Ami Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. Growing up in Florida, she went to UCf and in 1997 received her BA in English and teaching credentials. She travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered her second home now. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand.
Having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University;), her fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the country. Later, she achieved the Semi-Finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Ami. I'm so pleased to have you here on my blog to discuss your newest release, The Shifters of 2040.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself for those that may not know of you yet….
I am a teacher and a writer. I spent eight years in Asia working as a teacher, building up English schools.
2. What inspired this to be a series?
The first book Hunted of 2060 told a short segment of a story in my head and after written, I knew more had to be told, characters would not leave me alone -lol.
3. Technically you wrote the second book in the series first, and then the first. How difficult was that to do?
Well, actually, the series is six books and I write book five first. Originally the book was going to be a solo book, about a girl half shifter and half human and her back story was that her father was alien and mother human.As the final page ended, I realized there was sooo much more I wanted to tell about this story. But book five was the starting point. I then worked on book 3 and then book 4. Now I am working on book 2 and then book 1. Actually, I find this easier, because this helps me know where I am going and allows me to dive further into each character, knowing their fate.
4. How are you keeping up so well with releasing the next installment?
Very busy. Time Management is a plus. Between teaching, an online job, writing, editing, and promoting, it can be daunting. Actually the whole month of December I took off and only got three chapters done in book 2 this month. I will go head on in Feb and March though. Usually writing takes 3 months and editing takes 1-2 months for me.
5. I see you have the series pretty much laid out. How do you come up with your ideas for the next book?
I knew vaguely a story I wanted from start to finish and as I write the details become clearer. I usually have a set of concepts I want to work with, but I write more spring about from characters and events i did not anticipate.
6. What's the hardest part about writing a series?
I love series writing, because I get to know the characters so well. Hardest -would be keeping track of everyone. How old they are here and who is still around and who is the focus in this book and how much do I tell and did I get the appearance correct…I have to keep it on paper.
7. I know you've received a ton of reviews, but how do you handle a not-so-good review vs a really good review?
Well, I think most people have something to say that i can use constructively, whether positive or not, but I have received reviews from people whom I simply dismiss because I pretty much think they don't know what they are talking about and don't have anything beneficial to add. I write what I love. If others love it too, great. If not, I am not changing for them.
8. Why do you write in this particular genre? Will you ever write in another genre?
I write primarily in SCi Fi Paranormal Romance. but I have written an Historical Romance and have ideas for contemporary romance and cultural romances. So, yes.
9. Do you have a favorite author?
10. Who has been your biggest influence and why?
George Lucas, Star Wars I guess. This series reminds me a tinge of Star Wars.
11. Is there anything you would like to share with my readers?
I am pursuing screanwriters and film producers to help make Shifter Evolutions into an independent film.
I could so see this as a movie and I hope you can make it happen. Thank you so much for joining me today Ami. I wish you much success in the future and I can't wait for The Hybrids.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.
Summary: Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.
With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.