Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Amy Hale!
Amy Hale is an author, mother, and wife living in Southern Illinois. She started her writing career in 2003 with non-fiction and educational pieces but decided to take the leap to fiction in 2014. She’s the author of the paranormal series The Shadows Trilogy, as well as other adventurous novels full of romance, suspense, and humor.
Her husband and kids are the center of her universe, although her cat believes otherwise. She also loves reading, music, and photography. When she’s not writing or reading, Amy can be found watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies with her kids, or enjoying the scenery fly by from the back of her husband’s motorcycle.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes, more or less. Even when I thought I might be interested in other fields, I still made time to write and I adore reading. It’s one of my favorite past times.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I’m a hopeless romantic. I love all the craziness that a relationship tends to go through, especially when it’s a love conquers all kind of thing. I also love a quick-paced action story with suspense or magic, so I’ve tried to blend those together in my work.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? Back when I was writing non-fiction stuff, I was hired to write small how-to articles. Some of those things were odd. One was how to put a strap on a camera. You’d think that’d be fairly self-explanatory, but I can’t complain – I got paid to write it.
What are you currently working on? I’m finishing up the details on Shadows of Deliverance. It’s the last book in my paranormal romance series The Shadows Trilogy. Then I’ll have to decide which of the many stories in my head will get my attention next.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? The Shadows Trilogy begins with Shadows of Jane – a story about a young woman with unusual gifts who was merely a shadow of her former self. It all started with a dream I had. That dream became a scene in the book. I pretty much built the entire story around this one snippet. It was a fun challenge! I felt there was more to tell as I neared the end of book one and decided to make it a trilogy. So now I’m writing the end of her story.
What was the hardest story for you to write? The hardest story so far has been the one I’m working on. I’m not sure why, but these characters have been a little stubborn. Maybe they don’t want it to end. LOL
What process do you use to plan your novels? I’m a combo of pantser and plotter. I know my beginning and my end when I start. I then start writing and let it flow naturally. Eventually I get to a point where I know I need to be sure I’m structuring the story correctly, so then I’ll start outlining and making sure everything is on the right track.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? It’s hard to choose. I think it’s a tossup between Jane (Shadows of Jane) and Lindsey (Letters From Jayson). Jane goes through some major character development, and I loved that she evolved as she needed to, yet stayed true to herself. Lindsey is a very independent woman and has no time for BS. I love her sarcastic wit, which made her so fun to write.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Sadly, many times. I’ll often read other authors to get my mind in a creative space, or I’ll work on something totally unrelated to the work I’m blocked on. More recently I’ve been reading about writer’s block and employing suggestions to push past it. These methods seem to work for me, depending on the situation that caused the block.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Some do. I have a slightly warped sense of humor and I love to laugh. I speak fluent sarcasm and I’m very sentimental. I’m also fiercely loyal to those I care about.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I’ve considered venturing in to more YA type stories. Young people see and experience the world differently than adults. I’d love to tap into my younger self and find that awe and wonder, and sometimes anxiety, that makes growing up such a compelling tale. I also have considered trying my hand at horror. My very first book was a horror story. I wrote it back in high school, but I tossed it later because I was convinced it sucked. I really wish I had it back now. I was a big Stephen King fan at the time. (I still am, but I don’t read horror like I used to.) I have some freaky dreams and I think it’d be a fun challenge to turn those into books.
Which authors inspire you? Wow. There are so many. I remember being amazed by the success of Amanda Hocking and Stephanie Meyer. They just pushed their work out there and made it happen. I also get inspiration from my friend Jamie McGuire. We’re childhood friends, and watching her success gave me the courage to put myself out there [that’s awesome!]. Every day I meet authors who are living their dream and not giving up despite the challenges. I’m inspired by them all, truth be told.
What novel would you read multiple times? One of my favorite books is The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. I think I’ve read it 10 times and would gladly read it many more. I had the chance to meet Julia a couple of years ago, and I totally fangirled out.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) That’s kind of tough. I have so many names in my head right now! I’d love to meet Jesus and ask him many questions – maybe get some clarification on things I don’t understand. I’d also love to meet Jared Padalecki. He’s an amazing actor that has done so much to bring mental illness awareness to the forefront of conversation. He’s helped many overcome the stigma and pre-conceived notions that go along with what is often a debilitating illness. He’s one of my heroes, and I’d love to just sit down with him and thank him for all he’s done. I know his work has certainly made an impact on my life.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I used to adore Pegasus as a girl. I’d still love a flying horse!
What is your favorite color? This changes with my moods. Currently it’s blue.
When you’re not writing… My husband’s income is our main support. Without him I wouldn’t be able to write full time. I hope that someday that will change, as he’s been taking care of me for years and I’d love to switch that around for a while and give him a break, but at the moment we both work hard to keep things paid. I’ve also done direct sales and photography in the past to make ends meet, so now and then I’ll jump back into those when we need extra cash.
Catch up with Amy online at:
Thanks for hanging out with me today, my friend! Join me next week when Chanda Hahn will be stopping by.