"Q&A With Amy Matayo"

"Q&A With Amy Matayo"

Book: The Whys Have It?

Author: Amy Matayo

Author Bio:

"I graduated from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism.
I came this close (holds finger and thumb together until they practically touch) to also having an English degree, but decided I wanted to get married instead and besides, who needed it?
After all, managing an entire six-credit-hour semester seemed just so exhausting, and one degree was more than enough.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Not the marriage—that’s all good. But the pseudo-exhaustion. It might be nice to have that degree right now.
Anyway, after graduation, I went to work for DaySpring Cards—a division of Hallmark—where I worked for seven years as Senior Writer and Editor.
After the birth of my first child—a ten-pound boy—I became a freelance writer before pursuing novel-writing full time.
My first contracted novel—The Wedding Game—won the 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. It released on November 16, 2013.
As the mother of four children with a husband immersed in political life, I have very little free time. I prefer to spend that time enjoying intellectual pursuits such as: watching television with my feet propped up, watching movies with a bucket of popcorn, and watching my laundry pile high—with no desire to do anything about it.
It’s a fun life." (Source: amymatayo.com)

1. What made you write the book, “The Whys Have It”?

Seven years ago something happened in my hometown. A local high school girl went to a concert and was killed in a car accident on the way home. The accident didn’t involve the musician, but he did make a statement the next day. His statement stuck with me; the sadness in his tone, the underlying sense of guilt in his words. 

He wasn’t at fault, but I began to wonder what might have happened if he had been more involved. It’s the way my brain works. I read something--even something small--and my mind begins to spin. Originally I planned to make it more like the actual events. Later I decided to separate the two out of respect for the people involved back then. Hopefully, I have done that.

 

2. Would you ever consider turning your books into films?

Absolutely, if anyone was ever interested. Two are in talks now, but we'll see what happens.

 

3. How many books have you written?

Eight (8) books have been published, with my ninth releasing in October. In total, I've written twelve full length (3 unpublished) and countless partials.

 

4. What book did you have the easiest time writing/which one did you have the hardest time writing/which one did you have the most fun writing?

I had the hardest time writing "The Thirteenth Chance" because it's a romantic comedy and my frame of mind at the time wasn't super-fun. Also, it's a book about baseball, so I had to learn the process as I went. It was a challenge, but it's one I'm most proud of.

I had the easiest time writing "The Wedding Game" (my first published book) because I wrote it without the pressure of a publisher.

I had the most fun writing "The End of the World" because I didn't write the rules with that one. I wrote exactly what I wanted and in the exact way, I wanted, which was liberating. My next book will be written in the same way.

 

5. What was your writing process like for this book?

For The Whys Have It (my latest release) my writing process was a long one. I wrote the first draft seven years ago, then edited it in the hopes of finding an agent/editor--that didn't happen with that book--then put it away for five years.

Two years ago because of a promise to my daughter, I opened it and re-wrote/re-edited the entire thing. It took forever. Turns out I'm not a big fan of rewriting an entire book. But I finished and I'm proud that I stayed with it. Many times I wanted to toss in the trash.

 

6. What is your best advice for people that are hesitant about writing their first book?

Write it anyway. The biggest obstacle--by far--is thinking the process will be too daunting and take too much time and you won't be able to do it. But once you've written an entire book from start to finish, you'll know you CAN do it.

Once that hurdle is crossed, the others will be easier. Not necessarily to write, but the fear of not being able to finish will be a thing of the past. The mental side of it will be over, at least the side that tells you a whole book is impossible.

 

7. Why do you think the character “Cory” is a relatable character?

I think he's relatable because, despite fame and money and success, he is plagued with self-doubt and regret and shame. We all deal with those issues, and no amount of adoration can assuage it unless we somehow learn to love ourselves. Self-love can sound egotistical at times, but it's important. The way we view ourselves is the filter with which we can often view everything else.

 

8. What is the best book you have read in 2017?

"From Sand and Ash" by Amy Harmon and "The Hating Game" by Sally Thorne have been my favorites so far. Both are so good and so well written.

 

9. What is your best advice for getting through writer’s block?

Get up from your computer and take a walk, go for a drive, go see a movie, or go to lunch with a friend. Then after a few hours, get back to writing. The only way for me to get through writer's block is to write my way through it, even if the writing is terrible. Taking days off only makes it worse and gives you more time to get discouraged and want to quit. That's what I do. It usually works for me.

 

Places to Find More From this Author:

Facebook: Amy Matayo 

Twitter: @amymatayo

Instagram: @amymatayo.author

 

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