Thursday, April 17, 2014

My heroes: Amy Leigh Strickland

My Heroes
First Installment: Amy Leigh Strickland

I've decided to write a blog post every month about someone who inspires me.  A hero in one form or another.  As so much of my life is based around reading and writing, many of these heroes are bound to be writers, bloggers, creators, artists and musicians.  Though I'm sure I'll put other people in here, too.

The first in My Heroes is a gal who is constantly an inspiration to me in my writing life.  I met Amy back around 2001 when we were both writing in group, co-written fan-fiction "games" on  The premise of these games is that one player chooses a character, then writes the start of a scene from that character's perspective.  Another player will join in the scene, writing from another character's point of view.  The pair of players take turns back and forth, creating a scene only using their own characters.  It's great practice in character development and a good lesson in what drives plot forward.

Amy and I played together for years and years in different fandoms.  We dabbled in the world of Harry Potter, in Marvel Comics, and Greek Gods.  She was the Alex to my Lorna, the Hermione to my Ron.  (Correct me on the characters, here, in case I've gotten them wrong.)  It's been quite some time since we were in our last "game" together, though we were in many.  Sometimes I would be the "moderator" of the game, sometimes she.  Amy was always a better moderator than I was--her skills in html were second to none, so her games were always beautifully created.  She made the best icons with her photoshop skills.

Several years ago, Amy quit the world of "RP."  It was really, really sad to see her go.  She was was fun to write with, creative and original.  But she wanted to move on from the world of tag team fan-fiction, and enter the realm of original fiction publishing.  I was in awe.  Not only because she was able to quit cold turkey (something I've still not been able to do--you would be shocked at how addictive these "games" can be) but because some months after she played in her last game, she published her own original work.  

Being a dutiful friend and co-writer, I bought up all of the Olympia Heights novels on Amazon Kindle and their Print On Demand.  I participated in (and won!) cover release contests and helped to spread the word.  We are NaNoWriMo Writing Buddies, and it's always encouraging to get to write virtually by her side in November.  I purchased Kissing Corpses and Royer Goldhawk, and will continue to read everything she puts out there.  I've gotten into the habit of leaving honest, though almost always positive, reviews on her publications.

I'm hoping that some day soon I can follow in Amy's footsteps.  I would love to collaborate with her again.  I want to follow her example and get focused on writing, editing and publishing.  Hopefully her drive can be an example for me, and I can finally wean myself away from the "practice" she and I once shared.  

You can find Amy here:

Have you read any of Amy Leigh Strickland's novels?  The first in her Olympia Heights series is often free on Amazon Kindle, but all the rest are absolutely worth buying and reading.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of Amy's works.  Leave a comment below and let me know what your thoughts/impressions are on co-written fan-fiction "games," if you've played them or read them before!

In a month I'll include a review with my next Hero Blog Post. ;)