The Writer’s Corner…an Interview with Amber Winckler (part 2)

 ambercasket2011-150x112[1]             Part two….an interview with author, Amber Winckler    

        Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. When I am left alone and have an adequate food source, I can write for a few hours at a time. I play word games between thoughts, so my daughter often wonders how I am a writer when most of the time she comes into the computer room I am deeply involved in a game of Fowl Words on her kid profile. To her, I am just a fraud.
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Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

A. I was fifteen. My mom gave me an orange journal bound in suede, with gold gilding on the edge of the pages. In fifth grade, a teacher sparked my interest by having us write to music in his class, but receiving the journal in my fifteenth year was where it truly began.

Q. How long after that were you published?

A. 22 years and a couple hundred rejections later.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like? 

A. I write in pieces, with no effort towards chronology until the bitter end, when I must sit and piece together my many memo books and computer sections into one readable storyline. This is the part I most dread, but it is amazing when you finally have a copy of the first finished manuscript in your hands.

The second part is editing, which I never attempt to do myself. My first editor is my mom, who edits for content and not grammar/structure. She is honest about where I have gone wrong, and in pointing out places that I need to expand further. I trust her guidance. After I have patched up any loose story bits and rewritten/added her suggestions, I turn it over to the official editor, and I sit back and turn off my ego. I write it, and then I give it over to the universe and the people I most trust to make sure it is readable. Artistic people can tend to be myopic, and we need guidance.

interviews, best sellers, authors    Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

A. All of my characters are pieces of people I have known. People have fascinated me since I can remember, and despite the ghoulish reality of my work world, I have always found that reality is stranger than fiction, and that living people are infinity more frightening than dead ones.  ‘my mom, Miki, (photo-left) who has developed her own fan base after appearing as ‘Mimi’ in THE FINAL BATH and INTO THE HANDS OF STRANGERS.

I used my own voice as the narrator of my first two books, because I felt more authentic being me. There are dualities in all people that I try to portray as honestly as possible, so my first character study was myself, in as honest and imperfect a form as I could spit out.

Q. What inspired your story/stories?

A. I was reading through the entries in my journal of the first years of my Embalming Apprenticeship, and noticed a story emerging in the pages that hadn’t occurred to me during the living of these years. But condensed down, in more rapid fire, I saw my first full length novel appear.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

A. I have written two novels, a book of short stories, and a novella with prose insertions. I don’t feel like I have been pigeon-holed into a particular format yet, and that is a good thing. I have a bit of a hard time with the phrase ‘want to write.’ Many people ‘want to write.’ Writers just do. On memo books, on McDonald’s bags, on receipts, in journals, by hand, by keyboard, by God we just write. There is room in the world for writers of varying styles. Harvard may have missed me, and I am certainly not known for fluffy words and verbose displays of word craft, but I have a story to tell. As writers, what more do we have to give the world?

Q. And before we leave, is there anything you’d like to add?

A.  Trish, I really appreciate this opportunity. I looked at your website and I am interested in your work.                          click here to read Part I
Biography: Amber Lenore Winckler has worked in the funeral profession for 18+ years and is a California licensed Embalmer, Funeral Director, and Crematory Manager. She also worked at the San Diego Medical Examiner as a Forensic Autopsy Assistant. Author of four books of fiction, largely set in the mortuary or medical examiner setting, she make her living caring for the dead, but she says, “I have always been a writer.”

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress is our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.


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