Friday, April 16, 2010

FF - FORGET HER NOTS by Amy Brecount White

The Author:

Amy Brecount White has played with words for most of her life.

While she was finishing her M.A. in English at the University of Virginia, she also worked for a health newsletter. Her first published article was on constipation. Really. She went on to teach high school English for seven years and then turned to freelance journalism. More than 75 of her articles and essays appeared in The Washington Post. She also wrote for FamilyFun, Washingtonian, online publications, and Notre Dame magazine.

With all that experience, Amy thought writing a novel would go smoothly, but it took her about eight years to get all the lovely words just right in Forget-Her-Nots and find a home at Greenwillow. Forget-Her-Nots was inspired by her own love for flowers and her desire to spread the magic around.

The Book:

Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

The Interview:

What inspired you to write Forget Her Nots?
A combination of factors. One: see #10. That quotation really focused my
creativity. I'd been trying to sell an article on the language of flowers to magazines and newspapers. I'd even made a tussie-mussie (a symbolic Victorian bouquet) for a friend who was battling cancer. One day I realized I had the original idea I wanted and started writing.
Are any of your characters based on real people you know?
Not exactly, but I think most characters are a combination of their creator and some memorable
person she encountered.

What excites you?
Flowers, of course! I also love seeing my family, hanging out with friends, hiking,
roller blading, and a great read.

What turns you off?
Icky smells, like burnt toast. Anyone who lies or twists the truth.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who
would you invite and why?
I'm sure people have said this before, but Jane Austen. I think she was incredibly
witty and read people so well, and her characters are always taking long walks
through the countryside, which I love to do.

What's your favorite flower power?
Lily of the valley for the return of happiness. I'd like to give that to many people.
Happiness depends so much on your perception.

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I have three kids and a dog, so lots of time constraints. I have to be ready to
write when my schedule opens up. That said, a steaming mug of Earl Grey tea with
milk seems to work wonders. And I always get good ideas when I'm putting wet clothes
in the dryer. Go figure!

What songs would make the playlist for Forget Her Nots?
I keep saying I'm going to do this .... Definitely "Come on Get Higher" by Matt
Nathanson. Love that song! And Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," which is one
of the most bittersweet songs ever written.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I have no central vision in my left eye. I had this weird retinal scarring from a
childhood illness, so I have only peripheral vision in that eye. Knock on wood my
right one stays good.

What's your favorite quote?
"Write the novel only you can write." - Toni Morrison. My mantra!

What are you working on now?
Just finishing up STRING THEORIES, a novel about love and lust, the physics of
relationships, a stream, and getting even.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I usually don't write chronologically. The opening is just too hard and so much
depends on it. I usually sketch it out, jot down ideas, and go back to it later when
I know how it can hook my readers into reading the rest.

If The Forget Her Nots were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Laurel?
I think Laurel should be someone completely unknown. So many actresses have too
many roles associated with them, or their offscreen life overshadows their

Milk chocolate or dark?
Both please!

Thanks so much for having me, Linda!

The Freebie:

To be entered to win a signed copy of FORGET HER NOTS, leave a comment below, telling us your favorite flower. Bonus points if you know what that flower's power is. This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, April 21.