Book Nerd Interview
Photo Credit: Alison Rosa
The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under "Yurk.")
Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing stories at a young age, seven or so, and continued to write until I went to college, but never really thought of it as something I could do as a career. It wasn’t until I graduated college with a degree in Sociology and spent a few years in jobs I hated that I decided to give the writer in me a chance. It hasn’t been a straight and easy road to where I am today, eight books later, but I am so grateful for everything it took in order to get me here.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
For me, it’s about connection. I believe that when we read, especially about difficult situations or life circumstances people or characters go through, for a moment we feel less alone in the world. We realize that other people have had the same emotions, thoughts, experiences. Storytelling creates empathy, which is, in my mind, the most important human emotion.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Stop talking and start writing.
In your new book; IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Told in alternating points of view, this is the story about two best friends whose relationship is altered after they share a drunken kiss.
I hope people will read it because it addresses the complexities of gender roles, rape culture, and consent – all too common issues that need to be better addressed and managed in our society.
For those who are unfamiliar with Amber, how would you introduce her?
Amber is a sweet young woman who has struggled with an eating disorder for much of her young life, but after a great deal of counseling, has been able to manage it as best she can. Maintaining a sense of control is extremely important to her, so when her best friend, Tyler, and she reconnect after some time apart, and the unthinkable happens between them, she is sent flailing, trying to figure out how to recover after a serious physical and emotional betrayal.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Tyler?
I’m not sure if I learned anything surprising, but what was most challenging in writing his character was making sure I layered his personality characteristics so he came across as three –dimensional. It’s easy to demonize a man who rapes someone, but it’s more difficult to step back and look at him as a whole person with both strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative aspects of his personality.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I decided to write it because I was a victim of sexual assault when I was 15. I knew my attacker, and often wondered what his side of the story might be, and also, because we need to talk about why our society still blames the victim for what she said or did or wore or how much she drank, and then, in the next breath, looks at her attacker and says, “But he’s such a nice guy—he would never do something like that.”
I hope people will read the book and it start conversations. We need to talk about why we educate our girls on how to protect themselves from getting raped, but don’t do enough to teach our boys how to ask for and identify consent.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
That’s an interesting question! But in all honesty, I sort of prefer my character to remain the world I created for them. I imagine them living out their lives having learned something from the journey I’ve put them through. I’m afraid bringing in another character’s drama might be too much!
What’s your most missed memory?
Walking to high school with my best friend. We had some great conversations on those walks.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I liked being a teenager in the 80’s! New Wave music, and you couldn’t beat the hairstyles!!
When was the last time you cried?
What are you most passionate about today?
Connecting with people through my writing.
When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Damn, girl. You need to fix your hair!
Where can readers find you? My website: www.amyhatvany.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/amy.hatvany
I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.
Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.
Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.
What happens next will change them forever.
In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.
Praise for IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME
"Spellbinding and timely. This novel will consume you." --HEATHER GUDENKAUF NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
"Compelling, emotional, and complex..." --DEB CALETTI NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
“Vivid and unflinchingly honest.” --JANE GREEN NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR