Amy on writing

My first book review

This is my First book review here on Amy-Westphal.com

The book, by Author and blogger extraordinaire Stephen Black is called THE KIRKWOOD SCOTT CHRONICLES: SKELLY’S SQUARE

It’s a fantasy epic set in modern Belfast.

I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and then stop over on Amazon for your copy. No affiliate perks or paid reviews here, just my opinion.

You can also get to know Stephen and the Black family on their family blog fracturedfaithblog.com

And now for the review-

What if your personal demons were real? Embodied in form, no longer irrational compulsions in your head? What if they had a name? That’s Augustus Skelly. A napoleonic war monger in the head of one Kirkwood Scott. A 20-something man just trying to make it to his next payday. Kirkwood lives a dull life. But as his ex-girl Natasha says, he’s a good man. But life with Augustus Skelly in the shadows makes his one goal in life to see the bottom of the next pint. That’s until he meets the haunting eyes of Meredith Starc, the self imposed street urchin escaping her own painful past. Together these two underdog heroes embark on the ultimate battle of good and evil. One that turns what you thought you knew about this classic trope on its head. Kirkwood and Meredith, along with a terrific mix of equally memorable characters evoke an unstoppable force against an ancient evil.

Thoughtful, beautifully paced and darkly funny, Kirkwood Scott is an Epic tale in the vein of the most beloved of fantasies.

I gave it 5 stars on Amazon!

Happy reading, Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #7

Hey WPs!

All quiet here on the ole Westphal front. I’m still waiting on 10 query replies and resisting the urge to send out another dozen.

In the mean time. Let’s talk about comps….

Comparable titles. What is this and why do agents want it?

Many agents ask for you to add examples of novels like your own to your query. Like “x meets y equals me” or “People who love x will love me.”

And this little request just might be the death of me. I cannot seem to wrap my head around these comparable titles. What if I’m totally off base and they don’t see the connection? Or what if they hate the that book? Ugh! No likey.

Does any one have any tips for tackling this new bane to my existence?

Drop me a line, HELP!

Otherwise cheers, Amy.

Amy on writing

I am Querying #6

Another day and I’m still at it.

The count is

4 rejections

11 live.

I kind of went query happy and shot out more than my live goal amount.

But that’s okay. More to agonize over right? Who doesn’t love that.

I’m having some thoughts about things too. Thinking and what not. A dangerous pass time I know…

More on these thoughts later. But I’ll give you a hint: Comps man, comps.

Until next time…

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #5

Hey my WPs. I have some reportin’ to do. I meant to do it yesterday but my incessant preoccupation with lurking on twitter has prevented me from functioning like a functional human.

Apologies…

But there is a reason for my madness. You might say my preoccupation is as helpful as searching for the Muffin Man on Drury Lane. But. I am making an agent list. And in this modern technological age, the best way to learn about agents tastes and interests is on Twitter.

Writers gotta write after all.

So as overzealous as I’m being about it, which is perfectly in character for me, I feel like I’m collecting a very educated list of viable agents for my book. Which is definitely a good thing.

It also gives me a break from refreshing my inbox. Also a good thing.

Oh. And now the report…

Current count:

3 rejections

6 live

Wish me luck. Thanks for reading.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Crossing Over

But where will my book go? I wonder as I wonder though the crammed aisles of Barnes and Noble.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But I can’t think that way. I am a writer and I wrote a book. Therefore I must dream of its cozy space on the shelves.

I never set out with a niche in mind for my book. I just wrote what I’d like to read. But I settled on YA because my story, at its root, is very much a coming of age story.

But what if it has mature themes? Graphic scenes of sex, violence truth? Life or death choices and the exploration of love and consent?

Are these really just adult issues?

Absolutely not. Teens don’t live in a vacuum. They are smart and curious, and by all means should be able to explore what the world is like in the safety of a book. They’re exploring life outside their parents clutches already, whether any one likes that or not.

Books that explore themes that affect young adults should be available to young adults. That is what the crossover market is all about for me. And that’s why I’m going to start shopping my book to agents as YA crossover.

Books that deal with themes that suit and interest adults and teens alike have a viable shelf space in the crossover genre. So in my opinion, let them youngins cross that bridge. Better yet, cross it with them.

Imagine having something to talk about with your kids other than the same old? To create an environment of healthy communication and discussion. Perhaps one that has more than yes or no answers?

From this parent, that sounds pretty good.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying # 3

Welp… I got my first rejection. Bummer I know, but I do feel like a Querying author again.

And as promised. I broke the proverbial seal and whizzed off another 4 .

current Count-

5 queries

1 rejection

4 live.

The 4 agents have between a 2 week and 2 month response time. My plan is to keep at least 4-5 live at a time.

In the meantime I plan to finish my read of The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square and post a review for it. If you haven’t gotten your copy visit fracturedfaithblog.com and follow their amazing blog and buy Stephen Black’s debut fantasy novel set in Modern day Belfast.

If you’re already awesome and bought your copy of Skellys Square then I also recommend Martin Strike’s preposterous tales from The Newbury short story teller. If you love British humor this is it. Visit thenewburyshortstoryteller.com

There are so many talented author bloggers that I follow. I will have no shortage of choices. Off the top of my head, here are a few other books on my keep-busy-so-I-don’t-go-crazy list.

His Name Was Zack by Peter Martuneac

Echo by Kent Wayne

Climbing Over Grit by Marzeeh Laleh Chini

Bloom by Beauty Beyond Bones

I hope I can join this incredible list of published authors soon. 🤞 😬

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #2

I have had two queries out for two days and what a stark raving lunatic they make me.

I have checked my email incessantly since. And frankly, there are only so many visits a person can make to the bathroom before it gets weird.

Help.

I have done this before. Twenty times to be exact, but this first go on the second round feels so vital. I really need just one response to to break the tension and let it ride.

I swear it. One response and I’ll let it ride. I will query and wait like a respectable writer.

This includes a good scotch, typewriter and a tilted fedora.

Not really,

More like coffee, soft spoken sarcasm and flannel.

Cheers, Amy