Each day this month, a different Rhode Island author will guest blog here. Today I’m happy to welcome Amy DeLuca, who anchored the news for 12 years at various TV stations in 4 different states. Amy writes young adult fiction as well as fantasy/paranormal and contemporary romance. She’s published 8 books under her pen name Amy Patrick.
What is your most treasured possession?
Assuming I can’t cheat and say my wedding ring or my children’s baby albums, I’d have to say it’s the coat I’m wearing in my author photo. It’s not really valuable or anything, it just feels like the thing I own that’s the most “me.” It’s actually pretty old. It belonged to a friend’s mom who’d bought it at a Memphis department store in the 60’s. She was going to throw it away, and I begged her to give it to me instead. That was back when I was in college, and I still wear it now whenever I can. I feel very Breakfast at Tiffany’s when I wear it.
Would you say you’re temperamental or easy going?
My blood pressure’s so low, I’m barely alive! I’m very slow to be offended, people tell me I’m always smiling, and I pretty much always assume everything is going to work out okay. You know what? It usually does.
Do you like to write with music or silence?
I need quiet to write. I’m not the coffee-shop type. I’m too easily distracted! Oh look, a squirrel! That’s why I write in the most boring corner of the library where I can’t even see any interesting book titles. Just a blank wall. I stay off the internet during writing time and force myself to concentrate for a few hours.
You used to be a local news anchor, in Rhode Island as well as in several other states. How did you get into writing fiction? That’s got to be a completely different style of writing.
It is! I actually tried writing a novel the year I graduated from college when I was working my first job as a TV news anchor/reporter. I covered an amazing murder trial and it inspired me to write a murder mystery. But I quickly discovered that news writing and novel writing were very different. I didn’t know how to get past the first few chapters. As I moved from city to city, moving up the TV news career ladder, I kept trying, starting several novels over the years. It wasn’t until I quit my full-time job to stay home with my kids that I really began the long process of learning about story structure and good writing. I was fortunate that the first novel I completed was selected as a RWA Golden Heart finalist in 2013. I was a finalist again the next year with that murder mystery book! That’s the book that got me my agent, too.
Do you have any favorite writing advice?
Elmore Leonard said, “Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” And I’m not sure who said it first, but “First drafts are allowed to suck,” was very freeing for me. It’s absolutely true. Just push through to “The End.” The magic is in the revisions.