Amie Irene Winters is the author of Strange Luck, a new fantasy book that came out last month. Here at YA Love, we are obsessed with it and wanted to sit down with the genius behind the story to find out her inspirations, writing rituals and the books that shaped her childhood.
Hi Amie! Thank you for doing an interview with YA Love Magazine!
First of all, your new YA novel, Strange Luck, came out in June 2015 – congratulations! As it’s your first novel, I’m curious to see what inspired you to start writing novels. Have you always been interested in writing your own books?
Thank you! Growing up, I was always more of a writer than a reader and I spent hours writing about haunted houses, adventures with my dog, and family vacations. I still have my silly typo-riddled journals from elementary school to prove it. I never imagined I’d write a book one day, let alone a YA Fantasy book. I think the inspiration started in college where I binge read books about fantasy worlds, magic, and other creatures. I enjoyed the creativity and imagination in this genre; of being swept away into another world where anything was possible, and I loved that all ages could enjoy them. Strange Luck was born out of my love of fantasy, antiques, and things that go bump in the night.
Specifically, what inspired you to write a fantasy book about a girl who has the ability to destroy a secret world that holds many people as prisoners?
I love female protagonists who kick-butt, so it was very important to me to create a strong, relatable character who encourages others to pursue their dreams. Through Daisy Darling’s struggles with self-doubt, family complications, and real-life responsibility, she serendipitously finds the strength she didn’t know she had all along – and that strength ultimately leads her to accomplish something truly remarkable (both in her world and in another world).
Your website says that you love to write in different mediums – from travel blogging to copyediting academic textbooks. Which area do you prefer when it comes to writing, is writing YA novels your passion?
Writing YA Fantasy is definitely my passion! It’s something I get excited about because it’s probably the only thing I do where I’m completely entrenched in my element and not thinking or worrying about anything else. It’s a pretty awesome feeling. Sometimes I’ll sit down with the intention to write for a few minutes and not move out of my chair for hours.
Do you have any quirky rituals that you like to carry out before/whilst you are writing?
A good cup of tea is essential. My desk always has to face a window, too. There’s just something about unconsciously gazing at birds and squirrels that helps with my writing process.
If you had to name two books from your childhood that you feel shaped the person you are today, what would they be?
I read The Secret Garden a lot as a kid. It has a dark vibe, which definitely influenced me. Although I read Chocolat in college, it was the book that inspired me to become a writer. Having only seen the movie, I didn't know what to expect when I picked up a copy of Chocolat nearly a decade ago, but I instantly fell in love with it. I absolutely adore the whimsical world that Joanne Harris creates, the hints of magic, and especially the sweetness she sprinkles throughout. She remains one of my favorite authors of all time.
Finally, will we be seeing more YA novels from you in the future? Are you currently working on anything else?
Definitely. I’m in the process of working on a spellbinding YA Fantasy tale called The Nightmare Birds. It’s about a beautiful young witch who joins a mysterious circus, which claims that their astonishing acts are conducted without real magic. Expect a sprinkling of magic, love, and lots of talk about sweets. I’m also entertaining the idea of a possible Strange Luck sequel.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! :)
If you're interested in following Amie, you can use the following links to find out more about this amazing author: