Monday, May 7, 2012

Interview: Amber Garr

Please welcome Amber Garr. She stopped by to talk about her amazing book, Promises (read my review here).


*Hello Amber! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi and thanks for having me! Let’s see…I work as a research marine biologist during the day, and at night I’m either dancing or writing. I grew up in the Pennsylvania mountains and have lived in Florida for the past ten years. My house is full of one husband, one dog, two cats, and six fish. I recently completed my Ph.D., and although I will continue with my career, I still look forward to sitting down and writing all of the stories in my head.

*When did you start writing?

I did a little journaling as a kind (nothing major), but I really started focusing on my fiction writing about two years ago. I had an injury and couldn’t dance for a while, so I suddenly found that I had some free time. I started with flash fiction and short stories and those quickly turned into full novels and a series! I do a lot of technical writing for my job, so this was something that quickly became a new hobby of mine and I really enjoyed the freedom and creativity it brought.

*Are you a plotter or a panster?

Definitely a plotter. I make lists reminding me to make lists. I don’t have a detailed outline, but I do plot out each chapter in the book before writing. Smaller plot points will change or appear along the way, but the major scenes and characters are usually planned. I have a special zombie journal for all of my writing notes!

*What was the inspiration for writing Promises?

Well, of course I always wished that I could be a mermaid so I often wondered what that life would be like. Would I live in the ocean or walk amongst the humans? And what kind of responsibility would that entail. So the story kind of developed from there…a secret society of mermaids and a girl who feels like the she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Because, who hasn’t felt that way at least once in their life? The first chapter was originally one of my short stories, and after a few months, I decided to add more to it...and that quickly turned into a three book series! I loved the selkie folklore and knew that I needed to weave that into the story as well as creatures that may be lurking underneath the ocean but we never see.

*The covers for your Syrenka books are stunning! Did you have an idea of how the covers should look like while writing the books?

Thank you so much! Although, I can’t really take the credit for them other than making the decision to hire Claudia at PhatPuppyArt ( ). I didn’t know exactly what I wanted when we worked on the first cover (Promises). I debated over showing a tail or not, but we decided to keep that part mysterious. I wanted to emulate how “trapped” Eviana felt in the cover of the second book (Betrayal). And the third cover (Arise) evolved as I was writing. As you will see, it will be very fitting for the development of Eviana’s character by the end of the series. Claudia is simply amazing and I wish that I had time to write a story for each one of her pieces.

*What’s your favourite and least favourite part of writing?

I absolutely love creating new worlds and having characters do things that I would never have the guts (or personality) to do. My least favourite part is not having enough time to dedicate to writing. These past few months have been so busy for me that I’m dying to have my nights free to finish Arise and work on the other books in progress.

*What is your favourite book?

I can’t really pick a favourite. But I’d have to say that anything written by Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, or Richelle Mead has been read at least three or four times!

*If you could be any character from your books, who would you be and why?

I think I’d pick a water sprite. It would be cool to be able to change forms and travel anywhere water flows. I’m just not too sure about the having to eat humans part. I’m a very picky eater.

*Do you have anything planned after the Syrenka series? Will you keep writing YA?

Yes, I have two adult novels that I like to publish and I’ve been toying with a new idea for a standalone YA novel. There are also a few back stories and situations with characters from The Syrenka Series that I may write up and put together in a novella. We’ll see! I really love writing and the response to my books has been encouraging. Now I just have to find the time.

*What do you like to do besides writing in your free time?

I am involved with a local dance and fitness studio where I teach ballet/contemporary classes, perform, and choreograph. And when I’m not doing all of those things, I like going out on the water with my husband in our little boat and enjoying nature!

*If Promises were made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the main characters?

I have thought about this so many times and the only person I’ve been sold on since the beginning is Kain…and that would be Alex Pettyfer for sure! Although I recently saw a move with a rather unknown actress (Sarah Gadon – The Moth Diaries) who may fit my ideal for Eviana. Brendan’s been tough. Perhaps Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) with some green contacts…but I don’t know. I would love to hear some suggestions!

Thank you for stopping by!


About the Author

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

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