Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Voices You Should Hear: Amy Brecount White

Today I'm delighted to have Amy Brecount White (one of the sweetest people I know) as a guest, talking about her lovely debut novel FORGET-HER-NOTS

Thanks so much for being here, Amy! Please give readers a quick snapshot of your novel FORGET-HER-NOTS.

It's a new spin on garden magic.  In FHN, my main character discovers that whenever she gives someone a flower or herb, whatever it means in the language of flowers comes true.  For example, if she gave you rosemary, that would make you remember something.  Red tulips declare love, and orchids -- well, you just want to be careful around certain blooms.  Also, most people don't know that the language of flowers goes back to Ancient Greece (the myths of Narcissus, Hyacinth, and laurel, for example) and Shakespeare.  It was very fun to weave those details throughout the scenes.

I love the concept of flowers as having a “magical” quality. What was your inspiration for the theme?

I love hanging out in gardens, and I do think that flowers have a certain magic.. Why else do we include them at nearly every special occasion in our lives?  

I found out about the language of flowers when I was looking for ideas as a freelance writer.  I never got that assignment, but I made a symbolic bouquet (a tussie-mussie) for a friend of mine who was ill.  I so wished that my flower messages of hope, health, and strength would come true for her!  It was a small leap from there to wondering what would happen if the flower meanings really did come true.  :-)

Your cover is gorgeous. Is there a story behind it? Did you have any input?

My art director at Greenwillow said it was serendipity.  He was looking for a gorgeous flower image, and this one came in over the transom.  The flowers are scarlet poppies, which mean "fantastic extravagance" in the language of flowers. I fell in love with the cover the moment it popped up on my computer screen.

What was your path to publication – smooth? Bumpy?

I like to say it was a long and windy road with lots of potholes.  :-)  I used to freelance for newspapers and magazines, so I expected the process to be a little quicker.  Writing novels and finding the right agent was more challenging than I expected.

Is there a sequel in the works, or another new novel? Please tell us a bit!

I'd love to write a companion novel to FHN, but nothing's in the works yet.  I just finished a contemporary YA called String Theories.  It's about a girl who gets in over her head, a stream, and the physics of relationships.

I love the title of that one. How are you balancing your writing life with your launch?

Many days I feel pretty unbalanced!  Luckily, I was almost finished with my second novel when my first launched.  I've spent most of the past summer doing promo work, catching up with my kids, reading, and thinking about the next novel, which is still amorphous.

Thanks so much Amy! Can you give readers a way to find out more about you and FORGET-HER-NOTS?

Yes!  You can find me at or follow me on Facebook or Twitter (@amybrecountwhit).
Thanks so much for hosting me, Janet!!

Here's Amy's trailer:

1 comment:

holly cupala said...

Hooray for Amy! What a lovely interview. I really enjoyed Forget-Her-Nots (in fact I just did a mini-review of it today at my blog, too!). I'm also highly impressed with how Amy juggles her life and work, and does it with such grace. Well done, ladies!