A.M. Torres author of the Child Series, is ready for your questions on anything from writing, publishing, and even my series. Ask me anything!

Ana Torres
Feb 7, 2018

In this AMA, author A.M. Torres will answer your questions regarding her Child Series beginning with Love Child the first novel of the series. 

If you love to read fiction you will enjoy Love Child a suspense story about Tommy Hulette the protagonist who fights to survive after the tragedy of his mother's suicide. Join me if you have questions about the novel, writing, publishing, promotions, or anything you want to talk about.

Here's a link to Love Child https://www.amazon.com/Love-Child-M-Torres/dp/149545634X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Learn more about the author in these links:  https://www.facebook.com/Author-AM-Torres-168878506580589/




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Do you add any personal specifications to the characters in your books? How do the characters resemble you?

Feb 13, 1:06PM EST0

How did you start writing?

Feb 13, 12:15PM EST0

If you had to choose a fictional character from a book to sit and chat for a while with, who would you choose?

Feb 12, 8:29PM EST0

Who is your favourite author?

Feb 9, 12:34PM EST0

I have quite a few from Anne Rice, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, and S.E. Hinton, but if I have to choose a favorite it would be V.C Andrews. While I've always been writing it was her Dollanganger series that fully inspired me.  Her books were the kind of page turners I hoped to write one day. 

Feb 10, 1:57AM EST0

When does inspiration come to you the most?

Feb 9, 6:36AM EST0

Usually at night. I've always been an imsomniac so this probably plays a big part of that. I'm usually more awake at night.  Sometimes listening to my favorite music helps too. Reading my favorite books have also inspired me to get back to writing.

Feb 10, 2:06AM EST0

What is your number one tip for other aspiring authors?

Feb 9, 5:54AM EST0

Take time to write. Every day write something. I try to write at least three pages a day if I'm working on a new novel or at least 1-3 poems if possible. If you can't manage three pages write three paragraphs. Keep the goal realistic and start slow. Have patience for it can be a very slow process in seeing results.

Feb 11, 11:46PM EST0

Is your story based on real life experience or is Love Child purely fiction?

Feb 9, 3:36AM EST0

Both. The story was inspired by some real life events, but the story as told was fiction. It's fiction inspired by some real events.

Feb 11, 11:48PM EST0

According to you who are the authors with the same style of writing as yours?

Feb 9, 1:50AM EST0

V.C Andrews was such an inspiration and its her style I would compare my writing style too. While not the exact same style, her style did inspire mine.  S.E Hinton's style is also a bit similar. I learned a lot from these authors and I'm still learning even as I continue to develop myself as a writer.  Its been an honor to learn from such great authors. 

Last edited @ Feb 11, 11:53PM EST.
Feb 11, 11:52PM EST0

Could you tell more about your other books? Any lin would be appreciated.

Feb 8, 8:53AM EST0

Yes Love Child is followed by Child No More, and Child Scorned. These books follow Tommy Hulette's story as he struggles to find himself after his life is changed so drastically in Love Child. Aside from these novels I have also published two books on poetry (Shadowed Tears) and (Turmoil) I have also published an annual Christmas poetry book (J and K Christmas) every year since 2012. This is the link to my website where all my books and their links are listed.  http://christmas1102.wixsite.com/mysite 

Thank you..

Feb 8, 3:48PM EST0

How do you write about sucide in a respectful manner?

Feb 8, 8:38AM EST0

Writing any suicide scene is challenging, and in this case; emotional. Tommy's mother went through terrible depression so it was important to allow her depression to play out in the story until that terrible day for her.  The best way to describe suicide in writing is to portray it as realistically as possible.  This was important for me. I also hoped that readers wouldn't dismiss it as just another suicide being written into the story just for the sake of writing it. It wouldn't be true. To write suicide in a respectful manner it's important to keep its realism, and purpose.

Last edited @ Feb 10, 2:07AM EST.
Feb 8, 4:28PM EST0

How do you create your characters and choose their names?

Feb 8, 4:42AM EST0

I begin by writing the idea in a notebook, and think of names I like. I write a few down, but once I have a character in mind, and what their role is intended to be, I think of names that can suit the personality I have in mind.  I usually create my characters once I have an idea for the story.  The main character, supporting characters, and the ones popping in. Once I begin to write I explore more names should I need to introduce a new character. Of course novels will usually have those. 

Feb 8, 5:41PM EST0

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Feb 8, 2:13AM EST0

Fortunately writer's block doesn't come very often.  But when it does I like to turn to my favorite books for inspiration.  I read certain parts again, and that helps me a lot. By the time I finish reading I'm ready to tackle the writing again. Other times I turn to music and that helps too.  I try not to let writer's block upset me or take over because the more I fret it the worse it gets.  A day off from writing can do me wonders, and helps me stay focused.

Feb 8, 2:52AM EST0

Hello and good evening, I will get to your questions right away. Thank you for for posting them and joining the conversation.

Feb 7, 9:08PM EST0

What was the first thing you ever wrote?

Feb 7, 3:24AM EST0

I remember a Spanish poem I wrote when I was about 9 or 10.  It was a religious poem regarding the Virgin Mary. I don't remember the words but I do remember writing the poem. It was my first real effort.

Feb 7, 9:10PM EST0

How did you come up with the idea for Love Child?

Feb 6, 4:22PM EST0

I came up with the idea many years ago. The story covers many themes, but it's mainy the story of the protagonist trying to survive in the midst of hate while trying to keep he and his sister safe.  I was influenced by some of my real life experiences, and overactive imagination.  However despite some of the things the protagonist experiences it's a story of survival even when one is most isolated. 

Feb 7, 9:15PM EST0

How many books do you plan to write in the Child Series?

Feb 6, 3:09PM EST0

I have already written three books and I'm currently working on the fourth.  Child Game is the current book I am writing.  Love Child, Child No More, and Child Scorned are the current books already written. 

Feb 7, 9:16PM EST0

How do you find inspiration for your writing? How long have you been writing?

Feb 6, 2:56PM EST0

I have been writing since childhood.  It has always been something I've enjoyed doing but it took me many years to become disciplined.  I find a lot of inspiration from reading, and real life experiences.  In recent years as I've written the Child series and my poetry, I have found a lot of inspiration when I listen to music. I love the kind of music that tells a story. Like those from Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, and many others who wrote their own songs.  I become more inspired when I listen to their music, and before long I find myself inspired. It helps a lot.

Feb 7, 9:22PM EST0

Do you have a set number of pages or chapters that you aim to complete each day?

Feb 6, 12:21PM EST0

I try to complete at least three chapters a day. When I can't manage that I just write whatever I can on that day. The goal is to write every day. By aiming for three chapters, I know what I'm working towards, and most times I try to write past that and sometimes do.

Feb 7, 10:09PM EST1

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Feb 6, 11:20AM EST0

It energizes me. The more I write the more it energizes me.  However after hours of writing, there are some mornings I wake up exhausted so it can exhaust me especially mentally, but for the most part it energizes me. 

Feb 7, 10:30PM EST0

What are some things that you are doing to promote Love Child?

Feb 6, 11:03AM EST0

Promoting is always challenging.  I've used social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and others like Linkedin. I am still trying to learn Snapchat, and I have a You Tube channel where I have posted videos of myself reading some of my poetry. I plan to read excerpts of Love Child, and I also blog. I have posted excerpts of Love Child among the other books. I have done a few interviews online and Blog radio.  I encourage my readers to leave reviews. Every little thing helps from book signings, and any appearance you can manage to grab. The library has been really good to host readings.

Feb 7, 10:38PM EST0

What do you hope the readers will take away from Love Child?

Feb 6, 9:27AM EST0

Love Child covers many themes.  Some of them like bullying, abandonment, depression, poverty, the family struggle; these are just a few things that many people experience.  I hope readers can take anything from those themes, while enjoying the story.  Taking as in learning from them, seeing a different viewpoint or if one relates to it, and can help them in some way.  Anything readers can take from Love Child means a lot.

Feb 7, 11:10PM EST0

How do you write your books? Do you plot and plan in advance or just develop the story as you are writing?

Feb 6, 8:03AM EST0

I often begin my books with some planning. I begin to write the book with some ideas in mind, but as the story develops things can change quickly. Its like the characters take over and lead me , and before long I'm writing something completely different, but still relevant to the story.  My characters help develop the story, and that is a fun part of writing fiction.

Feb 7, 11:15PM EST0

What process did you go through to get your book published?

Feb 6, 1:17AM EST0

Originally Love Child was published through Outskirts Press. Later I had it published through CreateSpace a publishing division through Amazon.  The process wasn't that hard since I had someone advising me the whole time. I submitted my manuscript online, and it was looked over for errors, and other issues. The advise I received was very helpful, and I learned a lot.

Feb 8, 2:33AM EST0

What were some of your favorite books when you were a child?

Feb 5, 2:06PM EST0

I had a few favorites. Heidi by Joanna Spyri was probably my favorite. I loved reading the Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood especially "Snowbound with Betsy" which was my favorite book of that series. I got a kick  out of Ramona by Beverly Cleary.  I loved Ramona since I could relate to her a lot. The childish angst, and always feeling misunderstood.  It was fun to read.  

Feb 7, 11:59PM EST0

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special for you? What inspired you to start writing a series for kids?

Feb 5, 11:12AM EST0

The Child Series is not a series for kids though I would like to write a kids series one day. Love Child is about a child going into his teens who adapts to his neighborhood, only to have everything change when his mother sinks into depression. The genre is thriller, suspense.  What makes this special for me is being able to tell a story, and writing something that means a lot, and covering themes that are important to me. I chose to write suspense because I love to read suspense fiction myself, and really enjoy a good page turner. I enjoy writing them, and hope my readers enjoy reading them. 

Feb 8, 12:09AM EST0

What was most challenging for you - the writing or the publishing or Love Child?

Feb 5, 6:41AM EST0

The writing was more challenging.  Writing a novel is very time consuming. Then there's the editing, you need to do usually more than once. There is so much work that goes into writing the novel. Love Child took me over seven years for me to complete.  Getting it published was challenging too, but it took much less time than the writing. 

Feb 8, 12:16AM EST0

Where do you write? Do you have a favorite writing spot?

Feb 5, 4:44AM EST0

I have a small black table in the living room, where I keep my laptop, notebooks, and everything writing related. This is where I do most of my writing now. 

Feb 8, 12:19AM EST0

How did it feel when Love Child was out and about in the world?

Feb 5, 4:10AM EST0

It was truly a great feeling, and one that's hard to describe.  Just holding a copy of the book for the first time felt unreal to me.  It was surreal when I saw it on sale on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other sites.  It was my dream come true. 

Feb 8, 12:22AM EST0

How do you think writing for a series is different from writing a standalone book? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to writing a series?

Feb 4, 6:51PM EST0

A series is different because it continues telling the story from book one.  The story and conflicts that weren't solved in the first book can continue in the series whether that takes one following book or more books in the series. A standalone novel only needs one book to tell the story. Some of the advantages of the standalone is that once its completed that's it. It's completed and the standalone novel is easier to keep track of for readers.  An author can move faster to the next project when a standalone is written.  This can provide some disadvantage when writing a series. A series has to be followed carefully by the author.  There is a lot to remember even when keeping notes. It's easier to make mistakes in a series. Something that happened in the first novel may be overlooked in the following novel and this can frustrate the reader. Not that this happens often, but it's something authors need to be more careful when writiing their series. A standalone novel can sell well, but so can the first book of a new series. However the disadvantage may fall in the following books.  Right now Love Child has sold better than its series, and other authors have expressed the same thing regarding their series.  Of course some mainstream series like Harry Potter or The Vampire Chronicles are exceptions to  this once the author becomes very famous for beloved books. This is the goal for every author. One advantage to writing a series is that it does give the author the chance to have his or her name on more than one book while planning the stand alone story may take longer if an author hasn't decided when to write their next one.  With a series you can begin to write the next story right away.

Feb 8, 3:33PM EST0

What was the hardest part and what did you enjoy most about writing Love Child?

Feb 4, 6:10PM EST0

I loved creating the characters. As the story developed I enjoyed watching them develop as well.  The hardest part about writing Love Child would have to be the editing. Its important to edit, but you can find yourself doubting what you wrote, over and over even after making changes. For me this became common as I edited Love Child.  However, at some point you have to end the story. The story is not fully ready until the editing is done,  

Feb 8, 1:10AM EST0

What age do you write your books for?

Feb 4, 3:30PM EST0

Love Child is not for children, but it can be read by teenagers, and adults. I aimed the story more for adults, but teenagers have read it. My poetry books are pretty much aimed at the same audience.

Feb 8, 1:14AM EST0

Is the main character Tommy Hulette anything at all like you?

Feb 4, 10:18AM EST0

Tommy Hulette is a little like me,  but he is more different. He is not afraid to confront people, and he's a fighter. I'm often shy, and don't like confrontations. He is more vocal, and quick to talk back. He stands up for himself. Its been fun writing for a character who is different in that way. However Tommy is also a thinker and we have that in common. I'm an introvert. Tommy not so much, but his circumstances change him. 

Feb 8, 1:02AM EST0

What projects are you working on at the present? Have you already started the second book of the Child Series?

Feb 4, 8:38AM EST0

I am currently working on the fourth book which will be titled "Child Game". Child No More is the name of the sequel, but it has continued. Child Scorned is the third book.  I am also planning another poetry book. Child Game is the present project I am working on completing. It is now in the editing stages.

Feb 8, 12:43AM EST0

What projects are you working on at the present? Have you already started the second book of the Child Series?

Feb 4, 8:15AM EST0

Do you want to see the Child Series brought to live on the big screen? Who would you like to play Tommy Hulette?

Feb 4, 7:54AM EST0

I would love to see this happen. I would have to give some thought to who I would like to see play Tommy Hulette. C. Thomas Howell would have been a good choice when he was younger. I think Eminem if he was younger could also play the part.  

Feb 8, 1:16AM EST0

You must have a long journey to go before completing. Is there any source of help?

Feb 4, 4:37AM EST0

It is daunting at times. But I count my blessings,  and am grateful for the support of my family. I have a number of good friends who have been very supportive as well.  I have joined various writing groups on Facebook, and they have offered many tips on promotions while allowing me to promote my books in their groups.  Outskirts Press has continued to send me weekly emails with tips and ideas on promoting my books. These sources have been helpful, and I'm grateful for all of them. 

Feb 8, 12:26PM EST0
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