Interview with Amber Lee

When did you first start writing?
Grade school! I always had story ideas (primarily, fantasy and sci-fi). One of these days I'd like to see if my parents kept all of my old writing notebooks and see if I can draw any inspiration from them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in southern PA, where you have a mix of nearby East Coast big cities, and rural, farmland complete with Amish. It gave me a lot of exposure to different kinds of people, the lives they live, and how cultures and perceptions can be so different even when you're not far apart. I think it's helped me develop interesting characters that feel real, without falling into over-used tropes.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It had a ridiculously long title. The Boy, The Witch, The Wolf, and The Rose, or something. I wrote it when I was probably 8 years old. I wish I could find it!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. A fantasy young adult novel about a changeling girl that was switched into a human home at infancy as a curse. It talks about how she always felt like she never belonged, even when she met her Fae family. I still adore this book. It resonated strongly with me when I read it in my early teens.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Looking at the story of a fictional person who might go unnoticed in the real world,but still has an interesting story to tell. Some of the most compelling books, films, and shows have a common theme of complex, realistic, and relateable characters. I think it's important to strike a balance between keeping things outside of the box, but not making wacky plot/character choices just for the sake of being different. Finding that sweet spot is a great feeling.

When doing fantasy and sci-fi, I absolutely adore world-building.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee.
Describe your desk
Powerful desktop computer, courtesy of a computer geek S.O. Two monitors for increased productivity. Coffee always near by, and notes scattered all over (digital and paper).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a scientist by trade, and research takes up a lot of my non-writing time. Contrary to popular belief, science allows for immense creativity, but the writing aspects can be a real drag. But writing fiction is a great escape for me and allows me to be creative in that medium.

I also love the outdoors (camping, hiking), being active, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog.
What is your writing process?
I start with day-dreaming (or sometimes, literal dreaming). People watching -- what inspires me about the people I see walking down the street or serving me a latte. I look up different places that might make a great setting, and when it comes to erotic content, I think about what's been working for me lately ;)

I do prose outlines, write out important scenes that I need to get on paper ASAP, and then generally start from the beginning and work my way through. My later editing processes are a little scatter-brained.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is my first foray into an erotic romance. The story is a crime thriller, mystery, and romance, all tied together with some very hot sex scenes.
What are you working on next?
I'm continuing my Suspect Seduction series and have some ideas for a new erotic story about a forbidden love. Stay tuned!
Published 2013-11-15.
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