Today we are excited to have urban fantasy writer Amy Brock McNew with us! Amy doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. She enthusiastically explores the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird. She pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities.
This wife and mom is a lover of music, chocolate, the beach, and cherry vanilla Coke. Her home is a zoo, filled with teenagers–both hers and those she seems to collect–two dogs, a cat, and various fish and amphibians. Strangely enough, her kids are the ones who have to tell her to turn the music down.
1) Everyone seems to have a “how I got published” story. What is yours?
Well, my publisher actually snuck in as a beta reader. She had a new house and I hadn’t heard of her yet. She sent back great feedback with the beta questionnaire, and I thought that’d be the end of that. Not so. She contacted me not even a week later with an offer of a contract. We signed that one within a couple months, then a few months later I signed for the next 7 books in the series.
2) Tell us a little about your books.
My books are urban fantasy. The Reluctant Warrior Chronicles are set in my hometown in Arkansas, so really they’re “rural” fantasy. It’s the story of a young woman who has always been able to see demons and angels, but the game changes when the demons physically attack her. She discovers she’s one of many warriors, destined to fight with the angels against the demons. Along the way, she finds out that sometimes the demons within can be scarier and harder to fight than the ones she faces with a sword. They’re dark, and deal with a lot of tough issues. But there’s also a thread of hope, of light. After all, you can only truly appreciate the power of the light when you’ve seen the depths of the darkness.
3) What is the one author, living or dead, who you would like to co-write a book with someday, and why?
Tosca Lee. She has been a great inspiration and mentor to me on this journey. We have somewhat similar styles, and we both write stories that are a bit on the dark and twisted side. Writing with her would be an adventure, and would probably lead to a massive amount of craziness. But that’s okay. I like crazy.
4) Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book?
It’s a rush of so many emotions, at first I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. So I did both! It was overwhelming, yet everything I’d hoped it would be. The poor UPS guy (whom I ambushed halfway down the drive), just laughed at me and congratulated me. My hands shook so badly I almost lost a finger trying to open the box with my knife! I recovered quickly and dove in. Holding that book in my hands was the culmination of a lifelong dream. It was surreal.
5) If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Sean Connery, Princess Diana, and Alexander the Great.
6) What were some of the challenges for you writing your book?
I put so much of myself in this first series. The main character’s personal struggles are based on my past, so going back and reliving some of the most brutal and painful moments of my life was a Herculean task. But it was cathartic as well. I was able to work through things as I put them on the page. Another challenge has been finding the time and focus to write due to so many health issues that all seemed to happen at once. But I fought on, as I always do.
7) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
That they are worthy. No matter what they’ve done, where they’ve been, what bad choices they’ve made, or what’s happened to them, they are loved and worthy and powerful. I want each person who reads my books, especially TRWC, to come away feeling empowered, and to find the warrior within them, whatever that looks like.
8) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek. Specifically, TNG. It’s an addiction. I may have issues. Would you like me to quote some scenes for you? “We look for things. Things to make us go.” 😉
9) Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Hard shell. One of the best parts of eating tacos is the satisfying crunch!
10) Favorite place to vacation?
Myrtle Beach, and if we can’t get there, Branson. Biased, because I grew up around Branson.
11) Favorite season?
Summer. I’m a summer girl all the way. Give me my flip flops!
12) Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like cocoa, raspberry tea, chocolate?
Black Rifle Coffee and Sonic cherry vanilla coke. I live on the stuff.
13) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Isaiah 41:10, the entirety of Psalm 13, and Joshua 1:9
14) Favorite dessert?
15) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
Definitely! I’m a musician as well, and all my chapter titles are song. Some of my faves are Skillet, RED, The Protest, The Rigs, and Adelitas Way.
16) How would you like to be remembered?
As a warrior. That no matter what I went through or what came against me, I fought on and I fought to the death.
17) What is your favorite thing you have ever written?
The latest installment of TRWC, Resilience, which I just finished. It’s darker, deeper, and the hardest thing I’ve written to date, but it’s the best.
18) What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
Exactly what I want my readers to go away with. That I’m worthy. That my past shapes me, but doesn’t define me. That I’ve fought through so much and won, and I can always find the strength inside myself to fight on.
Thank you so much, Amy, for joining us! Here are some links where you can find out more about Amy Brock McNew and her urban fantasy series!
Newsletter (when you sign up, you will receive Reformation, the prequel novella): www.subscribepage.com/u1o4u2