Amy on writing

Capture the Tide

My book, my book. Capture the Tide by Amy Westphal…

The entire purpose of this blog, it’s very existence is for the sake of this book.

But where is it?

It’s been almost a year since I began platforming here on WordPress and I feel that I’m almost back to where I started. Not what I hoped. I’d rather be singing about a book deal.

But that is life. If it were easy, everyone would do it. As they say.

Nearly a year ago I finished writing Capture the Tide. A literary leaning narrative about a young woman surviving and coming of age in a post apocalyptic world.

I had it edited and I shopped it. Then I reworked it and shopped it again. 22 agents. All rejects except one R and R maybe.

And there I stayed. For some time.

Today I am rewriting my book. On Page 20 to be exact. My focus has been to embrace the YA. Remove my author voice and find the characters voice, be more immersive in her experience, in the moment, rather than telling a story about her.

This is proving difficult. My nature is to tell stories and read old books. Old books often focus on the classic third person narrative. We are onlookers. But today!

Today people want in, be in their head. Not first person style where the protagonist is unreliable and limited in their language.

Deep 3rd person allows the author to be both deep and shallow to suit the story. It is weaving of the most difficult fabric. And I am woefully out of my league.

But I am learning, I’m studying. I’m trying.

Kind of drowning here.

But I’m in this thing.

Wish me luck, I love it.

Cheers, Amy

Art, As usual, by me.

Amy on writing

Is It Worth It?

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Capture the Tide cover art by Amy Westphal

Lets research it…

Paid book reviews and the independent or emerging author.

Is it worth the cost or the effort? Good question. Here’s my take.

I entered the Readers Choice Awards Contest the last day of the deadline. My book wasn’t finished by my editor yet but I really wanted to find some literary street cred and based on my research, this contest is the real deal. Not only do they judge completed works, they also judge unpublished works. Exactly what I needed. For more info go to http://www.readersfavorite.com

Needless to say. I did not win the contest. If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you’ll know I’ve had my fair share of rewrites since I started my journey and my book is a different book today. However… I did submit an updated manuscript to be reviewed and got a really nice 5 star review for my novel CAPTURE THE TIDE. I will post the review below. I’m pretty pleased with it.

Now, some people might think that a paid review is meaningless. You’ve probably seen them on Amazon or something, but it doesn’t mean that all paid reviews are equal and that they don’t have value. As an emerging writer, I see no reason not to take opportunities that give you legitimacy. Everyone knows that a strong platform pays. Agents love a platform, and even better? A platform with a healthy following. And I’m working on that here. I don’t have staggering numbers like some literary bloggers, but I am pleased with the growth of my website and blog. But up until now I have mostly talked about my writing process and managing mom life with entrepreneuring, I haven’t actually discussed my book itself with much detail. And I think its time to change that.  So for the first time on http://www.amy-westphal.com I’d like to use my professional review to share a taste of what CAPTURE THE TIDE is all about.

Readers Favorite Book review for CAPTURE THE TIDE by Amy Westphal

Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

“Life is ugly, gritty, complicated, glorious, and beautiful. But not pretty. Stories are pretty, saccharin tales of black and white and no gray.” It takes Lauren a remarkable journey of discovery to learn those simple truths about life and about humanity as a whole. There will always be the good and the bad, the glorious and the evil, the happy and the sad. Even with a fresh start, a cleansing if you will, humanity will always recover with the same mix and make the same mistakes. When an asteroid hits Lauren’s world, it takes away her home, her family, her life. She has to start again. But she is not alone. And once she discovers that simple fact, she is able to fit together again the pieces of the puzzle that disrupted her life and will create her new life. 

Amy Westphal’s novel, Capture the Tide, is more than an Armageddon story of total destruction and the survival of the few in the aftermath of disaster. It’s a powerful story about the human tenacity to recover and to try again, to survive in the best possible way under unknown, uncertain circumstances. The plot develops from Lauren’s entrapment in a bomb shelter, securely locked away for two years with no connection to the outside world. She has no idea what will await her when the clock finally ticks down and the lock on the door disengages. She finds a world totally different from the one she remembered, but also a world not so different. There are the good, the bad and the ugly, as well as the glorious and beautiful everywhere she wanders. Until she finds her family again and a way to create a new life for herself. A powerful plot that outlines the many faces of humanity. The description invites the reader right into the story and the characters are so real that the reader feels they know them intimately.

So honestly my darlings, what do you think? Does this sound like a book you would like to read? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know..

Post up in the comments.

Cheers, Amy

And for more information about paid reviews I recommend checking out http://www.janefriedman.com  she is an incredible resource for writers.

Image- My cover design for CAPTURE THE TIDE

Amy on writing, on writing and kids

…Stop, Collaborate and Listen…

Today is a very important day.

In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, an ode to J.K. Rowling, my hero.

10 things I’d like to thank Jo for:

10- She can drop a troll with a single hilarious tweet.

9- Treacle. Treacle everything.

8- A trio of BFFs is truly the best.

7- I read books I Love twice, I have read every Harry Potter 8 times.

6- “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

5- World building. Period.

4-Her humanitarian work.

3- Treacle…

2- Ravenclaw motto (my house) “Wit beyond measure”..is a Shakespearian dick joke.

1- “Always.” Every human emotion in a single word.

Even if you’re not an HP fan, as a writer I encourage you to look up J.K. Rowling. She is an amazing human being, humanitarian and her success story is so inspirational. Her journey inspires me not to give up, even though it would be so easy to do.

Happy Birthday Harry!

Cheers, Amy

Image-20th anniversary cover art by Scholastic.

Title- radical 1990’s jam lyrics to go with said radical 1997 book release.

Psst…Don’t forget a Happy Anniversary to be 20th anniversary of The Chamber of Secrets

Amy on writing

50 Shades of Adult

Is your novel clearly defined?

Separating Young Adult and New Adult, is it just the absence of sex that defines them? Or something more? And where does Adult fit in?

I’d like to make a case for New Adult fiction. Not just to sex up YA or “young” down Adult. Perhaps there is a full fledged market of post education 20-30 somethings being somewhat dismissed.

There are stories that transcend time and space like Harry Potter of course 😏, and anyone can find resonance in any genre, but to have an actual section in a bookstore that speaks directly to this age group would be alright. Perhaps just as alright as any other subgenre? Fucking octogenarian paranormal crime fiction anyone?

I know, I know, the horror of more categorization, learning new things, stifling, finely wrapped boxes… I get it….

When I started my novel, I never considered the market I had in mind. I simply wanted to write a book that I would like to read.

But now that marketing is on my brain, I can’t help but wonder…

I remember reading books like Exit to Eden, The Silence of the Lambs and The Doors when I was maybe 13 years old, but would I want my tween to read them? Not yet. But did I also devour The chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables? Absolutely.

But something in between. Something if I’m not in the mood to recapture my youth or ponder the deep minutia (impending fucking realness) of seasoned adulthood. Hmm. Books for that nebulous in between. I say New Adult…Why not?

Image found on digitalsynopsis.com