release date yet, but I hope to announce that soon.