I’m talking with Amy McLean today, author, vlogger and self confessed Tim Burton addict. We discuss her latest thriller novel, We Are Lucifer and how YouTube helps the promotion of her work.
Thank you for joining me Amy. I usually start these interviews describing to the reader the list of activities my subject takes part in, but I think if I did this here there would be no time to get into the detail!
Let’s instead start with your upbringing.
Although born in Aberdeen, UK, I was brought up in Newcastle for ten years, before moving back to Scotland. As such, I’ve a weird accent, and nobody can understand me, ever. I now live in Hampstead, London, a place I fell in love with as soon as I first visited. It’s so rich in culture and history; every street has a story. My surroundings inspire my work, Hampstead inspires me, along with the lives of others.
You have six published works. Can you tell me about your journey to publishing your first novel?
My first novel was self-published while I was at university. It was a fun experience, but I expect there’s a lot I’d do differently now – especially as I was a poor student with no money to spend on a decent cover! Spending that money would be the only thing I would change about my whole journey so for.
Now you traditional publish?
Yes, I’m currently with GJBPublishing, but before that I was with Open Books. I don’t contribute to the publishing costs. Now that self-publishing is an option, I don’t really believe in vanity publishing.
Out of your six novels which would you consider to be the most successful?
For me personally, it’s Death of the English Rose. I love it. It turned out exactly as I’d wanted it to. Commercially? I think Celestial Land and Sea, which was my second novel.
Can you tell me about your writing process?
I mostly write at my own desk, or in coffee shops. I have to have coffee. I use Microsoft Word for drafts, but I tend to scribble down an abundance of notes on any piece of paper I can find. Technology is a massive help for editing, especially as my handwriting is so illegible! I never used to plan, but for my latest two I have. I think it just depends on how clear my vision is before I begin the first draft. I always plan by draft two though!
Can you tell me about your latest novel?
We Are Lucifer is a thriller published in February 2018 that aims to analyse the tormented mind. It is about a troubled woman who only wants a child.
If you had to compare the style of your novels to other popular fiction what would they be?
Girl on the Train, maybe? Certainly as a thriller with troubled female protagonists.
Along with writing novels, what else are you involved with from a creative perspective?
I provide editorial and proofreading services for virtually any type of manuscript, though I specialise in fiction. I’d like to think that, as an author myself, I know how much care and attention a writer expects their editor(s) to take with their MS, and this is something I always keep at the front of my mind when editing. I am the founding editor of the online arts magazine Super Ink Arts dedicated to film, literature, and theatre. I’m also a keen YouTuber (18,000+ subscribers) so that helps spread the word. My channel focuses on literature and the arts, as well as occasional travel. The main recurring themes include Harry Potter, Disney, and horror. I produce all the content myself, I’m far too much of a control freak to relinquish any of that to somebody else!
Have you tried other forms of blogging etc before you started vlogging?
I used to blog abundantly, and I still do so every now and then. I also blogged professionally for a few places over the years. I think that, had I not discovered YouTube or taken an interest in video content, then I would most certainly still be blogging.
Do have any advice for anyone thinking of starting a vlog as an alternative to a blog to share their thoughts or to promote themselves?
Be yourself. Don’t try to copy bigger channels just because you think it’s what people want to see. Most subscribers want honesty, they want to see the real you. Don’t be fake. Stay true to yourself.
Thank you Amy for taking the time to speak with me and I wish you luck with all your future projects. We Are Lucifer and Amy’s other novels are available to by on Amazon now and you can check out her YouTube channel here. More information about the editorial services Amy provides can be found on my site at www.mcleanamy.co.uk.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews soon. I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I work towards publishing my debut novel, In The End. If you’re an author, or work in the industry and you’ve got an interesting story to tell, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org