Today, I am chatting with Amy who goes by the author name A.L. Jambor and has written the Pello Island book series. Up until now, we have been discussing our small noisy dogs but she would prefer to talk about her books, especially the one called But the Children Survived. Let’s start with just a brief synopsis of your book. In 20 words or less, tell me what it is about.
Amy: Everyone dies when a biological weapon is accidentally released, but two hundred children, and a handful of adults, survive.
Naomi: Very good, Amy. You have one word left. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Naomi: Excellent. Moving on, who is your favorite character and why? Since you did so well on that first challenge, you may advance to the next level of unrestricted wordiness.
Amy: Yay. My favorite character is Mindy Lane. She’s based on my granddaughter, Lindsey, and my niece, Mandy. Mindy is left alone at the age of nine with no water and very little food. She has to care for her grandmother’s dog, too, but she never gives up. She believes her parents are alive, and no matter how many people try to dissuade her, she’s determined to find them, no matter what it takes.
Naomi: If Mindy called you up tomorrow and said, “Hey, let’s go do something.” What and where would you go with them?
Amy: We’d go to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. I want to broaden her horizons, and what’s better than a surrealist genius?
Naomi: I could think of a few things, especially for a nine year old. I pity poor fictional Mindy who would be forced to look at mind-numbing art, especially when she has just survived an apocalypse. Certainly, she’d prefer to stand around and gaze at odd and naked creatures being tortured rather than go to DISNEYWORLD which is within a one hour radius. But that’s just me. What’s the hardest part about writing your book?
Amy: Getting stuck in the middle of a book and realizing the end just won’t work, then trying to make it work. It’s exhausting.
Naomi: As exhausting as trying to analyze Salvador Dali’s works? Not nearly. What’s the easiest part?
Amy: Story ideas. They just keep coming.
Naomi: I am afraid to ask from where. If you had to pick one object to represent your story and one color to paint it in, what would it be and why?
Amy: The purple flower in the book that contains both the power to heal and the power to destroy.
Naomi: I am relieved to hear it is not one of Dali’s images and you know which ones I am referring to. Do you do anything else besides write and if so what is it?
Amy: I watch a lot of movies. Truth be told, I probably love movies more than books, but don’t tell anyone.
Naomi: I’m not telling anyone except everyone who reads this blog. What’s the ugliest thing in your closet?
Amy: A picture of my great-grandmother. You didn’t specific which closet.
Naomi: No, I didn’t and I won’t tell her that either.
Amy: She’s dead.
Naomi: That doesn’t mean she’s not reading this blog. What’s in the bottom of your purse, backpack, attaché or whatever you carry?
Amy: My sunglasses, a paperclip, and empty cellophane candy wrappers.
Naomi: Name one character in your book that reminds you of a real person and tell us who it is and how they are similar.
Amy: Almost every character in the book is based on a family member, so this should be easy. There’s a character named Andrew who is based on my son. He’s a good man, kind, considerate, nothing like a real man at all, but I digress. No, he’s responsible and really wants to do the right thing. My son is a good husband who will bring his wife a Shamrock Shake without being asked. He’s the kind of father who rolls around on the floor with his kids. If he didn’t look so much like me, I’d swear he was adopted.
Naomi: What’s your favorite game? Would your favorite character play it and be any good at it?
Amy: Right now, we’re playing Words With Friends. She’s ten; she’s beating me.
Naomi: Right now you are playing that with Mindy, Lindy, Mandy, Andy or who? You’ve got me totally confused. You’re playing a real game with a fictional character? Did you ever wonder if you were a little crazy? Not that I need to ask as it is plainly obvious.
Amy: When I was a kid, I would go up to the attic of the big house we lived in in Connecticut and dressed up in old sheer curtains my mother had stored up there, creating a beautiful full length gown. One day, I went outside because I had just seen How the West Was One in Cinerama, and I was Debbie Reynolds. The west is a wide open space, so I had to be outside. I was acting out a scene when I overheard the old man across the street say, “Is she crazy?” So, yes, I guess I’m crazy, but it’s a good crazy.
Naomi: On the other hand, the old man across the street might not have been referring to you at all. Perhaps one of your other neighbors was running naked down the street but you were too busy in your game to notice. Alternatively, maybe he was talking to the imaginary characters that were helping him fill out his crossword puzzle. Perhaps there was something odd in the water there in Connecticut.
Amy: Oh. Maybe. I never thought of that.
While Amy thinks about this, you can find out more about her and her books at the following links: