Monday, May 1, 2023

The 40 But 10 Interview Series: Amber A. Logan


I had retired the literary Would You Rather interview series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

Amber A. Logan joins us today. Amber is a university instructor, freelance editor, and author of speculative fiction living in Kansas with her husband and two children—Fox and Willow. In addition to her degrees in Psychology, Liberal Arts, and International Relations, Amber holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

When she’s not writing, Amber enjoys trips to Japan, exploring unusual vegetarian foods, and reading Haruki Murakami.

Amber’s debut novel is THE SECRET GARDEN OF YANAGI INN - out Nov. 2022.

What made you start writing?

 I really attribute it to a love of words and how they come together in lovely ways. When I was a teenager, I would check out books of famous quotations from the library and copy the ones I loved into a notebook. I wouldn’t even bother writing down who said them—I just enjoyed the music of how they flowed.


What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a university professor and a freelance editor, as well as a mother to two kids, so I’m pretty busy even without my writing.


If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would love to be able to manipulate time. If I could pause the world and squeeze in extra reading or writing time without it affecting my schedule, I would be in heaven.


 How do you celebrate when you finish writing a new book?

I’m a firm believer in celebrating every step of the writing journey, so I keep a bunch of small bottles of bubbly (champagne, sake, etc.) on hand for every milestone. Finish a book? Crack some bubbly. Go out on submission? Crack some bubbly.


If you could spend the day with another author, who would you choose and why?

 I’m a huge Haruki Murakami fan (my PhD thesis heavily involved him), and I would love to take a stroll and maybe grab some coffee and talk writing with him. But I also think he would just be an interesting person to hang out with—and we would probably meet in Japan, which earns bonus points.


What genres won’t you read?

 I generally consider myself to be rather open-minded when it comes to genre, and I try to sample a lot of different books from middle grade contemporary to horror (not TOO scary) to memoir. But I have a really hard time with true crime—I just can’t seem to enjoy reading about actual, real-life tragedy.


What is under your bed?

 I’ve slept on a futon mattress on tatami mats my entire adult life, so I guess the answer is absolutely nothing!


If you could time travel, would you go back to the past or forward into the future?

 When I was younger, I’m sure I would’ve said I’d go back in time to the 1960s (I was a HUGE Beatles fan as a teenager). But as I’ve aged, I can really see the appeal of moving forward in time. I am fascinated by where technology will lead us, and I love writing near-future SF which lets me speculate on just that.


What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

 That what I think I want out of life will continue to evolve. I look at my goals when I was 25 or 30 or 35 and they all seem bizarre to me now. So I try not to get too caught up in my next big goal because maybe my 45 year-old-self will just be looking back and laughing.


What scares you the most?

 I’m not in the least bothered by heights or spiders or snakes or many of the more common fears, but I am really bothered by death and dead bodies—human or animal. I think that partly explains why I’m a vegetarian.


An adult retelling of the classic children’s book The Secret Garden about an American woman who, while grieving her mother’s death, travels to Japan to photograph a dilapidated inn only to find herself mysteriously tied to the inn’s haunted past.

Still grieving her mother’s death, American photographer Mari Lennox is sent to document Yanagi Inn, an old, dilapidated ryokan outside Kyoto, Japan. By day, Mari explores the inn and its grounds, taking striking photographs and uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. At night, eerie weeping (which no one else seems to hear) keeps her awake.

Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches for the source of the ghostly sound—and discovers a devastating secret tying her family’s history to the inn, and its mysterious, forlorn garden.

Buy the book here

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