AmberJade McCracken Interview Published on: 11, Apr 2019

What do you miss most about West Virginia?

Snow, winter, the way the trees change in the fall. Snow. It's just so pretty up there. Not to mention all the people I used to work with, I miss them a lot. Did I say snow yet?

How was your experience of participating in NaNoWriMo 2018? Did you enjoy writing new words instead of rebelling for the first time in 3 years?

It was a lot of fun to write new words and discover new characters. I was so caught up in editing the past few years that I forgot how much fun creation is.

What is the biggest challenge of posting weekly updates on your blog, “WORDS AND WHATNOT?” and how did you come up with the current name?

I really like the word "whatnot." I use it a lot, and I write. So Words and Whatnot just seemed very me.

What was the first story you ever wrote? When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

I've always been a writer, I don't think there was ever a point where I was like, "I'm gonna be a writer." I remember making up songs and stories on the playground when my bestfriend was absent from school. The first story I ever wrote was in middle school. It was a gory Fear Street-esque horror story that ended up with me banned from reading Fear Street and any other even vaguely "scary" stories. I moved from that to fantasy a few years later and haven't left that genre since.

Tell us a little about your book covers and how you go about creating them. Do you place a little or a lot of importance on your book covers?

I didn't actually create those, I found a designer and bought covers from them. Here is a link to them. I place a lot of importance on my book covers. I usually chose them based on how I connect with them. I fell in love with both book covers as soon as I saw them. I knew I wanted both because they both match scenes in their respective books.

What were some of your goals with the book "Out of Darkness?”

My goal with all my writing is to get the stories from my mind to someone else's. Out of Darkness is the beginning of that, and Out of Light finishes it. War of the Sisters is the story I've always wanted to read. There's love, death, tragedy, and hope.

What is the oddest place you've gotten an idea for a new book or character?

I started writing Out of Light before Out of Darkness. It started because I was walking down a dirt road and tripped on a rock. It was like the frosting on top of a bad day cake. For whatever reason, an image of someone crossing this battlefield popped into my head and I had to go home and write it. Thus Nathalie, then Alex, was born. That opening scene has changed dramatically in the past 4 years, but the seed is still there.

What were some doubts/fears you had while publishing your first book?

I was really terrified about others reading my work and had convinced myself that I was like one of those contestants on a reality show that sing just awful, but their family tells them how great they are. I'm sure others can relate to that. I think I'll always feel slightly that way, but it's lessened a bit.

What are you currently working on? On any normal day, what would you be doing if you weren't writing?

I'm currently working on a tentative third book for War of the Sisters. I'm also fleshing out a handful of ideas for books that involve strange shapeshifting creatures, necromancers, and Sleeping Beauty.

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