Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Interviews With Authors: Amy Plum

Hiya everyone!  Fall is in the air, and with the weather getting chillier I have another great Interviews With Authors for you!  Today we have Amy Plum, author of the the popular book Die For Me.  Amy was kind enough to answer my questions about her book and what it is like being an author.  Die For Me is a paranormal tale of one girl's journey as she walks a fine line between a century-old rivalry.  Set in Paris, Kate has attracted the attention of Vincent, but there's more to him than meets the eye.  You can find my full review of Die For Me here.

Now I present to you, Interviews With Authors: A Talk With Amy Plum!

A Talk With Amy Plum

Author of Die For Me

By T.B.

1) What inspired you to write your debut novel Die For Me?

I had written a memoir (about living in the French countryside), which had gotten great feedback from publishers, but which hadn’t sold. So I wanted to try something in a different genre. I had just read TWILIGHT, and thought it would be fun to do a paranormal romance. And then one night when I was considering what to write, this sentence popped into my mind: “Ten days after I got my driver’s license, my parents died in a car wreck.” And all of a sudden, I had Kate’s character. After that, I just had to figure out what kind of paranormal creature she would fall for.

2) Die For Me is set in Paris, and the main character, Kate, loves to find little cafes and visit the museums in this historic city.  Did the fact that you live quite close to Paris, effect your decision to set the book there as well?

I actually lived in Paris for five years during my twenties. And it was such a life-changing experience for me, I felt it would be interesting to place another young American girl into the same setting and see what happened. I now live three hours away from Paris, and go as often as I can, but based the book on the memories of the city that I had from when I lived there.

View The Paris of DIE FOR ME in a larger map

3) I’ve read that you used to work in the world of art, and that you used to be an English professor.  How are your previous jobs different from now being a full-time writer?

I have had so many different jobs during my lifetime! But constant factors of job-appreciation have been that I: 1. don’t like to work in a group office; 2. prefer to work for myself; and 3. appreciate jobs that are mentally challenging.

When I bought and sold paintings, I had to discover the paintings, identify who had painted them, and then find a buyer for them. So that was a fun challenge. Teaching was not as fun, since my class was required and most students didn’t want to be there. I was still somewhat in control of my situation, having to come up with my own lesson plans and doing all of my busy work from home.

But I have to say that writing is everything I ever wanted. I work out of my own office on my own time, and am endlessly mining my creativity for ideas. I don’t mind the solitude of writing. I’ve always been very hard on myself as far as productivity, and this is a job in which, for once, there is a direct link between how hard I work and the visible result of my labors. I never imagined I would actually get the opportunity to be a full-time writer, but now that I am, I can’t imagine going back to another career.

4) The idea of revenants in your book are a mix of zombies and angels in a way.  Can you tell us how you came up with these supernatural beings?

When I was trying to think of a supernatural creature to write about, I actually made a list of everything I could think of: vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and all of the rest. But though none really piqued my interest, gods and zombies were the only left when I crossed everything else off. So I tried to think of how I could combine the two, and the result was my revenants!

6) The title of Die For Me can be interpreted in different ways, and has a significant meaning in the book.  Did the title just come to you, or did it take a little more to come up with the name of Die For Me?

It was actually my editor who came up with the title. My original title was SLEEPWALKING, and I was very attached to it. It was very hard for me to let it go, because it spoke both of Kate’s state of mind after her parents died and the behavior of the revenants. However, once I got used to the new title, I really loved it and now I think it’s perfect.

7) Die For Me has become instantly popular, and has already been published in the US, Australia, and the UK, and will be published in numerous more countries. Has the reality of it all sunk in yet?

The reality has sunk in, but it has taken a while. I was pretty much floating on air for the first few months after the book deal. And afterward I still felt like I was living in a dream world as the language rights sales came through. But now that the entire process for Book 1 has been completed (editing, release, and tour) and I know what to expect, I feel more in control of my situation rather than like a (happy) pawn of Fate.

8) I’ve seen that you have a pair of Converse that say “I  Revenants.”  How did those come about?

I was so excited after I got my book deal that I went to the Converse website and used their “Design your own shoe” function to make them. That was my celebration present to myself.

9) Can you tell us about book two in the Revenants series?

Book two (UNTIL I DIE) begins six weeks after the end of Book 1 – on New Year’s Eve. As you discover at the end of DIE FOR ME, two of the characters have to leave, and others will be taking their place. Kate and Vincent have to face their quandary: how to keep their love alive despite the problems faced by a revenant involved with a human. And...let’s see...lots of swordfights and even more magic than in Book 1!

10) Lastly, what advice would you give to any young readers who someday wish to become recognized authors?

My advice is to write every day. You always hear the saying that “your brain is a muscle”, but I think your creativity can be compared to a muscle as well. If you don’t exercise it regularly, it becomes lax. Also, find a diverse group of friends to give you feedback, not people who are just like you. That way the overall response you get will be much richer and more valuable for your development.

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf...
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Thank you so much Amy for taking the time to answer my questions and for being a part of Interviews With Authors!  I find it really heartening that you are able to do what you love and have a passion for.  I hope I'll be able to do the same when I'm older as well.  The initial title for Die For Me, Sleepwalking, sounds like it could have suited the book as well, especially in the sense of the revenants.  I think both titles really relate to the story though.  I can't wait to continue Kate and Vincent's journey in Until I Die!  Thanks again for taking part in Interviews With Authors!  I hope you all enjoyed this Interviews With Authors: A Talk With Amy Plum!

You can find my full review of Die For Me here.

Interested in more Interviews With Authors?  Check out my new Interviews With Authors page here, to find more exciting interviews!


  1. Great interview and I love the pictures you included with it! I love her advice that you should surround yourself with diverse people who wil give you different feedback.

  2. Such innovative ideas seem to be in this book, like the revenants. It's a really good interview and I think she has great advice to write everyday. Guess I had better pick up that pen!


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