Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She published academic articles before deciding that it would be much more fun to write about Jack the Ripper. When she is not writing or teaching college classes, she enjoys running around her neighborhood with her giant Labrador retriever and serial reading Jane Austen novels. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and two children. Ripper is her debut novel.
Amy the author of Ripper (which I recently reviewed!) was kind enough to join us today at My Shelf Confessions for a little Q & A:
The most IMPORTANT question you will ever answer *drumroll please* – What are your thoughts and feelings on the Amazingly Delicious – Canned Not quite Meat – SPAM? *as I sit here munching on some home made SPAM fried rice*
Ewwww….never touch the stuff. Seriously. J
*gasps* you wound my SPAM loving heart…
But I guess maybe I should move on to more “literary” type questions…*grumbles*
What made you want to be a writer? Aching to have carpel tunnels? a desire to poke out ones eyeballs as words pour from your fingertips?
Charlotte Brontë’s words, “I write because I cannot NOT write,” best describes my relationship with writing. From the time I was a child I wrote stories, even during graduate school, when working on academic papers, my mind would spin off on a creative trail, and I would think: “Wow, this would make an awesome story!” The Pre-Raphaelite subplot in Ripper was an idea that I actually began brainstorming in graduate school while taking a seminar that partially focused on the works and lives of the artists.
Tell me about one of your typical writing days…what are your routines? Favorite places to read, write. Music? millions of notes strewn all over the floor?
I like to start out a writing day with a three mile jog. I listen to the Rolling Stones and work out plot problems in my head. Then I go back to the house get a mug of coffee and with the dogs at my feet, I write for several hours. If writer’s block hits, I’ve found that dark chocolate is very helpful, so my fridge is well stocked with chocolate chips.
How was your experience with getting published – hardest thing you’ve ever done? Like catching a greased pig?
Getting published was veryhard! Before I buckled down and wrote Ripper, I had written a picture book and a middle reader novel. My previous agent tried unsuccessfully to sell them. She represented me for three years. Then, my third year after graduate school, my ideas for Ripper finally came together. I felt more connected with this book than any of my previous works. It was the first time I had used material from my graduate research in my creative work. I think that writing the unpublished books was extraordinarily important in my development as a writer; it was like I had to write and revise those books before I could write Ripper. My previous agent loved Ripper, but she sold mostly books for younger readers. After completing and revising Ripper, I began querying agents. My current agent, Jessica Sinsheimer, sold Ripper in about a month. So yes, it’s been a long haul to get published!
How active do you think you are in the book blogging community and how has it treated you? Eaten you whole?
I’m just starting to dive into the book blogging community. So far though, I’ve been really excited about the responses to Ripper.
How did the cover art process go for you? – are you in love with the cover for Ripper?
Yes, I do love the cover! Kevin Brown, the designer did such a great job. I like the haunting, foggy background, and Abbie Sharp’s expression. Along the way, I gave a few suggestions about how Abbie’s hair, dress, and collar should look.
How is the the follow up to Ripper coming along? – I love the title Renegade! Can we expect many more adventures with Abbie even after book 2?
It’s coming along great! I’m working on the revisions for Renegade right now. And yes, I was very excited about the title. It’s perfect for the book. And I don’t think Abbie’s adventures will end with Renegade. J
Do you prefer e-books over physical books? *Be warned …. your answer might cause me to go into mass hysterics.
I generally prefer to hold the book, smell the book, and flip the pages.
Oh thank goodness…crisis averted…
Do you have any reading, bookish, or writing related type confessions? Oh do spill the beans…the secrets we must have them!
Confessions? Right now I’m putting together a syllabus for a vampire-themed literature course that I’m teaching in the fall. We’ll be reading Dracula, Carmilla, Twilight and watching segments of Buffy and Being Human episodes. A lot of great texts that my students can really sink their teeth into. *awkward laugh*
In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, 17-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there. But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper.