3 S.R. Johannes: Amy Brecount White & her book are unforgettable!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amy Brecount White & her book are unforgettable!

The winner of Friday's Middle Grade lot is....

C. Lee. Mckenzie

Congrads and email me your address (sjohannes@bilaninc.com)

Today, Amy Brecount White is here to tell us about her new book, Forget-Her-Nots.

Hi Amy, tell us about Forget-Her-Nots and your journey?

Seeing Forget-Her-Nots on bookshelves is a complete dream come true. I usually say that my road to publication was long, windy and had a lot of potholes. Some were crater-sized. Sometimes I thought it would never happen. In fact, my husband turned to me when I got the offer from Greenwillow and said that he would have given up a long time ago. Persistence and faith are vital to the writer’s journey.

How did you get the idea for Forget-Her-Nots?

I used to freelance a lot for The Washington Post and magazines, so I was always on the lookout for story ideas.As I was browsing in a bookstore, I found a coffee-table book on tussie-mussies, which are symbolic Victorian bouquets.I tried to pitch the story, but never had much luck. Then one day I made a tussie-mussie for a friend who was very ill.I included flowers for strength, courage, good spirits, and love. She adored the bouquet, and how I wished that its messages could come true for her.From there it was a small leap to imagining what if they did come true….

What do you wish you knew now about publishing that you could have used before you got an agent/book deal?

I wish I knew how long it can take. You hear about the overnight successes, but I was recently on a YA panel at the Teen Author Carnival in NYC, and all of us. Becoming a successful writer usually takes lots of practice and some false starts.I had expected to write and sell a novel in about two years, which was completely unrealistic.My learning curve, both as a writer and promoter, was steeper that I thought it would be.

What is one thing we don’t know about you that you want us to know but might be afraid to say?

I guess I’m not afraid to say it, but I’ll take this opportunity. I’m so grateful to all the bloggers, readers, teachers, and librarians who have received Forget-Her-Nots with open arms and enthusiasm. White bellflowers (for gratitude) and orange crocuses (for mirth) to you all!!It’s amazingly wonderful to connect with all these readers.

What do you think works most when promoting your book?

Most people are first intrigued by the language of flowers, because they don’t know much about it and want to know more. I mean, who doesn’t like flowers?! So I usually have flowers at my events and signings or do a tussie-mussie (a symbolic Victorian bouquet) demo to attract people.I also wear clothes with flowers all over them and flower-themed jewelry. I’m living my brand.

What is your favorite flower and why?

I love almost all flowers, but I truly adore the sweet scent of a gardenia. It’s lovely but not too overwhelming. A gardenia means “ecstasy and transport” in the language of flowers.

Thanks Amy!

Thanks so much for hosting me Shelli!

Note: You can follow Amy on her blog, Twitter or Facebook.

Amy is giving away a signed hardback of Forget-Her-Nots along with some swag.

To enter the drawing, comment and tell us: what is your favorite flower and why?


Unknown said...

Loved the interview, and i can't wait to read her book :)

I think my favorite are Roses, they are so romantic!!!


Margay Leah Justice said...

While I love many flowers, my favorite still remains the rose. It's the one flower that is just as pretty closed as it is opened and it is simple and complex at the same time. When it's closed, it is rather simple looking, but when it opens up, that is when you see how truly complex it is, with its layer upon layer of petals, all surrounding and protecting the center. Kind of like people do to their innermost thoughts and being.

Catch My Words said...

I love carnations. They are inexpensive yet smell delightful.

Emily said...

I've got this book out from the library. Can't wait to read it! My favorite flower is lilac. They are only around for such a short time, but they smell so good!

Kerri Cuev said...

I Love lavender. It's purple my favorite color and smells heavenly! Sunflowers also top my list!

I just love the cover of this book and it sounds great!

Erika Powell said...

my fav flower is the sunflower. THey are just so cheery and sunny and happy i love them


Anonymous said...

Roses, definitely. They smell amazing (try biting your face on a bunch of them) and they look gorgeous!


Kelly Polark said...

Congrats to Lee!
Great interview. I really like the way she got her idea for the book!
ANd my fave flower is the tulip!

Blueicegal ♥ said...

My favorite flower is bluebells, i haven't seen them many times in my life, but i have a very vivid memory of one when i was young, it was in a park i went to i remember i couldn't stop looking at it, it was so pretty Ive loved them ever since :)

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Oh, I adore gardenias too! Their gentle scent and lovely petals...They make me think of the south.

I love shasta daisies too...the daisy is such a simple flower. I carried them in my wedding 24+ years ago.

Riv Re said...

Roses. Simple, romantic, pretty.

Carolyn V. said...

Great interview! I totally agree with how long it takes to get a book published. It takes forever! =)

Brooke said...

Loved the review! :)

My favorite? Probably Magnolias because it's my state's flower.


Michelle Santiago said...

thanks for the interview and giveaway! my favorite are sunflowers. so pretty and yellow and they always brighten up the day and put a smile on my face.

jpetroroy said...

I love the blue-purple of hydrangeas.

Tina said...

Magnolia blossoms. My dad has a tree in his yard that is just breathtaking when it is in full bloom. My grandfather planted it when he was growing up, and he always calls to let me know when its blossoming. Then I bring tea and we sit out and just breathe in the sweet aroma of flowers and steam from our hot beverages. It's a simple tradition, but it's one that I love and look forward to every year.

Thanks for the giveaway!


Spav said...

My favourite flower ir the lily. I love how they smell and they're pretty.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, great interview ! And my favorite flower would probably the rose :D They're so beautiful ! I don't even know, just something about them is amazing!


Jemi Fraser said...

What a great idea for a story line. Both the title and the cover are fabulous!

My favourite flower is the daisy - so bright and happy - a friendly flower :)

Cass said...

Hmm...I like the lilac, I don't know why. I DO know, though, that I love purple flowers, for some reason. You give me a bouquet, your best bet would be for it to be purple, although it's my second-fav colour.


Anonymous said...

Like Amy, I love all flowers, but the gardenia is my favorite. It's delicate, has a wonderful aroma, and it reminds me of my mother.

cleemckenzie said...

I can't believe it! I'm so excited. This is, like, the best way to start a week.

Thanks so much.

Misha said...

Please enter me if this is international.
My favorite flowers are roses because they smell so nice and are so so pretty.