Sunday, October 7, 2012

Author Spotlight on Amanda McIntyre

Hello all! Before you read my recent interview with author, Amanda MacIntyre, I would like to give you some background. I had the great fortune of meeting this talented lady last year at my first Lora Leigh's RAW conference in Flintstone, Maryland. Pretty much from the get-go I hit it off with her. Our friendship continued after that amazing weekend and I got to spend a great deal of time with her at this year's RAW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Amanda is so friendly and welcoming. Give and take is so easy with her. She is also such a talented author. I fell in love with Tortured, which was my very first read by her and quickly became engrossed with her fabulous Time Travel/Western, Wild & Unruly. Her character, Sheriff Jake Sloan is one of my ultimate heroes still. I hope you enjoy this interview, and if you have any questions, please just ask. I am sure that Amanda would be very happy to answer them.

1.      1.  What inspired you to write?  Need. I’m an artist at heart—oils, sculpting, and sketching foremost. But the need to tell a story came as a healing mechanism to me in a very difficult time in my life. Perhaps it was the need for escape. Perhaps the need to house my emotions into the vessel of a fictional character in order to put a measure of objectivity to my experiences.  Either way, I had something to say and I spent all night writing my first story—by hand, mind you. Very Shakespearean, don’t you think?;)  I think most of us are inspired at first by an event, or an experience that moves us enough to need to get the demons, the joy, or what-have-you, out on paper.
But what inspires me still is something that I’ve always said when asked, “what do you write?”  I write about ordinary people who discover through circumstance, experience and love--how extraordinary they really are.

2. Did you have problems with finding a publisher? Finding them? No. Getting published? Absolutely!  I take heart in the fact that even the greatest authors of our time had difficulty getting published—John jakes, for example was rejected something like 68 times before he was published. JK Rowling, too was rejected several times before someone took a risk on her now multi-million dollar imagination.  You don’t go into writing with the idea of becoming rich quick—or even slowly. ;) It’s not easy to write. Despite how effortless it appears, it a very difficult and often times hermit-like existence.  I was fortunate in many ways to work with a number of e-book and small press companies—learning from each and every experience, before landing my first contract with Harlequin Spice. In fact, I’d nearly decided just before that to give up writing and to be honest, it wasn’t the last time the thought has crossed my mind;) But it always comes down to what else would I do that brings me as much joy as when delving into my proverbial paint box , creating colorful characters and taking them on a journey of my imagination!
The industry has changed remarkably even in this past decade. What major players in the publishing world once claimed wouldn’t survive, has now become a reality. And while I still enjoy frankly, the smell of a bookstore or library (even more than holding the book in my hand) the truth is that e-Books have become to readers, what cell phones have become for communication. I took an impromptu survey the other day and discovered that many folks have more than one e-reader that they use, even if they continue to purchase print books.
It’s affecting every facet of our society making it easier and a little less expensive for college students with textbooks.  Many of the classic books we all read in school are now offered free at many sites, new authors are being discovered daily through self-publishing program sites like Amazon and all of these things  have encouraged a whole new generation to read again.
It’s a new dawn out there in the publishing industry. Very , very few authors, unless deeply established with a specific publisher, are likely to stay with the same publisher to build the 25-35 year careers that our predecessors have known.  It happens, but in my opinion, it’s rare. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been advised by people in this industry, not to “put all your eggs in one basket.”  Diversity is a good thing. Even well-established authors are publishing their own backlists in e-book, as well as testing the waters with new pen names and different genres.  Places like Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble online-now offer a multitude of sumptuous reading material at the mere click of a button. Okay, now I’m climbing down off my soapbox….
Perhaps more important, insofar as writing, whether, small press, big press, or self-publishing, you have to be savvy, aware of the changes (as much as is possible) believe in your gift, and hone your craft. Never stop learning. A valuable lesson from the big players on down to us simple storytellers. ;)  Put simply-don’t write for the market. Write your story.

3. Who are your mentors? Too many to name. From every editor I’ve worked with. Every author, seasoned and aspiring that I’ve met, the authors whose books hold a special spot on my re-reads shelf, to the talented friends I have the pleasure of knowing as a result of my writing, to my family and close friends who encourage me daily and remind me of what’s really important.

4. What does your family think about you being an author?  They encourage and respect what I do. They certainly have a greater understanding of what is involved in the process of writing and publishing a book. All four of my kids have fabulous imaginations and bright, creative gifts and are avid readers. I like to think that maybe I had a little influence in that;)

5. Does your husband read your work? Not usually. But I can’t tell you the number of times he’s been asked if what I write is based on fact or fiction. Honestly, he’s a sci-fi kind of guy, but bless his heart, he will listen to my plot storming and sometimes offers advice—he’s great for research as well. This is a guy you don’t want to come up against in Trivial Pursuit, you know? But more often he patiently listens and then with a look somewhere between marvel and curiosity will say, “I don’t know how you come up with these ideas.”

7. Dream job?  Living the dream;)

8. Who are your favorite authors? Books? I’m seriously eclectic in books and music…my “keeper’ shelf is very limited, however. Christina Skyes’ “Christmas Knight,” Anne River Siddons, “Colony,” Robin T Popp’s, “Nightslayer series,” Jennifer Blake’s, “Roan,” Suzanne Forester’s “Morning After”,Stella Cameron’s “Guilty Pleasures” Stef Ann Holm’s Pink Moon, Donna Kauffman’s “Your Wish is My Command.”—these a but a skimming of the cream… I also read a number of books (In several genres and mixed genres) from my peers, but won’t list them all, lest I should forget one;)

9. I haven't watched TV in over 4 years but I am curious to know if you have a favorite show: Not really. I’m not much of a TV person. I do however get into the BBC when they run their fabulous series—I’ve just watched the Crimson Petal and White and really into Copper every Sunday night. I’m also catching up on Season one of Torchwood. I desperately want to see The Romantics (about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) and I loved (still love) The Tudors. (in cooperation I believe with the BBC) Does this make me an anglophile? I don’t know…

10. How do you have time to balance all that is being Amanda McIntyre? I have learned (still learning) to make time. You have to set goals, but you have to realize what matters, too.

11. Who are your favorite characters from your books? Interesting question and I’d have to say to some degree, all of them. Because truly there is a part of me--of what I was going through, dealing with at that time, or my ideal--that is engrained in them. I love Tess and Gabe from my first novel (Unfinished Dreams) both down to earth, ordinary people dealing with the left curve that life tossed to them. I loved Cozette (Diary of Cozette) for her tenacity and surviving amazing odds. Darcy Cunningham (Tides of Autumn) for her courage to follow her dream and the love for and of  her family. Thomas (Master & the Muses) and Grace-both twisted & torn who find out how powerful and real love really is.  Sheriff Jake and Miss Lillian( Wild & Unruly) for their loyalty to one another. Angel (Fallen Angel) for her old soul that while tarnished still believed in the magical power of love,--and that’s just a few…I really do love them all, with exception of a few secondary bad seeds tossed in to make life interesting for the main characters. But I’ve also written a number of secondary folks that I truly adore as well.

12. Do you attend author conferences? Which ones? Your favorites?  When time and finances afford it, sure! I abhor flying, let me say that upfront;) So if I can drive somewhere, all the better. My first Romantic Times Convention was in the Fall just after the tragedy of 9/11, which made this last spring’s convention my eleventh consecutive attendance. I’ve been to RWA once and Lora Leigh’s RAW weekend and attended Heather Graham’s Writer’s Workshop in New Orleans. More smaller conventions are popping up and next year I’ll be a featured author at August 2013, Authors After Dark in Savannah, Ga. Certainly there is no limit to the number of small and large conferences available. I like the smaller ones because that’s where I get to meet and get to know the readers!

13. What's the most difficult thing about being an author?  The actual business of writing—submitting, keeping up to snuff on the industry, marketing, budgeting and promoting on so many different levels—it’s time consuming and yet so necessary to your work.  I find it hard sometimes to find the balance between the creative and the business side.

14. Hobbies? Musical theater, concerts, (rock or classical) gardening, road trips, watching Iowa State football and the fabulous ISU marching band, researching for my next story. Oh, yes and I’m a taphopile, (gravestone enthusiast) with an avid top ten list of cemeteries I’d like to visit—the older the better.

15. Final thoughts, any message to readers? Thank you for how you inspire us as writers to tell our stories, take risks and think outside the box! I love hearing what you think about my books, what you’re like to see more of. True story, Masters & the Muses came about on an email I received from a reader who read Diary of Cozette and wanted to know Thomas’s story (a secondary character in that book)  Lots of readers have been my inspiration in one way or another!

OUT NOW!!!!!


Amanda McIntyre on the Web:
Amanda on Facebook:
Amanda on Twitter:
Amanda on Goodreads:


  1. Amanda is da-bomb! At this last year's RT I was having moment, lonely, didn't know anyone, and she gave me unconditional hugs! Really? Amazing Amanda. My first book of hers was the Master and the Muse. LOVE IT

  2. That's very nice--and am I not doing a holiday article for you? LOL

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Masters and the Muses--its well, a complicated story. Very dark in spots, but one of redemption, I like to think.;) It received a 4 1/2 stars from Rt Bookreviews which I'm very pleased with.

    At my first RT (where I felt alone and lost!) I had my aura read--and she told me I had that kind of personality and face people are comfortable with. I believe too that your aura--the good vibes-- can be transferred to others by touch--whether handshake, a pat on the back or a hug.

    I'm a hugger from way back;)

  3. Say for those who read this blog, I thought I'd let you know that I'm celebrating the festival of Samhain all month over at

    CONTEST in conjunction with my newsletter:
    Is autumn one of your favorite seasons??
    Tell me why for a chance to win autographed print copies of the other two Celtic Festival anthologies in this special "Celtic Spice" Mini-series! Winter's Desire (celebrating Winter Solstice) and The Pleasure Garden (celebrating Beltane)
    Two winners will be chosen at random from comments left on my web blog!

  4. Amanda I am spreading the word!!!! Thanks for the giveaway

  5. Thank you Ms Kimberly! I meant to add it at the end of the interview! *doh thats what lack of sleep will do for you!;))

  6. Hello Kimberly and Amanda!! I really have only read two of Amanda's books ( Master and the Muses and Wild and Unruly) and really enjoyed them both. I look forward to reading more of them in the near future. Waiting for Fallen Angel.

    1. Hi Lori, thank you! I've just been informed that its release is defintely Novemeber 23 in eBook with the print to follow on its heels.

  7. That's wonderful that your family is so supportive of your writing :) I'll have to look up all of the books and start checking them out.

    1. Herding cats ...
      LOL, I cant tell you how many times I've used this term to describe my family over the years;)
      Thank you for checking out my books, I'm getting my author pages over at Amazon author central reorganized to show them all. I'l been very negligent about keeping that cleaned up *bad me. But thats all a part of finding that balance...kind of like that area of your house that you swear you're going to organize one of these days;) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE Amanda's work.. and can't wait for Fallen Angel and The Dark Seduction of Miss Jane. They both look AMAZING!!! I read Wild and Unruly and Master and the Muses, and LOVED them both lot..<3 thanks Kim for another wonderful interview... you are the best..<3

    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I'm so glad you enjoyed the books and hope that you'll love my (yet again) tortured hero in Fallen Angel;)

      I loved these questions, too! They really get to the meat getting to know a person;) Well done, Ms Kimberly.

      Not to mention the woman is a phenominal photographer!
      Thanks Elizabeth for stopping by!

  9. Those are some awesome looking covers! I have to say that I have not read any of your books...yet, but I certainly will be adding some to my 'to be obtained' list :)