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Meet 2014 Golden Heart Finalist Amy DeLuca

Today we’re pleased to welcome back Amy DeLuca, who has back-to-back Golden Heart nominations (2013 and 2014) in the Young Adult Romance category. She also writes New Adult as Amy Patrick.

Amy lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She’s been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working for a Boston TV station as a station host.

Here’s the blurb for her 2014 Golden Heart nominee, FOUR BULLETS:

They say nothing interesting ever happens in Bell, Mississippi, but this summer, that’s all changed. Sixteen-year-old Lauren’s district attorney mother is prosecuting the biggest murder trial of her career, a case that’s fascinated the whole county. And Lauren’s lifelong crush, Bowie Weston, has finally noticed she’s alive. Too bad it’s for the wrong reasons. He’s the son of the defendant.

Bowie is sure his mom isn’t guilty of shooting his father, but he can’t figure out why she lied about the details of that night. Maybe she had a good reason. Hell, he lied about it, too. Bowie’s determined to keep his mom out of prison, and believes Lauren may be the key. Lauren wants to believe Bowie, but she knows her mom has already sacrificed so much for this case: sleep, her social standing, even re-election to the job she loves. She can’t lose the trial, too. And Lauren wonders, like everyone in town, how much Bowie knows about what happened the night his father died. And whether he was somehow involved.

Wow! What a premise—layers and layers of built-in conflict with lots of sympathy for all players. Delicious!!

Since this is a YA novel, why don’t we all grab a Strawberry Bubble Tea and potato chips (my teen daughter’s favorite snack), and sit down with Amy to ask some nosy questions.

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Amy_DeLuca_AuthorTell us a little about your Golden Heart finaling book.

FOUR BULLETS is a YA murder mystery with lots of romance. It was inspired by a murder case I covered as a TV news reporter in Mississippi almost 25 years ago. It absolutely fascinated me, and I always knew I wanted to write a book about it. I actually started one back then, but stalled pretty early in the process because, while I could write two-minute news stories all day long, I had no idea how to craft a novel. I saved all my trial notes and the newspaper clippings on the case in a folder with some pages I’d photocopied from library books on writing craft way back then. Last year I pulled it all back out and got to work. Of course once I began writing it, especially as I added a YA romance into the mix, my story bore little resemblance to the actual case.

How long have you been writing? How many manuscripts have you started, and how many have you completed?

I started a couple more novels through the years, both contemporary romances—I even got to Chapter Six on one—but again, I didn’t know what was doing, and at that point in my life didn’t have the time to devote to learning what I needed to know. I was working crazy hours and moving all over the country from job to job, climbing the TV news career ladder. Then I had children and wanted to stay home with them. As soon as they started full-day school, the writing bug jumped back on me, but I almost felt like it was “too late” for me to be a writer. I didn’t know any other writers or anything about how books were published. Then four years ago, I started reading voraciously again, the way I did as a child, and I was freshly inspired to begin learning the craft and writing my first GH finaling book, HIDDEN DEEP, another YA. When I finished that book, I knew what I really wanted to be when I grew up—an author. I knew I’d never quit learning and trying until I was published and writing full-time. Since then I’ve completed four more novels.

Wow! You’ve got a goodly backlist-in-waiting. Awesome productivity! What’s the best tip you can give other writers who are trying to learn the ropes and make it past Chapter Six?

I don’t feel all that qualified as a tip-giver, but I have learned a lot over the past few years (with a lot more to learn). I think one of the most important things I did was to be brave and put myself out there for feedback. I would be absolutely nowhere if I hadn’t joined RWA a couple years ago and entered writing contests. While some contest feedback is helpful and some is flush-worthy, I’ve learned you just can’t do it alone (or at least I wouldn’t want to.) The biggest benefit for me was it helped me find my tribe—through the Maggie contest, I met my amazing critique partner McCall Hoyle (also a YA GH finalist this year!), and through other contests, especially the Golden Heart last year and this year, I’ve connected with the most incredible writers and some of the best friends I have. There is no way I’d be in the position I am today if I’d continued toiling away at it alone, too afraid to reach out.

Ooh! You’re one in one of the CP pairings that finaled this year!! I love how that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a good CP can really boost the quality of your writing. (Also, I’m seriously going to start using the term “flush-worthy.”) So what’s up next for you? Got a new Work-In-Progress? A major vision for the next few books? A tag-line?

I’ve written three New Adult romances in what’s planned as a five-book series. I’m a few chapters into my first draft of Book 4. After doing my research and learning from so many wonderful indie author friends, I decided I really wanted to self-publish this series. The first book, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, features a group of friends just out of college in their first jobs in TV news, struggling with the issues of gaining true independence from family and dealing with romantic relationships that actually have a chance of going somewhere (scary!) Book 1 will be released August 12, with the next book in the 20 SOMETHING series coming out in September, followed by the third in October, and so on. In each subsequent book, a different friend finds the ONE and gets her HEA. My tag line for the series (and if you can think of a better one, PLEASE let me know) is “What happens behind the scenes is the real news.” They’ve been super-fun to write, and the whole process of self-publishing has been exciting and challenging. I’m interested in a hybrid career and have signed with an agent to represent FOUR BULLETS and seek a traditional deal for that book. But I feel relaxed about it– if it doesn’t work out, I know there are other paths to finding readers who will enjoy my books. It’s a great time to be a writer!

Congrats, Amy, on the soon-to-be launch into self-publishing!! I love the titles, and the tag line. And how great that you’re seeking out traditional publishing as well. Go, girl, GO!! It’s been great chatting with you, but now I want to open the floor to our visitors today. What question would you like to ask our readers to get the conversation going?

This may seem random, but because I’ve been deeply involved in the process of cover design recently, I’d love to know:

What do you like in a book cover? Specifically, how do you feel about seeing the main characters depicted on the cover? Does it enhance the reading experience for you or throw you off?

 

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You can find Amy online at:

She blogs occasionally at  Romance-ish
And she loves to connect on Twitter: Amy Deluca (AmyDelucaAuthor) on Twitter

121 responses to “Meet 2014 Golden Heart Finalist Amy DeLuca”

  1. Amy, congratulations on your GH final and for your foray into self-pubbing! I can’t come up with a better tagline for the 20 Something series than what you already have!

    My hat’s off to book cover designers. It must be so difficult to capture the right look and tone. A cover can put me off if the mental images I build while reading don’t quite match the images in the art work. It’s not a deal breaker, though. Sometimes cover mishaps, like Christina Dodd’s three-armed heroine, can really get people talking for a very long time! http://christinadodd.com/christina-dodd-and-the-infamous-three-armed-cover/

    Another lovely interview, Elisa!

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    • Suzanne says:

      I didn’t know about this cover, Vanessa! Thanks for sharing the link. How funny!

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    • Hi Vanessa the early bird! (Or maybe it’s late-bird.) Thank you so much for coming by. You’re so right– cover design is more complicated and challenging than I ever realized. And a good one is critical, though as Christina proved, you CAN work a bad one. Thanks for sharing that link– that was super-fun!

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  2. Your GH YA sounds like a great read, and how great you could use other elements in your life to help to you read it. The tag line for the “Channel 20 Something’s” works, and tells me quite a bit.

    For covers, I’m not a huge fan of faces. I dont mind bodies, and like the ones especially with the guys sexy back, maybe a bit of the woman. Or,if they’re not embracing at all, but in their unique setting, likes of those you see on steampunk or paranormal and urban fantasy titles. The problem with the face, especially if it’s totally not how I pictured the characters, is that it does distract me somewhat, and could stop me from buying the book. Then again, I do own “Pirate” supposedly written by Fabio with him on the cover, and I intensely dislike the cover and liked the book inspite of it … Though when I think of the cover now, I also remember the story. So memorable can work, even when it’s for the wrong reasons. 😉

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I’m with you on preferring not to see too much of the faces…or at least not once I’m well into reading the book and am forming my own image of the main characters. I almost never think cover models look mature or…okay, I’ll say it…intelligent enough. (I’m sure the models are all very bright and lovely human beings in person, of course.)

      I prefer the covers on European editions…more moody, more sensuous…often just a woman’s back and lots of luminous cloth.

      One new cover I’m adoring: Sonali Dev’s
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/04/24/sonali-dev-a-bollywood-affair-cover-reveal/8056153/

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    • Hi Shelly! I feel the same way about faces. Sometimes they just look “wrong” to me because they don’t match up with my mental picture of the characters. Sometimes, I don’t even want to read the book because I don’t “like” the person on the cover– that’s probably bad but it’s a gut reaction. Thank you for stopping by and for weighing in on the tag line!

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  3. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, Amy!! It’s so great to have you back with us!!

    My apologies if I’m not in much during the day today. It’s the last day of school and I’ll be giving exams, chasing down seniors for the last bits of work they need to graduate, and attending the ceremony.

    I’ll check in in the evening, though, West Coast time…peeking in between my massive stacks of grading. Sigh.

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  4. Pintip says:

    Great interview, Elisa! And super congrats, Amy! Wow, your publishing schedule for your Channel 20something series is ambitious and very impressive. I have no doubt you will get lots of fans that way, and I’m sooo excited to read. I love your relaxed attitude about publishing and your recognition that there are many paths to gaining readers.
    As for covers, I’m another one who prefers not to see the characters’ faces, but it seems to be done a lot in YA.
    Best of luck, Amy!

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    • Hi Pintip! You’re right– you do see it so often in YA, and I guess if I want to read the book enough, I don’t care. In fact, I can think of one series I love where the male model on the front doesn’t match my picture of the guy at all, but the books are so great it doesn’t matter. You are the best cheerleader, and I appreciate you so much. Thank you for being here today!

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  5. Traci Krites says:

    I prefer to leave the characters up to the imagination. I don’t mind half-views like without revealing the face. It allows us to plug in our imagination.

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    • Hi Traci! Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting. I’m another one in the leave-it-to-the-imagination camp, but then without faces, the rest of the cover has a big job to do. It’s such an art.

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  6. Julie Mulhern says:

    Super interview, Amy.

    I am so impressed with your productivity and am excited to hear about your foray into self-pubbing. Best of luck to you.

    I agree with the commenters above. No faces.

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    • Hey Julie! I’m starting to feel REALLY happy I didn’t use full faces on my 20 SOMETHING series covers! (whew) I get to reveal the first one on the 24th– can’t wait for you all to see it! Thanks for Tweeting today and for coming by. 🙂

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  7. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for another great interview, Elisa! I love getting to know the finalists like this.

    Amy, talk about writing what you know–what a fresh setting for NA books. I love NA, but there’s some commonalities among them that turn me off. Your books sound different and definitely grab my interest.

    As for covers, I admit to reaching for a book based on the cover (as if that speaks to the author’s story-telling abilities!), but I don’t care if the faces are revealed or not. It’s the aesthetic of the cover that grabs me. Once I start reading, I don’t even think about the cover faces. I just get immersed in the story and form an impression based on the author’s description.

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  8. Hi Suzanne! I’m so happy to hear that my setting and concept for CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING grab your interest. I know what you mean about NA– I love it, but there is a good deal of repetition. Since the category is considered to feature protagonists between 18 and 26, I thought I’d take it beyond college and feature girls (and guys ;)) just beyond that, in their early twenties and trying to figure out life and love on their own. I’m hearing there are lots of NA readers looking for something a bit different, and I hope that’s true. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  9. Elisa, what a great interview! And congrats to you once again, Amy! 🙂 It seems like there are many congrats to offer lately. The GH. The Fire and Ice contest win in the NA category. Signing with your agent. The upcoming debut of your NA series. Jeez! Talk about productivity.
    And I’m with Elisa. I may be stealing the “flush-worthy” feedback line. haha.
    As for covers, I don’t like to see the characters. From the side, maybe. Or a hint of their faces, but only a hint. Sometimes I get annoyed when I’m reading the book and it describes the main character with certain physical characteristics which are not consistent with the cover. It just bothers me. Especially three-armed heroines. LOL! I remember hearing about that and seeing the cover years ago, but it still makes me laugh. Thanks, Vanessa, for the morning chuckle.
    Can’t wait to see you in San Antonio, Amy! We’re going to have so much fun! Again…:-)

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    • Hi Kim! It’s almost here!!! I can’t wait to get to spend some non-virtual time with you. And speaking of covers… you were endlessly patient in helping (and bugging your poor husband for opinions). So, of course, if my book bombs, I’m blaming you. 🙂 Just kidding! You are such a good friend, and I especially appreciate your stopping by today when you’re also blogging today on The Waterword Mermaids. (little plug there) 🙂

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  10. Hey Amy!
    Oh, man, I just laughed so hard at that three armed cover. I had never seen or heard about it before. How did no one notice??

    I will admit to buying books solely based on the cover. I like historicals with lush colors and maybe the main characters in profile. I know for both contemp and historical the male bare chest is popular, but I read a post not too long ago that its losing its ‘pop’ when you’re confronted with an entire wall of bare-chested cover models at the bookstore.

    And, it does bother me a bit if hair color, build, don’t match what I have in mind. Its why I don’t really get into having a Pintrest board for my characters and don’t pick out celebrities. I’d rather the reader form the image in their heads rather than providing an actor. Its also one reason I’m almost always disappointed with the movie version of books.

    So, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t help you at all:) But, I loved your post and can’t wait to see your cover!!!

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    • Hi Laura. Nice to see you here! It always takes me a few minutes (or more) to settle into a movie based on a book I’ve read, because they NEVER look like they’re supposed to. But most of the time I get over it, because they character seems to morph into that actor’s appearance for me. Like Hunger Games with Jennifer Lawrence. I knew she was a great actress, but I just couldn’t “see” her as Katniss until well into the movie. Now Katniss seems to have *always* looked like that. Thank you so much for visiting me here today. Now I’m off to ogle a wall of bare-chested male models. 😉

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  11. I prefer covers that are simple. I don’t mind if people are on there or whatever, as long as they aren’t too busy or overstimulating to the eye.

    Can’t wait for all your upcoming releases! And can’t wait to meet you in SA!

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    • Hey Marnee! I like simple covers, too. In fact, I had to reject one that was a total work of art because it was too busy and hard to distinguish in thumbnail size. That’s something we have to think about now that so many book purchases are made online. Thank you for coming, my Dauntless sister, and for your sweet comments!

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  12. Shelly Alexander says:

    A cover that accurately depicts the characters’ descriptions in the book definitely enhances my reading experience. But a bad one…gah! I’m very visual, so pictures are very important to me.

    Great interview, Amy! I love that you’re a southern girl that’s been displaced on the east coast, because I’m a displaced southern girl, too!

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  13. Piper says:

    Hey Amy!

    I think that your tagline for Channel 20 Something is fine, and I love the premise. I’m looking forward to reading those books. I also love the premise of Four Bullets. (Following true crime stories is a particular guilty pleasure of mine.)

    As for your question, I offer a different perspective. I don’t have any preference for covers either way. I believe the cover should express the story or the themes of the story in some way because I don’t like the idea of deceiving my readers.

    For me, it was a personal thing for me to depict my characters on my cover. African Americans don’t see many representations of themselves of book covers, positive or negative. Many traditionally published authors are encouraged to “white wash” their covers. This term, used by some, means showing some symbol on the cover. The idea is that readers will pick up the book and give it a chance first and not reject it just because of the people on the cover.

    Since there are so few historical portrayals of African Americans on book covers, positive or negative, I knew I had to depict the characters–to put up a standard. Leaving it to the imagination would not do–I had to show what they looked like. We’ll see about sales, but I’ve had people cry looking at my covers so I think the risk was worth it.

    You see, you have the luxury of being in a position where you can have it anyway you like and don’t have to worry about your choices impacting your sales. It’s all about your story. So see what people think here,gather up all of the data and make the choice that’s right for you.

    Piper

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    • Hi Piper! You already know this because I’ve gushed so much, but for the record, let me say I LOVE your covers. They are absolutely beautiful, and I suspect the characters on the front match your story perfectly because you were in charge. And you made a great point– you are setting a standard because, even in this day and age, you’re something of a trail-blazer. I think you made the right call with your covers, and you did something even more important– gave a face to some little-known but fascinating history. I’m buying! 🙂

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      • Piper says:

        Thanks for the gushing Amy! You do make a good point–indie pubbing them did allow me to have control. One friend of mine said that she was glad I got so many rejections because my covers would not have looked so good otherwise. So I say..”Mmmm.. Thank you?”

        But she’s probably right about that as well! Looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

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  14. Angie H says:

    Congrats Amy!!! I can’t wait to read Channel 20 Something! As for book covers, I honestly think a book cover is important. A book cover is the first thing someones sees, it’s a first impression. I have found many new authors because I saw the cover, clicked on the blurb, and purchased. As far as characters on the covers, that really doesn’t bother me. With great writing, the way characters are described forms their images in my mind, and the cover really doesn’t distract me from that.

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    • Hey Angie! I’m so happy you stopped by. 🙂 Yep, with so many books out there to choose from, an eye-catching, “clickable” cover is so important. Let’s hope I have one. We’ll find out soon!

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  15. Vivi Andrews says:

    Can I just say I WANT TO READ THAT BOOK! Congrats on your second final, Amy. Your blurb sounds amazing. Also looking forward to the 20 Something series – I’m a total media nerd. 🙂 Good luck in San Antonio!

    (Sorry I’ve got nothing to add on the cover question. I feel like I am hopelessly out of step on that front.)

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  16. Jackie Floyd says:

    Hi Amy. Congratulations on your second gh nomination in a row. Everyone’s writing path differs and you came back to writing at just the write time for you.

    As for covers, I’m one of those people who prefer not to have a full-face view of the couple on the cover. I don’t mind if there’re turned away from the cover or shown shoulders down, but I prefer an interesting image that’s symbolic of the story. I don’t want to start a backlash here. I know others feel strongly that the couple-shot on the cover sells the book, but to each her own.

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  17. Lark Howard says:

    Great interview, Amy. I’ll admit I don’t like seeing close-ups of faces on covers for the most part because they rarely fit my picture of the characters. I also find some covers silly–especially the ones where the guy is shirtless/open shirted in a weird context where guys just don’t go shirtless–like outside a cabin in the snow (real cover). That said, I can overlook an annoying cover if I love the book.

    Good luck with your New Adult releases!

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  18. jbrayweber says:

    Four Bullets sounds like a great book, Amy. How interesting that the premise came from real life. Sometimes fact is more interesting than fiction. And a TV reporter? I bet that was a lot of hard work and heartbreaking stories, but how cool is that?

    Come on down, the heat and humidity is fine (at least here in SE Texas).

    Good luck on the Golden Heart and your exciting step into self-publishing!

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    • Hi Jennifer! The real case was so bizarre, I actually had to tone down much of it to make it more believable. And I really AM looking forward to a trip down to Texas in mid-summer– thanks for the invitation. :)My mom lives in Houston and I can’t wait for RWA!

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  19. Jessica Ruddick says:

    Hi Amy,
    Great interview! As far as book covers and seeing people on them, I think it totally depends. If it’s a hot guy for the hero, then yes, please! (Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series for what I mean there.) I’m personally drawn to covers that don’t have people on them though. I really liked the original Twilight covers, and it bugs me to see the movie edition covers because the actors from the movie don’t match what I imagined when I read the book. (I was still able to enjoy the movies though because I think of them as separate entities from the books.) Covers are uber important, though. If you don’t have a good cover, the book won’t sell.

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    • Okay Jessica,now I’m scared. LOL. No really, I totally agree, so if those first covers don’t get the job done, they’ll find themselves replaced. So they’d better work hard! I love that Lux series guy myself– those eyes! Thank you for stopping by my Dauntless friend. <3

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  20. Terri Osburn says:

    Congratulations once again on yet another final, Amy. As a judge of your 2013 entry, I can say you have a fan here for whatever you release. Love the idea of 20-somethings starting out in TV news. Especially from someone who has done it and can make it real on the page.

    As to covers, I don’t mind the characters being there, so long as they are somewhat similar to what I’ll find inside. I received print copies of the German translation for my first book yesterday and realized the heroine on the cover has straight blonde hair. In the book she has curly chestnut hair.

    I’m hoping the German readers don’t notice. 🙂

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    • Hey Terri! I’m so happy to see you here. You were one of my earliest encouragers when you let me know you judged my 2013 entry and liked it. It meant the world to me!! I’ll bet those German folks knew exactly what would sell there and that’s what you want, right? However, if you get a lot of emails in German with exclamation points and confused-looking emoticons, you’ll know what happened. 😉

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  21. jillianlark says:

    Amy, I’ve had my share of “flush worthy” comments, too. Love your blurbs and tagline! Congrats again on the 2013 and 2014 GH finals.

    I know covers will be important to me from a marketing standpoint when I’m published. If I’m buying a book, the covers really don’t matter to me. It’s the story and the writing that sells the book. I either know I want that book or I check the back cover blurb and first chapter before deciding to buy it.

    I can’t wait to read your YA and NA books and meet you and our 2014 GH sisters in July!~Jillian

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    • Hey Jillian! I love that you make your decision after reading the blurb and the first pages– I think that’s what we all hope for– that people will give our stories that chance. You are such a sweet friend already, and I can’t wait to meet you in person. It’ll be here before we know it.

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  22. Gail Hart says:

    Amy – Congrats on everything you have going on now! I love the tagline for the Channel 20-something series and am looking forward to the release of book 1.

    Gail

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  23. McCall Hoyle (@McCallHoyle) says:

    You have so many wonderful things going on in your writing life, and you deserve every single one of them. You are one of the hardest working people I know.

    Every time I think I’ve learned all your hidden talents, you bust out with another one… Professional singer? Seriously? What don’t you do?

    I don’t want to give anything about your covers away before the big reveal, but they rock! I love covers that hint at the setting and hero or heroine without portraying such a vivid image that it conflicts with the images I’m creating in my own head…

    Cyber Hugs! Can’t wait to see you in SA!

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    • I can’t wait to see you, too, roomie! So you won’t mind then, if I sing the whole time we’re there? 😉
      Just kidding– I’ve gotten over it (mostly). Thank you for always being willing to give your opinion on the covers and for everything else you do. <3

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  24. Nan Dixon says:

    Amy, Amy – congratulations!!! You are a Dreamweaving Lucky 13!!

    I have to admit – I don’t pay much attention to covers. This is even more prevalent now that I read most books on my ereader. It’s the blurb that gets me. In fact, I’m embarrassed to read a book with a naked man on the cover. That said – I do expect the cover to portray the flavor and genre of the book.
    There are some gorgeous covers out there. Sonali’s, my chaptermate Tamara Hughes Once Upon a Masquerade is beautiful – but I don’t know if they sell books.
    I am so not helping here!

    Can’t wait to see you in SA!

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    • Hi Nan! Actually, you ARE helping. It takes a little of the pressure off to know there are readers out there who pay more attention to the blurb– oh wait– now I have to freak out about the blurb!! Thank you my Dreamweaving Lucky 13 sister for making time in your day to come and comment.

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  25. Tamara Hogan says:

    Congratulations on your GH final, Amy! The blurb sounds awesome.

    Concerning covers: if the cover model doesn’t look like the hero or heroine as the author describes them, I get a wee bit tetchy. Unfortunately, this happened to me on my first traditionally published book. My inspiration for Lukas’s physicality was football player and soldier Pat Tillman. But TASTE ME’s cover hero? A great-looking guy, but not even close to how I wrote him. 😉

    Generally though, I’m a fan of covers that omit facial features. I like to use the author’s description to fill in those details for myself.

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    • Hi Tamara! Oooh… Pat Tillman. But your TASTE ME cover guy is pretty darn hunky. Maybe that’s all that’s necessary. In general, I feel the same as you– I like to use my imagination, and even when I write, I try not to get too, too specific because I want people to enjoy creating the character’s look in their mind. Thank you for stopping by today and sharing pretty pictures!

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  26. Love the blurb for FOUR BULLETS, Amy, and the concept for CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING. Can’t wait to read your stories!

    Having characters on a cover doesn’t throw me off. But what makes a cover appealing to me is hard to describe. It’s a rush though when a cover grabs my attention and I can’t stop myself from saying aloud, “gorgeous!”

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    • Hi Jacqui! You have an advantage over most of us in the cover department, because you’re an artist yourself, so when a gorgeous cover grabs your attention, chances are you are RIGHT about it! You’ve done an amazing job so far choosing covers for your books– beautiful and completely right for your stories.

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  27. Gwyn says:

    Great stuff here, Amy! It’s amazing to hear the events that push us out of our comfort zone into the uncertain world of writing.

    Like you, my CP had a family and knew nothing of craft (or, in her case, mechanics) when she started. Add that her books straddled lines, and her six GH finals and two wins were still not enough to garner a contract. She’s gone on to do well with her indie-pubbed books. I’m sure you’ll do the same.

    Covers where the people pictured look nothing like those described within throw me. I go in with a preconceived notion, say blonde hair, only to be irritated when the heroine is a brunette. I now have to unplant the original image—which isn’t always easy.

    I look forward to meeting you in San Antonio.

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    • Hi Gwyn! “Unplant” is the perfect word there– it can be done, but only with a little effort. I’m so glad your CP found her path to publication and is having success with it! Sometimes “the lines” don’t take into account “the readers”. 🙂

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  28. Sandra Owens says:

    Congratulations on your 2014 Golden Heart final, Amy. But you’ll always be a Lucky 13 to me. 🙂

    See you in SA – soon!!!

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  29. Carrie Padgett says:

    Hi Amy! Congratulations on your GH! I’m eager to meet you in SA. As far as covers, I dislike the cartoon-ish and bright colored covers on some books, but I’m also not crazy about covers with live models because then I can’t see the characters for myself. I do like covers with just a portion of a face, or a silhouette.

    See you soon!!

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  30. Your GH finalist book sounds awesome! Very cool that you kept notes for so long and used them as part of the story. Best luck to you to win and/or get the book published.

    I really like it when covers accurately reflect the characters–you can tell the cover was made for the book and not a generic picture.

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    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks for the sweet words and good wishes. I do hope to see FOUR BULLETS published. It will be one way or another, but I’m pursuing trad. pub for it because it’s a standalone YA mystery, and that seems like the best path. And yes, some stories just won’t let you go, will they? I know of other writers who say they carried an idea around with them for decades before actually putting it on paper. It was a relief to get it out– whew! And I agree about those special just-for-this-book covers– so jealous of the authors who get their own cover photo shoots! Thanks for taking time to be here today. 🙂

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  31. AE Jones says:

    Amy –

    Hello Lucky Sister! So glad to be reading your blog today. I know that you have been working hard on your cover and I don’t want to be a tease to the rest of the visitors, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Amy’s Channel 20 Something cover and it is fabulous!

    I am actually in the process of working with a cover artist for my book…so I will be asking for your (Amy’s) opinion very soon!

    So proud of your back to back GH nomination!

    AE

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    • Yay AE!! I can’t wait to see your covers for the MINDSWEEPER series. Thank you for your cover opinion, blurb-y help, and continual Lucky 13 support! I’d love to return the favor anytime. 🙂

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  32. Amy,

    Great interview and your blurb FOUR BULLETS is fantastic. Looking forward to reading! And congrats on making the decision to self-pub!

    Looking forward to meeting you in person in San Antonio.

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  33. Brynley Bush says:

    Great interview Amy! You are so right. It is a great time to be a writer!!! I’m so excited for you that you have both avenues to pursue (both traditional and self-published). And I will be lining up to read Channel 20 Something along with everyone else!

    I love the cover question, since I’m in the process of thinking about covers for my steamy contemporary romance series myself. I’m on the “no faces” side of the fence. I like to picture the characters for myself, and a “real” picture just never matches up with what’s in my head.

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  34. Hey there Brynley, Miss-Dreamweaver-for-a-day! I’m so glad to see you here. I’m excited for you to start the process. It wasn’t easy AT ALL, but I have to admit it was fun getting to make those choices. I may have discovered I’m a *teensy* bit of a control freak.:) Feel free to poll me when you narrow down your choices, and I’ve come across some good designers, so I’ll be happy to share! Thank you for dropping in. Means a lot to me.

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  35. Your FOUR BULLETS sounds great, Amy. I’m anxious to meet you in San Antonio.

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  36. Tricia James says:

    Hi Amy–great interview. Very glad I happened to be cruising blogs this afternoon and came across it. Love the blurb and will be watching for the covers. Wish you all the best on going Indie. Maybe we’ll cross paths at National in SA.

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  37. Darcy Woods says:

    Another fab interview, Elisa! And, my darling Amy, you are setting the world ablaze with your amazingness! Can’t wait for FOUR BULLETS to hit the shelves and CHANNEL TWENTYSOMETHING! SO. MUCH. FUN. I think your tagline is fantastic. I just love your whole “the only thing more exciting than what’s happening on camera…is what’s happening off.” Oh-so-enticing. 😉

    And like many, I’m very #TeamSonali cover. It’s simply breathtaking!

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    • Darcy, my dear Lucky Savvy friend– so happy to see you tonight! My tagline originated with this question: Don’t you wonder about some of those anchor teams? Do they or don’t they have a crush on each other??? Sometimes the answer is yes! Especially when they’re young and single (and hot, because come on, you know my sports anchor hero is hot.) Thank you also for being on my cover-preview squad and steering me the right way. You are always there for me. <3 ya sister!

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  38. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks so much for being with us today, Amy!!!

    Good luck in San Antonio and with your books coming out!!! Woot!!

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    • Thank YOU Elisa. You are simply the best host, and did a wonderful job with interview questions that helped me get out of my own way. 🙂 Thank you for your hospitality, and I still want to know where I can find this elusive and intriguing Strawberry Bubble Tea! 🙂

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  39. Talia Quinn says:

    Joining the party late after a busy day, but I wanted to say yay, Amy! Can’t wait to read your NA books, and I think the tag line is great. Intriguing in just the right ways.

    As for covers, I don’t necessarily need to see people, but when I do, I dislike headless torsos. Problem is, only certain romance genres can get away with people-free covers and still feel like they’re sending the right signal to their target audience. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding good cover models. The guys usually don’t look right to me. They’re of a certain male model type, and it isn’t at all like the guys I write, so I end up combing through hundreds of images each time.

    Can’t wait to see your first cover!

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    • Talia! I’m so thrilled that you made time to stop by after a long day. I stand in awe that you made your own covers, and I FEEL you on the cover model search thing. I was active in helping my designer find just the *right* people to use. I don’t even want to think about how many thousands of stock photos I’ve seen in the past couple of months. Also, I have been known to utter strange phrases to my husband, such as “I’m exchanging pictures of blondes with Gabrielle” LOL! Congrats on your new release and thanks for coming by today! 🙂

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  40. Just wanted to pop by and say congrats, Amy, on your GH finals both last year and this and the exciting launch you have ahead of you. Can’t wait for your August NA as well as watching your star rise.

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    • Miranda, you are so sweet to come by and offer support, as always. I’ve been enjoying YOUR successes this year, and I love that we’re all in it together. Can’t wait to see you again in July! 🙂

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  41. Marni Folsom says:

    I’m catching up after our return from a camping trip, but had to jump in to give a WOOT to you, Amy! I’m so impressed with your release schedule and plans for a hybrid publishing career. Sounds both sensible and exhilarating. Choices are GOOD, right? I can’t wait to read the whole CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING series this fall, and of course meet you in just a few weeks! 🙂

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    • Marni Folsom says:

      Oh! I forgot to say that I love moody, gritty, monotone covers and I love vibrant, alluring, draped-with-silk covers. Honestly, I’m attracted to the marketing/design aspect of the process, but I don’t tend to make a purchase decision based on a cover…and I rarely look at the cover once I start reading. Having said that, I’m sure that I’ll obsess over my own book covers one day (face, no face? embrace, no embrace? Aaagh! It’s crazy-making!).

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