Interview with Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, author of Bloodtraitor

Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?bt-cover

Bloodtraitor (ETA April, 2016) is the third book in the Maeve’ra Trilogy, and my seventeenth young adult urban fantasy novel.

Maeve’ra tells the story of a group of serpent shapeshifters known as the Obsidian Guild, who have chosen to become outlaws instead of serving the vampires who claim dominion over their kind. In Bloodtraitor, the guild has broken into factions. Malachi must feign loyalty to many, including the vampires and the new serpent queen, as part of a dangerous conspiracy that is the only hope they have of destroying their vampiric overlords’ empire forever.

Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m a “pantser,” meaning I write my first drafts by the seat of my pants. I usually start with one key character or scene or “what if” question and go from there. If I finish a draft and feel it has a good story, characters, and ideas, I’ll go back, outline and revise or rewrite as much as I need to.

Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

Most of the nine books in the Den of Shadows series are designed to stand alone- they are labeled as a series because they have some overlapping characters, but they don’t tell one long story and can be picked up in any order- but the Kiesha’ra and Maeve’ra books are best read in order.

Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I find it very difficult to write in a quiet environment. If I’m at home I usually listen to music. If I go out, I’ll go to write-ins at Starbucks or other places where there are plenty of distractions.
Most of the time, I have a particular album or set of songs I listen to for each book. The genres vary considerably; the only kinds of music I almost never write to are rap and classical. I find both of those distracting.

Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

After the Maeve’ra Trilogy ends, I might take a break from young adult to work on an adult fantasy-romance novel tentatively titled, Of the Abyss. Abyss first came into existence through NaNoWriMo in 2006, and I’ve been occasionally revisiting and revising it since.

How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

I’ve been writing since I learned to write and loved telling stories even before then, so it’s hard to give an exact number. I started what would become my first complete novel in fifth grade- if you can call it that. The first one didn’t have much value except as practice. I kept experimenting, and finally completed something worth revising a couple years later. Nine drafts later, I started submitting to agents December 31, 1997; I signed my first contract with Delacorte (now part of Penguin Random House) in May, 1998.

When does your book release?

Bloodtraitor is due to hit shelves April 12, 2016.

Bio:

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes published her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was a freshman in high school. Since then, she has continued publishing novels for young adults during college and graduate school, and now as a full-time teacher and mother. Her published works include the Den of Shadows series, the Kiesha’ra Series, and the Maeve’ra trilogy. She can be found online on the message board of her website (nyeusigrube.com), her Facebook Page (facebook.com/DenOfShadows) or her Twitter (@AtwaterRhodes).

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