Amy Bartelloni: I’ve always been writing – in my head :-) It just took a push for me to be able to put it on paper and share it. About 10 years ago I took a workshop at the local library with local author Jeff Belanger, and we had to read our work out loud in front of the group. It was the first thing I did that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Jeff was a great teacher, and I also realized that everyone is in the same boat. I’ve been writing & submitting every day since. :-)
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
AB: My first book was a vampire novel that I only showed to a few people. I still think it’s a good story, and I’ve learned so much since then that I’ve been thinking about going back to polish it up. I’m sure it took at least a year, including the editing process, and in the process I met some awesome critique partners and lifelong friends. Seems like forever ago :-)
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
AB: The fun part about having an ensemble cast, like in Andromeda, is that there are parts of myself in each of my characters. There are also traits that I wish I had, which is the fun thing about being a writer. I wish I could be as laid back and zen as Sera, although you might find that changing a bit in book three! I also wish I could be as sturdy and responsible as Anyon. I guess I’m a good mix of all of them!
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
AB: When I started writing, I had a rolltop desk that I just had to write at. I think I sat at it every day for a year until my back started to hurt :-) Now I can move anywhere. It’s usually the kitchen table so I can drink coffee while I write. And it’s messy. Very, very messy :-(
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
AB: I am very much a morning person, and by morning I mean mid-morning like 9-11ish :-) When I can I get my writing done then because that’s when I’m at my best. If I leave it for later, I get cranky! I wish I could be a night person but it’s just not me.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
AB: The thing that helps me get out of a slump, or keep out, is to have several things going at once. I’m a huge believer in pay-it-forward, so I’m usually critiquing or looking at someone else’s work at the same time I’m working on mine. So if I’m stuck, I’ll go look at that for a bit and make some comments. I also usually have at least 2 books going at once. Sci-fi or fantasy, something to get my imagination going :-) I don’t listen to a ton of music when I’m working because I find it distracting.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
AB: I’m constantly thinking up stories in my head! I’m a huge daydreamer. Sometimes I can think out the whole story arc while I’m out for a walk. Sometimes I write them down, other times I just let them simmer a bit until I have to get them out. That’s what happened with Andromeda. The idea just wouldn’t let me go!
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
AB: I’m sure the fact that I’m a huge reader has something to do with it! It’s going to sound silly, but I am constantly amazed at this big world we live in where anything can happen. I’m also a people watcher and I’m constantly asking crazy ‘what-if’ type questions. There are so many mysteries to explore! Stories can help us understand human nature and each other, what an awesome thing!
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
AB: I’ve learned not to take the good or the bad too personally, which is easier said than done. This business is like a roller coaster, and you have to take the ups with the downs. I try to pick out anything I might be able to learn from in a negative critique, but in the end I think it’s kind of cool that everyone has a different opinion of the same work. I’ve hated some successful best sellers, so we’re all different.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
AB: I have so many favourite authors! Stephen King was my first favourite author (I’m a Constant Reader), and showed me how fiction can suck you in! Lately I’m loving works by his son, Joe King, and Neil Gaiman. Jasper Fforde writes a series about a girl who can walk in and out of books and solve mysteries, which is pretty cool! For YA, I love Cassandra Clare, both the Mortal Instruments and the Clockwork series. I also really liked Laini Taylor’s Smoke and Bone series. That’s only the tip of the iceberg!
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
AB: Love my fur babies! We have one dog named Zelda (she came with the name but I like to think she was named after Zelda Fitzgerald!) She’s my writing and walking buddy :-) We have one cat, too, and we’ve semi-adopted another stray cat.
Thanks for the fun interview!! <3
Amy Bartelloni is a reader, writer, & coffee addict who lives with her husband, 3 children, and various animals in the northeast US. When she's not playing mom-taxi, you can find her with her nose in a book or her head in the clouds. A people watcher and science fiction junkie, she still believes dreams can come true. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, Paulo Coelho, and Stephen King.