Hubby suggested my maiden name, but I didn’t like that idea. I ultimately chose Inverness because I collect Loch Ness Monsters. (AmyBeth is my real first name.) Although the children’s stories I’ve written are on the shelf for now, I developed a pseudonym for those as well, AmyBeth Drumnadrochit. Both are cities in Scotland. Continuing that system, when I created a blog character to write bonus material for The Cities of Luna, I named her Professor Lilliesleaf.
2. What do you write? Genre?
I write speculative fiction and romance. SpecFic includes a wide range of imaginative stories from highly technical SciFi to madly fanciful fantasy. Every full moon I publish a short story in my SciFi series The Cities of Luna. In October I published an Urban Fantasy novella titled The House On Paladin Court. My NaNoNovel this year is Steampunk with a dose of Mary Shelly. You won’t find me doing horror, though. I don’t have the stomach for it.
3. Tell us about yourself?
I didn’t get serious about my writing career until I was almost forty. I have a hubby who is incredibly supportive and a couple of girls who don’t quite get what this writing-thing is that Mommy does. I’ve worked in a craft store, a call center, and private homes. I’ve been a teacher, a resident director, a foster parent, and that just scratches the surface.
I’m a writer by birth. It’s always been a part of my life, even though it wasn’t until recently that I decided to take it to a professional level. I launched with NaNoWriMo 2010, and have slowly and steadily built a happy career.
I’m a redhead by choice. I tried it on a whim back in 2000 and it fit so well, I never went back! My teenager loves it because she is a natural redhead, and she gets a kick out of the fact that I dye my hair to match her.
I’m an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity. I grew up in Longmont, a community north of Denver known as being a bedroom for people who worked in Boulder. As an IBM brat I’d been from several states before landing in Colorado in time to start Kindergarten, and IBM moved my parents again during my first year of college. I never really went home again, living in Wyoming, Connecticut, and for almost twenty years now, Vermont. The good news is we are now planning to return to Colorado, and hopefully that will happen next summer.
I’m a grown-up geek girl married to a big nerd. Our family dressed in very random costumes for ComicCon this year, with me in an aluminum foil bowler, the teen in an astronaut costume, the second grader as a character from Monster High, and my hubby dressed as Hagar the Horrible but was constantly mistaken for a dwarf.
4. What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub?
Although I got serious about my writing career back in 2010 and published a few short stories here and there, four years later I still wasn't where I wanted to be. I cut back on whatever I could, such as certain time-consuming blog features and a teaching gig I usually did part time in the spring. I concentrated on getting a full-length novel polished and ready.
The first few queries, although they were liked, did not result in a contract. I knew that I had a great, well-written story, but I also knew that polyamorous sci-fi romance was not something that was going to be embraced by the mainstream. I needed to find a publisher who was willing to take a chance on something a bit different.
#Pit2Pub was the perfect opportunity to put some feelers out there without waiting weeks for an acceptance or rejection. I also had another hard-to-place series, short stories about life on the moon, that I knew would be loved if only I could find the right venue.
Both pitches garnered a fair bit of interest. One led to a contract, and now a new story comes out in The Cities of Luna along with every full moon!
5. Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience.
I wracked my brain over tweets that gave just the right amount of information, including appropriate hashtags, without going over the character limit. That's not easy! But I came up with a handful for each submission and put them in a doc so they'd be easy to copy/paste throughout the day.
I created a column in tweetdeck to watch the #Pit2Pubs fly by. It was a busy day! Both of my works received several expressions of interest. By the end of the day I had a short list of publishers who would like to read my query.
The next thing I did was to do a little research on each one. I've had some great experiences with tiny Indie publishers, but they're not all reputable. Also, once I did query, it wasn't an automatic acceptance. I was still rejected.
I signed with Dingbat Publishing to put out a short story from The Cities of Luna with every full moon. The Day Lorinda Flew, about a little girl with special needs who is determined to teach her chicken to fly, came out in November. Sleigh Ride, about a businessman who finds a unique way of getting home in time for Christmas, comes out in December.
My polyamorous sci-fi romance is in the hands of a medium-sized Indie publisher. It's been through the initial stages of query, and I'm waiting to find out whether they want to move ahead. I have high hopes that they will!
6. Which publisher did you sign with?
I signed with Dingbat Publishing, and it has turned out to be a great fit. We came up with a very simple cover design so that we’re not recreating elaborate artwork every twenty-nine days, but each cover is unique. Readers are discovering me, and we’re selling more stories every month.
7. Tell us about your upcoming book.
The stories in The Cities of Luna all stand alone. Some of them are silly, some are sweet or poignant. They all highlight the lives of everyday people who live on the moon a few hundred years in the future. Upcoming stories in 2016 include one about a businessman stuck between the moon and New York City, a taylor who has to contend with some weird, beige, foreign neighbors, and an Earth pastor who takes her sabbatical on the Moon because that’s the only way to convince her congregation that she will be really and truly unavailable for a couple of months.
8. When is your book scheduled to be released?
Every full moon! Just consult your nearest almanac or astro-website. If that fails, look up. If the moon is full, there’s a story waiting for you.
9. What is at the top of your bucket list?
Not my TBR list… that has grown impossibly long! I’d have to say visiting Scotland. My pseudonym comes from there, but I’ve never been. I also want my daughters to be able to experience other cultures.
10. Parting words for other authors?
Write regularly, even if what you write doesn’t ultimately get published. Network by finding people who are great and helpful and fascinating, then surround yourself with them. Do something for someone else even if there’s nothing in it for you. Find the publishing route that works for you, whether that’s hiring an agent, working directly with a publisher, or keeping the control centralized and self-publishing. You can combine these however you want. Allow yourself to feel pride in your work even when people are unduly critical. Remain humble, and remember that sometimes the very best works of literature don’t earn commercial success.
Google Plus https://plus.google.com/+AmyBethInverness/about
Author Blog http://amybethinverness.com/
Series Website http://thecitiesofluna.com/
This is a new series entitled: #Pit2Pub Publisher Spotlight. My first publisher is Untreed Reads. They are new to #Pit2Pub and will be in attendance on February 3, 2016.
Untreed Reads is currently looking for titles for our 2017 publishing year. At present, our 2016 calendar is completely full.
We are open to all material with the following exceptions: picture books, memoir (unless the individual is high-profile or is offering a unique twist to the genre), religion, self-help and poetry. We would very much like to expand our nonfiction offerings, particularly business and medical titles.
For romance and erotica novels, we are more interested in realism than fantasy. We have no problem with stories that don’t have happy endings as long as the main characters have grown in some way through the process. For these categories, we are particularly interested in stories featuring Baby Boomers and 55+ characters. Standard exclusions apply (no incest, pedophilia, etc.). PLEASE NOTE: Under no circumstances will we accept any material that involves rape, whether it’s alluded to as having happened outside the scope of the story or within the story itself. Any works with rape content will be automatically rejected.
Mystery and historical romance are, by far, our best performing categories.
Short story collections are also welcome, but we are no longer publishing stand-alone short stories.
Please note that we will not begin reading for 2017 until somewhere around March or April. All submissions will be responded to once they’ve been read.
Read more at the UNTREED READS WEBSITE.