Thursday, August 2, 2012
Amy Hatvany is like a sister to us, plus a book giveaway
Amy Hatvany is back at Chick Lit Central, following her visit in February, to tell us about "The Language of Sisters," which is about a woman who returns to her hometown to help take care of her sister, who has disabilities. It was written about 10 years ago under her previous last name, Yurk, and has been republished under her current last name. Like her recent novels, "Best Kept Secret" and "Outside the Lines," we know it will be a huge hit. Since we only asked her about romance last time she was here, we're now asking her about writing. She is currently at work on her fifth novel, which she tells us more about in this interview.
Thanks to Atria Books, we have TWO copies of "The Language of Sisters" for some lucky US readers.
You can find Amy at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.
Is there a message in "The Language of Sisters" that you want readers to grasp?
One message for me is the idea that doing the right thing is often times the most difficult, but can lead to the greatest personal growth. Another is that the bonds we share with our sisters (or “fristers” – a term I’ve borrowed from the lovely Sarah Pekkanen for friend/sister) can encourage us to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.
I love that readers find their own messages in the pages of the books I write – what the story teaches them, or makes them feel. Reading is such a personal experience, and I think everyone gains something different. That’s what makes it great!
What books have you read so far this summer?
I’m in the middle of writing a new book, so I haven’t read much, since it tends to distract me, but before I began the project, I managed to read GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn, THE NEXT BEST THING, Jennifer Weiner, and OFF THE MENU, by Stacey Ballis. Loved all three!!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mother originally suggested I try writing when I was in second grade, probably because I was such a constant chatterbox and she needed a break from my telling her my stories! I began putting then on the page and have been writing ever since.
If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
The truth is, I believe they do speak for themselves – I’m often surprised at what comes out of their mouths as I write. They’re very bossy - I don’t necessarily feel in charge of the process.
What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Iced Mocha lipstick (which is actually more red than it sounds), Lemon Burst Mints, Tweezers (you never know when you might have an eyebrow emergency!), and Ibuprofen (because I’m getting old and everything aches!)
Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad:
Well, no doubt, good reviews are balm to the neurotic writer’s soul. It means the world to me when someone has been sufficiently moved by a story I’ve written to take the time to convey their thoughts to me and other readers.
And of course, bad reviews are painful, but if they address a specific problem they saw in the story – something tangible that I, as a writer, need to work on – then I attempt to absorb the constructive criticism and move on. What bothers me the most are the harsh reviews that attack the writer and include generalized and meaningless “this book/writer sucks” commentary. At the end of the day, reading is a highly personal experience – not everyone is going to connect with a story, and that’s okay. But there’s no need to skewer anyone with your opinion, because that’s all it really is – an opinion.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks or hardcover?
I have yet to buy an e-reader, simply because I love the feel of a book in my hands. (I appreciate their convenience, and probably will buy one later this year for traveling, but will continue to read print books at home.)
The truth is, when I finish writing a book, I need to print it out because it doesn’t feel “real” or that I’ve actually accomplished anything until I can touch it. I feel the same way about reading a book. There is something innately satisfying about my fingers turning the page.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m most excited about HEART LIKE MINE, which explores what happens when a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances and the family she leaves behind begins looking for answers in the past – eventually discovering a long-buried secret they could have never imagined. It’s due out in March, 2013, and there is a sneak peek of the first two chapters at the end of THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS! I can’t wait to hear what my readers think of it!
Special thanks to Amy for chatting with us again and to Atria Books for sharing "The Language of Sisters" with our readers.
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite movie, TV show or book (aside from this one) about sisters?
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US only. Giveaway ends August 7th at midnight EST.