Saturday, November 1, 2014

2 Mary Amato, author of GET HAPPY, finds plot solutions on power walks

What is your favorite thing about GET HAPPY?

I love the friendship that Minerva has with Fin. Even though she makes the mistake of letting her own problems distract her from being the best friend she could be, their history and their love is an absolute rock. Everybody should have at least one friend to count on.

As I was writing, every time Fin appeared in a scene, the room seemed to brighten. I hope that readers feel that as they’re reading. The process of creating characters and living with them for as long as it takes to write a book is an interesting one. I get attached to my favorite characters; and when the novel is done, I miss them.

Many writers will say that their characters feel “real” to them. I have that experience. I know that a character is imagined, but it also seems as if the character lives outside of my imagination.

What is your writing ritual like? Do you have one?

My writing day begins with meditation followed by a cup of tea and breakfast. Then go to my writing studio and open up all the shades and pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a little marble dish. I often enjoy working to music, and I have great speakers (if you can help it, never listen to music on computer speakers). I like using Pandora because it introduces me to new artists based on previous artists that I have liked. I write until lunchtime.

Before eating lunch, I grab my writer’s notebook and head out for a power walk. I walk the same path so that I don’t have to make any decisions about where to turn. This helps me to focus on my story. I just think through my story or a particular scene in my mind as I walk. During the time it takes to get from my house to the creek, I often come up with a plot solution or have an insight about a character. I stop and write down my thoughts. I never, ever trust myself to remember.

Typically, after my walk, I make my lunch and take it to my desk. I eat at my desk while I’m getting back into the writing. If I’m in a flow, I write until 4 or so. I do an afternoon meditation which sometimes morphs into a short nap. Often I get another insight or idea after this. I write until 5 or 6.If I get writer’s block, I take my notebook to the library or a coffee shop, just to get away. In those instances, I often work well in busy places. Somehow it takes the pressure off of me. I can’t quite explain it, but getting away from the desk can be helpful. I also break my routine to do skypes, school visits, or if I have appointments; but generally, I’m writing every day. The great part about this is that I love to write. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It just means it’s rewarding.


Get Happy
by Mary Amato
Released 10/28/2014

In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises.

Purchase Get Happy at Amazon
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Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s book author, poet, playwright, and songwriter. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, produced onstage, and have won the children’s choice awards in several states.


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