Writers on Writing

Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Amy Burney

This is the first Wannabe Writer interview in what I hope will be a regular feature here at Write on the World.

Amy Burney
A lifelong avid reader of fantastical fiction, Amy Burney has a Bachelor of Integrative Studies. In college, Amy took language arts courses to understand what makes a good young adult novel, and reviewed many literary works for their merit in classrooms. Amy is writing a young adult fantasy novel to contribute to the field of young adult fantasy, and to share her main character’s story with the world. She grew up in the Harry Potter generation.

Q: Tell us a little about your current work in process.

A: Right now I’m working on a young adult fantasy novel involving a little of “real life” and some of a fantasy realm.  The main character is a high school girl who’s curious about mysterious occurrences happening in her everyday life.  That leads her to discovering a new world, including new creatures and characters.  She goes on some big adventures, and learns about herself.

Q: What’s your day job?

A: I’m a freelance writer for some online companies.

Q: When do you find time to write?

A: That can be hard sometimes.  I try to commit to writing 2000 words a day.  I normally just sit myself in a chair and say that I won’t do anything else until I write.

Q: When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does that figure into what you are doing now?

A: I wanted to be a teacher.  I always loved reading fantasy books, and I wanted to share my love of reading with my students.  Now, I still love to read, but I would like to create some of my own writings to share with children and young adults (and anyone else who would like to read it).

Q: Tell us about the moment when you decided you wanted (needed?) to be a writer.

A: I’ve been having a book idea cooking up in my mind since high school.  I just never really got serious about it.  I faced some tough events in life and I put writing off for a while.

I had been accumulating notes for this book series for about five years.  I thought about this idea initially in high school while daydreaming in class.  I was imagining a brief scene in my head involving a dare.  I wrote a short story about the event, but I put it away because I didn’t feel that it was very good.  I thought there should be a bigger story with it.  At this point, I didn’t spend an extensive amount of time with the writing.

Over the course of five years, I occasionally thought about the story and found out some new events that happen.  Writing to me is like discovering…you get an idea of something that might be interesting, and you contemplate it for a while until you get more ideas.  I kept writing these ideas down in a file.

About six months ago, I was looking over my notes from everything, and I decided to go back to the idea.  I hadn’t looked at it in a while.  I ruminated more, then I had a major discovery about later parts of the series…and I was amazed.  I just told myself that I had to write the book.  I couldn’t put it off.  Therefore, I decided this would be my next major project.

Q: What is your biggest challenge as a writer?

A: My biggest challenge is making time for it, and getting past that “writer’s block.”  Once I get a good train of thought going, I might write five pages.  Until then, I just stare at the paper thinking I should really be writing something.

Q: How do you talk yourself into writing when you’re feeling discouraged?

A: I normally listen to some songs that put me into a writing mood, like classical music, and listen to some authors who have also have problems before.

Q: Do you ever give yourself writing ultimatums? (i.e. “If I don’t get my novel published by the time I’m 35, then it’s time to quit writing.”)

A: I have given myself one…I’ve told myself I want to have the thing written by the end of summer or the middle of fall.

Q: Have you considered self-publishing, or are you hell-bent on traditional publishing (or a little of both?) What are your thoughts on this?

A: I prefer traditional publishing.  It would be very satisfying to have the book on my bookshelf published with a company’s name on it.

Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

A: I see myself writing my way through the series I am beginning with now, with having books published.

Q: What is one question you wish I would have asked you? Amy’s Question: Which writer would you say you have learned the most from and why?

A: I would say that I have learned the most from Brandon Mull.  I admire his lifelike writing style in which he describes his environment and the way his characters feel, yet also incorporates fantasy elements.  He has written one of my most favorite book series, Fablehaven. From him, I have learned to describe scenes fully when I am writing, develop my characters, and use lots of action in every chapter.

Q: Where can we find you? Do you have a blog or other writer’s platform?

A: You can find me at my blog at http://fantasticalwritings.wordpress.com/.  You can contact me at aburney146@gmail.com.

Would you like to be featured on Wannabe Writer Wednesdays? Please contact me via the Contact Page on my Website.

~Mandy Webster

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7 thoughts on “Wannabe Writer Wednesday: An interview with Amy Burney”

  1. Reblogged this on Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels and commented:
    This article is about my amazing, super talented, awe inspiring daughter. As she has recently graduated from college with a 3.91 GPA, I know, amazing….I just had to tout her horn for her. The world is her oyster, she has many talents to pursue. I am thrilled that she is choosing at this to time to share her love of reading and writing with the world, and become a writer. Yes, she is really good. I am sure she will be successful.

    1. Thank you for doing the interview. I just scheduled a second interview to run next week already and hope to get some more people lined up. I think this series will be a lot of fun!

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