Q&A with Amy Evans, author of Clicks

To celebrate One Month of Blogdom, The Book Beacon is celebrating by posting our first ever Author Q&A and Giveaway!

Amy Head ShotAmy Evans, the author of Clicks, stopped by to answer some question about her new book and herself.  The Book Beacon would like to thank Amy for her willingness to participate in this Q&A session and giveaway!

On Clicks:

Q: What was the inspiration for Clicks?

A: The Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, both the way it wreaked havoc on that environment immediately and how it will for many years. Since it happened, dolphins have been dying in record numbers, not just there but around the globe. It’s only one world that we have, and it’s all connected. I started thinking about a culture dependant on the water for their way of life, and what that might look like twenty years after a “cleaned” up event.

Q: An island seems like a natural environment, but Pinhold was a very unique setting. Can you describe the process of world building for Clicks?

A: Catalina Island was a jumping off point for me. There are only about 1200 people who live there full time; there are no cars, and the native population has lived there for a long time. From there, I added together a lot of details from the other Channel Islands in the area and linked it all together to make Pinhold. I actually came up with the concept of the pin on the island and then I came up with the name. Which is an anagram. For something very important to me.

clicksQ: The book includes life-guarding, competitive surfing and swimming with dolphins. Are any of these activities based on real life experiences?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a lifeguard and a competitive surfer but I’ve never done either. I did get to spend some time with dolphins on a project in Mexico. They’re just amazing. But it’s just the first book in the series, so I’m hoping to get to spend a lot more time at surf competitions and swimming with dolphins, because clearly more research is in order.

Q: What was the most difficult thing about writing Clicks?

A: Getting together the surf carnival, how the certifications work and how the kids were going to get into The Guard. I wanted it to be a mix of pledging a fraternity, basic training and Baywatch. When I started the book, I had this idea that the lifeguard competitions on the beach were hyper important – these are real and they are super fun to watch. I wanted that to factor into The Guard so I made up this thing called The Guard Games (but my editor thought it was too close to The Hunger Games and since she edited both books, it felt like advice to take seriously!) and it just wasn’t specific or organized enough. Then one day I stumbled on the surf carnival and realized (as we writers often do) that there was a real thing and it was even better than what was in my head. I’ve embellished, but the general ideas are the same. It even gave me a real world connotation for The Guard because surf rescue clubs do exists around the world. This one just has a lot of secrets.

Q: Which was your favorite or chapter/ scene in Clicks to write?

A: I love the scenes with the dolphins. I love to swim in the ocean – it’s one of the only places I always feel like I am in the right place at the right time. So getting to go there with Cami in my head is magic.

Q: Is there a message you want your audience to take away from Clicks?

A: Two, actually. One is that the ocean is life. We all depend on it for every breath. Even if you’ve never seen it, that is true. We need to protect it and I want everyone who reads CLICKS to want to get in The Guard and do their part. The second is more vague and more personal. Clicks are instincts, they’re real and they are 10987% yours. No one else in the world is capable of seeing the world in exactly the same way as you. Every time you ignore them, that fire inside that is uniquely you gets a little dimmer. And every time you listen to them, it heats up and grows and shines a brighter light the next time. Clicks are gifts from the universe; learn to honor them and they will steer you right every time.

Q: What actress/ actor would you choose to play Cami and Blake?

A: Kaya Scodelario for Cami. One of the Carver twins for Blake. (I would really have to meet them in person to decide who should be Blake and who should be Kaleb.)

Q: Why did you write Clicks for the teen/ young adults genre?

A: Honestly, I want it in schools. I want kids growing up today all obsessed with making the planet healthier for all of our sake. I want them ocean obsessed. So I felt this was the place to start. I want to reach kids as young as appropriately possible so they grow up in love with the ocean and with the idea of making a difference to save it.

On Writing:

Q: Which authors inspire(d) you?

A: Judy Blume, David Levithan, Veronica Roth

Q: What are you currently reading?

A: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and the new Jessica Sorensen book that just came out today. If I start though, I’ll get no more work done tonight.

Q: Do you have a specific time of day you prefer to write?

A: No. I am trying to get better about getting started earlier.

Q: Plotter or Panster?

A: Plotter, but then I veer.

Q: Do you have advice for getting past Writer’s Block?

A: Tagxedo – I make word clouds.

Q: What project are you working on now?

A: Book Two of CLICKS. It comes out on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which I didn’t realize.

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