In honor of Cold Kiss week, this Wed. we have words on writing from Amy Garvey.
Who is your greatest inspiration in writing?
Probably writers like Nora Roberts and Stephen King. Writers who just kept at it, as long as it took, and who value story as much as style. There are probably a dozen more I could name, but I really respect an author who spends the majority of his or her time writing. There are a lot of distractions out there, and some of them are necessary and even beneficial, but the most important part of being an author is giving yourself space and time to write.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It’s a big cliché, but I was a kid when I knew. In elementary school I always went all out with the creative writing assignments, and I was lucky to get a lot of them. I have notebooks from those years with these nascent, completely embarrassing stories, but they were my greatest joy aside from reading. Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do, even when I knew I’d have to do other things to pay the bills.
What advice do you have for unpublished writers?
To keep at it. To study the market, because in the end, no matter how brilliant some stories are, if there’s no audience for them, they won’t be published (traditionally, anyway). Know what you’re getting into if you decide to self-publish. Work on your ideas and your use of language more than you develop your Twitter persona or expand your network. Know that there is no magic formula and that publishing, like a lot of other arts, usually involves as much luck as talent. And always keep reading.
Were there any specific resources that helped you in querying process?
I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful agent, Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown, Ltd. So all that stuff gets left to her.
Was there one moment or event that you really feel catapulted your career?
Two things have certainly boosted my self-esteem. I worked for Kensington Publishing as an editor for years, and the first books I ever had published were through them after I quit. But there was always a nagging feeling that it was a favor to me, that I was simply being helped out by friends. So when I sold a manuscript to Harlequin (for a line that sadly died before it was ever really established, although my book was released within Superromance), I was thrilled. Someone who didn’t know me personally loved my work! I felt the same way when Cold Kiss sold, because not only was it another publisher, but it was a new genre for me.