April is Amy Bartol Month!! *Giveaway*

Um, hello!  I have the totally talented and amazing Amy A. Bartol here today!!
If you have followed me on Twitter, Goodreads or over at Supa Gurl Books then
you know I am a total nut job over The Premonition Series!  Like seriously, nutty!

So, I decided to kick off April with a fun little "April is Amy" month!!

Each week I will post a review and some pictures of a book from Amy's, The Premonition Series, AND I will offer up an e-book giveaway from that weeks book!
In ADDITION, I will have a month long giveaway of some super secret Amy stuff 
(see Rafflecopter below to enter).  
Sit back, relax and keep checking back in with me for your chance to win some goodies!!  
PLUS you might just find a little tease or two on my debut-Never Let You Fall- due out May 1

Without further ado check out this interview that gives you a little insight into Amy's writing process and her path to becoming an awesome self-pub author...

Give us a little background on yourself as it pertains to when you started writing.  Did you always want to be a writer?

When I first began writing Inescapable, I didn’t have any “be a writer” aspirations.  I began writing it to see if I was capable of creating a story and then actually LIKING what I wrote.  It was an experiment.  I wrote with the thought in mind that I’d never show it to anyone.  It was just for me—the book I wanted to read. 

You've self-published your four books.  Why did you go that route?  

Beside the obvious reason: I couldn't find an agent to represent me, there was another, shall I say, more humbling reason why I decided to self-publish Inescapable.  It has to do with a dog.
When I first wrote Inescapable, it was 170,000 words, more or less, and for about the first three or four months I sent out query letters to literary agents touting this.  (A query letter is like a résumé for a manuscript.)  Needless to say, I rarely got a response and when I did, it was a form rejection letter.  Then one day, an agent sent me a rejection letter stating that my manuscript was “way too long.”  I did some research and discovered that, unless you are a previously published author, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting your book published with that word count.  (Naïve thy name is Amy.)  By this time, I was almost finished with my second book that was longer than the first. (Lucky me.)  Anyway, I did a few rewrites and got my manuscript down to around 135,000 words, but I still wasn’t getting any interest. Finally, I pared my book down to 105,000 words.  I sent out about 20 queries and I had an almost immediate response.  One of the agencies asked for a query, twenty-five pages of the manuscript, and a brief synopsis.  I sent it.  A week later, this agency requested the entire manuscript.  So, I’m totally geeked, right!  You bet your ass right!  Someone was finally reading my novel!
Furiously, I researched this agency that was considering representing me and found that one of my most favorite authors (I mean, he is a book-writing machine) is a client of this agency.  You notice that I haven’t named this author or the agency; this is because I respect the author and his work and do not wish to taint it.  I also do not bear the agency any ill will, so they will remain anonymous, too.  Anyway, it’s really not about this amazing author, it’s about his dog.  You see, this author has a dog; I think it’s either a yellow lab or a golden retriever (sorry, I don’t have a fact checker) and this author’s dog is also a client of this agency.  A client…as in: the dog is an author.  (I am so not making this up, if I was, I would have to make it more believable, but because it is nonfiction, it doesn’t have to make sense.)  Apparently, this talented canine has penned a manuscript that reveals the “true spirit of Christmas.”  Good for her!  At this point, I’m super psyched, right, because these people aregiving book deals to dogs!  (I can’t lose!)  They have to give one to me, too!  (Naïve, thy name is Amy.)
About a month later, I received my rejection letter stating that I was not a “good fit for the agency at this time,” which left me to think: I must be the worst writer in the world if a dog can get a book deal and I can’t.  That was my first thought.  My next thought was: maybe I’ve been too harsh with my criticism.  Maybe this dog is really talented and mystical and has discovered some insight on a holiday that most of my relatives manage to screw up annually and with aplomb.  (Ha, ha.)
Mystical dogs aside, it was for me the deciding factor in my decision to self-publish.  I could have sent out more queries, but I didn’t like my book at 105,000 words and I was trying to please people I don’t understand.  At the end of the day, I want to like what I write and it took a dog to teach me that.

I love your covers, who designs them?

            My covers are designed by CreateSpace’s Team Fusion.  I specify, in general, my concept for the cover and they give me that option and a second option that they invent using their own creativity and design aesthetics.  Once they present me with the two options, I can either pick one, or I can make changes or combine aspects of both designs to create a new design.  For the cover of Inescapable, I didn’t make any changes, but went with the option that I conceived but that they designed for me.  For Intuition, I did the opposite and went with Team Fusion’s concept.  I’ve been extremely satisfied with the end results from CreateSpace.
In The Premonition Series you write about angels.  Was there a particular reason you chose angels and YA PN?

            I've been a really avid reader of the paranormal fantasy genre for a while now.  I was obsessed with Odd Thomas, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter to name a few, so I knew I wanted to write a story that took place in the “real world,” but which also had supernatural elements to it.  While reading “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, I stumbled across a stanza that had the word "Seraphim" in it.  I was annoyed that I didn't know exactly what that word meant because I'm preoccupied with words.  I googled it (as one does) and found that Seraphim are angels, and not just any angels; they're the highest rank of angels in Heaven.  Angels have ranks?  I had thought.  Really? 
            I did some research and discovered that a theologian in the fifth century named Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite wrote about a hierarchy of angels.  The angels from my stories are loosely based on Pseudo-Dionysius' writings (he didn't have "Reaper" angels—I took a large amount of "poetic license" in my writing).

Having followed you for a while I know you like to make character playlists for all of your main characters in your books.  Do you listen to the songs as your writing?  If you could pick one song to describe Inescapable what would it be?

I often listen to music while I write and I definitely draw inspiration from it.  First of all, let me just explain my writing style for a second. I’m what most people in the industry refer to as a “Pantser.”  There are “Plotters” and there are “Pantsers.”  Plotters meticulously plot out the outline to their stories chapter by chapter or plot point by plot point and adhere to them.  Pantsers, on the other hand, start with maybe an idea of what will happen and then they write something completely different.  I’m definitely a Pantser.  No question. 
I began with just a rough idea for Inescapable. The main character would be a female beginning her freshman year of college.  She’d be a unique being: one that was half-human and half-angel.  She’d meet an angel, Reed, who would be torn between killing her and protecting her. Fallen angels would come and try to hurt her and Reed would protect her.  The End.  But...that’s not exactly what happened, is it?  When I first started, I never conceived of a character named Russell; he just showed up in chapter three and started talking to Evie on the walk to Arden Lake.
Chapter three was a game changer.  I had been listening to Coldplay’s Reign of Love over and over; I couldn’t stop (which starts at 3:57 afterLover’s In Japan).  That’s when I thought about what Russell actually could be.  He could be Evie’s human soul mate: a soul that she has traveled through eternity with in many lifetimes; a soul that, because they’re so similar, his is like the other half of her own; a soul that won’t stop searching for his match no matter what comes.
But now, in this lifetime, Evie is not just human, she is also half-angel.  What if she is meant to be with an eternal love, one that is immortal because she is now immortal?  What if Reed has been waiting for her since the beginning of time?  That would be quite a love triangle, huh? So you can imagine, the first chapter of Inescapable started out completely different in the original version.  I rewrote the first chapter after I wrote the last chapter of Inescapable to fit the storyline.  It was easy to write the premonition that foreshadowed the ending after said ending was already written.  If I had to pick just one song that describes Inescapable, then it would have to be Reign of Love by Coldplay.

Premonition Series is going to contain Five? books.  What can you tell us about your next book?  
            What can I tell you about Iniquity?  Hmm, not much!  As I explained before, I’m a Pantser; I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I write it.  That said, I have a general idea of what I want to focus on.  I want to explore the relationship between Russell and Anya; that should prove to be entertaining.  There will be a power struggle between Tau and Evie.  The Divine vs. Fallen war is building in reaction to Evie’s presence on Earth.  Someone asked me if it will be apocalyptic.  I tend to shy away from any “final judgment” of humans.  I want to illustrate the struggle of angels—their conflict and trials outside the human realm.  We have to find out what’s up with Xavier and what he knows regarding Evie’s presence on Earth.  I think that Reed and Brennus are going to have words.  And Evie...well, Evie will no longer be just trying to survive...she’s going to be making sure no one that she loves becomes a martyr to the cause because now she has the weapons in her arsenal to do just that.

Now we've come to the random question portion of the interview answer Yes or No to these totally ridiculous questions:
Would you like fries with that?

Would you like butter on your popcorn?

Would you like lemon in your water/tea?

Does my obsession with Reed scare you? ;)
No (score!!)

Vacation spot-
Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas 



Crème Brûlée


Movie you love to watch-
Pride and Prejudice
Book you've read a ton of times- 
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Isn't she amazeballs! I haven't officially "met" Amy yet but I truly think I will love her so much that I will want to fold her up and put her in my pocket to take home with me! 

So here is the dealio...all month long this Rafflecopter will be open to WIN something from Amy so enter now and enter often!  You never know when I might decide to sweeten the offer ;)
Plus check back weekly for my reviews, pictorials and e-book giveaways!

Oh and spread the word, PLEASE, as my site is new and I want all the cool people out there to know about "Amy April"!

a Rafflecopter giveaway