10 Questions: Amber Anthony
Welcome to 10 Questions! Each month, we talk to a different member of the Passionate Ink community to ask them 10 questions about writing.
Today, we’re excited to welcome Amber Anthony to 10 Questions. Amber Anthony is a pen name that represents collaborating authors Rusty Hough Bader and Nancy Reynolds. Both are members of RWA, and together they’ve created and written several original television episodes and feature film scripts. Their collaboration began in 2008 with screenwriting and now, they are turning their love for words into books as romance writers. Let’s get started!
1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
AA: Both halves of Amber Anthony have made many pilgrimages to Los Angeles for script conventions and pitching to studios. We made a trip to London in 2009 and came home with three years of scripts for a genre drama TV show.
We’ve traveled to Sedona for a writing retreat and came away refreshed and enlightened.
2. As writers, what would you choose as your mascot or avatar?
AA: Nancy and I have used hummingbirds. They symbolize “The sweetest nectar is within!” When hummingbirds show up in our lives, it’s time to take a look at our energy stores and resources. These birds warrant an honest look at how we are maintaining our vibrational frequencies. Are we frittering away our energy on needless issues (e.g. a friend’s attitudes about our books)? Or, are we in a state of well-honed, regulated balance when it comes to our energy and resources?
3. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
AA: Both, it’s a manic existence.
We get a great review from book bloggers and the reading public, then we enter a contest and the peer judges say things that hint they didn’t even read our submission. They probably have skin in the game and if they can beat down the unknown authors (who are not in their RWA chapter), then they are one step closer to getting into the finals.
We are done with contests and will never submit to anthologies that peers will edit/review before submission. If the editor is to make the final decision, maybe.
4. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
AA: Falling for vanity presses, taking the first contract offer and not comparing contracts. Buying “writing courses” online. I always suggest writers read Stephen King’s book about writing. He says great writing cannot be taught. It’s either in you or isn’t.
5. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
AA: It surely keeps one from bonding with their peers. One of us is in a town with another famous writer, boy, howdy….
That woman became one distant person when she found out I was an emerging author. If I wasn’t fawning at her feet, she had no words for me. Sad.
6. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
AA: Because we collaborate, we chose a single name. We could have cut up our names and used both our first or last names. But, we wanted to be forward in the alphabet, so we confirmed that Amber Anthony wasn’t out there writing bestiality and we chose that name.
7. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
AA: We write a specific mythology of vampirism, so we try to be unlike other vampire books. We are serious about injecting some humor into even our serious books.
8. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
AA: Anne Marie Dapp began at our horrible publisher and we reached out when we thought we were being abused. Her info matched ours and we bonded. We do beta reading for each other and are going to be at a book convention in July 2019 in Savannah.
9. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
AA: Our debut work was a paranormal erotic trilogy. We are writing a prequel that dovetails to the trilogy. We have four WIPs that are stand alone and one more PNR that has a few characters from The Blood Trilogy.
10. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
AA: Many of your greatest detractors read your books and cannot bear to say a thing. When friends do that (we used to be in a writing community and our stories had the highest “read” scores and all of the positive comments came from the reading segment). When we asked those early cohorts, we got static like the beginning of HBO shows. DON’T accept their shade. Go on, rise above that malarkey.
When fellow authors “like” your book’s tweet, but won’t retweet it looks very shallow on their end. Don’t give them the power.
Thanks, Amber! We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.