Interview With Amber Lin

Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion. Her debut novel Giving It Up (Loose Id, 9781611188431) received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” The sequel is slated for release in early 2013, and she is working on a small town erotic romance novella as well. She is represented by Jewelann Cone of the Cascade Literary Agency.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good. Come say hi back on twitter, through goodreads, or by email.

1)  What is your opinion on the self-publishing vs. traditional publishing debate?

It helps ALL authors that we have different options available in our careers or even book-to-book. I’ve never really understood why one side would try to tear down the other when it is clear to me that talented writers are finding success through both paths. Between the road to publication and the critics waiting at the finish line, there are enough hurdles for any author without also facing shame from our peers. More and more, we’re seeing authors do both. Choice is good!

2)  How did you find your agent?

When I was looking for an agent, a book came out in what I considered the same genre as mine, erotic romantic suspense (Stripped, Tori St. Claire). I looked up the name of her agent on her website and sent her a query. Yay slushpile 🙂

3)  What was the path to publication for your debut novel Giving It Up?

Back when I first thought of getting published, one of the first publishers I checked out was Loose Id, because they published one of my favorite series at the time, the Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair. Much time passed between then and when my book was finally submitted and accepted by them, but it seemed like the right fit. It’s a risky book and they’re willing to take those risks.

4)  What kudos has it received?

RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars (it’s that extra half a star that made me squee) and called it “truly extraordinary.” It was also was a The Romance Reviews Top Pick, a Night Owl Top Pick, and got 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. And I was so honored to receive blurbs from some amazing, talented authors, like so:
“Amber Lin shows us that romance isn’t just for the rich and shiny. Love can find its way even into the dark corners of the most damaged hearts.”Tiffany Reisz, author of The Siren
“Giving It Up is original, affecting, emotionally draining, but well worth reading if you are brave enough to go along for the ride.”Annabel Joseph, author of Comfort Object

“This is a book you MUST read if you like gritty, edgier romance that makes you think as well as turns you on.”Cari Quinn, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Sharp, intense writing, sexy as hell…”Charlotte Stein, author of Sheltered
“Every page is chock full of sexy, angsty must-read-moreness.”Karla Doyle, author of Game Plan
“At once gritty and tender, stark and hopeful.”Cara McKenna, author of Willing Victim
“Lin masterfully created a plot with conflicts that carry through right up until the end.”Gina L. Maxwell, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Giving It Up is a gritty, real romance that deals in an honest way with what happens to sexuality in the aftermath of rape.”Ruthie Knox, author of About Last Night

5)  When do we get to read the sequel?

Shelly is the best friend of the heroine from Giving It Up and a prostitute. Her story is tentatively titled Selling Out and is slated for release in early 2013.

6)  Can anything “small town” be erotic? Aren’t all small town people very vanilla and tame?

Ain’t nobody kinky like a cowboy! All those ropes and branding and the fascination with belt buckles. Actually, Giving It Up has a dark urban backdrop, very fast-paced city with suspense elements. However, I’m also working on a different series set in a small town. I love both settings.

7)  How much writing did you do before getting published?

Giving It Up was my first novel. The first draft was pretty much puke-on-a-page with some moments of brilliance. After that I got a ton of fantastic advice, which resulted in me rewriting it from the ground up.

8)  How do your friends and family react to the idea that you write erotic romance?

My family knows what I write. They were surprised at first, but pretty much got over it. Honestly “the talk” my dad gave me when I was a teenager was far more awkward than disclosing I wrote a “sex” book.

9)  Why did you decide to use a pseudonym?

Oh, there was never a doubt. What fun! To be able to make up your own name, and not only that, your personality, the facets of yourself that you unveil as this person, or brand, if you use marketing-speak. I love the whole idea of pseudonyms. In what other profession can you reinvent yourself however you want, as many times as you want? Not saying you should have a bunch, but you can. Remember, choice is good 🙂

10)  Is there a story behind the name “Amber Lin?”

That’s my actual name! Kind of. The spelling’s a bit different, but that’s my first and middle name. It’s handy for the very, very few times when I’m around writing folks, like conferences and meetings, because I’ll respond if someone calls my pen name.

11)  Do you have rules for how steamy you write your sex scenes?

As steamy as possible.

12)  How did you end up in a cookbook?

I saw the Call for Submissions from All Romance Ebooks. I was writing my small town romance at the time, and I have this great recipe for Ratatouille that she could make in the story. So I submitted it and voila! If you’re interested in a hearty vegetarian dish, check it out! It’s free:

13)  When you first heard about Felt Tips, did you immediately have a story idea?

I knew I’d write a janitor hero. A really typical janitor too, not a Super Hunk™ dressed in janitor clothing. He has a gold tooth! And a questionable grasp of the English language! Although writing the story itself came as something of a surprise to me. It ended up being weirder and sweeter than I had expected.

14)  What is the most memorable (or disturbing) thing Tiffany Reisz has ever tweeted?

I love how she makes things happen, like I remember watching her first joke about “felt tips” and see the idea for the anthology hatch. I remember her making a few sock monkey jokes, and I think she must have a small army.

15)  What’s the best thing about being a part of an anthology?

Getting to meet new people 🙂

16)  What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?

A blank Word document. I use Scrivener to keep everything organized, but nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a blank page.

17)  What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?

I have been known to scribble words and phrases… everywhere. It’s usually incoherent and unreadable. I try to stick anything worth keeping at least into my phone’s notes, otherwise there’s no way I’d find it later.

18)  Did you watch Star Trek Voyager because Chakotay was hot, or do you really love Star Trek?

As an adult I can see the appeal of Chakotay, but as a teenager I had the biggest crush on Tom Paris. Then he started having rough biting Klingon sex with B’elana and unhhhh, I was sold.

19)  Why is it that so many people love Star Trek but have never seen Star Wars?

I am a huge, huge fan of Star Trek Voyager, and also the original Star Trek with Captain Kirk and Spock, etc. Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a writer! I’ve also watched most of The Next Generation and Deep Space 9. So I think each person only has a certain amount of fanatical devotion to give.

20)  Who shot first, Han or Greedo?

I had to look this one up! I have a love-hate relationship with my book. I mean, I love and adore the characters. I love some of the writing. But any book is going to have flaws, especially a debut. I hope that I become a better writer over the next book and the next 20 books. I seriously doubt I’d ever re-write that first book, but if I did, I know I’d be tempted to change not only the way I told the story but the actual story. So maybe that’s a good reason not to.

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About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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