Amy Beckinsale draws upon her acting experience to write romantic fiction. During one of many creative moments, she started writing on her phone and soon had the beginnings of a great story. She transferred it to her laptop and developed it into a novel, “One Night Forever,” which is being published by RhetAskew Publishing.
Let’s Get to Know Amy:
Q: Please tell us a little about “One Night Forever,” and how you came up with the idea/plot for it?
A: ONF is an Urban Romantic Fiction. Based in the city of London, Megan Ashton envies her fiends who have successful careers and live lavish lifestyles where she feels left behind. One weekend she visits the city to help her friend celebrate a promotion. Drowning in her sorrows, and gritting her teeth during dinner, an opportunity arises which she accepts. As the night continues a mysterious businessman takes a shine to her. Handsome and successful, he was everything Megan had dreamt, but this whirlwind of unexpected change would not come without a price.
I began writing ONF, literally, on my phone at work after a conversation between my work colleagues about how we were going to escape the retail world. We began suggesting what each of us would be good at. My friend (Ami) said she could see me writing a screen play one day, because of my love for theatre and film. I thought nothing of it, until I was in the shop alone, I opened my notes and began tapping away. Low and behold, the beginning of the story emerged.
I am a romantic at heart so found it easy to get lost in the ever growing story. Being a day dreamer, I let myself go and imagine scenes, watching them in my mind like a movie. When I am happy, I begin documenting and writing the dialogue.
Q: It appears that you are in the process of re-writing a second book; how many books do you have planned for this series? Also, why did you decide to rewrite the second one and what is the working title of it? Will it also be published by RhetAskew?
A: Yes, I am. I was going through tidying and reducing the word count, yet now I have decided to begin from the beginning and rewrite the whole thing. This is because during the first book I learnt a lot about editing and good ways to engage the reader, therefore I am seeing different ways the scenes can play out. I will be keeping the first draft, but I believe I can make it better. RhetAskew will (and I hope) take the second book on. The name? I’m playing with it. ‘One Night Forever, Vol 2’, ‘One Night …..?’, or something different all together. I will happily take suggestions, and ask my editor for advice too. I have written three books for the series, so far, and I am planning on a spin of series.
Q: Why did you choose to write in the romance genre and do you write in that genre exclusively?
A: I LOVE romance novels, so when I began writing it was what came naturally. Some ARC (Advanced Review Copy) readers have commented that ONF, to them, is a Rom-Com (romantic comedy). Which made my day!
Another project I have, titled “Wait for Me,” is a thriller which I have planned to write with my husband.
A: It is a romance, however…it’s a modern, urban mixture of romance, humor, human banter, madness train of a ride! The characters have naturally grown closer and closer together as the story developed. (They sometimes do what they want as well!) They are like my extended family.
Q: Have you written other books, not for this series, that have not yet been published and/or do you do any other type of writing?
A: I have started a few, yes. But at present I want to work on ONF2 to get it ready to go into edit as soon as possible. Along with writing books, I did write that screenplay, and we filmed it too. A short film called ‘The Audition’. The footage is in the process of being sent back to me, and we can not wait to share it with you. This was done with my friend Shalana Serafina, an actress who lives across the road from me! We decided to start a little production company where people can join together to make art. KeyLightCake Productions.
Q: What or who inspired you to start writing and how long have you been writing?
A: Ruth Cardello. A Romantic New York best selling author opened my eyes to writing as well as J L Carrell, author of The Shakespeare Secret. Hands down, my absolute favorite book to read. And yes, I have read it a numerous amount of times!
How long have I been writing ? Six plus years I think. On and off…!
Q: How has your background in acting helped with your writing?
A: Two words….Overactive imagination. So yes, definitely. When I’m learning a script, I don’t just learn my lines. I will learn everyone’s, without realizing I’m doing it and I find I can see the script and the layout of where my ‘highlighted’ lines are. Therefore when I am thinking about my characters scenes/dialogue, I can see where in the page these will be! Might sound a bit freaky, but what I’m doing is breaking the scenes down to action/descriptive parts and speaking parts. This helps me, when I am also visualizing what will happen. Like when you’re learning your lines at home. I, and other actors maybe, can see the set, and where the other actors are, resulting in not only the lines being cemented into the brain, but the blocking of the scene too. (Sorry, I went off on one then!)
Q: Do you have a writing routine/creative process? Where/when do you usually write?
A: Can I be completely honest….? I have a desk, but I find sitting my laptop
on the loo the best place to get work done! You’re alone, no-one is going to
walk in on you and you’re not distracted by your partner watching TV, the
pets or kids wanting attention or what is in the fridge!
Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: Getting lost in the story and watching how it is going to pan out. I enjoy reading the story for me, writing it for me, and getting exciting that one day it will go out into the world and hopefully make someone else get lost and excited (and want to read more?!)
Q: What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
A: Honestly, social media! Keeping focused and that thing writers hate beyond anything else…..WRITERS BLOCK. When you know what you want to write, but for some reason you hands are on strike.
Or when I am trying to see the scene, and my brain has up and left me!
Q: What advice do you have for those who are thinking about writing a book and getting it published?
A: Just do it. There are no rules saying you can’t. If you feel a story blossoming within, get it out. Carry a notepad around with you (I have many) for when inspiration hits and don’t feel scared of starting. My first draft of ONF was as messy as it gets, but it was out. Later, I began playing with it, tidying it up and then I sent it to a professional editor who worked his magic. (Thank you again Liam). This was over a course of a couple of years, it does take time. Don’t rush.
Approaching publishing houses is a big step, and it can feel nerve wrecking. Believe me, I know. They may give you advice, they may reject your manuscript. Expect this, it’s a tough industry. But the right publisher will come along at the right time and you will be like you’re on cloud nine!
Find and join writing groups. Build a social media presence, reach out to other writers.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not a professional author/writer just because you’re not published yet. You’re writing, so call yourself an author. Shout about it, and be proud of yourself and your work.
One day you’ll look back at your finished manuscript and say. “Damn, I wrote that, that was written by me!’
Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: Ones that grab the reader from the beginning. Engaging and relatable but also challenges readers preconceived view on the world.
Q: What are some of your favorite books/authors to read?
A: I have so many to list. Like I mentioned before, J L Carrell and Ruth Cardello. There is also Simon Kernick, who wrote crime. Gillian Flynn. I picked up another book by Linwood Barclay the other day; I really enjoy thrillers as well as romance. Autobiographies, Shakespeare and film scripts.
Q: What other interests do you have besides writing?
A: Apart from settling down with a coffee and a good book, I’m a big movie fan. I adore the marvel universe and have collected a good selection of POP VINYLS, ranging from Marvel to The Walking Dead. My husband is always on the look out for original metal advertising signs for our collection and can be found at flee markets on a Sunday afternoons. I went through a stage of landscape photography, walking around our local countryside snapping some artistic shots. And finally I have an obsession with Adam Ant.
Click here to sign up for the latest news from Rhetoric Askew Publishing, and to watch for publication dates of Amy’s upcoming books.