Monday, October 15, 2012

Fast Writer ~ Amy Andrews

I need to beg forgiveness. I started the Fast Writers (FW) series then my 4of4, who was on chemotherapy for Leukaemia got sick and my writing world went south. I'm happy to report that things are now settled and I can begin to refocus my mind on writing, and the biz there of.

So here is a FW I neglected to post.

Without further ado, let me present Any Andrews, another fast writer who was kind enough to share her methods with us.

Welcome, Amy!

Thank you for having me, Monique :-)

Monique: First, I’d love to hear about your writing day in a quick snapshot. Do you have a special time to write? Or do you grab moments whenever you can? I guess I’d like to know how structured you are.

Amy: Writing books is my job so I definitely have a routine. First thing in the morning I check my emails and blogs then take the kids to school. I write for the 6 hours they're away then for a couple more hours in the afternoon after I pick them up. I will also write at night if I'm heading towards a deadline.

Monique: What sort of writer are you? Planner or pantser?

Amy: I fall somewhere in the middle. I do some basic plotting/ characterisation and a basic chapter outline which I rarely refer to but it's my security blanket! And then off I go. The characters and plot however have usually sat in my head for some time - they've been mulling. This is probably one of the most important parts of my process.  Never underestimate mull time I always say!

Monique: Can you tell us a bit about the technique you use to help you to write quickly, and how you developed it?

Amy: I don't know if it's a technique as much as being focused and organised. When I wrote my first book I wrote a chapter a day for ten days. Yes, I wrote my first book in 10 days!!! Long hand. Back in the days before everyone had a PC. It was utterly exhilarating! The book was terrible but the process was awesome and this way of writing has kind of stuck.

Monique: Did you always write this way? Or is your method something you picked up along the way?

Amy: I’ve written this way from the beginning and have adapted it as I’ve gone along and life has gotten busier always trying to stay true to the basic principle of getting it down as fast as possible.  I aim for a chapter in two days now so the story stays cohesive in my brain.

Monique: How many words do you write per hr/writing session?

Amy: I average about 2-3 k/ day although I often do 4-5 and have been known to write 8 k on the rare good day but that is totally exhausting and I WOULD NOT recommend it!

Monique: I can see why :). It sounds exhausting! How many hours per day do you write? And how many days per week?

Amy: At least 6/ day but more like 8-10. I try to only write 5 days a week but often it's more like 6 or 7.

Monique: How quickly can/do you finish a book?

Amy: I can write a 50 k category in about a month depending on my other commitments. I also work part time as a nurse doing night duty so that usually always puts me behind although I can and often do write on nights if it's quiet. I've had a particularly heinous 7 months of deadlines because I got really behind when my mother died half way through last year and my creativity took a massive hit. Since then I have been playing catch up and have written 4 category novels and half of a 90 k single title. But again I wouldn't recommend it!

Monique: So sorry to hear about your mum, Amy. My condolences. Do you know what you're going to write each day before you start your writing sessions? For instance, do you draft the scenes/chapters you’re about to write just before you write them, or do you thoroughly outline before you even start the book (if you’re a planner, that is :)?

Amy: Yes I know what I’m going to write that day before I start – roughly anyway. I always reread what I've written the day before to pick up the thread and just go on from there.

Monique: How do you prevent your internal editor/critic from interrupting?

Amy: You know I really don't have a problem with this. I'm not the kind of writer that will spend hours perfecting a paragraph – I don’t have time for that! I edit as I go and I edit as I reread my previous day’s work but luckily I write pretty clean and never find myself having to do massive self-editing. I've never dumped huge amounts of words or scenes unless it’s been at an editor’s request. I find if I can’t get something quite right I let it go and keep writing and when I come back the next day I seem to know how to fix it – I just needed some time and distance from it. Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees!

Monique: Ha-ha, I hear that! Do you have any more tips you’d like to share?

Amy: Taking time off in between books is vital. Writing fast may seem like a cool thing but huge word counts are totally exhausting and it's important to refill the well. Read, sleep, go to the movies.

Monique: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to spend time with us here today. We’d love to hear about your new book, would you tell us a bit about it?

Amy: Well I have a few things on the go….. :)

Taming the Tycoon, The Devil and the Deep, and Sister Pact.

Sister Pact is a contemporary women’s fiction that I wrote with my sister is out now in shops in Australia but also at the Kindle store.

Blurb - Two very different sisters. Once inseparable, they have long been estranged after an unimaginable betrayal. After their beloved grandmother -- a game-show addict -- dies, they discover that they have each been left one million pounds in her will. The kicker is that they can only inherit if they participate as a team in a gruelling reality TV program, Endurance Island. They can survive the jungle. They can survive the humiliating challenges. But can they survive each other? about two estranged sister on a reality TV show.





Amy is an award-winning author who has written thirty-one romances for Harlequin Mills and Boon in both the Medical and RIVA/Presents lines. She wrote her first book at the age of twenty-two while unemployed and freezing her butt off in the UK, largely because it involved being able to stay in bed with her electric blanket. One twelve year apprenticeship later she finally got "the call".

To date she's sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages. In 2010 she took out the sexy category in the prestigious Romantic Book of the Year Award affectionately known as the Ruby.

She's recently launched a couple of separate writing ventures with the release of Sister Pact a contemporary women's fiction novel that she wrote with her sister Ros Baxter and was published by Harper Collins Australia as well as the very exciting release of her first category romance with Entangled Publishing, Taming the Tycoon.

In what she euphemistically likes to call her spare time, Amy works part time as a paediatric intensive care nurse and was on the national executive for Romance Writers Of Australia for six years during which time she organised two national conferences and undertook a two year term as president. She's been married for twenty-two years and has two teenagers. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was a Tuscan hillside.

sister book website is –

FB Amy Andrews
FB Sister Book
Twitter - @AmyAndrewsBooks
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  1. Oh...I love the idea of a game show addict grandma. Grandmas always know what we need, right?

    Which reminds me of Monique's awesome Let's Pretend. xoxox

    Putting this on my TBR list.

  2. I love these posts on fast writing. I'm always so interested reading about other writers' processes.
    Amy, your book sounds like a fun read.

  3. Hi Celeste. Yes grandma's are special people!

  4. Thanks Dawn - I love reading about others processes as well!

  5. Celeste, thanks for the thumbs-up for Let's Pretend.

    I have to say, I love stories where Grans play a role--whether they're heading fast to nutsville and add hilarious moments to the books or are very wise Grans who aren't above using sly tactics to achieve a goal!

    Thanks for commenting!!

  6. I know what you mean, Dawn. It's like peeking in a window and discovering all the juicy details.

    Thanks so much for commenting!

  7. Amy, thank you so much for spending the day with us. We had a lot of hits on the blog but sadly, for whatever reason, they chose not to comment.

  8. No worries Monique. They came, they saw, hopefully they liked enough to check out my books :-)
    Thanks for having me. I feel very tropical when I'm here :-)


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