I want to introduce this weeks Emerging Writer Amie McNee! This chick is a bombshell and is spreading the word of her writing journey on Instagram, as well as snapchat. She is really great and hails from my home town Sydney, Australia. Her book is yet to be named but from the blurb I already love it, and the idea is quite striking. I already want to know what happens and I hope you will support her by downloading her first chapter to read.
Why don’t you first tell us a little about yourself?
You’re starting with the tricky questions! Okay here goes… my name is Amie. I am currently living in Sydney Australia but I grew up in Oxford England. I am a medieval history graduate and an English literature graduate. My top three favourite things in the world are: 1) Sitting in a cozy corner with my dog and a coffee, 2) travelling the world, seeing new things and drinking coffee, 3) writing in a café whilst drinking coffee.
Did you always possess a passion for writing? When did you have the epiphany that you actually wanted to publish your work?
I have been writing fiction since I could physically write. I have a collection of fantastically bizarre stories that I wrote when I was young. In particular I wrote repeatedly about ‘Saveaday’ the police dog, who liked to capture robbers and eat chips. However, I first decided I wanted to publish in my early teens. Books changed my life for the better, and I wanted to create a piece of work that did the same for others.
What draws you to write fantasy? Will this be your chosen genre or do you want to write in others?
I want to write many books in my different genres. But fantasy is my go to comfort genre. It is my happy place. So it is where I wanted to start. I think my next book will be historical fiction, I’ve got medieval stories brewing in the back of my mind.
What made you want to share your writing journey on Instagram?
I love Instagram as a social media platform. It is a place where I have found inspiration to do yoga, to exercise, to cook and to travel. But I also wanted it to be a place where I could be inspired to write. So I decided to make an account for myself.
My book ‘that is still to be named’ is based loosely on the Old Testament story of Esther. My main character, Esther and her brother James, are taken to a magical island just off the English Boarder, where Esther competes in a competition to become Queen. Meanwhile, her brother James becomes trapped outside of the town walls and inadvertently enters the world of the elves. Little do they know that the once inseparable siblings are now trapped on either sides of an ancient war.
Where did this idea come from?
I wanted the best of all my favourite books in one. I am often told not to admit that. I am told that publishers want completely original ideas and that I should never tell people that I am mimicking my favourite books. But the truth is, I wanted to write a world with elves, and a magical university, and love interests, and wars and talking animals. So I wrote it. Even if these ideas have been used before. These concepts are my favourite bits from my favourite books, and I’m not ashamed to have amalgamated them into my own work, I love it.
What kind of research did you do for your book?
My research has been random. From googling, ‘how is wind made’ to ‘fibre optic cables’, to then rereading some of my old favourite texts, and the biblical story of Esther to inspire and support my own words. I have purposefully tried not become obsessed in research, allowing my own mind and imagination to create my new world organically. However, I know that draft two will be taking me to the library a lot more than the first.
Who are your favourite characters and why?
My favourite character is James. My male protagonist. James has a big journey from being a small, shy, bullied boy to a confident and quirky grown man. I like him because despite his huge emotional and physical journey throughout the book, he never loses his childish curiosity and ability to be a complete nerd.
What is you favourite scene and why?
Another tricky question. I think my favourite section is where Esther briefly returns to England with the King Azar of Wysteria (The Island). There is something so humorous in seeing a King of a magical island try and use the London Tube, or attempt to swipe a hotel key card.
My theme in my book is fear of difference and the unknown. It is so easy to make yourself comfortable, to create yourself a warm cacoon of comfort and reject the unknown and different. My story is about accepting and inviting difference into our lives. I know personally, I find it very easy to wrap myself in a blanket of routine and happiness and forget that there are other things in the world that I need to experience and see. New shouldn’t be terrifying, it is just different. Esther and James’s journey is about fighting that fear of difference, and accepting the unknown into our lives.
How did you go about writing your book? What is your planning process (if you have one)
It has been a journey. At first I would pour over chapter by chapter, doing first, second and third edits one chapter at a time. It was a slow process. Finally, I have got myself into a routine of just writing, of planning the chapter in bullet points, and then scribbling my heart out, getting the organic story onto the page.
Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
I have often said my story if for Y/A and it certainly is but it is also for anyone who wants to put magic into their lives. Anyone who wants to read about a new and quirky world of power play, war, love and magic.
You haven’t finished your novel yet, but I was wondering about what publishing route would you like to go down and why?
Initially, I want to go down the traditional publishing route. Doing the send offs to publishers, and receiving those rejection letters in return, and then trying again. If eventually I am swimming in ‘no thank you’ letters, I will most certainly look down the self-publishing route. Or perhaps, as first time writers must do, I will put this book aside and try again with a new story.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me! Your book is right up my alley and I want to read it so badly. I think that your book will be perfect for fantasy lovers and those who love contemporary as it initially starts in real life. I really like worlds which cross over, I can never read enough of those. Good luck with finishing your book and finishing a publisher! I know that you have a bright future and let me know when it is to be published so we can talk about it more!
If you want to watch Amie on her writing journey you can follow her on her other accounts:
· Instagram is @inspiredtowrite
· Snapchat is inspiredtowrite - video log my writing process.
· email: firstname.lastname@example.org