I Wish Amy Matayo Would Quit Writing So Well: My Man Card Is In Jeopardy.

This is my third Amy Matayo review. I knew this was coming up so I had to think about buying a new handgun last week (A Sig P238) just to keep my man card for another year. (No, I didn’t buy the one with the pink grips.)

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It’s a bit daunting for most men to admit that they like Christian romances. It’s even worse when you’ve reviewed all the books by any given author. I’m a fan boy: I admit it right now. Once you start reading her books, you will be a fan as well. They are so well written, so tightly crafted, and so engaging that you forget they are romances. They are simply great stories with a boy and a girl. Amy brings her characters to life so completely that you will be cringing, cheering and crying (I didn’t cry – but then I never do…) at the plot twists. Her latest work, SWAY, is on sale now at Amazon.com. Hit that link and go buy it today. (I don’t review books I didn’t love, I bought this one. I need to talk to Amy about getting free copies from here on out…)

Amy is a friend of mine, we are both represented by the same agent, Jessica Kirkland, at the Blythe Daniel Agency. It has been my privelge to get to know Amy over the past year. She’s funny, smart, well spoken, and has such low standards that she engages in commentary with me on Facebook. I love being her friend. You can find her on Twitter.com with her usual insanity @amymatayo and her Facebook page is right on this link.

Let’s start with Art: Her picture and the book cover.

Amy Matayo

Amy Matayo



As most of you realize, I don’t do straight interviews. I ask silly questions. Because I am a bit deranged, let’s start with the Amazon review I did of the book (Amazon doesn’t show my name for some reason. Sorry, Amy!):

My Man Card Is Now Officially Up For Grabs.

I wish Amy would quit writing these books of hers. I’m in serious danger of losing my man card. Pink cover, romance, all the things that a guy like me isn’t supposed to enjoy. But I do.

Amy’s book, Sway, is like that big tub of caramel coated pecans you got from your Secret Santa. You know you shouldn’t eat the whole thing, but each bit is just a bit different, and worse yet, it tastes even better than the last bit. So at the end of the night you’re grinning from ear to ear and moistening your fingertip to get the last of the crumbs out of the bottom of the can.

This isn’t just a romance novel, it’s a great story with a boy and a girl. I’ve read all of her books, and each one is better than the last. Sway will keep you up late wondering what will happen next. I found it to be suspenseful, funny, touching, and beautiful. She’s a wordsmith in the truest sense of that phrase.

I hope my man card stays in play with her books. I look forward to the next one as well. Sway doesn’t disappoint in any fashion: it exceeds in a most pleasing manner.

Thank you, Amy Matayo, for a great book.

Now, for the interview.

You write romances at this point in your career. Have you considered another genre? If so, what would it be?

I have considered writing a trilogy about the benefits of plastic surgery for the middle-aged crowd—you know, the heroine could be an out-of-work bodybuilder who needs a complete work up to get her career back on track. New muscles, new stomach, new back—all the perks with none of the work. Or there’s my idea of a 10-book mega series centered around the WWE. But I’ve shelved both ideas for now. They’re just so exhausting to think about. So…

Romance is my thing. It’s where I think I’ll stay. Although I have ventured into the New Adult side of romance. I’m loving the genre right now.

Like a lot of kids who grow up to be authors, you’ve left the pack. What’s the best part of having voices in your head?

The best part is that I’m rarely bored. Even if I’m home alone (which—with four kids and a husband who all seem to need things at the WORST possible time—rarely happens), I always have a place to go. I’m always entertained. And I’m always surrounded by friends, even though most are of the They’re Totally Fake variety.

The worst part is that people are constantly trying to pull me away, and when I’m writing, the answer I most often give to people is, “Huh?”…while I’m still staring off into space. I really don’t understand why this annoys everyone.

The characters in your books are unique personalities. Where do you draw these writing skills from? How can readers who yearn to write pick up this ability to create people out of thin air?

I may be crazy, but I have a feeling that every kid at some time in life fantasizes about things. Being a super-hero. A model. A multi-millionaire (this is still my number one fantasy). The difference is that some of us take it a step further and write those fantasies down. Anyone can do that. And if you’re like me, the first couple of times may come out awful. Seriously, no one will EVER read my first two atrocities without some serious editing on my part. And by editing, I mean I need to throw both books in the trash and start over.

But…writing takes discipline, a fair amount of pushing through when you don’t feel like it, a lot of self-doubt, and patience. Some days it feels like the book will never end. Other days I’m convinced I suck as an author. And a few days out of the year—a very few days—I feel like I’ve come up with something that just might be worth reading. That’s what keeps me going.

As far as skills go, I have no idea where I draw them from. Mostly I just hope to have a little.

Being from the South, do you find a cultural influence that you have to fight in your writing? Or can you ignore that and step into another culture with ease?

It’s fairly easy for me to step into another culture. Google helps with that. Reading books and watching a little television also helps. Plus, I have a strong imagination. So strong at times that I’m glad no one can see inside my mind. I would be committed to an asylum for sure. But I’m okay with that.

Writing is your full-time job. What careers did you have before moving to writing?

I worked as a writing/editor in the greeting card industry for seven years, then I freelanced for a couple. I did some woodworking for a while—made frames, tables, etc. (I can totally work a saw—it’s a skill I’m proud of.) I worked as a substitute teacher at my kid’s schools for a few years—which I still do occasionally.

Now, I write. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Unless The Voice finally contacts me. I would give this up in a heartbeat for a chance to be on Adam Levine’s team. But…sigh. They still haven’t answered my 3497 letters. A girl can hope.

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Thank you, Amy. It’s been a joy to do this interview with you.

Now, go buy the book.

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