Friday, June 3, 2011

AMY HATVANY (INTERVIEW)


AMY HATVANY "BEST KEPT SECRET" (AUTHOR INTERVIEW)

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(1) First, I'd like for you to tell us a little about your life. Just a brief bio if you will.

Let’s see…I was raised in Seattle, where I still live, and have worked in a variety of careers – baker, receptionist, HR Manager. I’m happily married for the second (and final!) time, and we have three beautiful children. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and about a decade ago, I had two novels published. BEST KEPT SECRET is my third, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

(2) Now this book "Best Kept Secret" that you have so lovingly written, this is not just a story of someone who has been through this, this is in fact your story correct?

Well, not entirely correct. The plot and characters are certainly fictional, though some of Cadence’s emotional experiences are based in what I went through being a mother and alcoholic. Her struggle to come to terms with her drinking problem, and the intense shame she feels is much like mine was. I’ve been in recovery for almost six years, now, and I wrote the book because I wanted to portray how this can happen to anyone. I wanted any woman who might suspect she has a problem, or is in the middle of a huge mess created by drinking to know that she is not alone, and there is always a way to find your way out of the dark.

(3) What were some of the hardest points during this time you were trying so hard to change your life?

In the beginning, every day was hard. There’s a saying in recovery, that the only thing you have to change when you stop drinking is everything. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that drinking - as a behavior - is only a symptom of a much deeper issue. My real problem lay in negative thinking patterns, and the real work of recovery is to relearn how to think on a daily basis.

(4) There are likely a lot of other women out there that can relate to this story, what kind of advice would you give those that may be in the same position you were once in?

I’m not a big one for giving advice, especially to someone who is struggling with drinking, but I can say that once I opened my mind to the idea that I didn’t have to figure out the issue on my own, my life began to get infinitely better. In my experience, there are no rules to follow in recovery, just gentle suggestions made by people who have stood in the same place as me. There is no judgment. There is acceptance and understanding and so much love and laughter. If you know someone in recovery, take the chance. Talk with them. There is no pressure to conform. There is only hope that you might find some peace in your life.

(5) Was it hard writing this novel and reliving those painful moments?

Absolutely. It took time for me to build up the courage to capture the wrenching emotions for some of those moments onto the page. I was afraid of the possible judgment I’d face, but I also firmly believed that if the story helps just one woman feel less alone in her struggle, then it would be worth whatever people may choose to think of me personally.

(6) What are five things you are most thankful for in your life right now?

Only five?!? Let’s see. I’m grateful for my recovery, my amazing husband and kids, the beautiful friends in my life, the gifts I’ve been given in my writing career, and for the homemade biscuits baking in the oven right now!

(7) What is your life like today? Can you tell us about your family?

My life is definitely very full, very busy! I still work a full-time day job, so I have to fit writing in to the nooks and crannies of my day. My husband is the most amazing man I’ve ever met – he is truly my best friend in the world. We laugh hysterically together at pretty much everything. My children bring me so much joy – along with the occasional frustration, of course! They are wickedly smart, funny, and loving creatures. I’m so proud of them.

(8) When you're not writing what is your favorite genre of book that you like to read?

I read mostly fiction – literary, commercial, whatever I can get my hands on really. I’m not a huge fan of science fiction or fantasy(sorry! I know how much others love it!).

(9) What is your next book about and when do you plan to have it finished?

My next novel is called OUTSIDE THE LINES, and it tells the story of a woman searching for her homeless and mentally ill father, whom she has been estranged from for twenty years. It’s told in alternating viewpoints, both past and present, of the father and daughter. I’ve actually already finished it, and it will be release in February, 2012! I’m hard at work on the first draft of the one after that.

(10) Is there any other genre you would like to write in the future and do you have any inspiring advice to give other aspiring authors?

I’m fairly committed to being a novelist, so writing in other genres doesn’t appeal to me very much. What fascinates me is how people tick, and I love coming up with stories that dissect the human condition – what women, especially, must deal with day-to-day in our present culture.

And the best advice I ever received and will pass on to anyone wanting to be a writer is: Stop talking and start writing! For me, writing is not about inspiration. It’s hard work. It’s about commitment and perseverance. I never look at a story idea with the thought of wanting to write an entire book. I think about what the character might do in this particular moment. I take writing one word at a time, one page, one chapter. When I do this long enough, I eventually finish a book.

What a wonderful interview! For more information on Amy and her novels please visit:http://amyhatvany.com
©2010, Kitty, all rights reserved.

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