I cannot tell you how excited I am for this week’s spotlight! Okay, let me see if I can try. You know when something clicks and you just can’t wait to scream about it, yeah, that’s how excited I am. This is one Bad-Ass chick, and I should know! 😉 Amy Queau is author of the Progress Series which includes Progress, Interrupted and Rewired, which is set to release at the end of November. (I hear there will be a cover reveal for Rewired soon…cannot wait to see it!!) I laugh, probably daily, at something she says, and I’m so glad to have her on my side because she tells me how it is, and I love it!
Enough!! Let me show her off already!
Synopsis of Progress:
He is exactly what she needs. But how far into his mind is she willing to go?
Jesse has a curious attraction to Charlie, a hostess at the restaurant where he works. Outwardly he’s rude, awkward and unapproachable. But his sudden bursts of charm are inescapable. A devastating childhood filled with physical and emotional abuse have left him complex and frigid.
Charlie, an innocent, is quickly mystified. Her craving for him generates an infatuation and a purpose. Losing weight and gaining confidence, she begins taking more risks. She defies her past, damaged and tender, in order to move ahead.
If nobody makes the first move then nobody gets hurt.
Their journeys take them down parallel paths which leave them just as emotionally unmatched and conflicted as the day they met. As the story progresses the viewpoints change, giving the reader an insight to the character’s thoughts and feelings.
Progress is the first book in the Progress Series.
Get to know…
- Your book, Progress, tells the story of Jesse and Charlie, and while I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, it does sound amazing. What is it about these characters that you loved and/or hated? ~ Oh boy. There’s so much to both love and hate – because that’s the kind of friendship they have. It’s about two people who are caught in a kind of ‘friend zone,’ because they’re both so scared (for their own reasons) to take their relationship a step forward. Jesse has a very unfortunate past with family loss, the foster system and abusive parents. Those things alone are difficult thing to write about because if you truly put yourself in their shoes you realize how traumatizing those situations are. So while you hate him for the things he says and does, you can’t help but have a soft spot in your heart for his story. Charlie is obese and has suffered a lot of abuse and bullying growing up. She’s inexperienced, naïve and has never been in a relationship simply because she’s never ‘put herself out there.’ So having a friendship with Jesse opens her eyes to the way a ‘bully’ thinks, how she feels about herself, and gives her motivation to move ahead. I love the growth in Charlie’s character in Progress. She starts out weak and awkward and morphs into the person she’s always dreamed of being: strong, determined, and beautiful.
- Progress is part of a series, with the final installment releasing in November. What can you tell us about this book, without giving it all away? ~ I get chills thinking about it. I’m so excited for everyone to read it! Okay, so what I can say is that there IS an HEA! Ha! I only say that because not only are the endings to the first two books devastating, but they’re also cliffhangers. We get a better glimpse into the minds of all three characters, as I’ve written from Charlie’s, Jesse’s, and Sam’s POV in Rewired.
- Are you sad to see the series end? What will you miss most about writing these characters? ~ I am gutted. I really am. I love these people so much and I hate to see them disappear. But I’m very happy with how it has all ended. Writing these characters has been a very stubborn thing. Ninety percent of the time, Jesse refused to work with me and I resorted to punching him to the ground in my head. Ha… you think I’m kidding! 😉 But I think I’ll miss my own shocked reaction to the things he says, because I adore that kind of frustration a character can illicit. If Jesse made me gasp out loud during edits, I give myself a pat on the back.
- Have you always wanted to be a writer? What made you take the leap to start writing? ~ I think it was always a ‘bucket list’ thing for me. But after the birth of my daughter (May 2012), I began writing. I’m not sure if it was a chemical reaction from the pregnancy or what, but I couldn’t stop. And I wrote the first draft of Progress in less than six weeks.
- What is your favorite part of creating a story? What is the hardest? ~ My favorite part would be creating characters who are realistic. And though I enjoy reading about bachelor millionaires and their mistresses, its not something I write well. My books are filled with people who you could consider friends, family, or neighbors. People. Like you and me. The hardest, by far, is keeping a character likable. If Jane upsets you in chapter five, it’s not like you forget that when chapter eleven comes around. You have to explain to each and every reader in a way that will strike a chord. Otherwise Jane has lost respect for the rest of your story, and you’ve likely lost a few readers along the way because of it. So Jane needs to redeem herself. Those are just the small puzzles we have to try and solve when creating a story. Extreme actions require extreme explanations in order for your reader to stay invested. Piecing all those things together to keep a character memorable and likable is the most difficult thing for me.
- What is your process when creating a story? ~ I really don’t have one! Every single one of my books has been constructed differently. Whether it began with a dream and spun from there. Or I began with the first chapter and wrote the whole thing out. With Rewired, I wrote two middle chapters and the epilogue first, then filled in the rest of it. I’m NOT structured with it at all.
- How long does it take for you to create a story from start to hitting publish? ~ There’s no magic number there. It took me 10 months from start to publish with Progress. But it only took 3-4 months with the last two.
- When you create your characters, are they based on anyone you know? Is there any part of your story that you can relate to personally? ~ Yep! And that’s all I’m gonna say. 😉
- Does music have an influence on your writing? If so, what do you listen to while you write? ~ I am not a music person. I know, strange. But I always prefer silence. For all three of these books, however, every time I hopped in my car I had Rx Bandits or Less Than Jake playing. It helped me get into character better as SKA was Jesse’s favorite music.
- Given the option, would you rather be traditionally published or self-published? Why? ~ With the Progress series, I’ve enjoyed having control over the entire process. I think having this experience under my belt has really helped me to understand the industry. However going forward, I wouldn’t out-rule future projects to be left in the hands of an agent/publisher. With the economy being what it has been for the past few years, small independent publishers and print presses have gone out of business leaving the traditionally published market even harder to crack into. But I might just give it a go and see what happens.
- What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment? ~ Becoming a mother. Nothing in my life has been as challenging, or rewarding.
- If someone came to you and said they were writing a book, asking for your advice, what would you tell them? ~ Stay true to your story and don’t worry about writing it for anyone else. AND to start pulling up your big girl panties now, because this industry can be brutal. You gotta have a thick skin to survive the ride.
- Are you reading anything right now? What? ~ I’m in the process of beta reading for two authors. So unfortunately I haven’t been able to get to much recreational reading. But I had started Unteachable by Leah Raeder and was really enjoying it.
- What is something that most people don’t know about you? ~ My natural hair color! Ha! And honestly, I don’t even know myself anymore. I’ve been dying it since the fourth grade.
- What can we expect to see coming up next? I know you have been tossing around a few fabulous ideas, do you think we’ll be seeing some of these come to fruition? When? ~ Oh, yes! I’m currently working on a book called New Road. I’m only approximately 10,000 words into it, but it’s coming along nicely. I hope to have it published in the spring 2014.
- If you could say anything to your readers, what would you say? ~ Thank you. Your support and feedback amazes me every day. Much much love to you all!
Learn more about Amy Queau by clicking any of the links below! AND enter in her Rafflecopter giveaway on Facebook!!