Amber Riley grew up in a small town in Central New York and is still proud to call it home. She was raised by her grandparents, who constantly encouraged her creativity. In her spare time, Amber loves to cuddle up with her cats to read a good book, or spend time with friends and family. She hates the heat, and waits all year for the snow to fall. The Flash of a Firefly is her debut novel and the first in a trilogy.
The Flash of a Firefly:
Trying to put his past behind him, Kaden moves to New York City where he creates a new life for himself. And that isn't easy, considering the fact that he's a six-hundred-year-old vampire who hasn't fed on a human in more than a century. Unfortunately, the past isn't something you can always escape from. When old enemies resurface, they come with a message. His master wants him back and refusing isn't an option. Confronted with losing both his freedom, as well as the human that has captivated him, Kaden struggles to hold onto his humanity while controlling his darker side. He knows the showdown is inevitable. He must find a way to stand his ground.
Q: Many readers may not have heard of The Flash of a Firefly, can you tell us about it?
A: Sure. The main character, Kaden, is a vampire with a very violent past. He moved to NYC to start over after learning he had been lied to for centuries. Just as he gets comfortable, the master vampire decides that he wants him back. He has to struggle to keep his freedom and hold onto his humanity, which he is just rediscovering.
Q: I love the fact that you chose to go with the dark vampire story rather than the "I love you" vampire. Why did you go with the darker vampires rather than "love"?
A: For me, it’s part of their attraction. Many of the new vampire novels are straying so far from the original myth. I wanted to write something that stayed true to the real thing, but with a new perspective.
Q: In YA fiction, there seems to be a trend of vampire fiction. What sets your book apart from the rest?
A: The vampires in my novel are relatable. They aren’t love stuck teens, but are dealing with deeper issues. They all have their flaws which makes them surprisingly human.
Q: The Flash of a Firefly is an interesting title. Where does that come from and did you come up with it?
A: It actually comes from a quote I found. “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” – Crowfoot. It has a dual meaning for my novel. One being that, to immortals, a human life is just a blip on the radar. The second, I will leave for the readers to discover.
Q: In writing, what is your most/least enjoyable topics to write?
A:The most enjoyable is fantasy because it lets your imagination run free. I don’t really dislike writing a specific topic as long as I have the inspiration.
Q: Setting is a huge part in placing a book somewhere that the readers can relate. What made you choose New York City as a setting for this book?
A: It’s The City That Never Sleeps, which seemed fitting. It’s such a diverse and populated city that it was easy for the vampires to blend in.
Q: Every great book involves tension and conflict. What is it about your book that will compel others to want to pick it up and not put it down until it's finished?
A: My novel gives a fresh feel to an old topic. The story is told from Kaden’s point of view so the reader gets to feel what he feels. He really takes you along for the ride.
Q: Coming from a readers perspective, I enjoy meeting authors and learning the story behind their works. What is it that you love about meeting your readers?
A: I love their enthusiasm. It’s a great feeling to know that they got attached to the characters I created and were rooting for them.
Q: F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The reason one writes isn't the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say." Why do you write and what is it that you love about writing?
A: Writing lets you go anywhere, and do anything. I love to see the characters grow and interact with each other.
Q: Writing is a difficult industry to enter and go forward in. How long did it take for you to get in and why did you want to do it in the first place?
A: It took awhile, actually. I researched how I wanted to go about breaking into the industry for a long time before going forward. Writing is my passion, so there was never a doubt about wanting to go for it. I want to share the stories I write with people who love to read.
Q: Other than writing, what do you enjoy doing?
A: I love to travel. I’ve visited four other countries, as well as multiple U.S. states, so far. I also love to snowboard in the winter.
Q: "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration" (Edison). We all know that writing take work, but what inspires you to write?
A: My characters. I love to see where they go and what adventure they’ll take me on.
Q: What was the first book you read that made you think "I want to do this [write a book]"?
A: For my 2ndbirthday, my aunt gave me a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I heard the stories over and over again before bed every night. I grew up wanting to enchant people with a story, just like the fairy tales did to me as a child.
Q: Are there any authors that have really inspired you to write? How did they inspire you?
A: J.K. Rowling. She was writing on napkins and now she’s an international phenomenon. It’s very inspiring.
Q: In closing, what can you tell us about what you are working on next?
A: I’m working on The Well of Truth, which is the second book in the Kindred Blood series. It picks up about a week after The Flash of a Firefly ends. I can’t say much without giving anything away, but I hope to have it available within the year. The Flash of a Firefly ends with a cliffhanger, so I don’t want to keep my fans in suspense too long.
I want to give a big thanks to Amber for doing this interview for me. I love meeting new authors and supporting them and their debut novel! It thrills me more than anything to see Amber's book published and on the shelves for the world to see! And in honor of her and her book, I am giving away a copy of The Flash of a Firefly courtesy of Amber! To enter, just leave a comment telling me your favorite vampire novel or series and why you love it. Don't forget to leave your email address! There will be no +1 for sharing this giveaway but I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks for following and show Amber some love by following her @AmberR_Riley on Twitter. You can also follow her blog here. Contest ends 7/30.