Amy Hamilton is an accomplished author and I am honored to welcome her this week to my blog. She writes science fiction, erotica, and humor.
What inspired you to write your first book?
There was the moment I suspect many authors have when they read something and think there’s nothing here I couldn’t write myself. The first full novel I wrote was years ago, on paper, in a book I have since lost. Later, I saw the website of a traditional publisher of erotic romance stating they would consider works by unknown authors. So I checked their criteria and wrote a book. They were quite pleasant in their rejection and said they liked my writing style and many other things about the book, but that the book wasn’t quite what they had in mind. After several more attempts at fitting in with the romance aspect of erotic romance, I decided I just don’t write that kind of book and became an Indie Author.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
The way I write is probably one of the most boringly normal things I do. I may start with a random line of dialogue, or I’ll give one of my characters one of my aches and pains out of spite to see how they like it! What I write is where the quirks are abundant. Although I do talk to myself and at any given moment I might suddenly utter a sentence or two of something random like “I had a coffee somewhere, what’s that on my slippers?” Everyone has learnt to ignore me, including the pets.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Given time I would like to get back to playing the piano. Back in the day I was very good. Currently when I’m not writing and I’m not running my weight loss business I am working on what will be a wonderful cross stitch design of a wolf that I’m hoping will keep my daughter company when she goes to uni next year. I’m not doing that to terrify her, she really likes wolves. I also spend some time each day with Crunch, my son’s baby tortoise and Cossie, my daughter’s bearded dragon. Although my son does feed his tortoise every day, feeding Cossie is a bit more involved than throwing a few lettuce leaves in, so I take care of that while the kids are at school.
What books have most influenced your life?
The ones that stand out at the moment are the ones that helped me get through tough times in my childhood. Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has my favourite character Marvin the Paranoid Android. Last time I checked he’s still “got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.” I can sympathize, I have a joint condition that causes pain. I read a lot of horror growing up, mostly James Herbert, a few Stephen King and a few others. I liked to escape into a horror book because when I looked up from the book I realised that it didn’t matter how bad my life was, it was better than that of the characters in the book, even if they were fictional. As far as I recall, there were no rats trying to eat me alive.
Have you taken any writing courses? If yes, how did they help or not?
When I left my office job in about 1998 I started a writing course. I did quite well, my assignments were well received by the tutor, who thought I was amusing and had potential, but I soon lost interest. I had followed the instructions and started on the non-fiction part of the course which I had no interest in at all. But that was what the course notes said to do, and being the person I was, that’s what I did. I remember yelling “But I don’t want to write about snails or lipstick.” They listed an example of how one writer had managed to produce an article about snails and have it published several times earning him a bit of money. Another assignment was to write something for a women’s magazine. I bought a few and found that they were mainly full of adverts for beauty products and contained little of substance and certainly nothing that interested me. Two things happened that made me give up on that course. The next assignment was to interview a local celebrity. I have problems with anxiety so that wasn’t going to happen even if I could find a local celebrity willing to be grilled by the local mad woman. Secondly, I fell pregnant, and as I was so sick I couldn’t function, it was the excuse I needed to forget about writing snail articles or the latest shade of lipstick.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’m not sure I could pick one. I have been influenced by quite a few writers over the years, although oddly, most of them wrote horror or crime and mystery and I’ve written some Erotic/Sci-Fi/Humour crossover thing! I’ve always loved Agatha Christie, I still have about twenty of her books to read, that’s not bad going, she wrote about eighty! I’ve read everything by James Herbert. I remember being fascinated by the medical thriller storylines of Robin Cook when I was a teenager.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I am actually not rubbish! I always knew that deep down, but there is a certain stigma that follows me, purely in my head, that anything I do won’t be as valid as someone else’s efforts. It’s a throwback to being bullied when I was younger. The more I write, the more I realise I do have ability. I may not be the best author in the world, but I’ve read worse.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
I’ve always had an overactive imagination, I’d retreat into made up universes when I was a kid. Couple that with a childhood of watching Sci-Fi and horror and some weird dreams I’ve had over the years, there’s quite a few avenues to be explored given enough time.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Have patience and don’t give up. Believe in yourself. Read through everything you’ve written and read it out loud. If you can’t read it out loud without falling over your words, you may need to work on your sentence structure. Enjoy your writing. If you do, hopefully someone else will too.
What book are you introducing to us today? How did you come up with the title?
Modified is the first book in the Lunar Medical series. The title is a lot catchier than the first one I came up with. I hate having to name things. There is a group of people on a medical facility on Enceffia’s third moon Urm. In order for the human race to survive new strains of virus they are being experimented on with some genetic modifications and treatments that give some unexpected results. Modified has been called hilarious and sexy, has the subtlety of Rocky Horror, apparently it hits all the right buttons and is a surprisingly good book. Taking all that on board I decided I would write the second one. The sequel Nate and Day is set for release on 14th July.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learnt that I know precious little about anything beyond GCSE biology. I also learnt that I don’t care, I’m writing from the point of view of characters who also know precious little about science. We’re winging it together!
Please share an excerpt from the book.
Dayton sat at the technological monstrosity that was his desk. His personal torture of the moment was a private message he’d received from the planet a few days ago. There was an accompanying dull ache in the centre of his chest. He rubbed at it with his hand as if that would help. He swallowed at the lump in his throat. That didn’t help either. For his own peace of mind, he ceased watching the message and forced himself into denial. Procrastination was becoming his hobby of choice. He rubbed his itchy palms against his trouser legs.
Isolated on a structure dug into a moon, Day had a vague idea of the political state of the planet, Enceffia below. Above, below, wherever the hell it was. Despite everything associated with moon living he was safer where he was rather than back on the ground. He tried to push visions of the planet’s virus outbreak and bombings further from his mind. And the endless talk of war. As if the last war wasn’t bad enough.
He muttered incoherently to himself, well aware this other stress induced habit was escalating. He visualized extremists bombing similar Enceffia based facilities. The human experiments being performed on so called volunteers were big global news.
“And now we’re getting the bloody prisoners,” he said. The communication had confirmed they were going through with what Day considered to be the most ill-advised venture yet. Send convicted murderers to the moon to be “treated” in return for reduced sentences. Because that’s going to end well. Twats!
He hit replay on an earlier news loop.
“A medical facility in the capital where human experiments took place has been partially destroyed by a bomb in the early hours of this morning. Widely seen as the way forward in developing a vaccine against the DH strains of the so-called Four Horsemen virus, the vaccine was incorporated into genetic enhancements administered to the subjects in the facility. The number of casualties is expected to be high; the bomb hit the habitation area of the facility.” Behind the ever handsome Duncan was pictorial evidence of the carnage.
“The human experiments are taking place at a time where both global agreement and opposition exists. Due to the growing unrest some of the experiments have since been moved to an incomplete moon facility Lunar Medical 1.”
“That’s us,” Day muttered. As soon as life support was viable on the moon, the facility had seen occupation.
“Take care down there Dunc,” Day switched off the mid-air screen with the flick of his wrist. He snorted with surprise when the action worked.
Author website- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Author website- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Book on Amazon https://goo.gl/nVPq3j