Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Amy Aislin – Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head.
Thanks so much, Amy, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: What’s your greatest weakness as a writer?
Amy Aislin: I edit to the point where I make myself crazy. There comes a point where you have to stop and call it done, and it takes me a long time to find it.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AA: I’ve always been a reader and I’ve always been into writing (short stories, letters to family, in a journal), but I didn’t realize until 4th grade that I wanted to be an actual writer. It was during recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing a treasure hunt type story involving my classmates, and I’ve been writing ever since.
As for when I realized I was good? I think I’m still waiting for that to happen!
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
AA: I don’t think there are any I would kill. Fuck: Elias from Picture Winter because he is hot, hot, hot! He may be closed off and serious, but in bed he lets it all out. Marry: Ty from Picture Winter. I like a guy who can make me laugh and Ty definitely fits the bill.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AA: I write in 3rd person, double POV because I like to get inside both of my main characters’ heads. I write m/m contemporary romance that tends to be more on the sweet side because I like to read light and fluffy romance, so that’s what I write. I have ideas for a paranormal and more ideas for a mystery, but they’re still percolating in the back of my mind.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
AA: A gymnastic coach. A journalist. An actress.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AA: My first published work was a short story called On Target. I wrote it during an exercise during a creative writing class and it was published on an online e-magazine in late 2016. The creative writing instructor gave us a prompt (I can’t remember what it was), and On Target was born. It’s only about 1,000 words and it’s about partners at a security firm who are trying to take out a “terrorist.” You can read it on my website: http://amyaislin.com/freereads/ontarget/
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
AA: Yes! I still am. I love books. Always have.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AA: I don’t really have one. I start writing and I don’t stop until the book is done. I don’t even outline! I usually start with a couple of semi-fleshed out characters and a general idea of the story and away I go. The story and characters become more fully fleshed as I write. When I’m writing a story it generally tends take over my life because I become so desperate to give my characters their happy ending that I don’t think about anything else!
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
AA: Hogwarts. I want a wand to choose me and I want a Hedwig and I want to ride the Hogwarts Express and learn magic. I want to drink butterbeer in Hogsmeade and hang out in Hagrid’s hut.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AA: Right now I’m working on draft…oh, I don’t know, five? Of a story I wrote last summer that needs serious revisions. It’s an overly long m/m contemporary romance that doesn’t really flow as well as I’d like. It’s about a dancer from New York who moves to the West Coast and finds out some stuff about his childhood that he wasn’t expecting. Along the way he meets a grumpy woodworker who’s just trying to keep his head down and grow his father’s business.
When can you expect it? Well, considering I wanted it to be out summer 2017…I’ll very tentatively say summer 2018.
And now for Amy’s new book: Ballerina Dad:
Attending his daughter’s holiday dance recital should be easy for pro hockey player Patrick Barnes. Showing up in a tutu, however, wasn’t exactly part of the plan. And yet the holidays get even more interesting when he bumps into Lee, the man he let get away years ago.
Ballet instructor Lee can’t believe who just walked into his studio. He also can’t believe how quickly the flare of attraction between he and Patrick resurfaces, despite the years that have gone by since they last spoke.
Once upon a time, they let opportunities get away. Is it possible they’ll now have the chance to pursue the spark that has come back to life after just one conversation?
Holidays are a time for giving, and neither Patrick nor Lee are about to take this particular gift for granted.
The door opened before Patrick had fully mentally prepared himself for his date with Lee, who stood in the doorway wearing a black suit with a black shirt open at the collar.
All Patrick could do was stare.
If the ballet uniform had been liquid sex, the suit was foreplay. Patrick was dying to peel him out of it, layer by layer, taking the time to explore newly revealed skin as he went.
“Gargh,” he cleverly choked out.
Lee smiled at him. “Hi. Come on in. I just need to get my coat.”
Patrick wisely kept his mouth shut, picked up the grocery bags he’d set next to the door when he’d arrived, and entered Lee’s space. He was sure Lee’s house was perfectly lovely, but he didn’t see any of it, too busy admiring the man’s backside as he reached into the hall closet.
“Um.” Patrick cleared his throat. “Actually, you won’t need a coat.”
“Oh? Has it warmed up outside?”
“No, I mean… We can… There’s this, uh…” Jesus, if his nerves could take a hike that would be really fucking awesome. “I thought we could…uh…” Lee’s smile was a mixture of amused and indulgent, and Patrick lost his train of thought. Just fwap! A door closing on his brain.
Lee peered into one of the bags. His bent head was just a couple of inches away, and Patrick had to resist the urge to sidle closer for a surreptitious sniff of his hair.
“Whatcha got there?” Lee asked.
“Oh…well.” Patrick cleared his throat again. “I always had this idea in my head of what our first date would be like and…” And suddenly it seemed like the dumbest idea in the world. “You know what? Never mind. Grab a jacket and we’ll go to…” Shit, where could they go on a Saturday evening without a reservation?
“What?” Lee said through a laugh. “No way. Tell me what you thought our first date would be like.”
Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. Amy loves live theatre (especially musicals), CW’s DC comic shows, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, Scotland (yes, the country), and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.
Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter here.