Welcome, Amber! What 5 things should readers know about you?
- I write fight scenes and kiss scenes almost the same way. They are both about action and feelings and high stakes so I approach them with a similar mindset!
- When I’m not writing, I make 3D papercut shadowboxes and travel to different comic conventions to sell them. I love nerd culture and participating in conventions is such a wonderful way to foster that.
- I talk about Scotland… a lot. I recently took a trip to Scotland, fell madly in love, left part of my heart there and am constantly scheming of a way to go back.
- I’m a dungeon master! My friends and I really enjoy playing D&D as a way to get together. I love that it’s a shared story that everyone feels a part of. There is so much magic in that!
- I will travel for food! I love trying new restaurants and meals and when my husband and I find something we like, we will definitely travel for it! We love discovering new ramen places!
My daughter is a dungeon master in training—so cool! Sadly, I don’t think ramen places have made it to my part of the world yet… 🙁
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing seriously since I was in high school, so about 16 years. My first story was also a fantasy and a complete disaster. Coming in at a whopping 250k words, I was really proud of it at the time, but now I look back and laugh. It was my high school teacher, Mr. Bleske, that inspired me to pursue writing with the intent to publish. He would spend his nights marking up my chapters and his lunch break going over big concepts like how a plot works. I know for a fact that without his encouragement, I wouldn’t have had the courage to keep writing.
That is so awesome! Your English teacher is my hero.
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m currently working on two projects at once, which is really rare for me. I like to focus on one or the other! The one I’m really focusing on right now is the finale to the Garden of Thorns series, Roots of Ruin. I’ve just finished plotting it out, I have my chapter outlines ready and will be starting the first draft shortly. That will be out sometime in 2019! The other book I’m working on is a separate YA fantasy series based off Celtic folklore and is so different from my first series!
Wow—two projects at once; that’s great!
What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?
I’ve been woefully behind on my reading. Right now, I’m in the middle of Haven by Mary Lindsey and I’m loving it! Rain’s voice is so gritty and I absolutely adore his relationship with his aunt. I’m also listening to an audiobook of Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and really enjoying it!
I’m impressed you have time to read with all that writing!
If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
This is such a tough question! My tweet would look a little something like this: Rose must trust her worst enemy in order to save everyone she loves, but will that truly lead her to blossom or will she wilt away among the thorns?
There’s less than a month to go until NaNoWriMo—read on as Amber shares her top 5 secrets to completing a book with us…
5 Ways to Get Your Writing In
I get asked all the time how I manage to write an entire book. This seems like one of the most popular questions folks ask me once they find out what I do. A lot of people want to know what the secret is to completing a book and I’m about to share my top 5 secrets with you!
- Set writing goals
Writing goals are a huge boon to my writing success. I’m the type of person that gets a huge boost by checking things off a list and I like to be able to measure my writing to know if I’ve done a good job for the day. A lot of people set really high goals but I actually like to set mine low on purpose. I know that if I have a migraine or am really busy for the day that I can still hit 500 words so I set my daily goal for that. That way, if I do get behind for a day, it’s really easy to catch up. I usually end up writing more than that for the day, but it helps to have a manageable goal!
- Get rid of distractions
My only co-workers are my cats, but let me tell you, even they can be distracting when I really don’t feel inspired to write. In order to make sure I can focus on my goal, I work to get rid of my distractions. Every morning, I get up and take care of my emails and other engagements that aren’t going to take me too long first. Then I head over to the space in my house that I write in everyday. I keep that spot super clean and have a candle that I can light for a pleasant smell. Keeping it clean and pleasant allows me to block out everything else and just focus on getting words on paper. The best distraction for me is the Internet which is why I always live by rule 3 too!
- Schedule frequent breaks
One of my rewards for working to meet my goal is break time. I usually take them every twenty minutes or so unless the writing is going really well. I will spend a few minutes checking my email to see if there is anything pressing, grab a drink and anything else I need to get while I’m up and then spend a few minutes looking at social media. Then it’s back to writing! The only time there is an exception to this is if I’m researching things for a scene I’m writing. Then I’m on the internet a little longer.
- Get an outline!
This bit of advice is definitely not going to work for pantsers, but I live by my outline. Remember up there how I said I love to check things off a list? This is a list for your novel! You can track your progress and add notes for yourself for the future and it is just so helpful! It’s like a map for writing your book! I like to eliminate reasons for me to not write and one of the biggest I always came up with before is I didn’t know where the story was going. With an outline, that excuse is gone.
- Butt in seat time
This is something my chorus teacher always said. The biggest thing that gets in the way of people getting things done is finding time to put their bodies in chairs and getting them done. The truth is that no matter how organized you are, you aren’t ever going to get anything done if you don’t take the time to put energy into it. So ditch the excuses, find out what your weakness are and help yourself by eliminating them. Then spend time in front of the screen and watch that word count grow every single day!
About the author:
Amber Mitchell was born and raised in a small town in Florida. After briefly escaping small town life by attending the University of South Florida where she earned her degree in Creative Writing, she decided to ditch traffic jams and move back to her hometown. There she writes Young Adult novels, usually with a bit of magic in them, rolls D20s with her friends on Thursday nights and enjoys hanging out with her husband and four cats. Her other job involves crafting cardstock in to 3D art and has allowed her to travel all over the US vending at comic conventions which has only increased her love for fantasy and fandoms. She is represented by Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literature.
War of the Wilted (Garden of Thorns #2)
by Amber Mitchell
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor’s tyranny.
Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.
Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.