I'm very happy to introduce you all to a fellow Michigander and a member of my writers' group, the Mid-Michigan Chapter of RWA, Amy Olle. She's here to share information not only about herself but about her debut novel Beautiful Ruin.
Welcome, Amy. First off, tell us about yourself.
I’ve been writing romance for the past eight years. In college, I studied Psychology and met the love of my life. We’ve been together for 21 years and have a five-year-old son who has to be the most brilliant, precious five-year-old ever to have lived, LOL!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
After I finished the long slog of writing my graduate thesis, I wanted to read something less academic and more entertaining. I picked up Outlander and discovered the genius of romance novels. I spent years devouring romance novels in every subgenre and soon I’d become that stereotypical budding writer with my head full of elaborate daydreams and snippets of stories. In high school, my best friend and I would write short stories and share them, but I’d given that up while studying in college. Then one day it all came together and I knew I had to try writing a romance novel. Just a pure, simple wish to write a book, and so very naïve!
What two authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
Only two? Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn. That's cheating, I know!
What’s your favorite movie? Why?
I'm going to cheat on this one, too! One of my favorite screenwriters is Cameron Crowe (My favs include Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, Singles). He writes fantastic characters and his stories have so much heart. And great one-liners (You complete me, anyone?). Oh, and Pixar movies rank up there, too (did I mention I have a five year old?). The Pixar studios are bursting with genius storytellers.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
I think I learned more about how NOT to write a book (A plot? What’s that? Do I need one?). I learned quite a bit about my own writing process, and the consequences of not allowing the process to unfold. Respect the process! I learned I hate editing more than I hate the blank page, and I learned (and continue to learn) an awful lot about the many ways doubt and uncertainty destroy creativity and productivity.
In the years I spent writing and rewriting this book, I moved across the country, started a new job - twice, had a baby, and lost my dad to illness. Sometimes, I think about that naïve wish to write a romance novel, and then I start laughing at myself.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I hope readers are entertained, uplifted, and that their hearts are touched. If my books can generate thought or compassion, all the better. And of course, I want them to want to read the next book!
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre.
My debut novel, BEAUTIFUL RUIN, is a contemporary romance. It’s the first book in a series about five Irish-born brothers sent as children to live with family on a remote island of the coast of northern Michigan. Noah and Mina are two wounded souls who have endured past betrayals, which make trust and true commitment incredibly difficult for both of them, and yet desperately longed for.
Beautiful Ruin blurb:
A good archaeologist always finds what he’s digging for…
When Mina Winslow buys her ancestral home with plans to restore it to the beautiful sanctuary it once was, she discovers more than she bargained for. Soon, she's reunited with a man from her past. The one man she never stopped longing for.
Renowned archaeologist, Noah Nolan, swore he’d never return to the small, remote island in Lake Michigan. After agreeing to complete a short-term excavation project, he realizes the site belongs to the woman who inexplicably rejected him years before. A woman he’s never forgotten – or forgiven.
When Noah’s affinity for uncovering all things lost, forgotten, and buried stirs Mina’s repressed memories of a terrifying secret, she must find the courage to unearth the past, or risk losing the treasure of her heart forever.
Excerpt from Beautiful Ruin
Raindrops plopped to the earth in a steady patter. Lulled by their rhythm, Mina stared up into his face. A part of her wanted to hate him for leaving and taking with him all that she’d wanted, except she wasn’t able to muster anything more than sorrow and regret for the young girl who’d dreamed of him so often and for so long. Of his easy smile and gentle touch.
Fifteen years between then and now.
His face swam before her eyes.
He swallowed hard. “What is it?”
“I can’t believe you’re here.”
A slash of emotion slanted across his well-shaped features.
Even knowing the wine made her vulnerable, she couldn’t stop the words. “Where have you been?”
He made a bitter sound, like a laugh except without a trace of humor. Only a pained loneliness Mina recognized all too well.
Her heart squeezed and she drew nearer to him. His scent carried to her, a tormenting mix of soap and citrus and man.
She might’ve shrunk back if not for the chord of vulnerability thrumming in his dark eyes.
She rose up on her tiptoes and touched her lips to his.
He held himself immobile.
Mina’s heart stuttered to a stop. “You’re not married, are you?”
His throat worked as he swallowed. “No. Are you—?”
She gave a small shake of her head. “No. There’s no one.”
His hand slipped to her waist, and he applied pressure so her body came up snug against his. He bent his head low.
She tipped her chin up.
But rather than kiss her, he pulled back. A tiny movement, which might as well have been a slap to her face.
His features hardened to stone. “Be careful, Mina. You’re not slumming it with the Nolan bastard this time.”
Beautiful Ruin is available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Q9SLfu
Last question. Where can readers find you?
I love to hear from readers! Please get in touch at my website or on social media.
Thanks for visiting, Amy. I wish you much success.