Good Afternoon Friends and welcome. Come meet Author Amy Stinnett (Rest Stop and the Chickenshit Volume Series). Her new book, Uncertain Futures, is due any day now!
Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope the day finds you feeling loved, strong, and ready to take on whatever these times are going to dish out. Thanks, Lynn, for inviting me!
Author, Amy Stinnett
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling a bit disoriented lately. Even before the pandemic, some personal issues were interfering with my ability to manage large projects, like writing books, constant promotion, life. With the onset of quarantine, I was left without a writing venue. Because I have always written in coffee shops and libraries, I had no dedicated writing space at home. After two months of eking out a handful of words, I dug in, cleared a space, and set up my desk that has been in storage for years, along with all my cd’s — all patiently waiting for me to rescue them from oblivion. My setup isn’t fancy, but there’s a window with a view of a shady tree and a horse pasture, some reference books, and a cd player to crank out my favorite tunes (mostly REM and kd lang). What more could I want or need?
The view from my office
A little about myself? I grew up in East Tennessee, where they say “you-uns” instead of y’all and drink more sweet tea than water. It’s a beautiful area, with the Smoky Mountains not far from where I lived and the Tennessee River creating a North-to-South swath of greenway throughout the region. But — and this is a big but — I spent most of my childhood wanting to leave it. I ran away to Florida when I was eighteen, came back and went to college off and on for a decade (English major), and left the South for good the year I graduated. I now live in a rural area in Eastern Oregon, which, culturally, feels an awful lot like East Tennessee.
My first novel, Lookout Butte, is set in Atlanta (I lived there for a while). It’s not autobiographical, but I drew from my knowledge of the area and my experiences working in a group home for developmentally delayed adults to create a basis for the story and the main character’s reactions and responsibilities. Alex fills a tall order, maneuvering the world of social work and new relationships, all while dealing with that old demon jealousy and her unresolved feelings over her brother’s death. I have a lot of empathy for Alex.
When I was doing final edits on Lookout Butte, I began to panic that it was a fluke, that I didn’t have the wherewithal to write another book, so the next logical step was to outline a four-book series and write, edit, and self-publish one book every three months. Even with the technical help my partner Stephanie, provides, it was highly stressful. Yep, won’t do that again.
The Chickenshit Series sprang from my big idea to do a city-girl-moves-to-the-country story. Kind of a Northern Exposure meets Gilmore Girls but with lesbians. Again, it’s not autobiographical. Unlike the main character, Billie Hatcher, I prefer a coffee shop to a chicken coop, but I did draw a lot from my current life on — you guessed it — a small chicken farm.
I’m kind of a sampler when it comes to life, to the point there’s a pattern (maybe I should look at that?). Anyway, I’ve worked in a lot of different capacities, lived a lot of different places. So, it’s no surprise that I love to genre hop. After Volume 4 was done, I wrote a children’s book about a transgender chick and her search for a friend (with a lesbian mom, of course), collaborating with local artist Kasidi Scholl. For the last year, I’ve been writing flash fiction and short stories, and maybe a few poems that will never see the light of day. Despite my insecurities, I submitted short stories to a handful of writing contests and received honorable mention in two of them!
After taking the judges’ comments into account, expanding the stories far beyond the word count restrictions of the contests, running them past a few beta readers, and a final edit, I am releasing the stories individually as eBooks. Rest Stop came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s about a chance meeting between two women from different worlds who are exactly what the other one needs at that moment in time. Uncertain Futures should be out by mid-May. It’s the tale of a stockbroker who never made time for his personal life, so life had to make the time for him.
My desk with awards for inspiration
I have about a thousand ideas for upcoming stories percolating, for various lengths and genres. One of them is bound to break loose soon and start lighting fires, so be on the lookout!
P.S. Here’s a pic of my office assistant. She was the inspiration for my kid’s book.
My writing buddy, Sookie
Thank you, Amy, for being our guest! Thank all of you for visiting today! Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting something new.
Until Next Time,
Photos subject to copyright.