Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amy Plum Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Amy Plum is the author of the International Bestseller DIE FOR ME, which is an Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal. DIE FOR ME is the first novel in a YA trilogy set in Paris.

After being raised in Birmingham, Alabama, in a rather restrictive environment, AMY PLUM escaped to Chicago to an even more restrictive environment at a university that expelled people for dancing. (And where she was called to the dean’s office for “wearing too much black”.) After all of that restrictiveness, she was forced to run far far away, specifically to Paris, France, where she only wore black and danced all she wanted.

After five years in Paris, she ventured to London, where she got an M.A. in Medieval Art History, specializing in Early Sienese Painting (1260-1348) mainly because it promised almost no hope of finding a paying job afterward. During grad school she married a ridiculously handsome Frenchman named Laurent, who she subsequently dragged with her to New York after securing her degree.

Amy worked in the world of art and antiques in New York, while Laurent used his French guy charms and started a very cool wine shop in Brooklyn. But after almost a decade of high-pressure lifestyle in the Big Apple, they decided to swap their American city for a French village of 1300 inhabitants. With their Bronx-born big red dog Ella, they moved to a tiny town in the Loire Valley down the road from Laurent’s father.

After signing with HarperCollins for the DIE FOR ME series, Amy left her job as an English professor at Tours University to write full-time. She juggles restoration of their old French farmhouse, with writing fun stories in her hundreds-of-years-old office (a stone house on the other side of her garden), and playing with her two extremely energetic pre-school age children.

She is a huge fan of Edward Gorey and Maira Kalman (and collects both of their books/art), as well as David Sedaris, Amadeo Modigliani, and Ira Glass.

Social Media

Tell me a bit about yourself, where were you born and where do you call home?

I am a bit of a nomad. I was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Alabama. I think of Birmingham as my “hometown” even though I no longer have family there.

After university in Chicago, I moved to Paris for five years, and then got a Master’s degree in Art History in London. Worked in the art world in New York for eight years, and now I live in the Loire Valley (France).

So it’s interesting that you ask where I call home, because it’s a question I ask myself from time to time. I have decided that “home” is where we feel most ourselves, and for me that is New York and Paris.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

In university I took an English Lit course called “Modern Mythology,” which affected me profoundly. Some of the authors included in the syllabus were Madeleine L’Engle, Mark Helprin, Frederick Buechner, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and other masters of the imagination. My professor, Dr. McClatchy, talked about the “monomyth” and how it is woven throughout all great works of art, and that idea planted its roots deep in my mind. Everything that I create now springs from that basis.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written four and a half books. Three are the DIE FOR ME trilogy, one is a fictionalized memoir about living in France (unpublished), and the “half” is a YA novel that I hope to finish at some point. I love them all for different reasons, but I think that since DIE FOR ME was my first published book and we have gone through so much together, I feel closest to it.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted?

I was numb from shock for three whole months. My fingers actually tingled whenever I thought about it.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

I didn’t come up with the title, my publisher did. My original title was SLEEPWALKING, which I now understand isn’t the most dynamic of titles. And the beautiful cover design was created by Little, Brown/Atom and then adopted with modifications by HarperCollins. Although I was asked if I liked it, I didn’t have input in the design. I must say, though, that I feel extremely lucky. The Cover Fairy is obviously smiling on me.

For those who are unfamiliar with your Die For Me Trilogy, how would you introduce it?

The DIE FOR ME trilogy presents an original mythology for a new creature called a revenant. I once described them as “undead guardian angels with major emotional hang-ups.” Although that would be a good start at an explanation, it doesn’t really scratch the surface of what they are. You’ll have to read the books to find out.

The trilogy begins with the story of Kate Mercier, a teenager from Brooklyn, who moves to Paris after her parents’ death. She meets Vincent, a revenant, and as she discovers what he is, a supernatural world lying just beneath the one we know is revealed to her. The trilogy follows Kate and Vincent and the ways that they try to save themselves and the ones they love from a very real and present evil.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Kate?

She will do almost anything on a dare. Which is why she never reveals that fact about herself.

What scene in Die For Me was the most memorable to write and why?

One of the most memorable scenes for me was Kate’s fight with Lucien. First of all, it just flowed onto the page. I saw it happen, and only had to transcribe it. And once it was down, I got the biggest rush. The next day I read it to my husband in the car as we were driving somewhere. When I got to the part where Kate throws the knife. my husband was so shocked that he drove off the road.

If you could introduce Kate to any character from another book, who would it be and

I would have to say Helen from STARCROSSED. Josephine Angelini and I are friends, and I can just see our heroines getting together and having a strong friendship. Plus, Helen wants to travel. She could fly to France and let Kate show her around.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it

You are special and worthy of love. No matter how quirky or different you are. If you don’t feel accepted by the masses, that is probably a really good sign. Once you get out into the real world you will find other people like you who will love you and respect you for who you are, so don’t sweat it while you’re in high school.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Josie Angelini. However, she is a plotter and I am a pantser so we would probably kill each other in the process. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read in the bathtub.

Who was your first boyfriend?

A pothead who got thrown into jail for stealing a copy machine from a newspaper’s offices during a scavenger hunt. (But, oh – he was so cute and he smelled like Polo.)

Jean - Oh Amy! This just made me smile. 
White wine or red?


What do you normally eat for breakfast?

Oatmeal with raisins and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Strong coffee with steamed milk.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

My iPhone. A New Yorker magazine. Lipstick. A note from my 6-year-old son that says “Maman, je t’adore.”

Where can readers stalk you?


My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

I have encountered so many different supernatural beings in the YA paranormal romance genre. From werewolves to vampires, they were all very fascinating, but in Die For Me by Amy Plum, I was introduced to a different kind of monster: A revenant. It totally made the book unique, original and it was a refreshing shift from the norm in the genre.

Plum’s writing style was very easy to follow and she successfully created some of the most unforgettable characters. Kate and Vincent were vibrant and their relationship felt very real. Vincent was a wonderful love interest because he was so different from other YA novels. He fit just right with the story and their bond was very refreshing.

The effort put in describing the world of Revenants was immense. The concept was original and very interesting. Although the plot was straightforward with good versus evil, the addition of the Revenants created a touch of something new. The conclusion of the book answered most questions and at the same time created more. I am sure that they will be resolved in later books.

Die For Me was just the perfect candidate for something invigorating in the YA paranormal romance genre. It has all the elements you have come to expect but Plum throws in a few to make it a stand out from the rest. You will be compelled with the story and it will keep you on your feet while taking your interest level to new heights.

You can purchase Die for Me  at these following retailers:

Until I Die - May 7, 2012

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Amy for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Die for Me 
by Amy PlumSigned Bookmark.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Bookmark by Amy Plum.


Lisa loves to read
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Die for Me 
by Amy Plum & Signed Bookmark.

Jenny Needham
1 Winner will receive one Signed Bookmark by Amy Plum.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. coffee lol. i dont eat breakfast, but if i did it would be cornflakes :)
    thank you for the contest

  2. Orange Juice and cereal :)
    Great giveaway as usual and a lovely interview..I loved it lol
    Thanks so much Jean

  3. Coffee, eggs and toast!
    Great Giveaway!!

    ~Samantha Dacier

  4. Bowl of honey buzzers with milk. :)

    Terri M

  5. Lucky Charms! :P With the different color shooting stars haha!

    Thanks for this great giveaway and interview Jean and Amy!

    Good luck everyone!!

  6. Fruit & maple oatmeal from McDonald's.

  7. Tea with biscuits because I have a sore throat =/

  8. A homemade granola bar :). Super healthy, super delicious.

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  10. Banana and almond granola with soy milk with a cup of pineapple juice on the side :0)

  11. 1/2 sandwich of bacon and cheese and 2 cups of coffee ;) ...

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love Amy Plum!!!

  12. A cup of yogurth and fruits with granola on top! :D Yummy!

  13. Well since I have been up for over 36 hours now....I actually didnt eat breakfast this morning tho. So if we go by when I first ate today that would be at about 430 this evening and it was sloppy joes :P

  14. I haven't had breakfast yet, I just woke up, and I'm glad Amy's interview was the first thing I read. I LOVED Die for Me, and I LOVED how she described Paris, the cafes and even the classic books Kate read.

    I can't wait for book two. I've read great books lately and this is really one of them. I enjoyed the feeling of Paris, adventure, good food and love.

    Kate and Vincent are so cute together and I have to say I just loved Jules. Charlotte love to Ambrose promises great addition to the upcoming sequel.

    I learned so much about Paris just by reading the book.

  15. Black cherry fruit on the bottom yogurt. Thanks for the cool interview and giveaway! I'd really love to have these books! ;)

  16. Dang not a breakfast person, ummmm cinnamon rolls!! LOL:)))

    Amazing giveaway again, as always you rock it girl and the interview was GOOD too!!;)))


  17. Thanks for the giveaway!
    I think the cover for Die For Me is so beautiful and the cover for Until I Die is just as amazing!!

    Breakfast was a delicious bowl for fruit with vanilla yoghurt :)

  18. My breakfast was Pancit Palabok i got from the store!!! Yummy!

    Thanks for the giveaway! This has been on my To-read list!

  19. Hmmm raisin/cinnamon bread with a lot of butter and a big coffee! Thanks for this giveaway!


  20. Lovely interview :) Thanks to both of you ^^
    For breakfast... hot chocolate and crumpets mmmm

  21. Cereal or preferlably something light =)

  22. Eggs and toast!
    Thanks for this giveaway! I've been wanting to read this book!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. I don't know if it is open internationally, but I'm taking part in it anyway! Thank you for the giveaway and for this awesome interview!
    and for breakfast there was pizza! I know weird but it was so good :)

  25. Coffee. Thanks for this interview and the giveaway..:D

  26. tea with biscuits a paratha with a fried egg

  27. Thank you for the great interview and giveaway!
    Cereals for breakfast :)

  28. coffee, orange plus strawberry juice and bread with butter ^^

    Thx for the giveaway xD

  29. Thanks for the giveaway, Waffles were my breakfast! :)

  30. Had hot tea and coffee for breakfast!!

    Great review! Have this on my TBR list!! Thanks for the giveaway.

  31. scrambled eggs lol >.< and tons of coffee :D

    this giveaway rocks!

  32. A bowl of those new Dulce de Leche Cheerios. Yum!!

  33. Hi, Thank's for the giveaway ^_^
    Breakfast, an appel as usual!

  34. I had for breakfast today, Vanilla yogurt with granola and blackberries on top! Delicious and of course a cup of coffee!

  35. Orange Juice and toast. Good luck everyone!

  36. I don't eat breakfast... Lol
    Thanks Jean

  37. Thanks for having the giveaway. I slept through breakfast. the first thing I ate today was home made pizza.

  38. Today nothing i don't eat breakfast, although i didn't even have coffee this morning.

    Thanks for the giveaway

  39. Cheerios. xD And OJ, so yummy. Thanks for this giveaway.

  40. Coffee and pancakes!! yum! :D
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. I'm terrible, as I rarely eat breakfast... Does coffee count? lol

    Thanks for the giveaway Jean! :)

  42. OK, I know I am a big girl but usually for breakfast I have oatmeal. Today I was terrible and had tastykakes the ones with the peanut butter....I know...