Name: Amy Lea
What you Write: Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedies
Agent: Kim Lionetti
Why BookEnds? BookEnds was my dream agency for many reasons. First, the BookEnds client list was full of authors (both in and outside of my genre) whom I adore and admire. In an industry that can seem harsh and intimidating, their wealth of resources (blog and YouTube channel) for writers at all stages humanized the process with humor and warmth. Most importantly, all of the BookEnds agents have stellar reputations. This brings me to Kim. First and foremost, I’m a fangirl of many authors on Kim’s client list. She has been in the industry for years, specializes in my genre, and has a wealth of experience not just as an agent, but also as an editor. As a new writer, an agent with editorial experience was such a draw!
What genres do you write? Read?
I write #OwnVoices Contemporary Romance and Romantic Comedies featuring modern, strong Asian heroines.
In terms of reading, I’ll be honest – I’m partial to romance. I want the kissing and HEAs! But occasionally I dabble in horror/thrillers and non-fiction.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
When I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably trying to psyche myself to exercise. I also love spending time with my family and friends. Going out to eat and discovering new restaurants is one of my favorite things to do. I also have an obsession with trashy reality television!
Plotter or pantster?
I’m a mix of plotter and pantser. Before I start writing, I know the main plot elements of the romance. I’ll have identified a hook and conflict before I start writing. However, I’m a pantser when it comes to creating my characters’ personalities and their quirks. They tend to come alive on the page and do things I didn’t set out for them to do, which often means I add random scenes throughout that weren’t planned. Often times, my story elements will change a bit as I delve deeper into the world and inside the character’s heads.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Honestly, writing synopses are the WORST. At the same time, writing them out is so beneficial if you’re struggling to find your beats. A synopsis can help you streamline your plot, and identify plot holes or other elements that may not be driving your story forward.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
I do curate playlists while I’m “deep thinking” about my book. I love identifying songs and artists that embody the energy and vibe of my main character. Each of my main characters has a secret theme song.
I love using Pinterest for vision boards. If you were to look at my vision board for my latest completed manuscript, you will exclusively find photos of bearded Chris Evans (THE BEST CHRIS)…Just kidding…kind of. The vision board also contains photos of people I pictured as my characters, outfits to capture their style, photos of the setting, and various illustrated art which embody the overall vibe of the book.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
While writing, I tend to drink tea. When I’m not writing, I usually drink water or diet Coke (my unhealthy addiction). Confession: I’m not a coffee drinker!
Day or Night writer?
I write best during the day, but because of my day job, often times I end up writing in the evenings.
What is the hardest part about writing romance?
When I create a couple, all I want them to do is kiss and live happily ever after! The hardest part is infusing the right amount of tension and conflict that can conceivably lead to ‘the black moment’ and tear them apart without it being forced or overly reliant on simple misunderstandings. Conversely, the conflict can’t be SO BAD that the two could never realistically come back together. That is a tricky balance.
Writing heroines is always a challenge in romance as well because there is a lot of pressure from romance readers to create “likeable females.” This is symptomatic of a larger feminist issue, but readers will always judge a female character more harshly than the male. Heroines are either viewed as “too strong” or a “doormat.” Thus, the balance between creating a female that is relatable, strong but also vulnerable, is a perennial challenge.
Twitter or Instagram? Or Facebook? Where can we find you?
You can find me on Instagram under AmyLeaBooks where I review upcoming contemporary romances and rom-coms. You’ll also find fun meta discussions about romance, the merits of my favorite book boyfriends, discussions about inclusivity in the genre, feminism, etc. I also post the odd photos of my travels, lifestyle, and my dog, Albus Doodledore.