Monday, October 15, 2012

MMGM: Author Guest Post~Amy Fellner Dominy

I have a very special MMGM this week with a guest post from author Amy Fellner Dominy. Her first book, OyMG was released last year, and her second book, AUDITION & SUBTRACTION, came out in September. She writes cute, fun books that are perfect for her middle school audience. Check them out!
Audition & Subtraction Book Trailer
Where Ideas Come From
When I visit schools, there’s one question that I’m asked about over and over:  Where do you get your ideas?  Authors like to joke about there being an “idea” store where we go and shop.  But the truth is there is a place where I go to find my ideas.  I can even show it to you.
Yep, Audition & Subtraction (and OyMG for that matter) came right out of the pages of my diary.
Did you ever keep a diary?  Have you gone back and read through it?  I started writing my first diary when I was thirteen.  The entries are ridiculously stupid.  I stepped on gum.  I had a horrible hair day.  A boy said hello to me in the hall.
When I read them, the grown-up in me remembers how silly all of it was.  How I wasted so much energy worrying over people I can’t even remember existed.  How I was lost in the details and unable to see the big picture.
But the writer in me is reminded that the small details of my day WERE the big picture.  My imagination could turn a single hello from a cute guy into a potential marriage proposal by the end of a day.  If my hair was wild, I might be teased into tears. Gum on my shoe…well, it still grosses me out.
In fact, Audition & Subtraction sprang to life from one of these “small” moments.  My best friend in the world showed up to the cafeteria to meet me for lunch and…(cue the dramatic music)…she brought a guy with her. 
Even as I’m writing this, I know it sounds lame.  That’s it?  A guy carrying a brown-bag lunch rocked my entire world?
Well, yeah, as a matter of fact.  That guy who joined us for that first lunch became her first boyfriend.  And her first priority.  I had to figure out how to be okay on my own.  Of course I did.  It’s part of growing up—relationships shift and change.  As an adult, we get that; it’s no big deal.  But when you’re thirteen… 
My diary takes me back to that, with its faded cover and the broken lock and my messy entries—many of which began “nothing much happened today.”  Because nothing BIG ever did happen.  But that doesn’t mean that each day wasn’t full of drama and angst and possibility and excitement and well…life.  It was the little things that often led to the big questions:  Who will I be?  What kind of relationships will I build?  How will I cope?  Where will I fit in?   When I wrote a diary entry about that day in the cafeteria I didn’t know what was ahead of me.  But I know now.    
So I always tell students when I visit classes, “Keep a journal.  Write down the things that happen, and the way you feel and what you’re thinking.”  Besides the fact that it creates a habit of writing and a personal history, it also might inspire them to write a book one day.
It did me.

You can find Amy online at all of the usual spots...

Come back next week for my review of Amy Fellner Dominy's newest book, AUDITION & SUBTRACTION.


  1. Wow - it's so cool that you still have old diaries to go back to and look at. What a rich source of ideas for MG stories! This sounds like a fun novel.

  2. Wish I'd kept my diaries! Thanks for the reminder that small details are the big picture for MG characters.

  3. I still have some of my teenage years diaries. I was thinking of pitching them but you're making me reconsider. Thanks for sharing about yours.

  4. I've heard great things about your newest book, Amy!

    I love that you get ideas from your own diaries.

  5. I grew up filling bountiful of diaries with secret notes and bad poems. It's interesting to read that you get ideas from your own diaries.

  6. These books sound great! I love the advice about keeping a journal. I kept a diary starting in 5th grade. Sometimes when I read my old diaries I am amazed at the person I was growing up. Definitely good material! I started writing in a diary so that I could remember what it was like to be each age- because I wanted to be a writer. :) They come in handy now!

  7. Cool on still having your diaries. Hoping your book is in today. I ordered from the library...looking forward to reading it!

  8. I always kept journals and still have most of them. But I shudder when I go back to read them - I hate my messy handwriting for one thing. I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Lacuna. Have you read that? The whole story is from reconstructed journals that the main character kept. It is fabulous.