Obviously you know how much I enjoyed Not in the Script, but how does it feel knowing your work is out there for people to read? It must be a tad daunting if not seriously exciting.....
Yep, you nailed it. Knowing my book is out in the world is truly a mix of both thrill and fear. As an author, you pretty much spill your soul onto the pages for everyone to see! The world now knows what my dream guy is like (thank heaven I’m lucky to be married to a guy just like Jake). They know how much I love flirting. They know what I consider humorous or romantic, etc. When NOT IN THE SCRIPT was published, I literally became an open book.
But the seriously exciting part is when readers connect to the story and love the characters, because then I feel an instant connection to the readers as well. It seems as if I’m making thousands of new friends from around the world. And I LOVE hearing from them. More than a few comments and photos have even made me cry happy tears. I often post them under the Readers tab on my website, AmyFinnegan.com. I also print a lot of the comments and photos out and pin them to a corkboard in my office, so they can cheer me on if I’m having one of those days when I feel unmotivated or discouraged. Believe me, a reader can definitely make an author’s day!
Readers have the chance to see though the eyes of both your main characters Emma and Jake in Not in the Script as it's written in dual POV's. Did you prefer writing as one character over the other at all?
That’s such a good question! I actually loved this approach to the story so much that I doubt I’ll write from a single POV ever again. The idea of this story first started with a vision of Jake in his agent’s office discussing a switch from modeling to acting. I could see what he looked like from that very moment (a beautiful sight to behold, by the way), and I knew his personality immediately. Then I had to find a plot and a princess for him.
But once I started writing Emma, I connected to her quickly. As a successful young actress, she definitely has her pick of Hollywood hotshots, so I had to give Jake qualities that would make him stand out—in addition to his good looks, that is. Because who in Hollywood isn’t already gorgeous, right? I also had to give Emma qualities that Jake would respect, since he’s definitely not a Hollywood skirt-chaser. He has a lot going for him, both in his personal and professional worlds. And his ultimate goal—despite his easy ticket to rich-and-famous—is to graduate from business school. So Emma had to be the kind of girl who would attracted someone like that, and vice-versa.
It’s tons of fun to imagine how differently two love interests can interpret the same situation, which is something we know guys and girls so often do. Also, since Emma has
been in the industry for quite a while when the story begins, whereas Jake is new to it, I had the opportunity to portray the technical details of filmmaking from both perspectives.
Describe Emma in five words?
Dedicated, talented, generous, contemplative, cautious
Describe Jake in five words?
Responsible, skeptical, loyal, ambitious, guarded
With Not In The Script being a very interesting look behind the scenes on the set of a Hollywood TV show, how much research did you do to make sure you got the little details right?
Oh boy, I did a LOT of research for this book! I’m lucky to have a brother who works in the film industry, so he gave me some amazing opportunities to not only tour dozens of sets, but sit in on the productions of some of my favorite shows, such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthood. I was also a fly on the wall during sound mixing for another one of my all time favorite shows: Chuck! And I watched Foley artists work their sound effect magic for an episode of The Walking Dead. All along the way, I’ve asked countless (helpful!) crewmembers endless questions in order to get the technical details of NOT IN THE SCRIPT as accurate as possible. But it hardly felt like work. Every bit of filmmaking is fascinating, no matter which side of the camera you’re on. I can’t get enough of it.
But I never like to do anything halfway, so I also wanted to learn what acting was all about. For this, I went pretty hardcore and took lessons from an on-set acting coach who works with some of the largest studios. She is also an accomplished actress herself, having starred on a popular television show for over a decade. It was incredibly eye-opening, challenging, and entertaining. But I’ll definitely leave the acting to the professionals while I write in my quiet little corner!
Do you have a favorite quote from Not In The Script that you might want to share?
I’ll share one of Emma’s lines, which sums up her thoughts after dating a string of handsome co-stars: “If a boy looks like he belongs in a museum, there’s a pretty good chance his head is solid marble.”
Ha! I loved that quote too--certainly made me laugh! I know we've already discussed the possibility of a companion novel featuring Kimmi, but are there any other characters from Not in the Script you'd considering writing about in the future?
I’ve been surprised by how many readers want to know more about Kimmi! It’s awesome that people have recognized the depth I tried to give to a character-type who all too often shows up in stories as no more than a mean-girl prop. But no diva in history has just burst into this world at the age of twenty. Kimmi has a background and history that’s just as important as anyone else’s, and her past experiences have shaped her behavior. She definitely doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her though. She can take care of herself, thanks.
But if I were to write a companion volume for NOT IN THE SCRIPT, those who are in the current story would technically be “too old” to use as main characters for a new young adult novel. They could still be secondary characters, though, and I could still have a lot of fun with them. I definitely have a solid idea for another novel featuring Coyote Hills—and because it’s a TV show, it would be simple to bring new POV characters into the story—but it would be a tricky deal to pull off because NOT IN THE SCRIPT is part of a stand-alone title series (it’s the If Only Line, which are all super fun rom-coms). But if Bloomsbury thought it was do-able, I would jump all over the chance.
I am, however, working on some extra/deleted scenes that I’ll eventually be posting on my website. And Kimmi will definitely be in them—she’ll insist on it.
Yes, well Kimmi IS awesome, so more Kimmi would always be appreciated, whether in a whole book for deleted scenes :) Let’s talk a little about the author behind the story. Is there anything readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Hmm . . . here are a few random things about me: I have three daughters who are 8, 15, and 18. So having two real-life teenagers in my home makes for pretty easy research.
I’m allergic to chocolate. No joke. It gives me migraines that make my throat close off and my arms go numb, and they render me incapable of speech. Isn’t that SAD?!
My favorite hobby next to reading and writing (which feel synonymous to me), is travelling! Especially when I get to go to locations related to my favorite books!
I'd love to travel one day. Unfortunately I've never left Australia, but one day....Have you always wanted to write and be an author? Or was this something that just happened one day?
Most authors I know started writing when they were very young—usually at least by their middle school years—but I didn’t start working on my first novel until I was thirty! I was in my early twenties when I really became a voracious reader, and it wasn’t long before I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about the books I liked. And then I noticed that my mind was actually inventing stories . . . and soon, I was having conversations with people who didn’t exist. So when that happened, I knew I had to choose between two options: either see a doctor or write a novel.
But my wildest, fondest dream when I was a child was to be a secretary. I am at least living the typing part of that epic fantasy.
Are you an avid reader yourself? And if yes, what would we find if we had a look at your bookshelf?
Reading is absolutely essential for any author who wants to improve his or her own skills. I’ve learned that the essentials of strong writing can be absorbed through seeing it for myself—repetitively—just as I would learn any other skill. What would you find on my own shelves? Just about everything. I probably have at least 500 books in my home library, but I’m very fond of historical novels, and I have what is nothing short of a shrine to the Harry Potter series. Then there’s my TBR pile, which is epic!
What's in store next for you? A little birdie told me you're working on something new now that Not In The Script is out in the world (*wink* *wink*). Is there anything you'd like to share with your readers?
As I just mentioned, I’m quite fond of historical novels, and in addition, I’ve always been fascinated by the nature of monarchies; the true-life occurrences that have taken place within royal families are often crazier than anything someone could make up. So even before I wrote NOT IN THE SCRIPT, I began work on a historical fantasy that takes place in the early 1800s when monarchies were being toppled in droves by revolutionists whose leaders usually weren’t any less selfish than a king or queen. Napoleon, for example. In my story, I have a queen who truly cares for her country, and therefore, a good reason to fight for it. She also happens to have two very charming sons. But royals have as many constraints as they do privileges, which can lead to even the most devoted son entering into a life of manipulation, deception, and danger . . . to be with the girl he loves.
This novel is finally finished (after four trips to the UK for some super fun research!) and was just sent to my agent this past week. That’s all I can say about it for now! (Other than there is a heck of a lot of kissing. Haha. Bring it on?)
Bring on the kissing! Seriously. Bring. It. On!
Thanks again for spending some time chatting with me Amy. I honestly LOVED Not In The Script and am seriously looking forward to what ever you write next!
Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending years performing on cue, Emma can’t help but wonder if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her romances. She’s been burned by heartthrobs (and the press) one too many times, but there’s something about Emma’s co-star on her new TV show Coyote Hills that is irresistible. Jake Elliott is gorgeous, smart and actually cares about Emma’s charitable foundation. But she’s sworn off on-set relationships. They always end badly . . . don’t they?
This third novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.
|Isn't it purrdy?|
Amy; you are a lovely person and I can't wait to many, many more brilliant stories from you!