Today we are getting to know our newest member of the Patchwork Press family, Amy Sousa, a little bit better!
- What was the first book you wrote? Published?
The first book I ever wrote was “Love Unexpected” (Formerly titled “Unexpected Love”). I was 11 years old and I would post each chapter to the Sims Resource along with screenshots of my Sims. I later migrated the story to Wattpad and it remains unedited until today. I keep it up because it’s hilarious to me to see how awful my grammar was back then. The first book I ever published was “It Started with a Phone Call,” back in 2013. I self published it on Amazon, but at that point the fame had gone down for over a year so very few purchased it. I also had many complains from new readers (young teens) who weren’t allowed to buy it so I decided to take it down from Amazon and put it back on Wattpad.
- Which author do you most look up to?
This might seem like a weird answer, but Meg Cabot. I haven’t read her books in years, mainly because I’ve outgrown her style of writing. Growing up, her books were the ones that helped me learn English and really got me into reading and writing. I remember several years ago she followed me on Twitter and I actually squealed, even though she follows a lot of people.
- What is your ultimate goal as an author?
Honestly, to have people read my books from beginning to end. It might seem silly, but I notice that a lot of people start books, but never finish them. I’m guilty of this, but I don’t do it often because I’m easily impressed. I want people to read my story and make the decision that it’s interesting enough for them to read it to the end, and even want more.
- Which of your characters do you most connect with?
Jacqueline/Princess Annabella for sure. I always put bits of my personality into my female protagonists, but she is definitely really special to me. I basically wrote her as me, but changed her appearance and minor aspects of her personality. She’s also funnier than me because I don’t have to come up with comebacks on the spot when I have time to think about them.
- What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Fantasy 100%. I love reading about magical creatures, mythology, and different worlds because it’s not something that I could possibly experience. It’s an escape for me. It’s also my favourite genre to watch. I think it’s mainly because there aren’t any rules because it’s not a reflection of reality.
- What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Avoiding writing “he said” or “____ said” too often. I feel like I’m pretty terrible at describing things instead of just sticking to straight dialogue.
- What is your writing process like? Do you have a writing routine that you follow?
I don’t really have a routine. When I have ideas and spare time I’ll get into bed and start writing away on my laptop. The only real routine thing I do is to write out a descriptive storyboard so I know exactly what to mention in each chapter, but the rest of the content gets made up as I go, or I’ll jot down ideas that come to me randomly during the day.
- Do you have any go-to snacks while writing?
Cherry Blasters for sure if they’re available to me. I try to avoid buying them because I have no self-control, but when I do I love to munch on them (the entire bag) while I write. Then again I also eat them when I’m doing anything productive (or unproductive) at all. I pretty much eat them any chance I get.
- What is your all-time favorite novel to read?
This might sound weird because it wasn’t intended to be a novel, but “The Odyssey” by Homer. I read this for the first time when I was eight, but my reading skills were really bad back then so I count the first time during my first year of university in my mythology class. I just really love Greek mythology.
- What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
Being able to come up with something creative at the last second. This doesn’t only apply to my writing, but life things such as gift ideas. I always feel stumped for a long time about what I’m going to write, but every time without fail I think of something that works pretty well. I’m also good at writing in little jokes (mainly dad jokes) into my stories because I don’t have to come out with them at the same moment, but I can actually think of them.
- What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Proof read your work. The amount of times that I’ve fully edited my books is ridiculous. Once Upon A Tear was edited by me at least four times, and each of those times I found massive mistakes (repeating sentences, the use of the wrong names, contradictions). You can never proof read too much.
- If you could have a literary tea party with five of your favorite characters and five of your favorite authors, alive or dead, who would they be?
This is really hard because my favourite characters probably wouldn’t get along. Odysseus from “The Odyssey,” both Lilly and Mr. Ambrose from the “Storm and Silence” series by Robert Their, and both Violet and Ryn from the “Creepy Hallow” series by Rachel Morgan. There would probably be a lot of bickering going on between everyone, but I feel like all of the females would get along well while the males would try to prove who is the smartest.
- What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I get to write whatever I want to. I make my own choices because everything is coming from my imagination. I have so much freedom and it’s not something that I have to do. I do it for fun and as a hobby. I also love it when people like my work. It makes me feel like there’s a bigger purpose behind it all.
- If you could co-write a novel with any other author in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
This is SO difficult because my style of writing doesn’t really fit in with my favourite authors. I guess I’d have to say Meg Cabot or Sarah Dessen because their target audience for the most part is younger and I loved their books growing up. I’d obviously want to write fantasy, but with a teen fiction twist by either of them I feel like a good story might come out of it.
- If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?
If I were better at Biology and Math I’d love to be a vet. Animals are my favourite things in the world and I want to do whatever possible to make them happy and healthy. I’d probably cry a lot with the ones I can’t save or the ones that come in in bad shape, but I’d try my best to make them better again.Or an otter cuddler.
- How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?
Quite a long time. I feel like most people only take a few months, but it takes me a few weeks just to plan out the entire storyline. It probably takes me a good six months to write all of the chapters out and another month to edit it a few times. As for publishing, I’ve only ever self published so that took me a few days. I guess I’ll have to find out how long it takes!
- What is your favorite place to write?
In my bed with my dog near me. I can’t write in public because I feel like everyone is looking at my screen. My bed is my safe zone (and it’s really comfortable with the foam topper) so I can fully relax.
- Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!
I have a planner (from Erin Condren) that I design stickers for. It’s surprisingly a really big thing and there are tons of stickers shops online, especially through Etsy. I make my own stickers and sometimes buy stickers from other people, but I’m hoping to save up and buy a sticker cutter so I can just buy printables and not waste hours trying to cut everything out perfectly by hand. You should really look into it if you like planning! I’m a bit of an organizational freak so I like everything to be colour coted and perfectly layed out. My planner helps me get through everyday with less anxiety.