book blogger

I've updated my review copy policy

6/10/2018 05:10:00 pm

Hello book bloggers--this one is for you.

As the title says, I've updated my policy for review copies for book bloggers.

I've always been happy to send out free review copies of any of my titles in eBook format and I still am. If you're a book blogger and would like an electronic copy of one of my books to review, send me an email with a link to your blog and your Twitter handle. (I want to follow you!) I'm happy to send you a copy of any of my books in whatever format you prefer.

However, I'm now able to provide physical review copies of my books for book bloggers with over 1000 followers on Twitter. Again, just drop me a line with your blog's URL and Twitter handle. I'm limiting physical copies to bloggers in the USA and United Kingdom for now (to cut down on shipping costs) but I may change this to include EU and Canadian book bloggers as well.

Happy reading!

-Amy


PS

If you're interested in getting a review copy of my upcoming book, sign up to my mailing list as I'll be sending out an email with Advanced Review Copies up for grabs soon!

personal

"How is the writing going?"

5/20/2018 10:10:00 am

It's been nearly four years since I've published a book. I hate thinking about how long it's been since I've completed a project but I've found it hard to carve the time out to properly write: uninterrupted and fully immersed.

When I was writing full time, I was alone most days either in my flat in Richmond, Virginia when my partner was at his job or at my parent's house when they were out working. I had solitude and a routine. I had a designated writing place. I had hours of uninterrupted time to write and rewrite.

Now, things are different. I did a Master's degree. I go a full time job. I moved countries. And I stopped writing. Rather, I stopped making the time to write and, when I found the time to sit and write, I realised that uninterrupted time was no more.

Working the same hours as my partner means we rarely get to spend time alone in the flat. Sure, we have the space to separate but uninterrupted space? No more. There are tea breaks and bathroom breaks and breaks just to say hi.

90% of the time, I'm not writing.

But that 10%, halfway through a sentence or stanza, my train of thought is broken and derailed.

And that is okay. It is life.

There is rarely such a luxury as the uninterrupted writing time I had. It just means the writing is slower. It is piecemeal and it requires more time to edit together pieces of poems and prose that my be saying the same thing but read differently: different tones and moods and cadence.

I am working on becoming a writer that can work anywhere. On the train, in a coffee shop, a quick scribble on a post it at the office, but this progress is slow and so is the writing.

But it is coming along.

I think my writing goals for myself this year were quite lofty in light of this but I do plan on getting at least one book out this year: a verse novel.

It is happening. And, so far, it's really good. It's just going to take a white to get where it needs to be: full length and fleshed out and thrust into the world.

#metoo

'Fault' in the wake of #MeToo

5/02/2018 10:35:00 pm

Trigger Warning: This article discusses sexual assault and sexual harassment. 

I wrote, edited, and published my verse novel Fault in a whirlwind three months in late 2012/early 2013. Now, with the #MeToo movement calling out the rampant sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood and across other industries, I can look back on writing Fault and how things have changed since I sat down at my laptop to type out the first few words of my most personal novel to date.

The landscape of how survivors of sexual assault and their abusers are portrayed has changed a lot since high school students in Fault were slipping #MeToo letters into the main character Liz's locker back in 2013. Since then, Harvey Weinstein's empire has crumbled. Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexual assault after decades of accusations. And dozens of other big names in Hollywood have been (rightly) accused of sexually harassing and abusing women for years. Women are knitting pink hats and marching in the streets to protest a president who thinks he has the right to grab a woman by the pussy. Kesha released her most critically acclaimed album Rainbow and its powerful ballad 'Praying' in the aftermath of her emotional lawsuit against Dr. Luke.

Things are changing. In 2017 women decided speaking up wasn't enough anymore and they started screaming.

When I was sexually assaulted in 2008, there was no #MeToo. There were no pussy hats. Women were angry but, apparently, we weren't screaming loud enough. I spent the next four years of university and my first year post-graduation being angry. I knew that I would never see justice for what happened to me. I shared a campus with him for four years and a stage with him at my college graduation. But I wasn't going to let some bastard get me down. I'm not that kind of girl. I wasn't going to go down without a fight.

So, like all of the women today tweeting #MeToo, I started talking. And soon enough, everywhere I looked was another friend coming out as a survivor and all of them felt the same way I felt: pissed off. Pissed off that someone was able to make us feel so small and vulnerable. Pissed off that someone felt they had the right to our bodies. Pissed off that authorities played off our accusations as our fault. That's a whole lot of unchannelled anger that was swelling under the surface.

So after four years of being pissed off, I started writing and three months later I published Fault. It was the book I needed to write to spit the poison out once and for all. I spent so long trying not to let something so life altering define me but it was finally time to admit that it really did and it was finally time to let it go. I was starting at new chapter in my life after graduation, embarking on my writing career, and trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. At the time, Slutwalk DC was gaining traction, #EverydaySexism was trending, and the Hollaback! movement was launching HeartMob. The time felt right personally and I could feel the beginning of the rumbles that would eventually cause the tidal wave of #MeToos several years later. The book was about one girl's bad night, but it was so much bigger than Liz.

And it was. And it still is. 

Two months after I published Fault, Emma Sulkowicz started "Carrying the Weight" of her mattress (literally) to class with her at Columbia University. Since then, we have heard countless stories of women and men bravely coming forward and sharing stories. Celebrities started speaking out against sexual assault and harassment. My personal favorite is Taylor Swift winning $1 in her court case against a radio DJ accused of groping her at a meet and greet. She then, in true Taylor Swift style, sat in a bathtub full of diamonds and a single $1 in the music video for Look What You Made Me Do. #MeToo has become a global phenomenon. 

Keep it up. Scream louder. Tell your story. 

book giveaway

Happy Birthday to Me Giveaway [Enter to Win 3 Books!]

2/01/2018 08:31:00 am

My birthday's tomorrow and I am... excited... I guess. I think I'm finally starting to realise that the older you get, the less fun birthdays are. I think the way to cope with this feeling is to eat too much cake, drink (a bit) too much wine, and give away some books.

I've done birthday giveaways in the past but this is my biggest one yet.

Two winners, three books each!


One winner will receive a paperback copy of all three of my books, Thinspo, Fault, and Girls Who Wear Pink. The second winner will receive eBook copies of all three of my books, in the format of their choice.

There are lots of ways to enter so good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

2018

Other goals and aspirations for 2018

1/06/2018 02:13:00 pm

In my last post, I talked about my writing goals for 2018 (which I consider a bit lofty for having not written much since 2015 but I digress) but I've spent the past few days thinking about the things I'd like to accomplish personally in 2018. Last year was a really tough year for me personally and I'd like to make some big changes this year to help improve myself both physically and mentally.

1. Read more. This is probably my biggest goal and something I really want to do for myself. I haven't read a huge amount since leaving university in 2012. While working toward my degree, I was reading several books a week and I think it took a lot of my love of reading away from me. I don't regret my degree and I consider it one of my biggest and best accomplishments but I haven't read much since. I decided to take the Goodreads Challenge this year and attempt to read 25 books this year. It doesn't seem like that much but I know I probably read about half that amount last year. It's time to start reading again.

2. Write and publish my first crochet/knitting patterns. I learned to crochet and knit in the summer of 2014 before moving to the UK and starting my master's programme. Since then, knitting and crochet have become a central theme in my life. I carry my yarn with me wherever I go. Without it, I'd probably be losing my my with stress and anxiety. After making all of my gifts for Christmas this year (a massive goal of mine since beginning to crochet), I've started dabbling in pattern creation and writing. So far, I've made up a few patterns for small items but I'd like to work more toward my goal of being a more well-rounded yarn artist and I'll probably start documenting some of these activities in my blog (even though I had intended for this to be an author blog only... but it's my blog so I can do what I want.)

3. Do more yoga. Last year, my goal was to do the splits and I came SO close before nearly blowing out my knee and having to take time away from it. This year, my goal is to be more regular with my yoga practice. Breathe more, build my strength slower, and push myself mentally in the practice instead of trying to break myself in two. I think 2017 was a year of self-destruction for me. I'd like 2018 to be a year of self-discovery and I'm hoping a more regular and relaxed yoga practice will help in this. I know it sounds like a lot of bullshit but it's amazing what a few deep breaths can do on a bad day.

4. Eat less sugar. Jesus I eat A LOT of sugar. I think this was part of my self-destructive habits--a lack of giving a single shit about what I ate and how much I was eating. My goal is to be a bit more disciplined about junk food and impulse food purchases. Basically this goal is just me shouting "No, you don't need to eat a whole bag of cookies just because they're on sale, Amy."

5. Drink less. On the theme of self-destruction and overeating, I think I really overdid it with the alcohol last year. I could definitely see myself using it as a crutch and it led to a lot of bad decisions and handling my emotions in really unhealthy ways. I'd like to change that. I know a lot of people are doing dry January and, so far, I've abstained too. But I don't want it to be a 'do dry January and then drink like a fish the rest of the year.' I'd just like to be a bit more conscious of what I'm putting in my body, basically.

And on that, I think I've got enough goals for the year. Generally, I just want to be happier and healthier and I think these are things I can do for myself, over time, that will help with that.

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