Well, it might be late into the evening, but it's still Tuesday where I live, so that means it's Indie time here at kc dyer central. And this week, for your edification and enjoyment, please allow me to present my friend and sister in skribe-duggery [that's a thing, dontcha know...] Amy Dupire.
I knew Amy for a long time on-line before I met her in person, and that's how we mostly keep it, as we live a good distance apart. But her name has come up again and again in my life, as she has regularly won a spot for herself atop the Surrey International Writers' Conference winners' lists. She is a joyous storyteller with a lovely subversive edge, and just last year joined the Indie community with her YA book ALL KINDS OF HELL. I have always enjoyed reading anything that's come out of her pen, and so, without further ado, I'm going to share her with you now!
kc: So, Miss Amy, are you an outliner or a seat-of-the-pantser when it comes to writing your books?
AD: I’m definitely a seat-of-my-pantser when I’m writing short stories. If I have a small glimmer of inspiration I can start. It’s just a tiny flame, and I kindle it as I walk along, and it sheds enough light so that I can keep writing for a while and then bring a story to a close. For longer works, I find that I get anxious if I don’t have something of an outline. Right now I’m working on a novel that I’ve broken into four major parts. It started with just the glimmer and a couple of chapters, but then I needed to actually light some torches of plot points from it before I felt safe charging off into the woods of this particular novel. I actually used this method to write my novel All Kinds of Hell.
kc: Why Indie publishing instead of the traditional route?
AD: I didn’t plan to get into Indie publishing, but it was something that more or less happened to me. I began by Indie publishing a collection of my award-winning short stories. My agent said that selling short story collections, particularly from unpublished authors, was a non-starter. She wouldn’t be able to sell it, she said. So, with the encouragement from other writers, both traditional and Indie-published, I went for it and published my collection god-thing: and other weird & worrisome tales. With that done, I decided to Indie publish my novel All Kinds of Hell. This novel had all kinds of promise for the traditional route, and several acquisitions editors at major publishing houses took them to acquisitions meetings but eventually turned it down. My agent and I were both discouraged about that, and after she gave up on shopping it, I decided to self publish it. I still second-guess myself sometimes on that decision. I wonder if I shouldn’t have shopped it to some of the small publishing houses that my agent didn’t pitch it to, honestly.
kc: Can you tell us your favourite part of the publishing process?
AD: I love writing. I just do. That’s where the magic is for me. After the publications, I love doing author reads and meet-and-greets. The actual gears and mechanics of the publishing part I don’t actually care for. Oh—except for one part. I love the graphic artist I work with. I feel extremely fortunate to work with Grace A. Griffin. She’s a miniaturist and website designer. She read my books and proposed cover ideas (I suggested my own as well), then when she showed me the mock-up covers, I was blown away. Uh, I’m not sure that was the expected answer to this question, but I bet it would also be one of the delightful elements of going the traditional route—seeing what the production team came up with for a cover.
kc: What was the inspiration for this particular story?
AD: At the risk of navel-gazing as well as sounding cliché, I was inspired by my own life experiences for All Kinds of Hell. I was transitioning out of a staunch brand of Evangelical Christianity and working through the frustration and anger and guilt of everything related to that time. It was second nature to write of a teen girl who had been drawn in to fundamentalist religion and wanted to save everyone else around her because that had been me once. At the same time, it was easy to write from the perspective of Joely, who really struggles with her sister’s dramatic conversion because I found myself at war, very often, with my own beliefs.
I’m really pleased with how I managed to develop this story. I’m also proud that I have heard from very conservative Christians as well as religious moderates and atheists and people from all sorts of perspectives, and they’ve often mention how really fair and compelling they find the book. I’m really happy about that.
kc: Do you have a preferred format for your books? E-book vs paperback?
AD: I love paperbacks, myself. When I’m doing author visits or readings, people want to see and hold the books. I find the prep work for e-books in all their various formats to be exceeding tedious, and I absolutely loathe it. I provide e-books because they sell and many people like the convenience. I don’t generally read e-books. I spend so much time on a screen for my work that I want reading a book to be an escape both from the real world and from electronics. (Am I old?)
kc: Um, NO. How 'bout telling us about a favourite review one of your stories has received?
AD: I was really blown-away that Diana Gabaldon promoted god-thing on her Methodone List, so that will go down in my own personal lore. As for All Kinds of Hell, I’m afraid I don’t have much in the way of published reviews, but one reviewer on Amazon said All Kinds of Hell was “The perfect YA novel for smart teens. The story is not a religion book. It's an intriguing story about two teens during the aftermath of a car crash. One turns to hardcore religion; the other is a skeptic. Like the best YA work, it suits adults, too.” That was pretty gratifying. I’m always grateful for any review I get!
kc: Well, hopefully this interview will inspire your readers to get out there and write a review. It's free, easy and everybody benefits, right? Do it!
Thanks so much to the lovely Amy Dupire for taking the time to answer my questions. If you'd like to read ALL KINDS OF HELL or browse through the stories in GOD THING, you'll find them right HERE.
And if you'd enjoy winning a copy of her book, 'Like' this post on Facebook for a chance to win!
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