Friday, November 1, 2013

Author Interview: Amy Spalding

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

Ink is Thicker Than Water is coming out soon. How does it feel? What's your favorite part of the process been so far?

It's exciting to have my second book coming out, and a bit of a relief after my first book. I've already been through the process so it seems easier and less stressful the second time around.

What's your best advice for someone that wants to be a writer?

Write what you love, work hard, develop thick skin or good coping mechanisms!

Name three things you loved about writing Ink is Thicker Than Water?

1. Writing about my hometown.
2. Writing about tattoo shops.
3. Writing Kellie's POV.

What's in your reading pile right now? Any recommendations or ones we should steer clear of?

Right now I'm reading Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, which I'm enjoying despite how devastatingly sad I'm finding much of it.

You're both a writer and a digital media planner, as well as a Longform Improv performer. How do you juggle and manage it all?

It's hard and I end up stressed out a lot, honestly. It really comes down to time management, which I'm not great at, but deadlines exist and I just have to make them. Performances happen and I have to show up. So, somehow I get through it!

How did you get into performing Longform Improv? What's your favorite thing about it?

I thought I might want to include a plot about improv in a book I was working on (not currently in the works) and so I took a class. I ended up loving it and continuing in the program. I'm convinced improv builds better writers and better people. "Yes-and" as a concept makes you a better friend, coworker, collaborator, etc.

Out of all your tattoos, do you have a favorite? Why and was there a specific inspiration behind the ink?

Most of my tattoos have very personal symbolism, but my favorites are the swallows on my wrists, my Betsy-Tacy half-sleeve on my left arm, and the Hair quote on my right bicep.

If you could travel anywhere you wanted, where would you go and why? If you could only bring three things with you what what they be and why?

I'm happy to go anywhere that I wouldn't have to be on-call for work, so basically some kind of fantasyland. I'd need coffee and my phone and lip balm.

About the Author:
Amy Spalding grew up outside of St. Louis. She now lives in Los Angeles with two cats and a dog. She works in marketing and does a lot of improv.

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