Friday, March 8, 2013

Interview Friday with Amber Lea Easton

I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today, Amber.

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she's worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry. Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking courses on a wide variety of subjects when time allows. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges, but who ultimately persevere.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she's writing, she considers herself to be simply "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."


The World of Ink Network has been touring author Amber Lea Easton’s contemporary romantic suspense (adventure) novel, Riptide throughout February and March 2013.



VS: How long have you been writing romance novels?

Amber: I’ve been writing romance since my early teen years--blame hormones. I first started scribbling stories in notebooks when I was about nine years old, but they were about blood and gore. As I matured, I became a journalist by day and romance writer by night. I’m lucky to finally be published in the genre I love. 

VS: That's wonderful to hear, Amber. What inspired you to write your book?

Amber: Actually, Riptide is based loosely on events that transpired in my early twenties when I was attacked by a stalker while working as a journalist. I used those emotions to enhance the character development of Lauren Biltmore, the heroine of Riptide. One reviewer said the story reads as if it has been ripped from the headlines...but it’s actually been ripped from my heart. 

VS: Wow, what a great way to take something from your own life and turn it into a novel. Okay, so what is a typical writing day like for you?

Amber: I balance writing with promotion and parenting while letting the house fall apart around me. Laundry...does it ever end? Even though I swear I’m going to break this habit in 2013, I wake up and go immediately to the computer. I work there for several hours before breaking for lunch, exercising, running the kids to their after school events and then back to the computer once the house is asleep again. I’m quite lucky to have a job that allows me to work around my life schedule. 

VS: Don't worry, my laundry is also waiting for me to do too. LOL! I know Riptide isn’t your first publication, what was the first thing you ever had published in the romance genre?

Amber: Kiss Me Slowly was my first published romantic suspense novel. I’m currently writing its sequel by popular demand. I hadn’t intended on doing so, but I see now why readers would want one. 

VS: That's wonderful news and I'm sure your fans are excited about this sequel too. Can you share with us a little about your current book, Riptide?

Amber: Riptide is a romantic suspense novel about starting life over after having everything you’ve ever known ripped out from beneath you. It’s about learning to trust again after being betrayed at the deepest levels. It’s about learning to love again even though you don’t think you’re very lovable. It’s about hope triumphing over adversity. 

Riptide is a psychological thriller wrapped into an intense love affair between two characters that truly are each others soul mates and kindred spirits. 

VS: I've been enjoying Riptide and will be sharing my review next week. What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your books?

Amber: Letting them go is the hardest part for me. I spend so much time with them, loving them, pouring my heart into the characters, crying for them, rooting for them...it’s like parenting in a way. I hate to see them go out into the world, yet know that is what they are meant to do.

VS: What part of Riptide do you feel really stands out to you personally?

Amber: My characters, Lauren and Noah, are flawed individuals who begin the book not really thinking they deserve love, not sure, they trust it. Seeing them learn to not only trust each other, but trust themselves and open to the possibility of love really speaks to me at a core level. 

VS: What character is most like you or you wish you could be more like?

Amber: Lauren is like me in probably too many ways. She’s somewhat misunderstood or at least that’s how she feels. She is much stronger than even she knows but discovers that through the journey of Riptide.  

VS: What overall trends do you see in the romance market?

Amber: People love happy endings and being entertained. I see romance as on the upswing. I’ve even had men send me fan emails. I don’t think romance will ever go out of style. 

VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Amber: I have many works in progress, but I’ll speak about my 2013 releases coming out soon.

Reckless Endangerment is about Colonel Michael Cedars, a marine returning from Afghanistan partially paralyzed and not sure where he fits in this “new normal”--no longer a marine but not exactly a civilian anymore either. He’s married to Hope Shane, a feisty reporter who’s determined to fight for their marriage even if he’s already decided it’s over. She’s an investigative reporter immersed in human trafficking story that tests their commitment, their passion and eventually pulls them together in a fight for their lives. 

Dancing Barefoot is a contemporary romance about choices. Jessica Moriarty is confronted by a man she thought she’d never see again, a man who she betrayed, and the only man she ever truly loved. However, she’s bound by expectation and responsibility and can’t imagine abandoning the status quo to live the life of a dreamer. Jacques Sinclair is the photographer she abandoned. He reminds her of who she was, of the dreams she keeps secreted away, and pushes her to choose between being true to herself or living life for others. 

VS: Both sound amazing! I'll be sure to pick them up when they release. Amber, what do you think are the basic ingredients of a good romance book?

Amber: Realistic characters that you can identify with on some core level. Even if they appear sizzling hot on the outside, they need to be extremely human on the inside for readers to like them. A good romance has conflict, raw emotion, a cast of secondary characters that take the edge off the intensity of the main two, a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation and, of course, an ending that leaves the reader smiling. 

VS: What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?

Amber: Flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has insecurities, whether they are movie stars or bus drivers. When characters show their vulnerability, they are real. 

VS: Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst
book to movie transfer?

Amber: Ooo...I don’t know. I am biased here. I always think the books are better. Ha. 

VS: How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your books?

Amber: Well, the titles always seem to come to me early on with the books. For example, with Riptide, it spoke to me because of its intensity. Here’s the definition of Riptide: a stretch of turbulent water in the sea, caused by the meeting of currents or abrupt changes in depth. Also called a rip current, a strong current, especially one flowing outwards from the shore, causing disturbance on the surface. 

With Kiss Me Slowly, it is ironic to kiss slowly when you’re being chased by diamond smugglers and the feds. It is an indulgence and one that my characters don’t have for most of the book because they’re running for their lives and to stall for time. 

Reckless Endangerment was immediate for me, too, based on Hope’s profession and the danger involved; but also because there’s a lot on the line for them to keep their marriage together despite the Colonel’s PTSD and doubts. 

Dancing Barefoot...well, that actually came from the U2 song by the same name. There’s a line where Bono sings, “Hallelujuah, here she comes” and that perfectly summed up the story of Jessica and Jacques for me.

VS: Now that my readers have a bit more insight on why your books are titled the way they are, where can the readers of The Writing Mama find out more about and your books?

Amber: There is my website, http://www.amberleaeaston.com or follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberLeaEaston where I keep people posted on all my comings and goings. 

VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
 
Amber: Yes...Love is the foundation for life. If we’re not in love with something, whether it is ourselves, another person or life itself, then what’s the point?  




You can find out more about Amber Lea Easton, Riptide and her World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/a2azncg

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com   
 

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