Author Spotlight: Amy Astorga

I’m always on the lookout for new, intriguing mermaid stories, and I came across Waters of Change: Gwendolyn Falling (more info below). Allow me to introduce the author:

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Amy Astorga has been writing since the age of six. Her mother would staple papers together and she would write and illustrate short stories. Now that she’s older, she’s finally able to live out her passion. Although she’s a stay at home mother to four children (all under the age of seven), she’s dedicated to her craft. Perhaps it provides a well needed escape from the coloring books and jelly sandwiches.

Amy is currently working on Waters of Change: Marcus Awakening and is hoping to release it by late 2015. She’s also toying with a paranormal romance involving a mummy and time travel.

 

Welcome to the blog, Amy! Tell us all sorts of stuff about yourself and your book!

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First, let me say thank you for this opportunity, Pete! It’s truly a blessing to be here!

 

What is your book about?

I recently published a young adult paranormal mystery/ romance entitled Waters of Change: Gwendolyn Falling. It’s a complex tale of love and betrayal and the absence of a soul. For the challenge isn’t for a mermaid to acquire legs, but to acquire a heart.

The story centers around eighteen year-old Gwendolyn Hart who lives in the coastal city of GlenPoint. Her life is full of excitement and promise, as her devoted boyfriend Ryan proposed before graduation. But when her best friend Emma is presumed to be murdered, all plans for the future are derailed. As Gwendolyn seeks comfort to quell the sorrow that confines, she’s mysteriously drawn to the ocean’s hypnotic shore.

Enter Marcus, a captivating man who appears at the most opportune time. With words fitly spoken and looks that are alluring, his presence is more than welcome. But Gwendolyn is unaware of who she seeks, and Marcus is surprised by what he finds.

A supernatural boy meets girl with a dark mermaid twist.

 

How did you come up with the story?

So, my husband and I were walking through our Wal-Mart one day and noticed what appeared to be black trash bags covering the walls of a small in-house bank. Well, they weren’t trash bags really, but black plastic sheeting of some sort. We were confused as it wasn’t even close to Halloween. Upon further inspection, we discovered they were celebrating the release of a very popular vampire movie. But why, you know? Why was the bank involved in the release of some young adult movie? We laughed at the absurd gesture and began doing our shopping. But what we didn’t know was that a great vampire phenomenon was overtaking our town. And yes, Wal-Mart later set up a wedding invitation table, where we were cordially invited to reserve the fourth DVD in the series.

So—OK, fast forward to the birth of my third child. My husband and I spent many late nights together, trying to calm our crying “bundle of joy”. We remembered that popular vampire movie and decided to give it a whirl. I won’t give my opinion of what I thought of it, but the impact it made in our community stuck. Now, at that time, our family was going through some very difficult financial issues. I remember taking a bath one day and praying to God to give us another way to make money. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but never anything to really drive it. As I was praying I thought: What about mermaids? Vampires, werewolves, devils, witches—all have been done. But what about mermaids? It’s then that I was given the prologue to Waters of Change.

Was It God? I don’t know. I want to say it was. My book isn’t Christian by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s clean. And I would feel a great sense of conviction if I wanted to “stretch” the passionate moments. I couldn’t even use the word damn when I wanted to. But you know what? I’m not embarrassed to give it to my kids when they get older. And for that, I think I accomplished a great deal.

 

Which character(s) do you most identify with and why?

Hmmm . . . Gwendolyn for sure. Her insecurities and inner turmoil– that’s me all over!

 

What is your writing process like?

I would pray and read a chapter in the bible before I would write.

 

What do you snack on while you write?

This is a really funny question, Pete! You know (being a writer yourself) that we fall prey to habit. Mine, of course, are obscure. Lavender/Mint sparkling water (Ayala Herbal Water) and turkey pepperoni sticks.

 

What are some of your favorite books?

Anything Francine Rivers puts her name on I love (especially the Mark of The Loin series). Jane EyreA Wrinkle in Time, all of Lois T. Henderson’s works are favorites too. Can I say the Bible? What’s bizarre though is that I’ve totally stopped reading since I’ve been writing. I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I didn’t want to influence my author’s voice. I hope that’s not a bad thing. The only book I’ve read for the past three years has been the Bible. Do kid’s picture books count?

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I live and breathe my children. Movies, soccer practice, coloring books, guinea pigs, The Magic School Bus, beetles, butterflies, parks, roller skating, water slides, a large Saint Bernard . . . OK, you get the point.

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Thanks for stopping by, Amy! Your book is already on my Kindle, and I’m looking forward to starting it soon.

Connect with Amy at:

Twitter     Website

The book is Waters of Change: Gwendolyn Falling

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Available at Amazon

Book Summary

“Life at the surface isn’t a decision that can be made. It’s something you have to be chosen to receive. What mermaids lack that humans possess, isn’t legs. It’s a soul.”

Gwendolyn Hart stands on the cusp of change. With graduation from high school approaching, and an unexpected proposal from her devoted boyfriend, Ryan, she’s certain her life is about to take an exciting turn. But when her best friend, Emma, is suddenly reported missing, all plans for the future come to a screeching halt. Tensions quickly rise as her walls are taken down, and in the midst of grief and introspection, there appears a young man who offers an escape from it all.

His name is Marcus, and his eyes are as comforting as they are unnerving. Gwendolyn is captivated by the mysterious stranger, who slips into her life and sweeps her off her feet. But there are things about Marcus that she can’t explain. And there are reasons he’s appeared that go beyond fate. The more she discovers the truth behind the man, the more she discovers he isn’t a man at all.

Gwendolyn’s relationship is shrouded by dark secrets that will test the very core of her morale. A decision between love and conviction can be difficult. And what decision she makes will determine the ultimate fate of her soul.

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