Home > Featured Author/Interviews > Meet the Indies Blog Tour with Amy Miles and Danielle Bannister

Meet the Indies Blog Tour with Amy Miles and Danielle Bannister

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I’m quite pleased to be the second stop on the blog tour for these two amazing authors. This stop on the tour is as much of a learning experience for me as it is for you. I was so excited to do this that I put down my own writing to organize this blog post. So to start, we have some interview questions. Below there’s a bio for the two authors and the schedule for their blog tour. I also included some book covers and some links to their work so you can get started or continue reading. 

Amy, you’ve always wanted to be a writer, while Danielle came into the writing world a bit *cough* later in life.  Do you recall the first thing you wrote?

Amy:  I sure do.  I began writing in grade school and had dragons attacking a fair maiden, who of course was later swept off her feet by a dashing knight.  Kissing always ensued.

Even at a young age, I was obsessed with danger, adventure and torturing my main characters.  My writing did eventually progress into writing my own version Nancy Drew Mysteries and then into the fantasy realms when I was in high school, but my passion for make-believe began long ago.

Danielle: The first real thing I wrote, honestly, was the first chapter of Pulled. I went to school to act, not write. Once I caught the writing bug though, I was hooked. It does mean, however, that I’m behind the curve in terms of learning about the craft so I’m trying to play catch up!

At what point did you start feeling it was okay to call yourself a ‘writer’?

Amy:  Calling myself a writer was never hard.  Thinking of myself as an author was a different story.  At what point are you considered an author?  When you write “The End” on your first rough draft, trudge through countless edits, and finally hit publish on Amazon Kindle?  Or is it when you complete your second book?  Third?  A series?

I think this question is answered differently for every writer.  For me, I didn’t feel like an established author until after my third book recently came out.  Probably had a lot to do with the fact that I take great pride in Defiance Rising, because it was technically my first book.  Now, I feel proud to tell people that I am a full time indie author.

Danielle: It took me awhile, actually. I was enrolled in the Maine branch of the National Writing Project, and I still couldn’t call myself an author. It wasn’t until I got in the mail a little white cup that said ‘Writer’ on it that I actually felt like I had the right to call myself a writer. So lame, I know!

Can you bring us back to the first book you published on Amazon. What was it and what was that experience like?

Amy: Oh my, it was a nightmare!  Probably not what you expected to hear, huh?  Seriously though, it was pure torture to figure out how to properly format a book, upload a book cover and do everything in-between.

People sometimes get the idea that being an author is glamorous, and trust me it has it’s great moments, but learning how to publish a book for the first time is not one of them.  I distinctly remember wanting to bash my head against a brick wall for days on end as I tried to wade through the complicated jargon.  I’m not exactly your most computer savvy person!

My first book I released was Defiance Rising.  It had a different cover and a completely different storyline.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I thought was a good book was far from marketable, so I pulled it off, did some more research and began writing FORBIDDEN.

It was a great lesson to learn and I’m thankful I learned early on.

Danielle:  Mine was Pulled. I didn’t know Amy at the time. I actually met her by asking her to review my book on her blog page. We became friends on fb after that and started chatting everyday.  But I digress; publishing for the first time on my own was terrifying! I really had NO clue what I was doing, to be honest and it took several months of tweaking Pulled before I was happy with the final product. I have learned a ton since that first publishing and will continue to learn with every book I write! There is a great support among Indie Authors who are, for the most part, eager to help new comer so that they don’t need to feel as lost as they did. At least, that’s how I’m seeing things.

With several novels between the two of you, what is some advice you might give those just starting out as an Indie Author?

Amy: The best advice I can give is to write what you love.  Yes, it’s important to know your market, but you don’t have to follow the money train to stand out.  Be yourself.  Do your thing and people will notice.

I learned a hard lesson with FORBIDDEN on the importance of hiring an editor.  In the beginning, I didn’t have the money to pay for an editor so I figured I’d do it on my own.  Big mistake!  Editors don’t just look for typos, they look for character development, holes in your plot and inconsistencies that you are too close to see for yourself.  Find an editor that gets you and gets what you’re trying to accomplish and you will be thankful you did.

Another crucial point is your book cover. Pick something that captures the feeling of your book’s theme or character.  I have met my fair share of “book whores” and they will be the first to tell you they only buy a book if the cover appeals to them.

Danielle: The best advice I ever got was summed up by writer Ron Carlson, who said that want-to-be-writers are often ‘distracted by things they put in their own way, all day, all the time: leaving the room to get coffee, checking the mail, get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee. The writer is the one who stays in the room.’  I never knew how hard just being at the computer and actively writing actually was until I had to do it!

Between the two of you, you have a pretty large fan base. What would you say is the ONE question they want answered most, and are you willing to answer it here?

 Amy: There are several burning questions that I hear quite often.  Will Gabriel and Roseline end up together? Does Sadie live?  Will Bastien return in the sequel to Defiance Rising?  Am I Team Bastien or Team Eamon!

If you have read my books, you know that I don’t make romance easy for my characters.  Life happens, people get hurt, hearts get broken.  I love a happy ending just like the next gal, but I also like realism.  If my characters are going to be happy in the end, they are going to go through some tribulation along the way.  Also…I hate to be predictable.

Danielle: I think most people want to know if Pulled Back Again will finally deliver the happily ever after ending they are looking for. All I can say is…maybe? Ha!

If you were trapped on a desert island with ONE of your characters and ONE endless supply of one type of food, what would they be?

Amy:  Oh dear.  How do I choose?  My characters are all so much a part of me that it would be hard to pick just one, but I think if forced to I would choose Bastien.  He’s hard core but compassionate.  He makes sacrifices when he must for the woman he loves.  Plus he’s H O T!!!  Yeah, I would go with him.  Food…oh goodness me.  I would totally go with Ranch Doritos. Those suckers are worse than Chinese food filled to the brim with MSG!  Oh phooey, now I’m craving Chinese food!  Do you think they deliver?

Danielle: This is so not an easy question! I guess I’d wanna be stuck with Etash, so I’d have a warm body to snuggle up against! As for food…hmmm…I suppose wine doesn’t count as food, so I’ll have to go with egg salad. Love that stuff!

Are you happy that you chose to self-publish or do you think you should have gone the traditional route?

Amy: I love being an indie author.  I love the fans, the other authors and the overall sense of wanting to help each other succeed.  I’ve been asked many times if I would someday look for an agent and I can honestly say that I have no plans to do so.  If I were contacted I would consider an offer but I love having the freedom to choose my editor, design my covers and write exactly what I want.

Danielle: No. I like being in control of how I handle my books. How they look, what to price them, where to market them, when to release…full control. Sure it’s a TON of work, but it’s worth it for me.

What drives you to write?

Amy: I fully believe that writers are born, not created.  Just like painters are born to move beyond stick figure people (which I have not!) or chefs are moved to create culinary excellence.  The gift is within you.  Sometimes it can take years to unearth it, but the talent is still there.

I write because I have to, I yearn to.  Sound a tad dramatic?  Trying living in my head.  Haha.  I’ve got four books worth of characters fighting to be heard at the same time!

Danielle: The tiny voices in my head of course! Seriously, I ache to make people feel something. Maybe that’s the actor in me, but there is something satisfying in making people react internally to something you’ve written. It’s magical.

How do you handle criticism?

Amy:  Plug my fingers in my ears and hum?  Haha.  Um…criticism is something that can be both fantastic and destructive for a writer.  I love getting constructive criticism.  Emphasis on constructive.  If you love my book great, but I want to know why.  If you hate it, then give me all of the gory details of how I butchered a perfectly good plot.

Without those details, authors can’t grow.  I thrive off critiques now but there were some days in the very beginning that I shed a few tears on some of the nastier comments.  It’s all part of the writing industry.  You aren’t born with thick skin, it’s developed over time.

Danielle: The way I look at is that the one star reviews aren’t who I write to. They picked up a book that they were bound not to like. I personally never give one star reviews for exactly that reason. It’s not their fault I wasn’t their target audience.

Are your characters based on a real person?

Amy:  Yes and no.  I have never chosen a specific person to emulate, but I have used phrases, facial expressions and quirks.  I typically hop on google, select an image that calls to me and begin to hear their specific voice before I even write the first word.

*Disclaimer* If you think you resemble anyone in my books, I can assure you that it’s completely accidental, but we should totally be friends!

Danielle: Perhaps shadows of people I know. None of my characters are dead on in terms of people I’ve met, but I might pick up a characteristic or hair style or some small tid bit of a person I’ve met before.

Do you believe in love at first sight or a slow burning love?

Amy: I’m a slow burner, all the way!  I like building tension, making readers squirm just a tiny bit, but I also like to hold back on the sultry romance.  People see and feel love in different ways.  For me, I love security, affection and sacrifice, so that’s what I write about.

Danielle: Um, romance writer here! Love at first sight AND slow burn!

Do you believe in soul mates?

Amy:  I honestly believe that each of us are created to be with one specific person.  Someone molded to fit you, to become your partner in life.  That doesn’t mean they were created to bend to our will though.  Haha.  Love in real life is all about give and take.  Compromise.  Sacrifice.  Learning and growing together.  I wake up each morning beside my soul mate, but that doesn’t mean we are without faults.

Danielle: Since my novels are about soul mates, guess I need to say yes, right? Ha!

Do you relate in any way to your main character?

Amy:  Roseline (Arotas Trilogy) and Illyria (Rising Trilogy) are both very strong gals.  They make the decisions that are necessary, even when it seems to cost them everything.  They love, fight, survive and are fiercely loyal.  Both of them have attributes that I have.  I always joke around about how Illyria is my alter ego.

Danielle: My characters, unlike Amy’s are typically weaker at first and work to find their strength. I think a lot of people have felt weak or unworthy at some point in their lives, especially at a younger age when you’re questioning everything.

Bios:

Amy Miles: Amy's Author Photo

Amy Miles has been a carbaholic since birth and is hopelessly addicted to Dr. Pepper. When she’s not chatting with fans on Facebook she can be found goofing off with family, traveling or stomping her husband at Scrabble. She is an obsessive writer and an avid reader and loves to chat about all things books.

Her teen paranormal romance books, Forbidden and Reckoning, have been on several of Amazon’s Top 100 lists as well as best seller lists in both America and the UK. Her highly anticipated final book in the Arotas Trilogy, Redemption, is due out 2013.

She is currently hard at work on two new series, The Rising Trilogy and The Remnant Trilogy.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyMiles.Author/info

Website: http://amymilesbooks.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Miles/e/B005G37E9Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5152709.Amy_Miles

Covers: Forbidden Cover Defiance Rising Reckoning Redemption

DANIELLE BANNISTER:Pulled Back Author Photo

Danielle lives in Mid-Coast Maine with her two children and husband. She holds a BA in Theatre and a Masters in Writing and the Teaching of Writing. She has two novels currently out, Pulled and Pulled Back and is working on several others, including Pulled Back Again, releasing soon, and Netherworld which she is co-writing with author Amy Miles, which is due out in December, 2014.  She also has a collection of short stories, brilliantly entitled, Short Shorts, and her work is also featured in several anthologies: GooseRiver Press 2012 Anthology and the Maine Writing Project’s anthology, Writious. Both titles are available on Amazon.  When not writing, she can be found pouring her heart out on the stage.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BannisterBooks

Twitter: @getpulled

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5114859.Danielle_Bannister

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Danielle-Bannister/e/B005G7PJNU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1367477270&sr=8-1

Website: http://daniellebannister.wordpress.com/

Covers: Pulled Back Final Cover Pulled Final Cover

Newst blog tour image check these out for giveaways and more neat stuff from the authors

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  1. May 10, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Really great interview questions – interesting not only to hear more about Amy and Danielle’s writing journey, but also how they have navigated the indie author domain. ‘Netherworld’ sounds very intriguing and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it!

  1. May 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

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