Interview with Amy M. Reade: 'An author should start promoting the day she writes it not once it's written'

Amy M. Reade is a debut author of romantic suspense.  A native of upstate New York, she grew up in the Thousand Islands region and was inspired by the natural beauty of that area to write her first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House.  She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a Bouvier des Flandres named Orly, and two rescued cats who refuse to answer to their names of Porthos and Athos.

Having practiced law in New York City, Amy soon discovered that her dream job was writing.  In addition to volunteering with school, church, and community groups, Amy is currently working on her second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, set in the area around Charleston, South Carolina.

Though Amy lives within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, she is partial to the blue waters of the Pacific and spends as much time as possible on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the setting of her as-yet-unwritten third novel.

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About the Book:

“You are not wanted here. Go away from Hallstead Island or you will be very sorry you stayed.”

Macy Stoddard, a nurse from Manhattan, comes to Hallstead Island in the North Country of New York to escape a haunting pain.  It is here that Macy discovers secrets that were not meant to be shared – secrets that reach back into Macy’s past and that will change her future and the futures of the people on Hallstead Island.  There are those, however, who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets that are hidden there

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I was attending a three-night writing workshop at one of my local libraries and the assignment for the second night was to come up with an idea for a story.  So the pressure was on.  My idea was to put a nurse on a private island in the Thousand Islands region of New York State and situate her smack in the middle of a murder mystery that, unbeknownst to her, reaches into her own past.

I knew I was going to enjoy writing the story because I ran a red light when I was formulating it in my mind that night!  

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Secrets of Hallstead House is a novel of romantic suspense, and since that’s my favorite kind of book to read, I didn’t find it hard to write.  I loved the writing process.  My best tip is to use a binder to keep everything organized, with sections for research, plotting, outlining, names, chronology, a work calendar, character histories, and any other sections that you feel might come in handy.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Secrets of Hallstead House is being published by Kensington Publishing.  I found Kensington after reading a newspaper article about a debut author from upstate New York, not far from my hometown.  Kensington published her book, so I decided to send them a synopsis.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I was surprised by how much self-promotion an author has to do.  I think lots of people have the idea that all the author has to do is write a book, then sit back and wait for the reviews to come in.  But that’s not how it works.  I was told by one editor (not mine) that an author should start promoting a book the day she decides to write it, not once it’s written.  The authors I know work hard at promotion, from guest blogging to blogging on their own sites, to managing a web of social media accounts, to speaking at local venues, to attending conferences and book signings. 

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on two novels.  The first, another novel of romantic suspense, is entitled The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor and though I don’t have a publication date yet, I hope to have one very soon.   It’s the story of a woman, Carleigh Warner, who leaves Chicago for South Carolina to take a job restoring an antebellum plantation manor house and finds herself involved in family tensions over the future of the home.  Following the untimely death of the manor’s owner, rifts deepen and suspicions swirl as the family struggles to learn who is behind the disturbing occurrences at the manor. 

I’m also in the beginning stages of a third novel of romantic suspense.  It’s set on the Big Island of Hawaii and the protagonist is a personal chef who leaves her East Coast career behind to return to the place of her birth.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Cooking websites! 

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I want people to read Secrets of Hallstead House and be inspired to visit the Thousand Islands.  It’s a place of breathtaking natural beauty, and a great place for a mystery!
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for the opportunity!  I would also like to thank the people who visit me online.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  If your readers are interested in stopping by online, I can be found at (website), (blog), (Facebook author page), or @readeandwrite on Twitter.  
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