CJC Photography

Author Spotlight: Amy McKinley

Broken Circle by Amy McKinley, Amy McKinley author, CJC Photography, Florida photographer, book cover photographer, romance book cover photographer1)How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?

I think I’ve always wanted to pursue a career as an author, I just didn’t realize it when I was younger. It wasn’t until I worked as a writer for a creative firm that I decided to go for it—so glad I took that leap.

2)What hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?

Juggling family and time to work are my biggest hurdles. We have four kids and life is busy and chaotic—but in a good way. When I wake up I want to get on my computer and write, edit or plot the next book, and for the most part I’m able to do that. Holidays and summer are the most challenging times. Each year I learn a little more about time management.

3)Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?

I love them all but I’m going to say Broken Circle. The parallels and character conflicts in this book kept me hooked while writing it. Even the scenes that were cut were among my favorites. 🙂

I wrote the outline for this book about a year and a half ago and set it aside. I just wasn’t ready to write it. At the time I’m not sure I realized the connection between Broken Circle and a rough draft I’d worked on about five years ago (Matt and Jo’s book). I had set that one aside as well, wanting to switch genres from romantic suspense to paranormal. I plan to re-write that first romantic suspense book and publish it either this year or the next.

4)For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?

Keep going!

Find and join a critique group, either online or one that meets in person. They offer invaluable support and growth potential. Whether you are a pantser or a plotter, defining your plot points prior to writing or utilizing beat sheets, will help you create a roadmap to capture your readers’ attention.

Write what you want to write. If you’re involved and feel strongly about what you’re writing, your readers will too.

5)Favorite motto?

Wow, I haven’t really given this much thought before. But there are a few that resonate:

“Follow Your Dreams.”
– Anonymous

This just fits and I encourage my kids to do this as well.

“Tomorrow is a new day.”

My friend and I have said this many times when the workday just doesn’t yield what we’d hoped. Perseverance is important and tomorrow is a new day to get right back at it.

“There are no coincidences.”

This is just something I strongly believe.

6)In one word, how would you describe your writing style?

I’m going to say complicated and hope that doesn’t scare anyone off. I love a good plot with in-depth characters, conflict, and adventure.

7)Which author inspires you the most and why?

I admire a number of writers for their ability to create engaging stories that hook me to the very end. The two I follow closely are Karen Marie Moning and Kresley Cole. I love their characters and storylines. However, I read a lot of others that I absolutely love.

8)What is your writing process like?

After an idea strikes I play around with the plot points, work with a beat sheet, and then develop that into an outline.

As for my daily process—it generally starts off with a pretty big cup of coffee. I love to work in the morning. I’ll write for a few hours, take a break, and then work on either the same story or other tasks that need to be accomplished that afternoon.

9)Goals for this year?

Now you’ll get to meet my inner nerd. I love writing goals. Every eight to ten weeks I meet with a friend of mine and we go over our goals. It’s a nice accountability and encouragement exercise—keeps us on task. In preparation I’ll make a list by month, broken down by category (with pretty little arrows bulleting them), then use open box bullets for the individual tasks underneath each category that I can check off when completed. So yes… I have upcoming goals! 🙂

Starting from Broken Circle’s release mid-January, I’m planning on the following goals:

  • March release of Eye of the Storm (A Gray Ghost Novel, book 2)
  • Finish up an anthology project I’m a part of with several authors where the proceeds will go to cancer research
  • Finish writing book 3 in the Gray Ghost series
  • Finish editing the third book in the Five Fates series
  • Write at least two more books this year


10)What new projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the third book for the Gray Ghost Novels that I plan to release in 2018.

11)Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?

I had a fantastic time working with Christopher Correia, owner of CJC Photography, and Jessie Reis, the beautiful model for the cover of Broken Circle. I’m looking forward to several future projects with CJC Photography.

I had so much fun with all the twists and turns this book took me on. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.


1 CommentAdd a comment

On Tuesday, January 16th 2018 at 10:10 am, Amy McKinley said:

This has been such a great experience! Thank you for the support and the gorgeous cover picture! <3

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