Amy Fellner Dominy is a little quirky. She doesn’t like beaches, she thinks chocolate is just okay, and she talks to herself. Amy loves writing about teens who are just as quirky in their own ways. A former advertising copywriter, Amy got her MFA in 2004 with an emphasis in playwriting. Amy’s plays have been staged across the country and she’s published in both children’s plays and short stories. Teen novels include OyMG (Walker Books,2011) and Audition & Subtraction (Walker Books, Fall 2012.) Amy lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her hubby, two teens and various pets. http://amydominy.com/
Now on to the Five Questions
1. Where did the spark of inspiration for OyMG come from?
I think most of us grow up feeling different in one way or another. For me, I was one of the only Jewish kids in my school. I was proud of my faith, but at times (especially Christmas) it was just plain hard. I wanted to be like everyone else.
Then, when I was about 14-years-old, I got fired from a babysitting job when the family found out I was Jewish. It was awful to realize that someone could hate you like that — and I realized how tempting it might be to hide that part of yourself you think someone else might not like. The question is how far will we go to conform and fit in? What part of ourselves are we willing to hide? From that question, Ellie Taylor and OyMG came to life.
2. How long did it take from initial concept to publication?
I wrote the first page for an SCBWI conference in November 2006. I wanted to enter it for a First Page panel. When I got great feedback it was a mixed blessing—all I had was the first page!! It took me until 2009 to have a finished book. It sold that fall and appeared on shelves May 2011. So, all-in-all, about 5 years from concept to publication.
3. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
In a word: finish. Whatever you’re working on, don’t stop until you reach the end. One of the dangers that so many writers fall into, me included, is to edit and revise our work as we write so that we never actually complete the book. Until you type “The End” it’s impossible to know what your story is really about. And, it’s impossible to publish it. J
4. What is your solution to writer’s block?
When I get writer’s block, I ask myself one question: What does my character NEED? It’s need that creates action and it’s action that creates plot. If you’re stuck, it’s probably because your character has no goal—no need to move forward. Make sure your character has a concrete goal and your writer’s block will hopefully be cured.
5. Finally, Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Rolling Stones. Maybe because Mick Jagger is still going strong.