So here's Amy to catch us up on debut groups, books, and what she's been up to!
Name: Amy Fellner Dominy
Debut Group: Class of 2k11
Debut novel: OyMG
Hi, Amy! Congratulations on your new book!
PJH: Okay, so it’s been 1 year since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
AFD: Well, there have been lots of new things in the past year. New shoes (there are ALWAYS new shoes), new gray hairs, and yes—a new book! In fact, my second book arrives this month on bookstore shelves (and the kindle/nook/ipad airwaves.) It’s an upper middle grade called Audition & Subtraction. To read a summary, click here.
AUDITION & SUBTRACTION by Amy Fellner Dominy (Walker, September 4, 2012)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
AFD: It’s nearly impossible to summarize the “Class of” experience because the group did so much for me in so many areas. But I can tell you this: It is, by far, the single BEST thing I did for myself and my writing career. No exaggeration, either. The friendships and support continues even now that we’re graduates. Makes me want to go find the authors who started this and give them all a huge hug.
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
AFD: When I sold OyMG, I thought I’d reached the finish line. That I’d “made it.” Now, I realize that I just reached a new starting line. My advice is to just soak it all in, learn what you can, do what you’re comfortable with and don’t beat yourself up over the rest of it. Mostly, I’m referring to marketing and promotion. Talk about a whole nother world! I had no idea what to expect and I tried to do everything. (Bad idea!) Most importantly, surround yourself with people you can share things with—good and bad.
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
AFD: I’d really like to publish one book a year—that’s my goal on paper. The other goal that I keep in my head is I want to write books that make me proud. Seems like a given, right? But sometimes I find myself wanting to write something “popular” or something “big.” I’m not even sure what that means, but it’s a messed-up way to think because I end up with stuff I don’t even like myself. It’s like I told my kids when they were in school. They’d bring down their homework on crumpled paper, full of mistakes and I’d point to their name at the top. When something has your name on it, it represents you and you ought to be proud of it. (Of course they rolled their eyes at me.) But that’s what I want to do as an author. So if I can write things that matter to me and keep publishing, then I’ll be happy. (Not that I’d turn up my nose at the title “best-seller.”)
OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (Walker, May 10, 2011)
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
AFD: In honor of the release of Audition & Subtraction, here’s a little teaser. You can find an excerpt on Amy’s website here, but this is the First Five. (The first sentence of the first five chapters.)
1. “Death by bikini.”
2. The guy heading our way on a skateboard was no dweeb.
3. “You alone?”
4. In the fifty-two days since Dad had loaded two suitcases in his truck and drove off, my house had become a weird place to be.
5. Five more minutes.
PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!
AFD: Thanks PJ! Best of luck to you, too. And cheers to the Classes of 2k!
Amy Fellner Dominy worked as a copywriter in the advertising business for twenty years before leaving to earn her MFA as a playwright. Her plays for adults and children have been staged in various cities around the country. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her hubby and two teenage children. Amy is also the author of OyMG (Walker, 2011), distinguished by the Association of Jewish Libraries as a Notable Book for Teens. Visit her at www.amydominy.com.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!