War of the Wilted by Amber Mitchell [Interview + Giveaway]

by - October 03, 2018

War of the Wilted by Amber Mitchell | Publication Date: October 1, 2018 | Publisher: Entangled Teen
Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor's tyranny. Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy. Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.

A Little Bit of Q&A

It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well?Absolutely. I feel like the publishing industry could be relabelled to the heartbreak sector and no one would bat an eyelash. As writers, we spend years of our lives writing things we pour everything into and then subject ourselves to rejection after rejection. I wish I could say it gets easier but I don’t think it ever well. This isn’t to say I’m not grateful! I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling career, but it is definitely full of ups and downs.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
I’m so lucky because all of my family has been supportive. My mom doesn’t do a lot of reading but she listens to all of my frustrations and is so proud of the fact that I’ve written a book and achieved a dream of mine, even if she hasn’t read it. My dad and stepmom both read my debut in a couple of days and my dad still makes time to call me and tell me how the second book needs to go. He’s already compiling his “notes” for the last book in the series. Even my aunt and grandmother have read my book and offered nice things about it. But by far, the most supportive person has been my husband. We are high school sweethearts. We met around the same age as the characters I’m writing about and he has always been so supportive of my dream to get published.

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
As long as I can remember, I was writing. In third grade, I wrote an entire play about outer space that my teacher then had the class perform. But I didn’t know you could do it as a career for a long time.
I first started looking at writing like a profession when I was about 15 in high school. I’d started writing a fantasy novel and spoke to my English teacher about it. Throughout the rest of high school, he encouraged me to keep writing and to learn all I could about the industry. By the time I was in college, I had started researching agents, written several more books, found my voice and the YA genre!

If given the opportunity to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
Sometimes I’ll brave the review section of Goodreads for my books and see reviewers make such good points. I’ll think to myself that if I’d just known what they said when I was editing the book, it would have been stronger. But to be honest, the finished novel was the best I could do at the time and looking at it with hindsight doesn’t really help anything. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m proud of the book that came out!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It’s funny because I’ve been told several times that I write action scenes well. My agent always leaves a comment right before an action scene saying how excited she is to get to it. But to be honest, I always feared that I couldn’t write them clearly enough. I still do a lot of research on them to see what makes them interesting! I think the other thing I find really challenging is first drafts. My books always end up long. War of the Wilted was 125k when I finished the first draft and the finished product is around 90k.

Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
I’m not sure I believe in a muse, exactly, but I definitely find inspiration in my every day life. A lot of the time, the stories that I write are inspired by folklore, legends and history. I’ve always loved spending my free time looking up and learning about different types of beliefs. I guess that could be called a muse!

Poets and writers in general, have a reputation of committing suicide; in your opinion, why is that the case?
This is a loaded question and one I’m going to try to answer as eloquently as I can. I think creators can sometimes dive so far into their work, that it’s hard to look up at the real world and see some of the monstrosities we thought were just fiction to be real. This year, especially, has tested that as we have seen no shortage of tragedies. I think it’s also very disheartening to know in a book that the hero will likely find some way through the darkness and that we don’t always have that power in real life. I know that personally, I write to better understand the world around me and to face things that might be too scary to look at in real life, and it can be challenging to know that we don’t have that same control in real life. Sometimes, there isn’t a plot twist to make it all better. Though I can only speak from personal experience, I also have noticed that I experience very high levels of excitement followed by dips of sadness that are sometimes unexplainable. I think that I experience those emotions to be able to write them well and perhaps I even indulge in them more because I want to understand them.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
Before my first novel got published, I was actually a 911 dispatcher. It was very high stress and I didn’t like that the people in charge didn’t take our needs very seriously. I could write a whole essay on the neglect we experienced from lack of staffing to no breaks, but I did like the job itself. Now, my husband and I actually have a side business creating 3D papercraft shadowboxes. Our subject matter is all manner of nerdy things from your favourite fandoms. We travel to about three or four comic conventions a year selling our shadowboxes. It’s a lot of work to prepare for a show but it is so much fun! I absolutely adore getting to do it!

Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?
Yes, all the time. When we are preparing for the show, I know I’m going to have to give up whole days to get stock ready. Luckily, when we are between shows and all I have to do are online orders, I get plenty of time to write!

Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
I think this is largely false. If I were to try to live off my writing income alone… well, I won’t even finish that sentence. The truth is, I wouldn’t be able to. Most authors don’t get into the industry because they want to be rich and famous. They write because of their love of writing. I’m lucky enough to have a husband willing to support my dream and who allows me to have the time I need to make it come true. We also have our side business. It keeps us really busy all the time but I love being able to pursue multiple creative avenues.

From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?
Well, I recently found out I’m pregnant so I can’t say I’ve been indulging in a lot of alcohol lately.
Do I think most writers are alcoholics? No, I really don’t. There is no way we’d be able to write as much as we do and be constantly drunk. Between writing, editing, working on something new, promo posts, social media posts, studying the craft, reading widely and trying to have a life too, I just don’t think it’s possible!

Amber surely did answer some tough hard questions that us readers have been dying to know! How cool that she runs a side business making shadowboxes?! Amber if you are reading this, congrats on your pregnancy and send us the link to your sidebusiness!

Amber Mitchell was born and raised in a small town in Florida. After briefly escaping small town life by attending the University of South Florida where she earned her degree in Creative Writing, she decided to ditch traffic jams and move back to her hometown. There she writes Young Adult novels, usually with a bit of magic in them, rolls D20s with her friends on Thursday nights and enjoys hanging out with her husband and four cats. Her other job involves crafting cardstock in to 3D art and has allowed her to travel all over the US vending at comic conventions which has only increased her love for fantasy and fandoms. She is represented by Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literature.

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