Sensational Sophomores is a periodic blog series highlighting authors who are releasing their second book. Today, I am honored to be welcoming Amy Trueblood, author of Nothing but Sky and Across a Broken Shore, for an interview!
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Amy Trueblood grew up in Southern California only ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. Fueled by iced tea and a good Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy settled in a quiet corner at her local coffee shop plotting her next book. Her debut novel, Nothing But Sky was a Spring 2018 Junior Library Guild selection. Her follow-up, Across a Broken Shore (A Winter 2020 JLG selection) is out now. For more information on Amy, check out her website (amytruebloodauthor.com) or follow her on Twitter (@atrueblood5) and Instagram (@atruebloodwrites).
Hi, Amy! Thank you so much for being here today! Let’s start by talking about genres – what is it about historical fiction that entices you?
I enjoy being able to create a story that connects our past to our present. Generally, I tend to write young women who break societal norms. Sadly enough, the norms they are breaking are still too present in today’s society. There is also a need for me to draw attention to women who contributed to the world in an enormous way but are only a footnote in history.
If for some reason you weren’t able to write historical fiction, is there another genre you’d gravitate towards?
I’m currently revising a YA Contemporary and in the drafting phase of a YA Dark Suspense manuscript.
How did your writing process differ between your debut, Nothing But Sky, and your sophomore novel, Across a Broken Shore?
I had to be much more disciplined with my writing for Across a Broken Shore. It was sold on proposal and I had a specific deadline. This required that I meet a word count every day which wasn’t my approach with Nothing But Sky.
All books require some level of research for various reasons. What is the craziest thing you learned while writing your second book?
I was surprised by the level of safety mechanisms incorporated into the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was the first modern bridge structure where workers were required to wear safety harnesses while working. There was also a net that was manufactured just for the bridge. It hung below the road platform and was meant to keep workers from falling 200 feet to the water below. In all, it saved the lives of 19 men.
If Willa from Across a Broken Shore were around today, what song would she be completely obsessed with?
There is a song by Missio called “Twisted”. I’m convinced Willa would be singing it under her breath the entire time she was treating men on the bridge or at the field hospital.
You fell in love with the world of publishing and writing after reading an ARC of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have to know – do you still have the ARC sitting on your shelf?
It’s with a family member right now, but I definitely will have it back on my shelf one day!
Can you give us any insight into what we can expect next from you?
My next books still have strong female leads but they will be set in modern settings. I will get back to writing historical one day but it will be a little more in the future.
The last thing eighteen-year-old Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy wants is to be a nun. It’s 1936, and as the only daughter amongst four sons, her Irish–Catholic family is counting on her to take her vows—but Willa’s found another calling. Each day she sneaks away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in San Francisco’s Richmond District.
Keeping secrets from her family only becomes more complicated when Willa agrees to help the doctor at a field hospital near the new bridge being built over the Golden Gate. Willa thinks she can handle her new chaotic life, but as she draws closer to a dashing young ironworker and risks grow at the bridge, she discovers that hiding from what she truly wants may be her biggest lie of all.