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—Amber N.P. Mays!
Amber N.P. Mays was born and raised a small-town girl in Northern Indiana. Born in 1989 as the only daughter to Steven and Sherry Amber, she is the oldest of three children.
Amber’s love of reading took root at an extremely young age. She gives credit for this passion to her grandfathers who told fantastical tales to her as a child. Due to her grandfathers’ encouragement, her love of reading became so fervent that Amber vehemently passed this family tradition on by reading fictional stories to her younger brothers, Chase and Dylan. While in high school, Amber was no longer able to resist her fated destiny and launched her writing career.
After dabbling in the creation of lyrics and poems, Amber obtained a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Creative Writing and minor in Theatre from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2013. Her education did not stop there, as her love for writing grew stronger and her creative interests grew wider. Without hesitation, Amber quickly returned to Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne to acquire her Master’s. In May of 2015, Amber graduated with her Master’s in English with a concentration in Writing Studies.
Fueled by her 15+ years of acting experience, her extensive and intricate history of reading, and several years of undergraduate writing, Amber set out to write her first novella and the rest, as we say, is history.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes. I started writing when I took part in a school competition for short story writing in the 4th grade. I didn’t win, but it was what gave me the taste for creating stories.
Why did you choose to write your genre? Honestly, it just sort of happened that way. I guess you could say that I love the idea of being swept into a fantastical world where anything can happen. They say to write what you would read, and that is what I did.
What are you currently working on? Well I have Pitch Black and book 3 of The Journey Series.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? As cheesy as it sounds, Discovery (The Journey Series, Book 1) was inspired by an old notebook that I used to carry around in high school. Every day, while bored in class, I would hand write this story of a young woman who wanted more than anything to find out more about her family. That morphed into my very first book.
What was the hardest story for you to write? Not to give too many spoilers, but my newest WIP is the strongest topic I have ever covered: rape and human trafficking. This book (Book 1 of a new series), will hopefully release soon. I struggle with writing it, but the story needs to be told. No, it isn’t my personal story, but it is a comment on the world that I seem to being seeing more and more of.
What process do you use to plan your novels? Planning? I am very free with my writing (which is honestly why it takes me so long to write my stories) and let my characters talk to me and lead me to where the story wants to go. I have never been a fan of pre-planning, and if I do plan ahead, it is always in a very general sense—where I want to end up, who needs to be there, etc.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Hands down my favorite character is Carolynn. She was me in high school. The young woman trying to find her place in a world that didn’t seem to understand her.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? All. The. Time. When I am blocked, I usually resort to one of three things: (1) I get out the trusty notebook and write. Even if it is not good writing, at least I am getting the words going. (2) I read. I read all the books that I can get my hands on that fall in a similar realm. Sometimes reading the genre I am writing helps to set things loose in my brain. Or (3) I call up the friends and family. A lot of time a writer just needs help bouncing around ideas. [True.]
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Romance. I recently found love (shameless plug for how much I love my Elijah) and I feel like I could maybe write it now. Not any steamy stuff, but the sweet HEA books that I also love to read.
Which authors inspire you? Ednah Walters, Quinn Loftis, Jane Austen, Bella Forest, and so many more. I am inspired every single time I pick up a book to read.
What novel would you read multiple times? HARRY POTTER!!!!!! I am beyond obsessed with this series and have read the books/watched the movies at least 20 times.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) I honestly cannot think of one person. Maybe William Shakespeare because he is the greatest playwright of all time.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I don’t really have one. I love all animals.
What is your favorite color? Green, today. Ask me tomorrow and it may be different.
When you’re not writing… I teach high school English and Theatre classes.
You can find Amber online at…
Thanks for hanging out with me today.
Join me next week when Mackenzie Flohr will be dropping by!