Open Book Society staff member, Heidi, recently talked to up and coming author, Amanda E. Alvarez, about her debut novel, Hunting Human. Alvarez shares with us about getting her novel published, dishes about her favorite Hunting Human character, and gives advice to other aspiring authors.
Read Heidi’s review of Hunting Human here.
AEA: From start to finish it took nearly four years. I was a slow learner.
OBS: Out of all the supernatural creatures out there, why did you choose to make your book about werewolves? In a very vampire driven genre, what makes werewolves sexy, in your opinion?
AEA: I actually didn’t originally set out to write about werewolves. But I had my heroine, Beth, and I knew something really bad had happened to her. Werewolves factored in not too long after that. I really wanted a story that explored what happened to ordinary people thrown into the paranormal world. How would they cope, how would the move forward? That question remains fascinating to me. So in a similar way I can’t really tell you what makes werewolves sexy because that never really entered my mind. If Braden weren’t a werewolf, I think given the strength of his family he’d probably be largely the same person.
OBS: Braden appears to be the complete package, strong, caring, handsome, loyal, but with his stubbornness and just enough jealousy to keep him believable and realistic….is he based on someone you know in real life or more of a fantasy of the perfect guy?
AEA: Neither! I don’t base characters off of people I know because people I know don’t necessarily fit what I need for my books. I find it to difficult to try and create a character and give them a full and dynamic personality if I’m constrained by the person who inspired them. It just gets all messy in my head. And Braden could never be my ideal – he always had to be Beth’s ideal, the one guy that would fit best in her life. So when I sketched him out, that’s what I focused on.
OBS: You have some amazing and well thought out characters in Hunting Human. Who is your favorite and why?
AEA: Chase. I love his backstory. He was the first character that became fully formed in my head. I can’t wait to write his book.
OBS: Is there any particular reason you choose Portland for this story?
AEA: I knew I wanted the upper west coast area. And Portland just seemed perfect. Scenic, a huge number of parks, a great urban planning strategy. Everything that fit my story and my characters Portland provided.
OBS: Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
AEA: Writing! Writing was and remains a challenge for me. I can’t say I love the process, but I do really enjoy the end result.
AEA: Each Edward’s sibling will (eventually) get a shot at their own HEA (Happily Ever After).
OBS: What are you working on now? When can your fans expect to see it?
A: I’m working on a new romantic suspense with a paranormal element to it. You’ll get to see it just as soon as I get it finished and sold.
OBS: If Hunting Human was made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters?
AEA: Believe it or not this is a really hard question for me. I don’t really “see” characters that way. I see characters in my head based on personality traits, what makes them tick. Physical features don’t matter to me and I often have to go back and insert them in subsequent drafts of a novel. So I can’t say who I’d pick. Anyone who could do the characters justice would be totally cool with me.
OBS: What advice would you give to aspiring authors that are just starting out?
AEA: I’m sure you’ve heard this all before but, write, write, write and write some more. And when you aren’t writing? Read! And always, always write what you love and not what you think will sell. It’s a tough process and a tough industry. Why waste time on a project you don’t adore?
Thanks Amanda for the great interview!! I can’t wait to read your future works…especially Chase’s book!!
For more information, check out Alvarez’s website here.