Friday, May 31, 2013

Interview with Debut Author, Jen Greyson

I am “over the moon” excited to host my friend, Jen Greyson, today. I met her at David Farland’s Professional Writers Workshop in 2011. Ever since we have been critique partners, and more importantly, cry on shoulder buddies on this long and sometimes lonely road to publication. Jen’s debut novel, Lightning Rider will officially release on May 31th to a slew of amazing five star reviews. And, hey, I know it’s good. I got to critique it J

Hi Jen!

Hi Amy! Thanks so much for having me and for taking the time to interview me. I’m super glad to be here visiting today.

Please tell us about Lightning Rider:

Lightning Rider is a new adult fantasy about the first-ever female time traveler who has to go back to ancient Spain to kill a guy. As a custom bike builder, this is a bit out of  her comfort zone, and she gets mentors-a-plenty. Learning who to trust becomes critical to not only her own survival, but the future’s as well.

Would you share your AMAZING road to publication?

It’s been a long, dusty road. This book has been through 4 major overhauls, and each version got sent out to dozens and dozens of agents and publishers. After each round, I’d set it aside and work on another book, but these characters just wouldn’t leave me alone, so I ‘d go back to the book, revise the story, and send it out again. (which is incredibly difficult and I don’t recommend it ;)

After 50 Shades sold to Random House for seven figures, I went hunting the original publisher and found The Writers Coffee Shop. They loved Lightning Rider from the first moment and believed in the characters, the story, and its potential. Looking back, I’m grateful the journey looked like it did.

Could you talk a little about your main characters and their conflicts?

Evy is a sassy, take-no-prisoners girl. She’s intense, and stubborn, and reckless. When her life is tipped upside down by a freak lightning storm that initiates her into a family secret of time traveling, she takes it in stride and dives head-first into the challenge.

She’s paired with a Roman warrior who’s used to obedient soldiers, so everything about Evy is a struggle. He’s attracted to her, she’s strong and willful, and doesn’t like taking orders.

Watching them learn to work together and then try to ignore their attraction to each other was a blast to write.

How did you come up with the story?

It was the proverbial ‘what if?’ My family was telling stories about my grandfather. He was into astral projection and had apparently had some success, so I started thinking, ‘what if only one family was given the ability to time travel and change events?’ The story just took off from there.

Where can we find your book?

All the major eretailers:


Amazon: (I’ll get you the link as soon as I have it)


Who are some of your favorite authors?

Karen Marie Moning, Amy Jarecki, Suzanne Collins, Katja Millay, H.M. Ward, Diana Gabaldon

Goodness, I’m humbled to be included among such accomplished authors. Thank you for the support, Jen…and I must say you are one of my favorites as well…now back to the interview!

Could you tell us something about your current projects? Will we see another book from you soon?

Shadow Boxer, Book 2 in the Lightning Rider Alterations is done and slated for a January 7, 2014 release. I have a MG fantasy that’s Harry Potter on horseback and a new adult romance that will both be out this year.

Please let us know the release dates when you have them!

Have you got any advice for aspiring authors?

Write! Read. Be careful who you let read your stuff. Never enter a contest that offers feedback. Go to the Superstars Writing Seminar and David Farland’s writing workshops. Believe in your work. Find a support system. Be prepared to fire your support system if they aren’t giving you what you need. Be open to feedback. Kill your darlings. There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Most important: (this is on my office wall in permanent marker above the nail holding my hundreds of rejections) DO. NOT. QUIT.

Wow...great advice. I know. I’ve lived it with you :-)

Now for the fun stuff.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Camping (I’m currently in my RV in the Uinta mountains, surrounded by pine trees and a campfire), boating (and wakeboarding when my old body is up to it), fishing, biking, gardening, little boys’ baseball games.

What’s your favorite food?


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Writing is amazing and wonderful and there’s nothing quite like getting to create a world from a blank page. I’m so exited to get to share Evy’s journey with readers.

Thank you SO much for having me, I really enjoyed the interview.

About Jen:
From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers.

Jen also writes university courses and corporate training material when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile. Her new adult fantasy, Lightning Rider, comes out May 31 and features a Latina heroine with some serious superpowers.

You can find Jen here:

About Lightning Rider:
Heiress to a time-traveling dynasty, Evy Rivera is finally claiming her birthright as a lightning rider. Problem is, she’s forced to learn it alongside Constantine, a prickly, obstinate Roman warrior who constantly challenges her to be the woman he sees in her.

Thrown back into ancient Spain, Evy must rely on guts and instinct to wield her lightning as a weapon and outsmart Ilif, her quasi-mentor who believes time traveling should be left to the Rivera men.

During her training, Evy and Constantine battle the push-pull of their explosive relationship, aware the 2,000-year span between their lives is an unavoidable hurdle.

Caught between a centuries-old battle rife with secrets, Evy must learn whom to trust before she risks everything and the wrong history repeats itself. When the heritage her parents have suppressed mingles with the past, Evy must find answers . . .

Which history is the right one? And who is she becoming?

Available for pre-order on Kobo (for all devices) and iTunes, everywhere on May 31, 2014

Monday, May 27, 2013

I'm Back--Scotland Was Awesome!!

Craigievar Castle
Hello fellow bloggers! Just a quick note to let everyone know I arrived home in St. George yesterday afternoon. I apologize for being awol for three weeks. For some reason I couldn't sign onto Blogger in Scotland. Not to worry, I have a gazillion pictures, and will post about my trip in the coming weeks.

The coolest news is that my friend, Jen Greyson is going to have a release party for her debut novel, Lightning Rider on Friday, and she's asked me to MC! She's going to be at the Microsoft Store in Salt Lake. Her book is EPIC, and I suggest you check out her web site:

I'll be posting an interview with Jen on May 31st, so stop back to meet her!

The picture at the left is of Craigievar Castle, west of Aberdeen. It is generally regarded as Scotland's best preserved and most loved tower house. I am distantly related to the Forbes-Sempill family, and greatly enjoyed visiting this site. The castle is in good repair, and the tour guides are very knowledgeable and friendly. They all suggested my next novel be about Sir John "Red" Forbes, who was notorious for throwing more than one scoundrel to his death from an upper chamber window.

More to come.....

Monday, May 6, 2013

The St. George Desert in Bloom

I took  a few photos of desert flowers on a recent hike near my home. I thought I'd share them with you.

This cactus will be awash in pink in a couple of days. See all the blooms to the right of the flowers?
When this post goes live, I'll be in Scotland researching material for my Scottish and Pict historical romances, the first of which will come out in 2014. I'm not sure if I'll have much internet coverage as I will be staying in hostels, but I will try to post pictures when I can. Happy blogging everyone!