Interview: Amy Carol Reeves, YA Author

Wilde PhotoAmy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She published academic articles before deciding that it would be much more fun to write young adult books about Jack the Ripper. 11788444When she is not writing or teaching college classes, she enjoys running around her neighborhood with her giant Labrador retriever and serial reading Jane Austen novels. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and two children.

The second book in the RIPPER series, RENEGADE, came out in April and she’s currently working on the final book in the trilogy, RESURRECTION. Click here to see the book trailer for RENEGADE.

Let’s see how Amy answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
For me, happiness is not wanting more. It’s a restful, peaceful state of mind where I’m fully engaged in the present moment.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
The Beatles’s “Yellow Submarine.”  I don’t know why—it’s such a happy song. It’s my daughter’s favorite song too, and she belts it out often around the house.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to learn how to knit. I tried a bit ago, and gave up, turning to crochet instead. Perhaps I’ll pick up knitting again someday.

On what occasion do you lie?
That is a secret!

What is your present state of mind?
Both happy and busy at the moment. I feel grateful for so much. I just had a book come out. I’m working on the final book in the RIPPER trilogy. But also, it’s the end of a semester, I’m doing a lot of grading over the next few weeks.

What is your motto?
“The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

15715926What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Open mindedness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say “um” a lot, because usually I have twenty different things on my mind at once!

Your favorite painting?
My favorite painting is definitely the Pre-Raphaelite John Everrett Millais’s Ophelia portrait. I love HAMLET as a play, and I think this portrait is absolutely gorgeous. It takes up an enormous portion of a wall at the Tate. I remember staring at it when I was there, taken by it. Also, the model for the portrait was Elizabeth Siddal. For me, she is such an intriguing historical figure, and I love the stories surrounding her (i.e. her love affair with Date Gabriel Rossetti and the way he exhumed her body after her death.)

Ophelia by John Everett Millais (1852)

Ophelia by John Everett Millais (1852)

What is your favorite journey?
My three favorite journeys have been to Europe. I especially loved a trip to Paris that I took with my husband soon after I turned thirty. I had this sort of early mid-life crisis, and I said, “I’m thirty and I’ve never been to Paris!” Because he’s so great, he said, “Let’s go!” It was a spontaneous and wonderful trip. Since neither of us had been there, we both saw things that we had never seen before. 

What is your favorite time of day?
My favorite time of day is definitely early evening where most of the stress of the day is behind me. I enjoy reading to my children before I put them to bed, reading a book of my own, or having a drink with my husband.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
That’s easy. I would love to sit down and talk to Jane Eyre. I love that she chose Rochester over St. John Rivers. I’d like to tell her so, and, maybe, after coffee, have a glass of wine (or perhaps two) with her. I’d like to ask her what she really thought about Rochester’s mad wife in the attic!

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
Of course, I have more career goals. But I don’t need anything else to be happy. Not a thing.

Who or what is your first love?
First love—definitely my husband. We met fairly young, and we’re in our tenth year of marriage.

What’s the last dream you remember?
It was very strange. I was being chased by a giant hornet. It was like that crazy Dr. Who episode about Agatha Christie.

What’s your madeleine?
I remember when I heard my daughter’s cry for the first time seconds after she was born how I was taken back to when I had first heard my son’s cry. I remember thinking how very different her cry was from his. It was very strange. Although he was a toddler at the time of her birth, I remember thinking how their newborn cries were so distinct and clear that I could find them in a whole room of crying babies.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Possibility.