Writing Her Own Pattern: Amy J. Hamilton

For the last day of our three day author interview feature, I have an amazing and fascinating person who wrote “Modified: Lunar Medical book one.”  I really had a lot of fun interviewing her, and I hope you have just as much fun reading what she said!

Hi Amy, and welcome to the blog.  I’ll start out with something basic.  What made you begin writing?Amy Hamilton.jpg

I started when I was a kid. On holiday one year Dad produced a foolscap lined notepad and wanted me to keep a diary. That notepad turned into many hardcover page a day diaries over the years, I filled every one. Eventually I wrote on an Atari computer, then a PC. There were a few years of blogging on a forum. I wrote my first novel longhand on holiday in an A4 book some 20 years ago. I have no idea what happened to it or how long it was.

What caused you to publish, and share your work with the world?

May 2016 was the 30th anniversary of a traumatic event. I was sexually assaulted by a female doctor when I was about 14. Of course nothing was done because no-one believed me. As a way of proving I was still here and still fighting, firstly I wrote erotica, secondly I had to be published for that anniversary. There was some interest from traditional publishing, but not an actual offer that didn’t involve me paying them. So I bit the bullet and self-published.

When and how did you finish your first book?

My first erotic novel was considered for publication but ultimately rejected. I’ve yet to knock that one into shape and publish it. The first book I published-Modified was written after a short story call out from a publisher who wanted menage/multiple partners. It’s not what I’d usually write, but I gave it a go. There were things they liked about the short story, but again they didn’t publish it. The characters from that story then went on to be the focus of Modified-the book that went before the short story. It was finished a few years before I published it.

If you could give a beginning author a piece of advice, what would it be?

Enjoy your writing. Write what you want to read. Then think about all the words you habitually use when you’re talking to someone, run a search for them in your book and remove most of them. I used to have a habit of using the word “actually.” I use it all the time when I’m talking, it doesn’t need to be there all the time in my writing.

That tip was interesting, and I’ll probably use it myself!  You mentioned you have weird animals. Care to elaborate on that?

There’s some pretty standard tropical fish, nothing unusual in them. My daughter has a rainbow fire tiger leatherback bearded dragon called Cossie. My son has a baby Russian Tortoise called Crunch. She still fits in the palm of my hand. The family in general has one remaining degu called Sam. He’s a small furry animal, the same family as a guinea pig and facially looks like a cross between a hamster, a squirrel and a chipmunk. Or maybe he just looks like a degu.

Do you have a funny story about something one of them did?

I’ve had to put covers on the filter pipes in the fish tanks. I have had to tip fish out of the pipe twice over the months. The pipe is blowing bubbles, blowing not sucking, what on earth makes the fish want to try to swim down it? They can’t get themselves out again. Being a dragon, I have naturally trained Cossie to fly, speak and breathe fire and she has just recently mastered the art of laying eggs under the skull ornament in her vivarium-all without the use of opposable thumbs. Quite gifted. There was a low flying helicopter over the house last night that rattled the windows, Sam the degu didn’t stop squeaking for ages. He rings the bell in his cage when he wants to come out or get someone to give him a treat. Then he’ll run around the cage for a bit, go back to the bell, ring it, you give him a treat and he wanders off and buries it for later! These days he makes a big fuss about getting into his exercise ball to have a run around, then he sits by my feet at the sofa and tries to chew through the ball depositing little specks of blue plastic all over the carpet. Yet he has a forest of wooden things in his cage to chew on.

What’s your absolute favorite kind of coffee, and how do you like it?

Large, weak, warm with loads of sweeteners! In Starbucks mine is usually a venti skinny sugar free vanilla latte kids temperature and my friend has a black coffee. She says what I drink isn’t coffee. I’ve recently bought one of those refillable cups for Starbucks, I’m not sure it’s venti-this makes me sad! I offer coffee to clients for my other business and they all seem to like the mild Dolce Gusto coffee I buy for the coffee machine in the office. I drink mine out of a pint mug with skimmed milk and 4 sweeteners. I only have 3 caffeinated drinks a day I switch to decaf after that.

If you could do anything as an author, what would it be? The sky’s the limit. Maybe even the outer planets or a nearby star system.

I would just like to be able to write full time and make some money at it. I’m not going to be remembered in 200 years for anything I’ve written and I’m not going to win awards, but I’ve been told I’m an enjoyable read. I’d like to build on that. Then I’d like to go to another planet where I’d be world famous and earn lots of money and write from there and make friends with all the aliens.

Name one thing you wish you had known when you were a new author.

I still consider myself to be new. I wish I’d just had more confidence to publish sooner. I would have been on my third book by now.

Would you have changed anything about your writing career so far?

I would love to be in the position to afford a professional cover for everything I write. The thought of having to find and manipulate cover graphics is holding me back. I dread it. I have books and stories ready to go except that I haven’t started on covers.

What is your latest book about?

Modified is a tongue in cheek erotic novel about a team of people on a moon trying to genetically modify various groups of people for disease resistance and turn them into super soldiers. Back on their planet the world is falling apart due to a virus outbreak and war and at that point they lose communications between the planet and the moon. The modifications of the soldiers have produced varying results from completely destructive mutants to viable candidates with elevated libidos. It’s a romp! Rather than being a book thoroughly researched for the science of it, I prefer to concentrate on the characters and how they interact with each other.

What is the main character like, and what is interesting about them?

Dayton is in charge on the moon, but he has no understanding of what is going on around him. Feeling trapped he tries to find a human connection with just about anyone he can. Job wise he is me when I had a job I felt an overwhelming responsibility for but I didn’t have a clue how to do the things expected of me. Day spends time questioning the morals of the modifications and the so called libidos of the soldiers, which apparently don’t rival his own.

What were the biggest challenges you encountered when writing it?

It was originally set on our moon and on Earth. I googled some science, I even understood some of it. Eventually I realised I had no interest in writing anything out of a physics text book and made up a world to set it on so I could mess with science and not have people point fingers and say “this doesn’t happen on our planet.” No, it wouldn’t, it’s not set on our planet or our moon. I made it up! It’s fiction. And it’s not really supposed to be taken too seriously.

What are you working on now?

There’s a follow up to Modified. A team goes back to Enceffia to search for survivors on the planet. It’s still an erotic novel, but it has some dark elements of people trying to come to terms with the destruction around them. It is still tongue in cheek. There is still plenty of  sex and there is definitely a fair amount of banter between the characters which one day is going to result in one person slapping another one senseless. There’s also a short story for a Spring themed free anthology. It’s funny, weird, contains no sex and I don’t believe anyone is going to die in it! It does feature a six legged bright pink alien sheep called Jefferson. After that I have a novella called Blue Lights set in a similar world to Modified, it’s gay erotica about a medic and an accident prone cop and some dubious means to obtain credit for simple things like food. It features some flying cars. Why do we not have flying cars yet?

What is your favorite place to write? Any extras like music or a favorite beverage, or is it more like “I have time. I don’t care where I am, I will use these precious ten minutes!”

I planned a book on my phone on the plane on the way back from holiday last year. But mostly I sit on the sofa with my oversized laptop on my knees, threatening to dislodge my knee caps, completely forgetting about the coffee on the bookcase on my right. Sam the degu provides various noises throughout the day including the strange slurping noise he makes when he’s attending to various hygiene tasks.

Thank you so much for answering my questions!  If readers want to find out more about you and your work, where can they go?

 Blog http://barkingmaddj.blogspot.co.uk/

 Twitter https://twitter.com/WriteNaughty

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15275986.Amy_J_Hamilton


Author websitehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0


And now, a bonus question: what planet are you from?

Over the years I have claimed to be from Planet Zog, Mars or possibly now Enceffia seeing as I created it. (If I haven’t left any letters out-it’s an anagram of something I like. Most of the weird words I’ve used are. I hate naming things.)

Thank you so much, Amy, for appearing on my blog!  I wish you the best in your writing career.


Interview with Annie Arcane

Annie Arcane author photoAnnie, thank you for stopping by my corner of the internet.  Though romance isn’t my usual genre, I appreciate the unique spin you have on it and what you try to do with your work.  You’ve done something few authors have, put a fresh new spin on an old idea and most of all, made me laugh throughout this interview!

1. In general, what type of books do you write?
Well, I’ve only published adult contemporary romance so far but since I write everything I love to read, you can most definitely expect some dark romance in the future. The very near future. Hint, hint. Oh, I also whip up a flash fiction online each week for my readers and have made all of those into an ever-growing book too. Does that count? It does? Yay!!

2. What is your general theme?
Wounded/damaged alpha heroes with a healthy (or unhealthy, depending who you ask haha) dose of angst.

3. What drew you to that genre and theme?
Honestly? I haven’t a darn clue. I’ve pretty much been writing disabled heroes for as long as I’ve been writing romance. Which has been since for-ev-er ago.

With that said, what draws me to the genre now is how under/misrepresented PWDs are in fiction. I love the challenge of writing disabilities accurately AND keeping it sexy at the same time. I just wanna murder all the stereotypes, ya know? My longterm vision is to collaborate with related charity foundations and increase awareness with my writing. The Wounded Warrior Project is first on my list.

4. If you could give a message to all your readers, what would it be?
Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

I have the best readers ever. Yeah, I realize all authors say that about their readership but mine is seriously, legitimately, unequivocally THE BEST. I’m both grateful for and humbled by their crazy support. Like, let’s be real here, shall we? I’m a complete unknown who’s done everything herself and not all that well either haha! So, yeah, I owe everything to my readers.

5. Since our readers are dying to know, tell us a little about your background.
Ah, the boring stuff…

Hmm. I’m a Vietnamese-Canadian with a B.Sc. in Biology with a minor in English. I work in the fitness industry and am a total tomboy. Shooting guns? Rockclimbing? Driving/modeling import cars? UFC? Yes, please! I’m also a self-proclaimed nerd. Disney? Anime? Crunching numbers for no good reason? Just hook it up to my veins, baby!!

6. What made you realize you could write?Hart Broken
Huh? Whoever said I could write?

Kidding. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I was obsessed with R.L Stine when I was a kid and ended up running out of Fear Street books to read the summer I was 9 years old cuz, well, I’d read them ALL. So my sister, who’s 11 years older, took me to the public library, introduced me to my first romance novel (Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey) annnd…

A romance-writing monster was born. Dun dun dun.

7. How hard or easy was it to write your first book?
Very, veeery easy because I never intended to publish at all.

Yeah, I’m totally an “accidental” author. I literally sat down one day in 2015 and started typing up this story. No outline, no gameplan, no direction whatsoever (I believe the official term is “panster”). About 8 weeks later I was like, “Huh. I’ve written over 40K words. Maybe I should share this crap somewhere, eh?” So with the help of Google, I found an established fiction blog and started serializing chapters. A few weeks later, I moved to my own site cuz…reasons. Okay, fine. I’m a full-fledged control freak. Don’t judge me. Unless you want to.

Anyhoo, by the time I finished Queen of Harts (original title for Hart Broken) roughly 9 months later, my very humble following of insanely loyal readers asked me to release an ebook version for them. Well, I absolutely adore those buggers and can never say no to them so 3 weeks later…

Voila! A (poorly edited) book was born!!

Hart of His8. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to write one?
To quote a multi-billion dollar corporation? Just do it. Thanks, Nike!

Seriously, though, I’m a shoot-for-moon-to-land-amongst-the-stars type of person and tend to leap before I look (no typo). While I admit that being impulsive and reckless has gotten me into trouble before, it’s also opened so many doors in my life. Writing has proven to be no different in my limited experience.

9. Is there one thing in particular that inspires you more than anything else?
Hmm, I don’t consider myself a very “inspired” writer, which sounds pretty bad, eh? But to actually answer the question, I draw a lot from real-life experience. Take my first book, for example…

Mickey is me in a nutshell right down to her personal style, weird quirks, bad habits, and tomboy hobbies. Emotionally, Cale is pretty much every man I’ve ever loved in my entire life all rolled into one. He’s an self-made alpha male with a chip on his shoulder who’s vulnerable for only one person – his woman. Yep. That’s my men. Physically, Cale is still based on my men from the waist up, but from the waist down…

Cale is based on the four paraplegics who were sweet enough to answer all my disability-related questions. And since I’ve never actually been with a disabled man myself, you’d better believe I did a ton of research and asked a ton of highly inappropriate questions.

*shifty eyes*

10. Do you have any tips for overcoming writer’s block?
Well, I’ve never experienced writer’s block in the traditional sense since I’m the master of brain vomit and can whip up a random scene on demand. No joke. My only guess is to keep on writing even if it’s something totally irrelvant to your WIP. Yeah, I’m not very helpful. Meh.

11. If you could choose a legacy and be remembered by something, what would it be?Hart of Hers.jpg

I’ve worked with a ton of charity foundations through my fitness company and plan on using my writing to do the exact same thing.

A charity foundation for disabled children in 3rd world countries is on the horizon. I don’t need to be remembered for it but I sure as heck want it to continue on after I’m dead and gone.

12. What is your latest book about? (feel free to be as detailed as you want)
Author: You wanna answer this question?
Cale: Sure. It’s all about me.
A: (laughs) You’re so full of yourself.
C: (shrugs) You asked.
A: Isn’t the book about Mickey too?
C: (frowns) Yeah, but I don’t like sharing her.
A: Even with readers?
C: (shrugs again)
A: You’re a bit too possessive, buddy.
C: Hey, you wrote me that way.
A: (giggles) True enough.

13. If people want to learn more about you, where can they go?
I can be easily stalked on my author website, http://www.anniearcane.com. I’m also known for being the most approachable author ever (no exaggeration) so people are welcome to contact me personally as well. I read and answer every single email, so yep! Contact away!!

14. What’s the secret recipe for indie author success?
Limited amounts of sleep, a regular coffee drip (black with a touch of vanilla powder), and lots of cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

Okay, I don’t consider myself “successful” yet. Just wanted to talk about cookies.


Website: https://www.anniearcane.com/
Books page: https://www.anniearcane.com/books/
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/anniearcane
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/anniearcane
Facebook: http://facebook.com/annietheauthor/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/annietheauthor


Cale & Mickey Series
Hart Broken, Book 1: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/hart-broken/
Hart of His, Book 2: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/hart-of-his/
Hart of Hers, Book 3: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/hart-of-hers/
Hart of Mine, Book 4: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/hart-of-mine/

In a Flash: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/in-a-flash/

100% Proceeds to Charity
Dare to Love: https://www.anniearcane.com/book/dare-to-love/


In a flash.jpg

Angel Chadwick’s interview of me!

Some of you may recall that I interviewed Ms. Chadwick on Friday, here, and she has returned the favor.  Check her site and books out, they are great!  She asked a lot of interesting questions, too.  Her interview is here.  If you aren’t a member of Goodreads, I’ve included the interview, slightly edited for length, below.

Angel Chadwick
Portrait Small
Roh Shaw








Hi, Rohvannyn!

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your latest novel, cover art, illustrations.

Hi! Thank you for interviewing me. It’s an honor. I live in Tucson, Arizona, and I work in customer service but write and draw every chance I get. I’ve been drawing ever since I was tiny, and writing since I learned to type. I love cats, especially my floofy, crazy calico, and live with my partner of nearly 13 years. She helps me edit my books and is an artist herself. My latest novel is a book called “Rageth,” which is about a call center worker who has to deal with a ghost haunting her phone lines. My latest book, though, is “Self Publishing Made Easy,” which I’ll say more about later.

2. What inspired you to be a writer, artist and/or illustrator/ to get into indie publishing? How long have you been writing and/or illustrating? How long have you been published as an indie author? Has your cover art or illustrations been published? If yes, then where? If not, would you want it to and in which publications or websites?

As far as my art goes, I’ve been doing it so long it’s just something that’s part of my life. My wonderful partner, however, is the inspiration to keep improving it instead of staying in one spot and resting on my laurels. That’s true with both writing and drawing. I’ve been illustrating for perhaps fifteen years, though I started drawing thirty five years ago, roughly. I’ve been writing for perhaps fifteen years as well, and have been serious about it for about five. My cover art is on several of my own books, as well as on and in books by two other authors. My art has been featured in Venue Magazine of Moses Lake, Washington, on the front of a martial arts studio, on a parade float, at a couple of Star Wars fan sites, and of course on my own sites.

3. Who are your writing mentors/authors/artists/illustrators? What genres do you enjoy writing and what genres do you like to read? Are you an avid reader/reviewer and/ or appreciative of other authors, artists and illustrators?

The closest thing to mentors were probably my high school writing teacher and my parents. An author I truly respect is Richard Marius, who wrote the excellent book “A Writer’s Companion.” As far as illustrators, I was truly inspired by the work of Wendi Pini of ElfQuest when I was young, though now I have too many to name. I enjoy writing Science fiction, light modern horror, fantasy, and non fiction essays. I enjoy reading military sci fi, regular sci fi, modern horror, non fiction essays, history, and alternative history. I do truly appreciate the work that other artists, authors, and illustrators do because every time I look at or read something, it has the potential to teach me.

4. Have you ever co-written, or considered collaborating with your artwork on a project?

My spouse and I are planning a collaboration on a novel right now, which will be a military sci fi setting. We’re batting ideas around about worlds and cultures, ship designs, weapon designs, things like that. I’ll be doing a lot of the writing, she’ll be doing a lot of the 3-d rendering of the art. We have another novel we’re thinking of that will be more of a true writing collaboration, a cyberpunk story.

5. What are your dreams and aspirations that could drive you forward on this writing/publication and illustrative journey?

They are twofold. One, I simply enjoy writing and doing art, and I dream of being able to do that more. Two, I would like to be able to make some income when I have gotten older and have become too feeble to do traditional work. With today’s economy I can’t expect a pension so I would love to still be able to support myself. Of course, it would also be fun to see my work all over and have people be able to enjoy it!

6. Do you prefer to do marketing and promotion yourself for your works or would you rather have someone else control that spectrum? What are some of the things you have done to promote and market yourself?

I do my own promotion. I’ve used handbills, author interviews, advertising on my own sites, and also had some luck with the promotion that Amazon automatically does when you publish a book. I’ve also done a couple of free eBook promotions, posted on various fora about my books, and done a Goodreads Giveaway. I haven’t seen the benefit to paying for large amounts of advertising, since it often doesn’t seem to pay off.

7. What is your greatest accomplishment as an author, cover artist, and illustrator?

I think my greatest accomplishment was completing The Dice of Fate. I worked hard on the cover painting, made illustrations for the interior, and spent months working on the interior. I also took my editor’s advice and made neccessary changes when she pointed out serious flaws in the story. Anyone who’s written a story and then taken it to an editor knows what I mean! That project brought together all three aspects of what I do.

8. What’s the next writing and or illustrating project(s) you’re working on?

I’m putting the finishing touches on a modern horror novel about a call center worker, a metalhead, and a ditzy nurse who have to save Tucson from a spectral presence who possesses the phone lines. It’s kind of a dark comedy with serious elements. I’m also slowly getting a fantasy novel into shape, which is about a mage’s apprentice who unexpectedly finds a winged horse, and must find a way to win her freedom. I don’t have any illustrating projects at the moment, thought that could change at any time.

9. How would you balance creativity with the business side of writing and illustrating such as coming up with particular concepts and solutions to stand out among the crowd in this writing/publishing/illustrating industry where ‘popularity’ is key, if your idea wasn’t exactly popular/or was unknown to the readers/publishers/art galleries and other art websites?

I try to do things a million people haven’t done, or if I do something that’s been done, I try to do something different with it. Then in my description I try to pique the reader’s interest and show them why I’m a bit different. I have noticed though, that there are a fair number of people who really want more of the same thing they already liked, so complete innovation may not always be needed. Being original is still important but sometimes it’s okay to fit into a genre. It’s easier to sell when you can quickly and clearly state what you have to sell, rather than fitting something into ten different genres.

10. Have you ever been traditionally published? Would you consider it? Or feel like a sell out if you took a traditional deal and abandoned indie publishing? Have you ever thought about being a hybrid, part indie, part traditional published? How would you feel about such an opportunity, if both or either of these things happened? How would you feel if your artwork was featured on a prominent art website or gallery opening?

I’ve written articles and made illustrations that were traditionally published. I haven’t had any novels or stories published that way, though. If I were approached for a publishing contract I’d read it thoroughly and take it if the terms were right. I’d always stay at least part indie, though. I’d feel honored and be glad that someone approached me in that way. If I were featured on a prominent art website, I’d be stunned and pleased, and a gallery opening is my secret dream. Of course, that’s unlikely because my art is so “lowbrow,” ha ha!

11. What other creative talents do you have besides being a writer and illustrator? Do you paint, build sculptures, etc. What kind of artwork do you do (ex: conceptual art, sketches, etc.)

I paint in both acrylics and watercolors. I draw in pen and ink, which is the bulk of what my illustrations are done in. I also enjoy markers, colored pencils, graphite sticks, and chalks on black background. I do sketch, sometimes just to rough out a concept, but will often finish them in ink.

12. What advice would you give other aspiring authors, cover artists and/or illustrators?

First, never give up. The most successful people in the world are not the most talented, but the most persistent. Second, in all you do, always strive to do a little better than you did before. Third, welcome all learning opportunities of all kinds. Fourth, if you’re a freelancer, don’t give friends and family deep discounts. Once you start down the discount path, forever will it dominate your destiny, because they’ll pass their own discounts on to others and your fees will be eaten away. And finally, never give up.

13. Describe yourself in a one-sentence epithet.

Nightmare to both sides – a sandal-wearing, Lesbian, Anarchocapitalist, Atheist gun nut. LOL!

14. Paying it forward. What things do you do in your community/ and other communities to help others?

I said I’d mention “Self Publishing Made Easy again. I wrote it to help my fellow indies. I wanted people who are new to self publishing to have a really cheap (99 cents) resource that will save them from many of the newbie pitfalls and make sure they do everything needed to write and publish a successful book. As far as paying it forward, I’ve begun hosting fellow authors on my blog, and I also participate in various charity events held by my day job. In one of our recent events, we donated a school bus load of supplies to local kids in need. I bought a whole bunch of notebooks and put post-its with inspirational messages inside, for my contribution. I love finding creative ways to help my community, whether it’s my local community or my online one!

Social Media Links:

Blog: http://mind-flight.org

Art site: http://rohvannynshaw.com

Twitter: @Rohvannyn

DeviantArt: http://firstprimeofcessna.deviantart….

(To view the whole, unedited author interview including bio, check out Angel’s Goodreads page!)