I’m interviewing Amber Kay today, author of new adult suspense “After Her”. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for visiting!
Have you been writing for a long time? What inspired you to start a writing career?
I’ve been writing since elementary school and I remember writing these horrible fifth grade plays and forcing all of my friends to be the actors. When I think back on it today, I cringe at how bad they were. What inspired me, I think, is my love of reading at a young age. I absolutely loved the Goosebumps choose-your-own-adventure books. Those were the cornerstones of my childhood. In middle school, we used to trade Goosebumps books like they were Pokémon cards then we’d spend all day talking about them. That’s what really inspired me, seeing how excited people could get about books and how easily it was to just lose themselves in a story they love.
Is After Her your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
No, After Her is not my first book. It’s technically my second. My first book (also on Amazon) is an Adult psychological thriller called Secret Somethings. It’s basically what I’d like to call an “anti-love story.” Secret Somethings, started out as a serious romance. I watched too many chick flicks, read too many Nicholas Sparks novels and decided I wanted to write a love story of my own. Then I realized how dark the story became. I noticed that it was slowly evolving into something too toxic to be considered romantic. I’m not a fan of glamorizing or romanticizing unhealthy relationships so I knew that I no longer had the right to call any of this romance. Instead of tailoring the story to be like some typical girl-meets-boy lighthearted romance, I decided to go with it. I allowed it to get dark and a little uncomfortable. Eventually, it turned into a satirical and offbeat “love” story that ultimately surprised me. I’m pleased with the results, but I do admit that it’s not for everyone. Some people might feel alienated by the story. Others might feel differently. I just wanted to get the story out of me and down on paper. I played everything else by ear. Hopefully someone enjoys it!
Why did you choose new adult suspense as genre for your book?
Mainly because I suck at writing what I initially wanted to write. I wanted to write romance, but I’m not good at depicting healthy relationships and as I said in the last question, I don’t like glamorizing toxic romances. The subject matter in my writing is sometimes too dark for romance and I don’t like happily ever after endings. I prefer to have the outcome fit the mood of the story and not everybody gets that happy ending. To me, happy endings are predictable. If you’re reading a book or watching a movie and you already know how it will end from the very beginning then it’s boring to me and I don’t like being boring. So I gravitated toward a genre which would allow me to bypass the predictability of romance and to also purge dark material and subject matter. That’s why I love suspense and psychological thrillers. I love reading/watching them and I love writing them.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My best advice is the same advice that’s been given to me from so many people in my life. Never procrastinate and never aim to be second best. Aim to be the best person you can be and not just with your writing, but also in life. If you know you’ve done your best, then nothing else matters. Wow, that sounds much cheesier as I’m reading it aloud while typing, but it’s true! I promise!
Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
Sure. There are a couple of sequels and some novellas in the works that are currently in the first draft stage, but since nothing is set in stone, I can’t really elaborate. Just know to expect many more psychological thrillers from me!
About The Book
Author: Amber Kay
Genre: New Adult Suspense
Cassandra Tate wasn’t prepared for Vivian Lynch.
When Vivian offers to make Cassandra the sole beneficiary of her will, Cassandra’s only concern is what she’ll have to do (for this peculiar stranger) in return.
Nineteen-year-old Cassandra knows nothing about the seedy underbelly of the Orange Country high life. Born and bred within the most wholesome little city of Montana, Cassie escaped this stale monotony to California with nothing, but a few bucks in her pocket. This, she thought, was supposed to christen the start of a new life away from the emotional prison created by her helicopter mess of a mother.
As a college sophomore slaving for meager tips waitressing, Cassandra isn’t in the position to turn down easy money. At the rate she going, she’ll be up to her ass in debt until she’s sixty. Her skinflint boss isn’t willing to budge on a pay raise and there is no magic button to make bill collectors go away. When the contentious relationship with her estranged mother leaves her broke, she is forced to decide how desperate she truly is.
Vivian is planning her own funeral. Her days as “society’s queen” are numbered, leaving her to prepare for the inevitable the only way she knows how—closing bank accounts, arranging life insurance policies and assigning beneficiaries. She doesn’t have time to fall apart over “a silly little thing like cancer.” But this eccentric, aging socialite does not intend to die, not without tying up some loose ends first.
Cassandra’s life is at an impasse. Vivian’s life is coming to an end.
Vivian’s “generous” offer (of financial stability) to Cassandra comes with some strings attached. If Cassandra will agree to replace Vivian after the funeral, Cassandra will become an instant heiress worth billions. It’s an indecent proposal many college students would take without hesitation, but it’s not enough to simply step into the shoes of this enigmatic socialite. Cassandra must also marry Vivian’s husband.
It sounds simple enough…until Cassandra discovers that Vivian’s husband is a convicted murderer.
Amber has been writing for as long as she can remember. Yes, she knows how awful her fifth grade plays were, but she didn’t care as long as she had to the power to explore her imagination in the darkest ways possible. She grew up in the south where she ate a lot of BBQ and spent too much time reading.
Some would argue that she was an odd child (and an even odder adult) With her morbid sense of humor, Amber has aimed to be as true to her writing as she can by exploring the darker sides of humankind. She loves psychological thrillers and offbeat plots. Her characters might be unlikeable. Her plots might take disturbing twists and turns, but she tries (as always) to explore the most tragic parts of life with as much humor as possible.
Her favorite authors are Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, Tana French and Laura Lippman. Her favorite movies are dark, suspenseful and (sometimes) romantic. Though she hates most romantic comedies, she absolutely loves (500) Days Of Summer, The Spectacular Now and The Fault In Our Stars.