MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR A.M. CUMMINS!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m A.M. Cummins and I mostly write fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My book Homecoming is about an elven princess whose life changes when a human brings a sword containing her uncle’s soul into Gadia, where magic has been banned. The soul escapes and tries to reunite with his body.
I really wanted to write something I’ve never read before. The idea started with elves not using magic and it grew from there.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
While I was in high school, I worked in a local bookstore. You were able to borrow books to read. I borrowed the first Dragonlance book and haven’t looked back from there.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
It was mostly technical research about writing.
Can you tell me about your Series?
I’m currently working on writing a series. I hope to be releasing the first book by the end of the year. It’s about a girl who goes on a secret quest to save her family’s honor. During the quest she learns of a family secret that threatens to destroy her life.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
My favorite book is probably the first one. My working title is Wildfire.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I really wanted to write a story where I can invent a new race.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I’ve researched about trees and if there are types that can live for thousands of years. They exist in case you were wondering. LOL
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes it is.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I set daily writing goals according to what is going on with my day. To stay accountable, I’m in a Facebook chat with a few other author friends. We commit to a writing goal in the morning and post our progress at night. I’m constantly changing where I write. I probably get the most accomplished when I escape to a library or coffee shop.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Wildfire, book one of the series I mentioned before.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The main character’s family names have been researched to ensure they all associate with fire.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve always wanted to write romance. Maybe someday!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing for me is finding the balance. I enjoy writing and reading but tend to overdo one over the other for long periods of time.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’ve seen a few and think they are a great idea. I’m definitely looking into having one when I release my series.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My first short story acceptance to an Anthology. I wrote Adoption and submitted it for Shadows of the Spectral Anthology released by Fantasy Writers. I completely forgot I turned it in when the email came. It was a great feeling.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
What I most enjoy is meeting other authors. It first started with NaNoWriMo meet ups to write and sprint and now I’m a member of a local authors group. I love talking about books!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d love to own an RV and drive around the United States writing with the adventures.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, but to be honest I didn’t take it seriously until a few years ago. It was more of a hobby.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
After you embraced the BETA readers phase of editing, hire an editor. You’re really close to your work and know everything that is going on in your world. Sometimes there are details that are missing for others to enjoy your story. Both parts of the process are important.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would enjoy working in a bookstore or a library. I enjoy the company of the writing/book community.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I read the reviews but never respond. I feel it’s important if you’re ever to improve as an author. Bad reviews are just as helpful as good reviews.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Deadlines are stressful for me. I’m afraid of missing one, so I push myself to get my project done extra early.
What are you working on now?
Besides Wildfire, I’m working on a Halloween novella with another local author.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I would love too. Just remember it’s a first draft.
Adara concentrated on calming her breathing. Her mind whirled at the prospect of what her father might do if he caught her eavesdropping yet again on his private meetings. The last thing she wanted was to be sent off to a nunnery, and the thought chilled her to the bone. She needed to avoid any sudden movement that would draw his eye up to her hiding spot, merely twenty feet away from where he stood. She pushed her body flat, covering her head with her hands.
“What a damned fool,” her father said from below. “If I didn’t know any better I would think this whole thing was planned.” Her curiosity of the meeting outweighed her anxiety. Adara peeked from underneath her arms.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
Fantasy is 90% of what I write because that’s where my passion is. I do however like to challenge myself to attempt other genres to become a better writer.
Where did your love of books come from?
My brother had a big collection of books when I was growing up. I loved sneaking in his room to read them. My favorite book had a lot of crazy facts in it. It was the first place I learned how they removed brains to make a mummy. I found it so fascinating.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Of course I love Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis with the Dragonlance series. My favorite author and book though are Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister by Gregory Maguire. His books are retellings of fairytales and other stories. He’s the writer of Wicked, the broadway play. (and wonderful book)
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Rez in my short story Hunted in Shadows of the Fallen Anthology. He’s a fun guy that I believe deserves his own book. It WILL happen.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
In the morning when I write, I’m full of energy. But if I attempt to write later at night, I wake up often.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
The word ‘as’ is my Kryptonite. I tend to type it a lot in my first drafts. Thank goodness for revisions.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I honestly just write the stories I want to read, and hope others want to read them also.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve been published in a few anthologies with Hui Lang. We’ve become beta readers for each other with lots of success. He tends to push my story telling limits, which makes me happy! I am also friends with J.E. Feldman and Layne Calry who keep me accountable for my word count goals. Heather Castle, who writes romance, is my favorite person to bounce ideas off of. She’s got great feedback. And finally, M.D. Kubit for being my constant NaNoWriMo partner in crime and hanging out at Decapo’s for writing and sandwiches.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Wow! That’s a great question. I’m going to go with Pink Positive.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and have a website.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️