Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Amy Armbruster - Author and Avid Ghost Hunter

I'm thrilled to welcome Amy Armbruster, author of WHISPERING COVES, an electric paranormal mystery. :D

1. When did you start writing/painting/playing music/doing photography?
AMY: I have been writing for twelve years and ghost hunting for almost four years.

2. What inspired you to do it?
AMY: I had the opportunity. Opportunity is a rare thing that doesn’t often knock twice. Timing was right for me to start a ghost hunting group thus began the ghost hunting. I had the courage and encouragement needed to self-publish a story I had written and that in itself presented the opportunity, so I did it! My original inspiration for writing twelve years ago was as way of escape. I was going through a tough time and my stories, in a way, saved me.

3. Any new projects coming up?
AMY: I am always looking for places to investigate - never know where I might be from one month to the next! No big projects coming up soon though. As far as writing goes, I do intend to publish more books, my first was Whispering Coves, but I will be publishing Devon’s Curse soon and then Sisters Forevermore.

4. Do you find it hard to share your work with others?
AMY: Ghost hunting is a difficult thing to share at times but the field has grown so much it is becoming easier and easier to gain acceptance and even interest in what I do. My stories are more difficult to share with people, my books are like my children and a part of me will always be afraid they aren’t good enough. You really put yourself out there when you allow others to read and critique your work.

5. What is your opinion on people who post bad reviews?
AMY: It depends on why they are posting them. If they are just being honest but not belittling the writer then I think they can be helpful. Reviews are really important especially for a self-published author, I think we all hope for the good ones!

6. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
AMY: In the ghost hunting field the best advice I can give is to find someone you trust to help you get started and teach you the ropes. It’s important to do things right, not just to save your reputation, but also that of the fields. In self-publishing or writing, I say the same…it helps to have someone that can guide you in the self-publishing process - I was very lucky to have one Johanna Pontes Frappier helping me! Most important is to learn to trust yourself and your talent, believe in yourself and go for it! You’ll never know just how good you are until you step out of your comfort zone and let others read your work.

7. Did your art come from just a need to express yourself or a particular experience that you had?
AMY: Ghost hunting came as a passion. I think everyone wants to experience the paranormal in some sense… I have always wanted to know - Do ghosts exist? Writing came out of a need…I need to write, I need to explore the what-if’s of the world, I need to live through my books or stories. I need the escape sometimes, too.

8. How did you get started?
AMY: In ghost hunting I was lucky to stumble across a group when it was starting out fresh. In writing, I started years and years ago, probably as a child playing Barbies and acting out stories in my bedroom with Ken and Barbie. Writing for me is a form of playing Barbies, an adult version that is perfectly acceptable and allows me to be creative and in control of the lives I create.

9. Will you ever stop creating art? and have you ever had a moment that you felt like quitting and why?
AMY: In writing no, I have never wanted to quit and never will…it’s a part of me that I enjoy far too much to ever give up. In ghost hunting, yes, many moments as the field is full of drama and competition. Beauty pageants are the only place that should have that much competition and drama…not a field meant to gain answers and help others. Many join the field for stardom…they are the ones that feel the need to compete in my opinion and the ones I like to avoid.

10. Any websites you would like to share? Your own? or one that has helped you as an artist?
AMY: I have two - my ghost hunting group, Just Curious Paranormal Studies is
and my new author website should be up and running soon, it is

11. If you could go back in time and meet one person who would it be and why?
AMY: I’d like to meet Bertha Gifford, I know most have not heard of her, but she was allegedly one of the first female serial killers in the United States. Don’t believe all you google on this woman though! I did extensive research a few years ago on Mrs. Gifford as I was leading tours at a local hotel where she was said to have once worked at. My research led me to a wonderful book called Tainted Legacy written by S. Kay Murphy, her great-granddaughter! I am so intrigued by this story and if I could go back in time to meet one person it would have to be Bertha Gifford! I would love to know who she really was and if she could have intentionally killed the people she is accused of killing. Deep down, I just know there is so much more to her story!

12. Have you received any bad reviews and if so how did you deal with it?
AMY: My first book, Whispering Coves, did receive a bad review. It was called “clumsy and full of errors”. Ouch! That stung! However, I dealt with it by taking the GOOD in the review to heart (like when she said I was a good storyteller and had definite talent) and remembering next time not to get so eager to publish that I miss mistakes I should have caught. I have since posted two revised editions - doing my best to make it error free. I have also received 12 very good reviews!

13. Why do you think that the paranormal genre is so popular?
AMY: Should we contribute our success to Jay & Grant on Ghost Hunters? Or should we contribute it to the fact that EVERYONE is intrigued by the mysteries of life! It’s a fun subject with no real boundaries for our creative minds to adhere to. I do think it’s wonderful that shows like Ghost Hunters has made it possible to speak of paranormal experiences without feeling awkward or silly. Why it’s so popular I just can’t say but I sure am glad it is!

14. If you had the chance to live in a book, what book and what character would you be?
AMY: I don’t have to, I already have lived all the characters in my book, all the stories I have imagined and scenarios I have created, all the places I have written about…don’t you see? I’ve already been there! I have lived hundreds of lives and all of them have, thus far, ended happily ever after!

15. Who does your cover art? Do you design it yourself?
AMY: I take all the photographs that I use for the covers of my book and design them myself. I am hoping to continue to do so!

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