Today I have the privilege of interviewing the talented Amber Mitchell, author of Garden of Thrones!
Q: To begin with, can you tell me a little bit about your background before you became a published author?
While I was going to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in writing, I worked at a bookstore and loved it, though I spent too much of my paychecks on books. After college, I worked as a 911 dispatcher for four years where I wrote between phone calls. That job was stressful but it always offered something new and I have a bunch of great party stories now!
Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, when did you begin writing, and why?
I’d always enjoyed writing but I never knew how much until I was in 3rd grade and wrote a play for the class to perform. I didn’t start working on my first book until I was a junior in high school. I had this amazing English teacher who must have seen something in me because he would skip his lunch breaks to teach me about plotting and crafting characters. By the time I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to be an author.
Q: I just read your debut novel, Garden of Thorns and could not put it down. What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always loved fantasy. Garden of Thorns is my seventh novel I’ve written (the other six were shelved) and three of the seven have been fantasy. The genre has always drawn me. I didn’t mean to write this book when I did though. I was in the middle of editing another book when Rose’s voice just came to me. She was so desperate and her situation was so terrifying that I had to open up a new word.doc and figure out what was happening to her. I’d always had the idea that when girls twirl around in ball gowns that they looked like flowers and knew pretty quickly that I was writing that story. As I was writing, I just kept asking myself logical questions: Where would flowers live? A garden. Who would look after the flowers? A gardener. I knew that I wanted this Garden to look beautiful on the outside but be full of danger if you took the time to peel back the layers and that is how Garden of Thorns was made.
Q: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do to relax or have fun?
I was a reader before I wrote so I still do a fair amount of reading. I’ve also gotten into the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons over the past year and that has been a lot of fun. I love the idea of telling a joint story and not having to be responsible for the entire campaign, just my character’s part in it. Our game master is a writer, himself, so we have a lot of fun world building and talking about character goals!
Q: Do you have any advice for those who are wanting to break into the publishing world themselves?
You should definitely do your research. Read in your market so you know what sells and what works. Make sure you know how to write query letters, know who you are sending them to and know what to expect when you are looking for an agent.
Also, take away your reasons not to write. If you’re like me and know you will use the excuse that you don’t know what is going to happen next so you might as well not write, then plot out your book before you ever write the first chapter. If you find that you keep getting up to get snacks or drinks, bring those to your desk beforehand. And set achievable word goals. Nothing feels better than meeting your goal every day. It’ll make you want to write!
Q: Where can we learn more about you, your work and any upcoming releases?
I’m always on Twitter so you can find me there at @amberinblunderl. You can also find out more about what I’m working on if you check out my website: https://ambermitchellbooks.com/ or on my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ambermitchellauthor/.
Thanks for having me!
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a glimpse inside your world, Amber. And for all you readers, I’ll be posting a review for Garden of Thorns soon. And to keep up to date with my latest author interviews, be sure to click on the Interview tab at the top of the page!