Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why I Write: Amalie Howard


I’ve always loved writing. Even at a very young age, I was always scribbling some story or another into a journal. I remember writing a story in pencil about a young girl covered in magical tattoos when I was about nine. Seriously, what did I know about tattoos at nine years old? Still, I remember it being a pretty interesting little story. My protagonist’s name was Xaviria (cool name, right?) and she was one tough, sassy chick. I liked my female heroines capable and clever from way back.

I wrote a ton of poetry during my teen years—for me, writing was cathartic, especially during some of those tougher teen times (first crush, peer and parent pressure, etc.,) and whenever I had any strife in my life, I just got it all out on paper. I had my first poem published when I was twelve and I won an award in a global youth writing competition when I was fifteen for a short story. The story was about a man whose daughter’s soul lived in a weeping willow, and he could only communicate with her through his violin. Even back then, my imagination had a fondness for fantasy. Over the years, the pencil may have evolved into a laptop, but writing was and still is a huge form of escapism for me.

My passion for writing stories came from reading great stories. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life, devouring pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I loved being able to dive into someone else’s life, whether it was via a pixie or a redheaded, willful orphan or a talking lion. My love affair with fantasy and science fiction began with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and continued with books like The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings and Dune. Given that, it’s really no surprise that that’s where I feel most comfortable exploring my own writing voice. With fantasy and scifi, I love that you can construct whole worlds with elements that may not exist in real society. I like being able to create something different with interesting multi-layered characters, especially ones with those paranormal or supernatural elements. I especially like being able to redefine myself in those characters. They are all different versions of me in different worlds with infinite possibility at their fingertips. What’s not to love about that?

Still, my road to author-hood wasn’t always clear. I was passionate about it but I wasn’t sure it was … the one. So I took a bit of a hiatus after I graduated college to pursue a global sales career in corporate telecommunications for thirteen years, and I travelled the world building that career. I did pay the bills, but eventually, I realized I wasn’t satisfied. Something was missing. In response, those writing embers buried deep down started to rekindle, and I started writing the story that became Bloodspell. I remember feeling excited and terrified, but alive. It was like an epic epiphany (cue choral voices here)—this is what I was meant to do, what I was always meant to do.

I’m a writer. And that’s why I write.  

Write hard or go home. 

***

Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. She received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. She has also lived in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City. She has worked as a research assistant, marketing rep, global sales executive, freelance writer, and blogger. A lover of other cultures and new experiences, especially of the culinary variety, she has traveled extensively across North America and Europe, and as far east as China, Indonesia, and Australia. She currently resides in New York with her husband, three children, and one very willful cat that she is convinced may have been a witch’s cat in a past life.

Amalie Howard’s debut novel, BLOODSPELL, evolved from a short story that took on an eerie life of its own, and is undoubtedly the result of a lifelong infatuation with witchcraft, vampires, and excessive amounts of chocolate.

Connect with Amalie on her BLOG, GOODREADS, TWITTER, FACEBOOK

Also, don't forget to enter our huge giveaway, which includes a signed copy of BLOODSPELL! Follow the "Read More" link below to enter.



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14 comments:

  1. Wow! That really is a big giveaway! And it's awesome to read about how authors got to write. I'd like to see some more interviews with that :D

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  2. I love reading! It's just something I think I'd do forever. Every book I read makes me feel like I lived through another person's life. :)

    Amazing giveaway! Thank you so much :D

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  3. Why I read is to get away from my life for a little while!

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  4. I used to write because it took me away and helped me control life in a way that real life didn't allow and it felt like breathing. Then life happened and I kind of lost all focus for it. Reviews are about all I write anymore and honestly I don't really think mine are very good, they're just a wonderful excuse to talk about book. Now reading, reading is one thing I can't live with out it's like breathing. I guess antsy if I don't have access to something to read whether I'm actually reading it at that moment or not. I love the journey and I love getting lost in lives so unlike my own. I like fictional people so much better than most real people because even the most realistically written character seems to have more honor that most of the people I've encountered in real life. Characters in stories have so many more important things to worry about that they don't feel the need to turn all your facebook posts into completely twisted local gossips and they have better things to do that analyze your every move with anyone who'll listen. You can feel for a character, relate to them and get close to them because they're the one friend you'll have who will never betray you. Simply because well as real as they feel they can't because they aren't real. Setting take you places so much more interesting that your home and plots let you experience so much more that real life will allow. I'm never going to meet a vampire or travel to the Never Never in real life but in a book I've been there and experience that right alongside the character. If you can't tell I'm an escapist reader. I escape into the worlds inside whatever book I'm reading and when a book is well written I cease to see words on a page I see a movie playing out before me one that is so much more than Hollywood could ever offer or create. Books are also how I deal with life. When things really suck and most people would say they need a drink that's what I really need a book because a drink may help you forget for a moment and probably leave you with some ill effect later, but a book, a book will take you away from it all and if it's truly well written none of your worries or fears can touch you because as you slipped inside the page you aren't living your life anymore and your problems don't exist anymore, all that exists is the world the writer has created for you and the character you befriend inside the cover of that story. That is why I read.

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  5. I love to read, because you can travel the world and be in as many adventures as you would like! Plus it doesn't cost the earth to do it!

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  6. First I need to thank Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for getting me back into reading. I was in a huge reading slump til I picked up that book. I love to read because I can get lost in another world without anyone to bother me. The characters become my friends and the stories are so engaging that I never want to put a book down, no matter what time it is. I get to travel to so many different places while sitting at home or walking home from work. Reading is my way of becoming relaxed and chilled. Definitely puts me in a great mood. I will forever be reading and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  7. I like to read because it takes me away from the real world for a while. I love connecting with the characters in books, although, I hate when a book or series ends because it feels as though I've lost a friend.

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  8. Enormous giveway aww.. and again A.W.W.W. =0

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  9. I write because its a part of me and I have to! Ha ha! Its something that calms my mind and takes me into a world of adventures. Its a perfect way for me to start or end my day, and get away from the stress of my job. :-)

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  10. I read because it's such an escape and it entertains! It's also usually much more drama than I have in my own life. I love it :o)

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  11. I write because I love it. I'm not sure how else to explain it. I wouldn't be me if I couldn't write. Reading is an escape from my hectic college-class-laden life and I always love finding new stories. And wow what awesome books! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. I read a lot, and mostly it is due to escape into another world just for a little bit. Escape everyday stress. My husband would probably say I read too much! As for writing, Its a great stress reducer. It allows you to escape into your own mind for just a little bit.

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  13. I read because the fictional world is always better than the real world! It has true loves, love at first sights, kickass females, and hot and sexy males that are just too much of a rarity in this world. :P

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  14. I read because I am a dreamer and so I like to discover new worlds,new characters and new fantasies.

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