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Today, Amy Brecount White is here to tell us about her new book, Forget-Her-Nots.
Hi Amy, tell us about Forget-Her-Nots and your journey?
Seeing Forget-Her-Nots on bookshelves is a complete dream come true. I usually say that my road to publication was long, windy and had a lot of potholes. Some were crater-sized. Sometimes I thought it would never happen. In fact, my husband turned to me when I got the offer from Greenwillow and said that he would have given up a long time ago. Persistence and faith are vital to the writer’s journey.
How did you get the idea for Forget-Her-Nots?
I used to freelance a lot for The Washington Post and magazines, so I was always on the lookout for story ideas.As I was browsing in a bookstore, I found a coffee-table book on tussie-mussies, which are symbolic Victorian bouquets.I tried to pitch the story, but never had much luck. Then one day I made a tussie-mussie for a friend who was very ill.I included flowers for strength, courage, good spirits, and love. She adored the bouquet, and how I wished that its messages could come true for her.From there it was a small leap to imagining what if they did come true….
What do you wish you knew now about publishing that you could have used before you got an agent/book deal?
I wish I knew how long it can take. You hear about the overnight successes, but I was recently on a YA panel at the Teen Author Carnival in NYC, and all of us. Becoming a successful writer usually takes lots of practice and some false starts.I had expected to write and sell a novel in about two years, which was completely unrealistic.My learning curve, both as a writer and promoter, was steeper that I thought it would be.
What is one thing we don’t know about you that you want us to know but might be afraid to say?
I guess I’m not afraid to say it, but I’ll take this opportunity. I’m so grateful to all the bloggers, readers, teachers, and librarians who have received Forget-Her-Nots with open arms and enthusiasm. White bellflowers (for gratitude) and orange crocuses (for mirth) to you all!!It’s amazingly wonderful to connect with all these readers.
What do you think works most when promoting your book?
Most people are first intrigued by the language of flowers, because they don’t know much about it and want to know more. I mean, who doesn’t like flowers?! So I usually have flowers at my events and signings or do a tussie-mussie (a symbolic Victorian bouquet) demo to attract people.I also wear clothes with flowers all over them and flower-themed jewelry. I’m living my brand.
What is your favorite flower and why?
I love almost all flowers, but I truly adore the sweet scent of a gardenia. It’s lovely but not too overwhelming. A gardenia means “ecstasy and transport” in the language of flowers.
Thanks so much for hosting me Shelli!
Amy is giving away a signed hardback of Forget-Her-Nots along with some swag.
To enter the drawing, comment and tell us: what is your favorite flower and why?