Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Aurora Zahni’s character on December 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of The Lie, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Amy Pearson, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Amy!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Amy. Please have a seat.
Character Amy Pearson: Thanks for having me here.
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Also, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Amy: Hi, everyone. My name is Amy Pearson. I’m a senior at Landry High School in Georgia, a band geek, and a musician. My brother, Bryce, is always telling me that I have to believe in what I can do, so I have to say I’m a great student with a 4.0 GPA. As a musician, I play the keyboard, flute, clarinet, oboe, and guitar. I also sing. And if my YouTube page can be believed, people actually like what I do.
Marie: (Laughs.) Great!
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Amy: Well… I have a brother, Bryce. He’s two years younger than me, plays football, always gives me grief about the stupidest stuff, but he’s a good person to talk to. My dad does reno on houses that my uncle sells. Dad’s kind of cool. He’s a volunteer fire fighter in his spare time. And then there’s my mom. Her and me—we don’t get along well. It’s because of my bestie, Jane.
Mom thinks Jane is a horrible influence on me, but she… Jane… doesn’t have any other friends. And she was so nice to me when I had asthma as a kid and couldn’t go outside much.
Marie: All right. Sorry to hear that.
The mother-daughter relationship can be complicated sometimes.
If it doesn’t bother you too much, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Amy: Just like everyone else’s around us. A typical middle class southern home. Nothing spectacular. Until we moved into the old home place, a gift from my grandparents after our house sold and we needed a place fast. It was right after that happened. Don’t ask me about that. It was really awful.
Marie: Okay, sorry. I sense it’s a touchy subject. I know there’s a story there, but I won’t pry.
Do you have any hobbies, Amy? What do you enjoy doing?
Amy: My music is my life. I love recording tracks with my instruments. Sometimes just one, or I might do a few tracks with two or three instruments. Then I write songs and my brother sets up videos on our YouTube page.
Marie: Sounds like fun!
So…what is your greatest dream?
Amy: Graduate high school, go to Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Be a Marching Southerner. And get a general music degree. I don’t know after that. It’s too far away to think about.
Marie: That’s understandable. It’s hard to see that far ahead. It was for me too.
Let’s try another question.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Amy: I want to be a person my mom can love without getting all mad because of my only close friend. I want to be able to just hug her and not have her ask what Jane did now. And I want to have more friends than Jane. It gets really weird only being able to do things with her all the time, but she says everyone else makes fun of her, so I can’t do stuff with them.
Marie: Wow, sorry to hear that! 😦
Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Amy: Trey Melton.
He’s a hunk, kind of like that actor, Brant Daughtery from Pretty Little Liars. Was the quarterback for the Landry Wildcats, until he blew out his knee. And he’s pretty sweet. We’ve just started seeing each other seriously, now that I kicked Jane out of my life.
Marie: Good to hear! (Sighs.) I love romance…
All right. So, let’s try something else.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Amy: That. It’s really hard to explain, kind of complicated. See, the school board took away the band’s funding. And we got very upset. That’s when Jane came to me with this plan, but she couldn’t tell the other kids in band about it. I had to do that, or they wouldn’t have gone along. So, I did, but it didn’t feel right. And then it happened. We didn’t mean for it to happen. It was only supposed to be stink and smoke. The school wasn’t supposed to burn down.
Marie: Yikes! Okay, I can see this is difficult for you.
[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Amy: To be a musician. To go professional. Maybe. I’m not really sure I can do that, though. The kind of music I do isn’t really popular, but it’s what I like. But the people that like my YouTube page are always telling me I’m good enough to be on The Voice or American Idol. I mean really? Me? That’s so crazy.
Marie: Well, it sounds like you have the talent! What I’ve learned is it’s easier to try something and then decide it’s not for you rather than regret you never did it. 😉
Okay. Let’s try something else.
So, who is your role model, Amy?
Amy: To be honest, my younger brother. Bryce is so cool. He’s really smart too. And he never lets anyone put him down. He’s hot too (don’t tell him I said that!). Not only is he great in the classroom, but he’s a gunner on Special Teams for football, and he’s stellar at that. The biggest thing I admire about Bryce? Even though I get irritated with him about the silly stuff, he’s always there for me when something Jane talks me into blows up.
Marie: Good to hear! I’m glad you have a close relationship with your brother.
Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Amy: It took me a long time to figure it out, but I really don’t like Jane. Probably never have. But she’s so needy. And kind of mean. She always puts down my family, but I can’t tell her to go away. I don’t know why, just that I can’t. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have any other friends.
Marie: All right. I can see how pity might have led you into a rough situation.
So, can you tell us something? What is your deepest desire, Amy?
Amy: To have a normal life. Not to have to put up with Jane’s games, her constant innuendos that people hate her for no reason, or are down on her. She’s so harsh. Never gives anyone a chance. She even makes me feel stupid for wanting to do things without her. Jane smothers me, but I don’t know how to make her go away.
Marie: Okay. How about another question…
What is your greatest fear?
Amy: Losing the music in my head. I think I’d die if that happened. That music has always been there. I think I’d go crazy and fade away if it stopped.
Marie: Funny, that’s exactly the way I feel about writing! 😉
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Amy. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
Amy: Thank you for having me, Marie!
Marie: My pleasure!
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Marie: Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here again! Hello, K.C.!
Author K.C. Sprayberry: Hi, Marie! A pleasure to be here.
Marie: The honor is mine. 🙂
So, we just got to talk to a female character of your story, Amy Pearson. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
K.C.: Amy is a typical teen. She works hard for approval from her parents, but is also pulling away as she starts her senior year of high school. Amy has an inner core of strength but she doesn’t realize that because of her bestie, Jane. But Amy is starting to pull free of Jane’s toxic influence, to spread her wings by making new friends, getting involved with her classmates, and getting ready for college.
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
K.C.: She’s a loyal friend. Amy is willing to do what’s needed to help out when necessary. She also loves to cook and bake. Amy makes a killer pumpkin cheesecake and some really great sweet potato tarts.
Marie: Nice! But seriously, she sounds like a great person.
And what are her greatest weaknesses?
K.C.: Amy’s greatest weakness is that she likes to believe the best about people. She won’t give up on a friend, no matter how badly that friend treats her.
Marie: An admirable trait, but I can see how that could get her into some trouble…
Let’s try something else.
What are some of her favorite foods?
K.C.: She loves pretty much everything. The spicier the better. Her favorite burger is from Fuddruckers, the Southwestern.
Marie: All right.
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
K.C.: That’s she’s a sweet, loyal person who can do so much better than she thinks she can.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
K.C.: They’ll hate how she won’t stand up against Jane, instead leaning on her brother heavily. But when things get tough and Bryce isn’t around, Amy will discover she’s a really strong person who can take care of herself.
Marie: Great! 🙂
Now that we have a real taste of Amy, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for The Lie?
K.C.: My editor and I were kicking around ideas one night on Facebook PM. And somehow the conversation got around to lying. How a lie is like the ripples in a pond and you never know how far those ripples go. Then I told her that I’d be right back, knocked out an opening to the first chapter, and showed it to her. She read it, suggested a couple of things, and told me to run with it. Boy, did I run with it. The Lie finished at a little over 102,000 words, the longest and most difficult book I’ve ever written.
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like, K.C.? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
K.C.: I do like to plan, plot out my books, but honestly, after chapter three, all planning flies out the window once the characters take over. They will direct from the background, often screeching out, “I would not do that!” until I fix the problem. Some stories have just been “panster” from beginning to end. I’ve tried being a plotter, but it never works out.
Marie: (Laughs.) Sometimes those characters just don’t listen to us…
Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Lie or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
K.C.: The getting published part wasn’t hard at all, but I have a fabulous publisher in Solstice Publishing. The real challenge lay in writing this book. Originally, it started out as single viewpoint, Amy. Then younger but definitely louder brother Bryce started screaming in my head that he was not going to let his sis go through this alone. So, sigh, I went back to the beginning and began inserting his viewpoint into the chapters. And he’s good. So’s Amy. Anytime I tried to shortcut on the story line, they were after me to get it together and do it right. The end result was not just the most powerful story I’ve done to date, but also the longest one.
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Lie appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author! 🙂 The book comes out on March 4th!
Here is the blurb for The Lie:
For high school siblings, Amy and Bryce, the night began with a football game. Bryce was stuck at home with a cold, brought on by an uncaring coach. Amy was in the stands, playing with the band whose funding had been taken away and given to the football team.
Her best friend, Jane, brought the band together to play a prank on the team in protest.
The prank went wrong. Horribly, tragically wrong.
And the lie that started it all would not stop.
K.C. is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
The sun is peeping over the mountains all around us. The members of the Landry High School Band fill in the last of the holes where we placed our planned revenge to go off tonight. None of us has had any sleep since we woke up yesterday, yet we’re charged up and ready for the rest of today and well into tonight.
“Where are your friends?” I ask.
Jane Preston, my bestie, the true mastermind of this prank, smirks at me.
Her light brown hair flies around her face in the early morning breeze. She swipes a few strands away from her pinched mouth and grimaces. Jane is always angry, always ready to take revenge for what she sees as a slight against her. Her slender body hunches forward, what she calls a protection method against all of her enemies. A lot of people don’t like her. I’m her only real friend. That’s because I feel sorry for her. Honesty turned on… a trait I value not only in myself but everyone close to me… I sometimes wish that Jane will stop being so weird and mean, and learn to be part of the group.
And she won’t let me alone whenever I try to get away from her. Jane would make more friends if she tried a little harder. It’s like she enjoys scaring people, so they don’t get close to her. But she’s always complaining about how everyone hates her.
I hear Amy coming home. She doesn’t know that I’ve been awake all night, waiting on her. Not that she sneaks out much—she never does stuff like this, unless it’s a Jane plan. I pretty much figured that from what I caught of the muffled phone conversations going on until eight last night. That’s when I heard the window going up, a box being hidden behind the bush, and Amy sneaking away.
She’s lucky that Mom and Dad didn’t catch her. Thanks to me. If I hadn’t gone into the kitchen, faking that cough, Amy would have been in major trouble.
That fake coughing will have earned me another day off school, once Mom sees me this morning. She’s a total overprotective mom when it comes to our health. Big deal that I had asthma as a kid, even had to carry an inhaler that I lost whenever I could. I’m way past that now. The cough is what’s left of the cold I got doing sprints in a driving cold rain last Friday night, after we once again lost a football game.
At least I won’t have to do that tonight. Someone has to deal with Coach Williams. He’s totally out of control lately.
Pre-order Purchase Link:
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BX85XSG
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovated tales from the South and beyond.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/KC%20Sprayberry/e/B005DI1YOU/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Amy Pearson, a female character from The Lie, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂