Today I’m pleased to welcome fellow Wattpadre author (Wattpadres is a group of 12 Wattpad authors) Amber K. Bryant to the blog. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Amber and don’t forget to check out her book!
1. What is it like to be an award-winning author on Wattpad?
So many wonderful things that have happened to me since joining Wattpad in March of 2014. Before Wattpad, I had only shared my writing with a couple of people. I wrote in a bubble and I didn’t think that would ever change, but of course it has changed… completely. I write now as a member of a creative network of people. I can bounce ideas off of my fellow author friends whenever I need to. I connect with readers every day and they give me helpful feedback as well.
I’ve won several awards and contests through Wattpad, including two hosted and judged by Margaret Atwood. It’s pretty amazing to find out that one of the greatest writers of our time has read my work and knows me by name! I’m still floored by that. The best thing about contests though, is that you meet and befriend a lot of fabulous writers through them. If I’m in a competition, I like to read the other entries and leave positive comments on each of the contestants’ stories. Writers put themselves out on a limb when they enter a contest. That bravery should be acknowledged. Wattpad contests are typically friendly and if you are a writer, I would encourage you to find a contest and enter it. I’m often on the other end of competitions now, acting as a host and judge. After all that I have gained from participating as a contestant, I like being able to give back in this manner.
One of the most promising outcomes of winning contests and awards is that I have recently been accepted into the Wattpad Stars Program. This program aims to help its participants become successful writers. Being admitted to the Stars is an exciting development in my writing career!
2. Have you always written for fun or was there a certain time in your life when you started?
I didn’t start writing until the summer of 2012. I had thrown some ideas around in my head for a while, so during a vacation from work, I started writing. I finished a 100K novel in about six months and haven’t looked back since.
3. What are your favorite parts of being a librarian and a writer? Does one help the other?
My work as a librarian inspired me to become a writer. I deal with juvenile literature—everything from picture books to young adult novels. My job exposes me to what kids and teens are interested in reading right now and it was this exposure that made me want to write my own stories. My librarian gig compliments my writing life perfectly. Library work keeps me up to date on YA trends, and my writing life keeps me engaged with teen readers. I’m fortunate to have found two compatible careers.
4. If you do achieve your goal of becoming a farmer by day and writer by night, what would you plant and what would you write?
Fruit trees, berries, all sorts of squashes. I grew quinoa once. It wasn’t a huge success but I’d like to try my hand at it again. As for writing, even though I am busy with my job and family, I still manage to put pen to paper. In that regard, I’ve already achieved that particular goal. Truth be told, though, I don’t do my best writing at night. I get up early for work, so my brain shuts off around eight or nine pm. If my farm job could allow me to sleep in an hour or two later, I might be more productive at night! I wouldn’t be writing anything differently from what I already write, but hopefully, I’d be writing more of it!
5. What is your favorite part of being a member of the Wattpadres?
Friendship! It’s been invaluable to have a group of writers that I can bounce ideas off of, converse with, celebrate achievements and commiserate with when disappointments occur. My life as a writer would be so much lonelier without them all. Through them, I’ve become a braver, more confident person. Last fall, we started up weekly Twitter chats (every Tuesday at 8 pm EST!) and these chats have widened my circle of writer friends. Having this network is so very important and rewarding. I love my fellow Wattpadres dearly!
6. What are your favorite stories to write?
I enjoy writing speculative fiction, especially science fiction and paranormal. I love reimagined fairytales as well. But I also consider it a challenge to take on a genre outside of my comfort zone and trying my hand at it. This is what I did when I entered a horror writing contest hosted by R. L. Stine. I’d never written that genre before, but I ended up winning the contest and, as a result, co-writing a short story with Stine. I had so much fun and now I’ve written several more short horror pieces. More recently, I wrote a contemporary romance story for a Valentine’s Day anthology curated by Michelle Jo Quinn. Again, I wasn’t sure how writing this genre would work for me, but I loved doing it and I’m now working on my first romance novel. Speculative fiction will always be my first love, however, and although I am doing work that is geared towards an adult audience at the moment, I enjoy writing for teens.
7. What are your least favorite parts of a story to write?
I tend to drag myself through the last five percent of the book. Actually, the ending itself I can do, but if I get stuck anywhere, it will be on the chapter or two before the ending. It’s like I know what I need to do, but I have to push myself to do it. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps there’s a part of me that has gotten so used to living in the story, I don’t want it to end. Usually having a deadline, even a self-imposed one, will help me push through to the finish.
8. Do you have any weird writing habits?
My son made me a tinfoil hat with antennas that I wear when I write so that the government can’t steal my ideas.
Just kidding. He really did make that hat, but it’s to protect us from aliens, not the government.
Seriously, though, my writing habits are fairly mundane, and I’m not sure that any of them would be considered weird. Writers tend to be quirky, so I have a feeling anything I may do is within the realm of what writers would consider normal. I do have my rituals: I sit on the same corner of the couch when I write. I make myself a pot of tea, I make sure the room is picked up because I can’t write if there’s too much clutter around me. I’ve also noticed that a lot of writers hate editing. I was surprised to find out that I’m in the minority of people who really enjoy doing this. I love reworking each sentence until it’s exactly the way I want it to be. This isn’t weird maybe, but it turns out that it’s somewhat unusual.
9. What is the best advice you would give to writers looking to start on Wattpad?
Give yourself time and do not expect miracles. Most stories don’t go viral, so it’s best not to expect this of your own work. Be grateful for every read you get. Most importantly, remember that Wattpad is a social media platform. If you want to succeed on Wattpad, you need to be social. Read stories in a similar genre to your own and leave meaningful comments on them. Interact. You will gain a readership that way as well as a reputation for being a generous Wattpadian. Reads and rankings, though nice, aren’t as important as the connections you make with other people.
There are many talented writers on Wattpad. It’s important to note that some of the most amazing of them don’t have thousands of followers or millions of reads. If I could wave my magic wand and make them all Wattpad famous overnight, I would, but that’s not the way it works. Stick with what you are doing and write. Write, write, write. Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers game.
10. What can readers be looking forward to from you next?
Right now, I’ve got several months of posts remaining for my current paranormal thriller, Blood King. As I mentioned before, I am also writing a contemporary romance. That work is being submitted to a publisher, but it’s possible it will make its way onto Wattpad. I’m working on a magical realism adaptation of Hansel and Gretel for a fairytale anthology. I’m also planning a romantic suspense short which will be published in a summer romance collection this June/July.
As I mentioned before, I was recently accepted into the Wattpad Stars Program. I don’t know where exactly this program will take me, but I’m eager to find out!
Thanks for stopping by Amber!
About the Author:
Amber K Bryant is a writer and a librarian living amongst the Sasquatch in the Northwest corner of the United States. A proud member of both the Wattpad Stars Program and the Wattpadres writing group, her novelette UNSEEN won the Collector’s Dream Watty Award for being one of Wattpad’s most want-to-read stories of 2014. As winner of the Fill in the Fear Contest, she collaborated on a short story with R. L. Stine called LET’S MAKE A TRADE. She has won several other writing competitions including two hosted and judged by Margaret Atwood. Warner Brothers commissioned her to write a short horror story called STAR STUDENTS in order to help promote their movie The Gallows. Her flash fiction has been published by Every Day Fiction and 365 Tomorrows and she is a featured author on Wattpad. She hopes to achieve her childhood goal of being a farmer by day and a writer by night sometime before the apocalypse renders all of her formal education useless, and on the upside, eliminates the need to pay off her student loans.
About Blood King:
A psychic, a slayer, a spirit, and a vampire walk into a bar…
Bad idea! The psychic would lose her mind if she drank, the spirit doesn’t have a mouth, and the vampire’s tastes don’t include what’s on tap (the slayer though… he’s all in!).
Let’s try this again.
Sybille is a hierophant, a powerful psychic with the ability to talk to the dead and glimpse the future. Her family specializes in aiding the souls of bloodthirsters (read: vampires), hunting and killing them so that their spirits can move on. Devin is a stake-wielding field agent for Sybille’s family. He’s willing to do the dirty work because it means he can A) keep close to Sybille, and B) forget the darkest parts of his past.
Elis isn’t your typical bloodthirster. He’s spent the last one-hundred years being haunted by his vengeful ex-love Juliana. Then there’s the little matter of the soul that was unceremoniously thrust back into him… Juliana is determined to destroy Elis, but Elis has different plans—plans which include forgetting about her once and for all.
Elis meets Sybille, literally, in a dream. Sybille thinks he might be her next client. Elis thinks she might be his next love. Neither of them think that there’s something bigger than their own peculiar relationship in need of attention until the night a psychic possession goes horribly wrong and an invincible thirster enters the picture. Before they know it, the psychic, the slayer, the spirit, and the vampire are wrapped up in a world of drugs and desire run by a thirster who’s taking immortality to a new and dangerous extreme.
Meet: the BLOOD KING.