Interview with Amy Patrick

AmyAmy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014) who writes Young Adult fiction as Amy DeLuca and New Adult romance as Amy Patrick.  She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She’s been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.

She has been writing professionally since three weeks after college graduation, working as a TV news anchor/reporter in four different states–Mississippi, Tennessee, California, and Rhode Island, and then retired from writing true stories and started making them up. Her stories have way more kissing.

Check out the interview below.


 

Your main character in CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, Heidi, is a first-year TV news reporter/anchor. You were also a TV news reporter, right? Is Heidi anything like you?

Well, she’s definitely not me, but I did give her some of the same struggles and experiences I had as a newbie reporter/anchor. And like me, she grew up in a small Mississippi town. We also shared the same *unfortunate* nervous-stomach issue.

What sets your book apart from other New Adult books on the market?

I think CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING is unique in that it gives the reader a peek inside a profession not many have inside access to, TV news, and what it’s like for people just starting out in the broadcasting business. Because that was my career for 12 years, I’m able to write about it in an informed way while telling an entertaining and romantic story. I also focus more heavily on the romance than the sex in my series. There are some hot scenes, but CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING and the upcoming books fall more into the category of fun and flirty than erotic romance.

What made you decide to write New Adult romance?

I think it’s a fantastic time period in life to write about because SO MUCH happens during the years you’re 18-26, and the decisions you make during that time can determine the entire direction of your life (yeah, no pressure there). There’s probably no other time of life that holds more possibility or more romance than those years. My own life during that time was an exciting, crazy, wonderful mess. I did so many stupid things, but also many amazing things, and I’m sure a lot of people can say the same.

Your main character Heidi grew up in a small Mississippi town, but always longed to get away, go exciting places, see exciting things. Where did you dream of going when you were in high school and college?

I always wanted to visit Hawaii, and I grew up without a lot of money, so that was a real dream. I did have the opportunity to vacation there a few years ago when I worked in California, so I can check that one off the list. Career-wise, I dreamed of making it to New York, the top news market, and working at the network someday. As I got older and further along in my TV news career, I did have the chance to do that, but my dreams had changed by then.

Did you actually throw up in front of the governor of Mississippi one minute before going on live TV like Heidi did?

Why yes. Yes I did. Nothing like rookie reporter nerves. J Happy to report I did eventually get over that little problem and can now appear on television without any threat of my lunch reappearing.

Do you have a favorite character in CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING?

It’s really hard to choose. I really relate to some of Heidi’s passion and confusion and mistakes. I love her sister Jane Elaine. But I’d have to say Aric is my favorite. I mean, what’s not to love? Ultra-hot guy who’s also funny and kind? Yes please.

Do all the 20 Something novels take place in the South?

As you know, book 1, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, is set in Mississippi, where Heidi gets her first job. Book 2, STILL YOURS, takes place in Providence, Rhode Island, the news market where Heidi’s friend Mara is starting a new job (and running into the ex she hoped she’d never lay eyes on again). Meanwhile, Heidi’s other best friend Kenley has moved to Atlanta and is starting a job at WNN. We’ll hear her story in Book 3, STILL ME.

Beyond being a writer, what’s going on in your life?

I narrate audiobooks for other authors, and I’m in the middle of a fun small-town mystery series for author Sandra Balzo. I have a small recording studio in my house where I lay down my tracks, then I send them to a sound engineering for post-production. I also have two boys who are about to go back to school, so we’re making preparations for that while trying to squeeze in a bit more summer fun. It goes so fast!

What’s one crazy fact about you that most people who meet you probably wouldn’t guess was true?

I used to be a professional singer. I’ve sung in several bands and did background vocals on a smooth jazz album. I also sang the theme song for SAS Airlines years ago. “Welcome aboard… to the skies… of S-A-S… where you’ll find… happiness.

What books or authors have inspired you as a writer?

I love so many New Adult books and authors, but as far as authors who inspired me to write in the first place, I have to list Lisa Kleypas first. I’ve read all her books, historical and contemporary. My very favorites of hers are Again the Magic and Dreaming of You because of the incredible, sexy, self-made-man heroes and because of all the feels. I tend to write a bit lighter subject matter than Lisa, though, and my inspiration on the romantic comedy side of the genre is Kristan Higgins. My favorite book of hers (so far) is Somebody to Love. Great hero and heroine and perfect, sweet, gradually developing relationship. If I had a dream-review of my writing (and hopefully I’ll get there someday) it would look like this: “If Lisa Kleypas and Kristan Higgins had a baby who grew up to write New Adult romance, it would be Amy Patrick.” I can dream, right?

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