Interview with Amy Cross

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author Amy Cross amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about her new book Dark Season IV: The Civil Dead!
Please read on …

Sophie’s life is falling apart. First, she makes a frightening discovery about her health. Then she learns that her father has been murdered. And finally, she can’t find Patrick, the vampire who might be the only one who can help her.
Sophie has fallen victim to a Tenderling, a vicious creature that intentionally causes pain and misery so it can feed off its victim’s emotions. Manifesting as the ghost of Sophie’s father, the Tenderling is determined to push Sophie to the brink of madness.
Patrick realises that there is only one way he can save Sophie. But first, he has to confront a figure from his past. Deep within an underground chamber, a man known only as The Lock is the only one who can help. But the price for his assistance might be too great…
The Civil Dead is the fourth volume in the Dark Season series. It is a standalone story, so you don’t need to have read the previous volumes.

So Amy, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

My name’s Amy Cross and I recently started self-publishing with Amazon KDP. I’ve got six books up at the moment, ranging from fantasy (the Dark Season vampire series) to humour (At War With the Hamptons). I like experimenting with different genres, dipping from one to the other. I’m pretty sure my attention span has been destroyed after many years spent watching cartoons as a kid.

2.What brought you to writing?

I’ve always written short stories, since as far back as I can remember, but I never really planned to try to get them published. I sent off some sample chapters of a novel once, when I was about 19, but I didn’t ever hear anything back. I sort of gave up on the idea of going with traditional publishers, and then I found out about self-publishing via Amazon KDP and I figured I’d give it a shot.

3.How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young. I used to write my own stories about characters from TV shows like Transformers and Doctor Who. I guess any kind of practice is worth it. I originally wanted to work in TV, but that’s something I’ve kind of forgotten about as I’ve become more interested in writing prose fiction.

4.Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

My first ‘proper’ attempt at anything was the first volume of the ‘Dark Season’ series, titled ‘The Last Vampire’. I had the idea a while ago but it was a long time before it really occurred to me to start writing it down. At some point, I decided it was getting too big for one book so I decided to split it into a series of three, although the length of the series has grown since.

5.Is this your new/latest project?

It’s one of them. I’m up to the fifth book in the series now, and I’m planning eight in the first volume. I see it a bit like a TV series, with episodes being released in ‘seasons’ and arcs carrying over from one book to the next. I’m a big fan of episodic fiction and serials.

6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

I was wary of e-books at first, but now I’ve embraced them completely. They offer a much more varied range of options for a writer, not only financially but also in terms of being able to take control of what you’re doing. No traditional publisher would ever have taken on the ‘Dark Season’ books, for example. A series of short vampire novels running in the long-term? It wouldn’t make financial sense. But e-books allow me to do this. It’s almost like vanity publishing, which used to refer to self-publishing, now refers to traditional publishing, because for me at least the only reason to want a traditional publishing deal would be vanity!

7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.
Yes,Here’s a sample from ‘Dark Season IV: The Civil Dead’, which is out soon
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

Walking the dog, cooking, photography. Pretty ordinary things. I’m not out skydiving or climbing mountains.

9.Who is your favourite author?

There are so many to choose from. The first author I really, really got into was Norton Juster, who wrote The Phantom Tollbooth. I still have a soft spot for that book. But as I got older, other authors came to my attention, like William Faulkner, Graham Greene and Joseph Heller.

10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

To read? Non-fiction, actually. I read a lot more non-fiction than fiction. I just finished Peter Ackroyd’s biography of London. To write, I like jumping from one to another. I like writing, or trying to write, comedy.

11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

Not really. I get inspiration from going for long walks with our dog. There’s not much else to do but think about the next book.

12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

‘At War With the Hamptons’ has a few situations from real life, but apart from that the rest of the stuff I write is completely made up. Ideas just seem to pop up fully formed, which is nice. My job is then to thread them together into a narrative, which can be tricky.

13. Do you have a pseudonym?

I don’t use my real surname. My real name is Amy… something. I did this because I feel my real surname is too long and unpronouncable. Although I’m British, my family’s background is from Poland, and I have this really long Polish name. I’m not sure even I know how to pronounce it properly. So I went for something shorter and easier to understand.

14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

Mostly positive. There are lots of friendly, helpful people in the e-publishing industry.

15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

No idea. And I don’t have any particular plans, either. I want to keep writing, and everything else can kind of organise itself around that!

16. What motivates you to write?

At the moment, it’s all about the fun of getting things out onto the page. I get satisfaction from writing something that I’m pleased with. I’m quite happy to spend hours trying to work out how to write something, just for the little ‘ping’ of pleasure I get when (or if) I think I’ve eventually got it right. It’s rare that this happens, but when it does… So that’s the dragon I’m chasing!

17.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

I write fairly short books. So far, they’re all around the 100-page mark. They’re probably novellas as much as they’re novels, but I like short novels. Having said that, I’m working on a much longer one. We’ll see how that goes. But I hope people who read my books like getting a short tale, and I hope that they then look for the next in the series. That’s how I see most ofthem: as part of a series.

18.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

You can find it here on Amazon

19.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

You can find me here:

20. What advice would you give to other writers?

I’d say the best thing is just to get on with it. You can sit around planning your books for years, but eventually you’re going to have to start writing.

21.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

Just that I’m planning more books soon! The new ‘Dark Season’ should be out very soon, building up to a big climax in volume 8. Plus there’s ‘American Murder’, which is a thriller that should be much longer than most of my work. Thanks for letting me be on your great site.

  • Thank you Amy Cross for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    Dark Season IV: The Civil Dead By Amy Cross

    The ghosts are out again tonight, lining all the roads, watching me as I walk past. I’m glad I can’t see their faces, because I know exactly who they are and what they want. And at least they don’t follow me. Instead, they wait where they know I’ll be. They’re waiting for the inevitable. They know, and I know, that it’s coming.
    In fact, it’s coming faster than I anticipated.
    When I reach the place by the lake, the place that even my father knows nothing about, I stop for a moment. The ghosts are all around me, but they won’t – or perhaps can’t – follow me down the stone steps into the darkness. It feels good to be able to confound them like this. They know nothing of what is down there. But some things, some people, have to be hidden deep.
    I walk down the step, round and round as the spiral heads deep into the ground. Eventually, maybe two hundred feet or more beneath the surface, I come to the door, which I pull open. It’s a huge door, made of oak, so it takes all my strength. But that’s the point: it’s not supposed to be easy to get in or out of this place. After all, it was originally built by the lords of Gothos as a place to keep their most dangerous enemies.
    I walk along the dark stone corridor. For a human, it would be impossible to see a thing, but with my vision I can make out the rats scurrying past me. They hate it when I come: their little underground world gets disturbed. It’s a good thing for them that I come down here so rarely.
    I reach the chamber. At first, he doesn’t hear me. But eventually he raises his head, slowly, and his blank white eyes stare straight at me.
    He asks how the war is going. I tell him that the war ended long ago. We have this same conversation every time I come down here, and he never quite seems to accept that he lost. He thinks the war is still going, that it’s only going through a pause. I can’t make him understand that Gothos has fallen. He seems perpetually stuck in that moment of defiance when he still believed that the armies of Gothos would triumph. Everything after their fall – the death of the nightmare hive; the siege of the castle of eyes; the retreat of the Sentinels at the lighthouse, and the final battle in the catacombs of New York when Laxarus showed Cassandra’s heart to the dying children – all seems to be blocked from his mind. I don’t really blame him. If I could forget everything and follow him into madness, I think I would. Also, he walked through the Death Zone, so he has seen everything that is to come, things that even I don’t know. So perhaps one day I shall join him down here, mad and trapped and unwilling to face the truth.
    No wonder the ghosts do not come down here.
    I tell him that I need his help. He laughs at this, but he seems willing to listen. So I tell him about the Tenderling, about how it sits night after night on Sophie’s back, drawing strength from her pain, and about how it spends its days arranging more pain, taking forms both desperate and cruel. He listens attentively and when I have finished describing this Tenderling, he asks what I think he can do to help.
    I tell him that I need to know how to defeat this Tenderling without it killing Sophie when it slips away from her body. I tell him that I will not release him from this place, that I will not unchain him, and that I will not end his pain, but that if there is anything else I can do for him, anything that will persuade him to help me, I will do it.
    He stares at me. Finally, he tells me that he can help, but that in return I must deliver a message for him, and I must return with the reply. Then, he says, he will tell me everything. I agree, and he tells me I must come closer so he can deliver the message for me to pass on. Against my better judgement, I step closer and lean in so that he can tell me.
    In a quiet voice, he says my father’s name.

    Buy Dark Season IV: The Civil Dead by Amy Cross On Amazon Kindle >>

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    1. […] a quick note to say that there’s an interview with me up at Musikdiv, you can read the interview here. There’s also a sample of one of the Dark Season books after the interview, so that’s […]

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