Good morning Amanda and welcome to My Book Addiction and More today!!
AMANDA: I met my husband in culinary school and we’ve been cooking together ever since! I teach pastry arts classes for a local community college and spend the rest of my time baking, keeping track of our three kids and dreaming up spicy love stories.
MBA&M: Amanda, what made you decide to write romance?
AMANDA: I love to read romance! I got hooked on Harlequins in grade school, and by high school I was definitely reading things I had to hide from my mother. Judith Krantz was my hero/ine. I’ve written in other forms like short stories and poetry, but somehow romance always crept in. When I decided to write a book, I knew it had to be a no-holds-barred contemporary romance.
AMANDA: In writing Scrumptious, I faced the challenge many novice writers face – myself. There are so many things that can interfere with writing: lack of discipline, fear of failure, children, day jobs, the intense desire to get a glass of water or take a nap. And that’s just the writing. Actually finishing a book seems impossible once you get about halfway through. Writing (once you find your zone) is fun – but getting to THE END is hard work. Forcing myself to break my characters hearts and then put them back together again, making myself tie up loose ends and fill plot holes was sheer bloody torture. But the challenges faced in completing a book are worth it for the breathless moment when you realize you did it. And it was hard. And you did it.
MBA&M: How hard is it to write a passionate scene, full of hot, steamy action?
AMANDA: I love writing sex scenes. I search for the real details that make sex hot. Often it’s not the Tab A into Slot B part, but what comes before and after. Don’t get me wrong, the during part is good, too. 😉 I sit in my chair and stare off into space until one character makes a move that just feels right. I know when it’s working for me and for them, and I hope it works for the reader, too.
MBA&M: Amanda, where do you hope or envision your writing career in the future to be?
AMANDA: I just want to write. I was so thrilled that Sourcebooks liked Scrumptious enough to offer me a two-book deal. Luscious will hit the stands in July and right now I’m working on Book Three, Gia and Colin’s story. It was hard to keep those two from stealing scenes in Luscious, so I’m excited to write their story. I have a file of ideas to work on after that. I plan to keep writing books about people falling in love…while they enjoy great snacks.
MBA&M: What do you believe was or is the best advice you have received in your quest to become a bestselling author?
AMANDA: “Get rid of the first 30 pages.” When I first submitted Scrumptious to an agent, she pointed out that I dumped too much set-up at the beginning. Since then I’ve discovered I do that with almost every story. Often I have to write pages and pages before my characters sort themselves out in my head and the story takes shape. It’s part of my process, but now I know to look for the page where SHAZAM! it all starts happening, and I make that page one. I tuck those set-up details in later – after I’ve hooked the editor or agent. If you are writing your first book, ask a trusted friend to read the first thirty pages. Then ask them where they start to pay attention. Start your book on that page!
MBA&M: Amanda, tell our readers where to find you and where “Scrumptious” is available.
AMANDA: Scrumptious is available everywhere I’ve looked! I’ve seen it in stores at Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scrumptious-amanda-usen/1100076324?ean=9781402259821&itm=1&usri=scrumptious
and Books A Million (http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5256020376441&type=author&query=Amanda%20Usen)
It can also be purchased in mass market paperback from those sites, as well as Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Scrumptious-Amanda-Usen/dp/1402259824/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325863756&sr=1-1
and many more!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I had a great time answering your questions and would be happy to answer any more questions from your readers.
Again, thank you Amanda for visiting with us at My Book Addiction and More and spending time with our readers today…….
Mass Market Paperback:320 pages
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca (January 1, 2012)
Book Description(from Amazon)
TALL, DARK & DELICIOUS
Joe Rafferty is just as mouthwatering as the food he cooks. But if he thinks he’s going to waltz in and take over her kitchen, he’s denser than a thick slice of chocolate ripple cheesecake. Marly has invested too much of her life in Chameleon to hand off the restaurant to someone else—especially a cocky-as-all-get-out superstar chef. But there’s no denying the man knows how to light her fire. Question is: Can she have the sizzle without feeling the burn?
Thanks to Beth at Sourcebooks, we are offering 1 lucky winner a print copy of Amanda Usen’s “Scrumptous”. Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes,please. Giveaway will run from today January 9 until January 16,2012.
**Please remember to leave your email address with your comment to contact the winner**
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!