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  • Blog

    Musical Monday with author Amy Rivers

    4/10/2017

    Musical Monday
    Amy Rivers
    Good Music #MusicalMonday By Amy Rivers

    I’m going to go ahead and disclaim this post by saying that my writing soundtrack is often re-runs of the Golden Girls playing in the background. As long as there is noise around me, I can set about my tasks and get my work done. That being said, I listen to music a lot when I am writing and even more when I am brainstorming / plotting. I listen to music when I need to strike the proper emotion, because, for me, the best music is the kind that makes you feel something deep down in your stomach (and sometimes in other places, but that’s another post).

    Here’s my go-to list of mood music when I need inspiration:

    #1: Leonard Cohen: Ain’t No Cure for Love

    There is literally nothing on earth that gets me in a more romantic mood than Leonard Cohen’s gravelly voice. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I love Mr. Darcy. And I love me a good love story. BUT, there is something about Cohen’s voice that reaches straight down into my heart and makes me all warm and fuzzy.

    #2: Bad Religion: Los Angeles is Burning

    Actually, anything from The Empire Strikes First album is likely to get me all politically indignant. And sometimes, you need a good dose of indignation, especially when you’re writing about women in politics.

    #3: Ani DiFranco: Little Plastic Castle

    Girl power. Enough said.

    #4: Cyndi Lauper: True Colors album

    Because Cyndi Lauper is AMAZING! This album takes me back to my childhood, under the headphones with my Walkman, belting out Boy Blue or The Faraway Nearby in the backseat of the car. Her version of What’s Going On is one of my favorites. Listening to Cyndi Lauper makes me feel nostalgic and sassy.

    #5: Rent: Soundtack (either Broadway or movie)

    When I want to reconnect with humanity, I listen to Rent. It reminds me that people can be kind to one another, can love with their whole hearts, and will stand up for what they believe in.

    And last but not least #6: Tracy Chapman: self-titled album

    I grew up on Tracy Chapman. This album is full of ballads about social injustice and the complexities of human life, relationships and family. I could (and often do) listen to this album on repeat. It’s just that good.

    Whether you’re a big fan of light jazz, you like to rock out to death metal, or anything up, down or in between, my suggestion when building a soundtrack for writing is to pick something that makes you FEEL whatever it is you want to feel at the time. It’s the best medicine for what ails you.
    Best Laid Plans and Other Disasters - Cover
    Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters by Amy Rivers
    ABOUT THE BOOK: A year after she is elected mayor of a prosperous Colorado city, Gwen’s career and life are fully on track, all according to plan. So why is she in such a slump emotionally and physically? New conflicts keep boiling over in city government, and her earlier allies no longer support her. She and her boyfriend have an ideal relationship, which she finds inexplicably dissatisfying. Without telling her, he decides to take a new job that has him traveling out of state every week. Suddenly unexpected developments turn everything topsy-turvy, and Gwen is forced to re-examine her carefully-planned life.

    Available at:
    Amazon
    Kobo
    Visit Amy’s Website here.

  • Blog

    Author Q&A with Amy Rivers author of Wallflower Blooming

    3/30/2016

    Let’s get to know Amy Rivers
    Wallflower Blooming - Cover1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    I’m an incurable romantic and prone to falling in love. When I started writing Wallflower Blooming, I intended to write a story about two people – Val and John – who fell in love with each other but couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Well, several chapters in, John didn’t love the idea of breaking up with Val. In fact, he was ready for some serious commitment. And surprisingly, so was Val – my sweet avoider who was so comfortable in her rut that it was completely out of character for her to embrace love. My inspiration for novel came from people and places and experiences I’ve had in life but the characters took over and made their own way in the world.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    Until a few years ago, my writing was mostly academic or business-oriented. I was a marketing consultant and wrote copy for websites and PR campaigns. And I wrote papers about social justice and violence prevention. Then my family moved to Colorado and I was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to write for a living. As with most things in my life, I jumped in with both feet. I enjoy writing fiction. I’m also especially fond of personal essays.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    Setting/place is becoming more important in my writing. Many of the pieces I’ve written have been personal essays that revolve more around the characters than any particular setting. But I love to travel and I’ve been making a point of experiencing new places that I can incorporate into my writing.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    My main character, Val, is definitely my favourite. She’s smart and capable, but suffers from a mountain of doubt, which I think we can all relate to. I know I do. Val has spent most of her adult life afraid to really live. But she learns (sometimes painfully) that she doesn’t have to settle for the status quo. She can mix things up and even when it’s uncomfortable, she’ll survive.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    Write! It’s so easy to get bogged down by the business of writing, rejection, and all the non-writing things that happen in the daily life of a writer. Those things do deserve attention, but the bottom line is that I need to write, every day.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    I have to balance writing time with all the administrative stuff on my to-do list each day, so I have to schedule time to write, especially when I’m on deadline. I don’t always do my writing at the same time, but I make sure I put aside time every day.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    For the most part, I wing it. When I come up with an idea, I do a little bit of written brainstorming, but then I let my imagination run wild. I’m the queen of “talking it out.” I like to talk about my characters as if they are real people in my life. The more I talk about them, the more they come to life in my mind.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    I’m a voracious reader so this is a really hard question. I love chick-lit and thrillers, horror and memoir. I will read anything that has interesting and relatable characters. Some of my favourite authors are Isabel Allende, John Sanford, and Ishiguro Kazuo. Recently, I enjoyed reading Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams and Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train. In nonfiction, I loved Notorious R.B.G. and We Should All Be Feminists (a must read).

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    I’m an ongoing contributor to Novelty Bride Magazine and ESME.com. I’ve also got two book projects in the works. One is a follow-up to Wallflower Blooming and the other is a novel about unlikely friends. I can’t wait to introduce readers to new characters. And there’s a lot in store for Val, John and Gwen.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
    Write! You can’t be a writer if you’re not writing. Make time. Develop habits. Create a routine. And find fellowship. No matter where you are in your writing career, there are groups of writers out there who will help you along with advice, support and encouragement.

    Amy RiversBiography:
    Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado. She had an idyllic childhood despite a severe visual impairment and, perhaps because of her disability, she learned a lot about compassion and empathy from a young age. Her keen interest in social issues and violence prevention led to a Master’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics. She was the director of a sexual assault response program and remains an advocate for social justice. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, ESME.com and Splice Today. Wallflower Blooming is her first novel.

    Links:
    Website: http://www.amyrivers.com
    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wallflower-Blooming-Amy-Rivers/dp/0692614427/
    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amyrivers.writer/
    Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/WritingRivers
    Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28668820-wallflower-blooming