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Whether I’m watching a scene from a motion picture movie or reading the words on paper, I love escaping into a great love story!

Author Interview: Miriam Brady & Amber Best

I got a chance to ask Miriam Brady & Amber Best, the authors of The Back-Up List Series, a few questions!  🙂 Check them out

Writing

  1. How did you both meet? Did you really meet at church after a compliment on Miriam’s “slutty boots”? hahaha
    Yes, that is exactly how it went down! I (Amber) was avoiding aka ditching the service; she saw this chick sitting there in a chair towards the back of the building and thought….what slutty boots, which she adored immediately. So, she just blurted out, “I just love your slutty boots!” They both laughed and became fast friends!
  1. What’s a typical day like for the two of you?
    Amber wakes up every weekday at 4:45 am and she gets her kids ready for school, takes them and goes to the gym. Meanwhile, Princess Miriam (hahaha) is sleeping in till 7:30 and Amber knows better to call before 8:10 am. Miriam usually starts her day off with that phone call from Amber and getting her toddler ready for the day. We discuss EVERYTHING! This conversation will last a few hours. Things used to be different when we lived only 8 minutes away from each other but since Miriam moved we get our chat on to keep things “normal”. During the conversation, chores are done errands are run.  We laugh all day long via texts and calls. We are both moms and wives (not to each other), and are busy taking care of our families.

  1. Who or what inspired you to become writers?
    Miriam- I have wanted to become a writer as long as I could remember! I have always loved reading! As a child I was able to connect to characters and stories I read, I wanted to be able to have the same positive effect.

    Amber- I actually wrote my first book in the 3rd grade and was acknowledged with the Principles Award. I felt the bug then but found myself being an avid reader! I loved to make up stories and apparently still do!

  1. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
    Miriam- Yes, it will never see the light of day!!!

    Amber- The Magic Tree (3rd grade)!

  1. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you both in any way, either growing up or as adults?
    Miriam- I feel that Pride and Prejudice is the quintessential love story! I adore Jane Austen, she had a knack for seeing people…but then again, so did Charles Dickens, who is another favorite of mine.

    Amber- The first book I honestly remember which affected me was- Six Months to Live (Dawn Rochelle #1) by Lurlene McDaniel, I felt as though I had been on an emotional journey with this character. It was the first book I remember reading and crying while doing so! I couldn’t believe the affect she had on me! Since then I also fallen in love with the classics. However, my favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald!

  1. Where do you get your ideas from? Do they come to you or are they inspired by true events?
    Well, some of the funny stuff has actually happened, so we knew we had to throw it in somewhere. We once talked about our favorite books and films and thought about writing a story with our favorite elements! However, once we started writing, most ideas come from the characters telling us what to do!!!!

  1. Do you work with an outline or just write?
    We’ve done both! Outlines are helpful but sometimes our stories take unexpected turns, so we just go with it!

  1. What are some of the struggles and advantages to co-writing?
    Struggles-Writing, finding the time to be alone to write. We have 7 kids between the 2 of us and seldom have our schedules line up where all the kids are gone at the same time! It seems that even when we can get away, someone will interrupt us! We’ll head over to our local Starbucks, or go to the Country Club or the beach, that some random stranger(s) will overhear us and ask us a whole lot of questions. Sometimes we need it QUIET!

    Advantages-When it comes to writing, being able to discuss ideas. Ya know it’s funny, when you do have an idea and the other person just can’t see how it will work, you get immediate feedback. However, when something just sounds right we tend to build of a base of an idea and come up with a situation easily. It’s so much fun to write a story with your best friend. We can sit and laugh about whatever we want to add and we are in our own world! It’s the best!!!

  1. Describe your writing process. Do you write together or send it back and forth?
    We’ve tried sending it back and forth and we found out it works best when we sit in the same room! We discuss whose POV we’re working on and the scene; we go from there and take turns. We have our characters we each write but the other one of us still has total input on what will be said or done! We have 50/50 input on everything! Nothing happens that isn’t fully discussed!

  1. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to? Some imaginary Murder of Crows? 😉 haha
    Before a writing session we both listen to music. We have, of course, different playlists but oddly enough most of the same artists are on them. Since we now take turns commuting to each other’s houses, we take that time to listen to inspired songs. We never ever write with music on, it’s too distracting! However, we do listen to music when we are reading chapters and trying to fluff the bare bones of a chapter!

    Miriam- LOVES to listen to All-American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, Michael Bublé and Nickelback.

    Amber- I absolutely adore Nickelback!!! They are my MOC (Murder of Crows)! I also enjoy Maroon5, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry and did I mention Nickelback?!?!? I LOVE THEM!!!

    We both love them and have seen them in concert many times and we just feel connected to their music!!!

The Back-Up List Series
The Back-Up List Series

  1. How did you decide to co-write The Back-Up List?
    We just started talking about the story and decided we liked the idea of a heroine who could be a Cinderella yet be reluctant about it! We decided since we are best friends it might be fun to make up a story together.

  2. Did you know that it would be a series, or did it surprise you when it became more?
    At first our book- The Back-Up List was a joke.  We wrote it for fun! We wrote for us! It was never meant to go anywhere! Our friends got curious and wanted us to send them chapters and they were actually encouraging us to really finish it! Once we finished our first book, we started having ideas for the second book- The List of Possibilities, which was shocking! By the time we finished that book we walked away from writing for 2 years! During that time Amber finished school and Miriam had another baby! We never thought anymore about our characters or progressing with the stories anymore! The day we started our third book- The Bump List it took us completely by surprise; we wrote our “Paris” chapter and knew these characters were not done! Here we are now writing our fourth book- The List of Demands.

  1. What inspired The Back-Up List and the rest of the books? Do you know some hot rock-stars?!
    We both had made up back-up lists and just FYI-our husbands are not allowed to have them! Just kidding! It was a joke we constantly were updating them except for the top guy on each of our lists, he has never changed! Anyways, one summer night years ago, Miriam’s husband was out of town so she and her girls came over for dinner. We decided to make cookies at 10 pm for some inexplicable reason. Nothing was on TV so she brought the first season of Prison Break and we were both in agreement that Wentworth Miller would be on both of our lists! That is where the back-up list began.

    No we do not know any rock stars! Which is sad! We would someday love to meet some though!

  1. How do your families feel about the stories? Do they know about them, or have they read them?
    Our husbands are super supportive about our books! Have they read them? No, not really. They both read about 3 full chapters. They have had parts read to them by us making sure our fictitious husbands Cal and Rory sounded bad ass enough! Our children just wanted their names somewhere in the books so they got a dedication in The List of Possibilities and in the acknowledgment pages.

  1. Out of the three books so far, what was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
    Our most favorite part to write was Chapter 3 in our third book- The Bump List.  We both LOVE this chapter because of the range of emotions from all the characters; happy, pissed, scared, horny and frustrated…drunk (okay, okay, it’s not an emotion but it could be.) When we wrote the rough draft of this chapter we went to add a few things and couldn’t find it anywhere! So we rewrote it! When we found it later, we were able to combine draft 1 and draft 2 for a fun chapter that left us laughing out loud.

    The hardest chapters to write for us and we avoid reading them if we can because we are so emotionally invested with our characters- are Chapter 12 from- The Back-Up List. This is where Maddy is consoling Kinley’s daughter Kennedy (who’s 8 year old) about being able to relate to her grief and letting her know its ok to move on. The second hardest chapter to write and read for us is Chapter 11 from-The Bump List. A home video from Madison past and brings up painful things. It was necessary to the plot but not easy to write!

  1. Which characters would you say are you most alike? I imagine you two as the real life Kinley and Madison. 😉
    There are certain aspects of us in these two crazy girls! Amber is super bossy and a control freak, Miriam is laid back and easy going! You write a lot of times with what you know! I (Amber) put myself in Maddy’s shoes and pretend it was me and how would I act! Miriam does the same thing with Kinley. We have been best friends for a long while so we based Maddy and Kinley’s friendship off of our own! It’s weird but most of our reviews mention having a BFF like that and we are blessed to say it’s us in a nutshell!!!

  1. Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? What would you say to that person? What would you be doing?
    Well we wouldn’t need to meet the girls because we have that relationship between us in real life! BUT we both want to meet the HUNT Brothers because they are HOT and we created them (our dream men)!

    What would you say to that person? I would say, do you find me attractive? He would say, YES! It would be at a concert and he would sing to us!!!!

    What would you be doing? HIM….LOL

  1. Any chance of there being more books, or novellas maybe, in The Back-Up List Series? I love them!
    AHHHHH, thank you!!!! We are currently working on number four- The List of Demands. We discussed possibly writing a prequel to- The Back-Up List…where the girls are in High School we would call it- The Boyfriend List.

  1. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as authors? What has been the best compliment?
    We have had a reviewer who HATED our book and couldn’t find one redeeming quality about it. She attacked us on a personal level which was odd because she is a complete stranger! We can laugh about it now but it was so hurtful to read. However, she is completely entitled to her opinion. Yet, so are we. In the nicest terms possible….she can suck it!

    The best compliment was feedback from a fan who said our work was written like a classic novel. She felt that like her favorite author F Scott Fitzgerald, we made her feel like a mindreading fly on the wall! Also, we were compared by a fan to a modern day Jane Austen! We can’t ever put ourselves on that level (ever) but we appreciated the compliment!!!

  1. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
    This is a hard question! First off you need to believe in yourself. Expect criticism, you have to separate yourself from your work. However, use valid pieces of criticism to make your story the best it can be. Stay true to your characters! People might tell you what direction they feel the story should’ve gone. Sometimes when people give you criticism you will need to sort out the relevant from the not-so-relevant. Some criticism won’t be helpful and some will! Be open to it and if it feels hurtful or mean, let it go!

addtogoodreadsamazonBarnes and noble

Amber and Miriam

About Amber Best & Miriam Brady:

Amber and Miriam have been friends for quite a few years now…because Amber walked up to Miriam and told her she loved her slutty boots, on a Sunday morning at church. They’ve been best friends ever since. They decided this was too funny not to write into the book somewhere. They started The Back-Up List in 2009; it has given them many hours of amusement. Writing these books has given them nearly endless laughter, which they love above all things. Some of their whacky real-life stories have been written surreptitiously into their books, although they’ll never tell you what they are. The Back-Up List is their personal joke, and yes they do have cards in their wallets (thanks Molls). They both live in Southern California with their families, and they enjoy going to Disneyland, the beach and fun GNOs.

Connect with Amber & Miriam:
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Enter the GIVEAWAY and win ALL 3 e-books! 🙂
Back Up Giveaway

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