Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, writing to you today from the world championships of the FIRST Robotics Program (go Buzz, Team #175!) in the shadow of the Gateway Arch in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri.
I was super pleased when my friend, Amy M. Reade, agreed to guest blog for me today so I can enjoy the craziness that is FIRST (If you’re interested in seeing what goes on at a robotics competition, you can check it out here). So please give a Wicked Welcome to Amy M. Reade, author of the just-released gothic mystery HOUSE OF THE HANGING JADE.
Tell us about HOUSE OF THE HANGING JADE.
HOUSE OF THE HANGING JADE is the story of Kailani Kanaka, a Hawaiian-born sous chef who, at the beginning of the story, lives in Washington, DC. She’s tired of the wintry weather on the East coast and decides to return home to the Island of Hawaii. She takes a job as a personal chef in a magnificent oceanfront home belonging to a family with secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Because she’s living in the home, she unwittingly becomes embroiled in those secrets, but the family drama isn’t her only problem. When someone from her past shows up and begins to stalk her, things take a dangerous turn and Kailani is left fighting for her life.
What actors would make the best main characters in your novel?
Kailani Kanaka: Tao Okamoto
Lars Jorgensen: Owen Wilson
Barbie Merriweather-Jorgensen: Gillian Anderson (I think)
Liko: Jason Momoa
Marcus: Asa Butterfield
Justine: Mackenzie Foy
Do you have any quirks? Tell us about them.
I don’t know if it’s a quirk so much as a bad habit, but I do crave chocolate every day. I’ve been trying to kick the habit for years now and it hasn’t worked. I should just embrace it. And I can’t touch wooden spoons- they gross me out. I guess you’d say that’s a quirk.
Who’s your favorite writer of all time?
That’s always the hardest question because there isn’t just one—it depends on my mood. But I have four who usually rotate into first place: Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Phyllis Whitney, and M. C. Beaton.
Favorite book of all time?
Another hard one. I would have to say Pride and Prejudice.
Who is your most-loved book boyfriend?
*says without hesitation* Hamish Macbeth of the Hamish Macbeth series by M. C. Beaton. He’s a Scottish Highland police constable, tall, lanky, bright red hair, and he’s a sheep farmer on the side.
What is your writing process like? Early bird or night owl? Pantser or Plotter? Do you require special drinks or snacks?
I can really work at any time, as long as it’s not late at night. If I were an owl, I’d get kicked out of the group fast because I can’t stay awake with the other night birds.
As for being a plotter or pantser, I guess you’d call me a combination of the two. I have done both—I’ve plotted meticulously and I’ve done an entire book without any kind of an outline, and I’ve found that my happy medium is to write a brief (2-page) synopsis of the story as I see it in my head and then follow that while I write. It keeps me focused on moving the story forward to the end. I also research, plan characterization, and map out the chronology (all in long-hand!) before I actually sit down to write the story.
I require chocolate (even if it’s just chocolate milk) and caffeine (I prefer tea to coffee, and never soda). And there’s a lassi called “That Indian Drink” which I always have on hand if I’m hungry. I only like the Mango Rosewater flavor.
Best writing advice you ever heard or read?
Keep your butt in the chair.
Do you have any pets?
We have a dog- a Bouvier des Flandres. Her name is Orly and she is my all-the-time companion (and the best dog ever, if anyone’s wondering). We have two cats, named Athos and Porthos (a nod to my husband’s favorite author, Alexandre Dumas, and The Three Musketeers), and a fish named Poseidon.
What’s next for you?
Right now I’m working on Book 1 of a three-book series set in the United Kingdom. The first book is set mostly in Edinburgh, Scotland. The series will be in the same genre as my other novels. Though I do have a working title for Book 1, nothing has been finalized and I’m still working with my editor on a title for the series.
Thanks so much for being here, Amy!
Thank you for inviting me to the Wickeds! I have enjoyed every minute of it!
Here’s where you can connect with Amy: