Amy Plum Latest News

1-Day Writing Seminar at Les Mots (Nov 5)

Paris writers and readers — I’m giving a 1-day writing workshop here in Paris on November 5, and this time it’s not just for teenagers!IMG_5649

My course is the only one being offered in English at Paris’s new creative writing school Les Mots.

It’s titled BUILDING BLOCKS FOR WRITING FICTION and this is what it’s about:

“From creating relatable characters to writing dialogues in their individual voices to setting them in a three-dimensional world—there are a multitude of skills fiction writers use to make their story emerge from the page and engage the reader.

This workshop is for writers working in English—whether you are dabbling in fiction for the first time or desiring to take your writing skills to the next level. Exploring examples from literature, you will use a wide range of tools to develop your craft. We will delve into different techniques for fiction writing, covering inspiration, character creation, world building, setting, and dialogue as well as other topics along the way. Engaging in critical dialogue to appraise your work, a focus will be placed on learning through writing instead of a teaching-centric course.

Whether you arrive with a partially-developed story or just the desire to begin a story, you are guaranteed to leave the workshop with stronger writing and a firm grasp of the tools available to you.”

Click here for more information and sign-up. Hope to see you November 5!

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A Week of Writing Dangerously: 5-day teen writing workshop in Paris!

A Week of Writing Dangerously:

 

5-Day Teen Writing Workshop

 

October 30 – November 3, 2017

February 19-23, 2018

April 16-20, 2018

Paris, France

A week of writing, learning and creativity with international bestselling author Amy Plum.

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We will discuss topics like World Building, Character Creation, Productive Plotting, Spellbinding Settings, the Alternate Universe of Story Ideas and other skills writers use to make their story pop from the page and engage the reader.

Amy will share her publication story and give advice on getting your book out into the world. There will be guest appearances by one or two local teen authors, each bringing their own publication stories and writing tips.

We will use fun exercises like twisting tales, word sprints and character interviews to unlock your creativity. Some new writers have a hard time sharing their work. We will battle word-shyness by working in pairs and reading to the group. You will find yourself in a friendly, relaxed environment that encourages openness and creativity, with a lot of laughs to accompany all the hard work.

Whether you come with a partially-developed story or just the desire to write, you will leave the week with new-found confidence, a wealth of tips for moving ahead with your writing, and a ready-made and experienced critique group for those who wish to keep in touch.

Several outings will punctuate the week to get those brain cells moving—visits like:

 

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Pere Lachaise Cemetery (including the graves of Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein)

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Shakespeare & Company

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THE CATACOMBS

and other Paris treasures.

The week will end with a chocolate tasting. (Because writing and chocolate are basically inseparable.)

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The workshop is scheduled during the French school holidays and held in Amy’s spacious apartment near Bastille. We will also be writing in other inspiring locations around Paris.

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From 9am – 6pm Monday through Friday, with some optional evening activities.

450 euros per person, maximum 15 participants, ages 13-18. Tuition includes writing materials and all visits. (Not including optional evening activities: movies, etc.) Bring your own lunch. Drinks and snacks provided.

Chaperoned accommodation is available for out-of-town participants. Details upon request.

To sign up or for more information: email me!

Amy Plum is the international bestselling author of 9 young adult novels and novellas published by HarperCollins and translated into 13 languages.

Andy Stout

Come write with me!

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Dreamfall Decrypted

To answer a few of your questions about DREAMFALL:

Give me 5 reasons I should read DREAMFALL.

  • Because it’s about people who have worse insomnia than you! Compared to the seven teens in the book, your sleepless nights are child’s play.
  • Because if your brain is going to force you to do an all-nighter, you might as well spend it in a fictional world that will suck you in and not let you go until the last page.
  • Because who wants to stay up all night worrying about your own life when you can stay up all night freaking out about someone else’s?
  • Because complications with tomorrow’s exam…your job…your boy/girlfriend seem minor when compared to spending the rest of your (probably short) life stuck in someone else’s killer nightmares.
  • Because your nightmare about going to school in your underwear seems less traumatic next to a nightmare about being buried alive with three corpses. (Everything’s relative.)

Why did you want to write horror?

I actually tried to write a horror novel as my very first attempt at fiction. But I got halfway into it, and then didn’t know what happened next. So I put it aside and wrote the DIE FOR ME and AFTER THE END series. Once I was ready for my next challenge, I thought I would try horror once again. And this time, the story stuck.

In the DIE FOR ME series, I discovered that I enjoyed  much preferred writing the fight scenes as much as I did the kissing scenes. Chopping someone’s head off with a sword was just as exhilarating as writing a steamy makeout scene. So with DREAMFALL, I decided to embrace my morbid side and go with it. And, boy, did I have fun. At one point, my editor asked if one scene wasn’t TOO gruesome. I begged for it to stay, my argument being, “This is horror – it’s SUPPOSED to be gruesome!” I mean, if you’re writing horror, you might as well go all the way. So it stayed, much to my twisted delight. Funnily enough, the concept for the novel came from an idea I had for a children’s picture book. I’m still scratching my head as to why my agent was horrified when she read the pitch. (Hmm…)

How much research did you have to do for DREAMFALL?

DIE FOR ME was about things I knew: Paris, history, art, love and loss. AFTER THE END also contained things I knew…but on a more personal basis: I grew up in a type of cult-like environment where, like the main character Juneau, brainwashing was an aspect of my childhood. The research for this book was mainly with the locations. For example, once I had written the first draft, I flew to Seattle to do a road trip to Arizona so that I could describe the landscapes.

But DREAMFALL required major research. As the idea for the story evolved, it included more and more science. I was determined to get the facts right so that the fiction I added would be more believable. I read an entire book on the little-known disease called FFI (Fatal Familial Insomnia). I studied sleep cycles, read about sleep research, interviewed two people with narcolepsy, and one person who had gone through electroconvulsive therapy, and asked a doctor friend to read through all the medical sections, so I could be sure those were right.

But, like with my previous two series, there were some aspects of DREAMFALL that I didn’t need to read up on because they came straight from my own life. I know insomnia well. Whenever something horrible happens (like my mother’s death), my brain responds by giving me a good dose of insomnia. It was easy for me to channel the feeling of not being able to sleep.

Which character do you feel closest to in DREAMFALL?

There is no character in my books that I have felt closer to than Cata, one of DREAMFALL’s main characters. When I started the book, I hadn’t planned to model her back story on my own past. But as her personality formed, I found myself dipping into my memory for anecdotes. It made sense: we both suffered PTSD from abusive childhoods.

Cata’s first nightmare in the book comes straight from my 16-year-old brain. I lived in the crazy run-down antebellum mansion she lived in. And my father was the same type of monster hers was.  As her story progressed, I let myself pepper it with actual words and events from my childhood.

However, in DREAMFALL, I let Cata escape. She told someone what was happening to her, and was removed from her family by Child Protective Services. In real life, I stayed and bore the brunt of my father’s mental problems.

In the end, Cata provided a sort of redemption for me. In writing her story, I was able to allow my adolescent self to speak up for the first time.

And lastly…

I wonder if you’ll see an aspect of yourself in any of the characters. Over the course of this duology, I have come to love them. Because they are not who they seem to be. Just like a nightmare…you only truly understand it after it’s over. Although the truth is there, right before your eyes, you have to wake up to realize what was really going on.

 

You can check DREAMFALL out for yourself here:

IndieBound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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