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Today we are spotlighting Amy K. McClung's
Across the Way!
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from Amy K. McClung!
Amy K McClung's
Across the Way!
Marie has her twenties planned out. Her dream to see all fifty states before she turns twenty-five finally comes true. With a two-year trip ahead of her, she says good-bye to her family and her best friend Jayce. Though fearing the trip could change their friendship forever, a pact is formed. They're determined not to let distance impact on their relationship.
Amidst triumph and heartache, new relationships and friendships, Marie soon discovers her journey is so much more than an adventure. Instead, she finally realizes where she truly belongs.
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Q & A with Amy K. McClung about Across the Way!
Marie has her twenties planned out. Her dream to see all fifty states before she turns twenty-five finally comes true. The two year journey means she has to say goodbye to her best friend Jayce. They decide on a pact to meet every couple of months. During her trip, she meets many colorful characters, some good and some not. Not only does she find new lifelong friendships, she finds love in an unexpected place.
What initially inspired you to write Across the Way?
A song called ‘Places I’ve Been’ by Taylor Hicks. As I listened to it one day the story began to unfold in my head. As soon as the song was over I laid out an outline and began putting the story on paper.
Tell us little about the characters in Across the Way.
Marie - Raised in Chattanooga TN, she hasn’t had a chance to travel much. Her mother is a successful business woman who supports Marie and her father who is a struggling musician living in Nashville. Since she was a little girl she’s had a dream to travel the US and Canada. Since graduating high school she’s been working extra jobs and going to school trying to save up for her journey. She’s a hard worker and a loyal friend.
Jayce - Marie’s best friend. He’s supported her in every step of the journey, even down to helping her save the money. He suggests his cousin Connie as a stop in Canada. Marie has no idea how loyal a friend he is. Making sacrifices for those he loves makes him the best friend anyone could ask for.
Brady - Livings in Ludington Michigan. Marie meets him during her stop in the north and their friendship blossoms quickly. He will have an impact on her life she never saw coming.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
With the premise of traveling, there were so many places I wanted Marie to visit but I needed to make sure the book didn’t read like a travel guide. It was difficult to decide which places to incorporate so the book didn’t end up being six hundred pages! Based on some of the reviews I received I chose some places well and some readers were disappointed by other destinations missing.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Any of the parts with Manny. Manny is a side character who doesn’t get nearly enough time in this book. I love the character because he doesn’t sugar coat things. He calls Marie out and forces her to make difficult decisions.
What are your future project(s)?
In May I have my next book in The Southern Devotion Series coming out. It’s called Curves in the Road. Each book in the series revolves around a different couple. In Curves, we continue with Derrick and Mary Jane’s story to see if they can come back together. Derrick is a single dad with a four year old daughter when Mary Jane meets him. She falls in love with father and daughter making it difficult to say goodbye when she receives her dream internship in Disney. This book releases May 6th.
Now an exciting excerpt from Across the Way!
“Where is he?” I asked in a panic.
“He’ll be here soon, Marie. I checked on his flight a few minutes ago, and it is still showing on time. He should be landing any minute now.”
“I need him here! He’s the reason I’m in pain right now. He should experience this!” How was it that men got to do the fun part of making a baby, but didn’t have to go through any of the pain and suffering?
My mother chuckled.
“Yes, he should. He will, don’t worry. Just breathe.”
I wanted to smack this woman for trying to calm me in my time of pain. On the other hand, I wanted to hug her for having gone through this agony with me twenty-eight years ago. Once I finally dilated to ten centimeters, the doctor asked me to push, but I wasn’t ready.
“Wait, I can’t. Not until he’s here!”
“Who are we waiting on?” the doctor asked impatiently.
“The father. He’ll be here soon,” my mother promised Satan, squeezing my hand as though she thought it would help. Truthfully, I wanted to be knocked out instead of knocked up right now. Couldn’t they put me in a nice slumber while the alien creature exploded from my nether regions? I knew it was the miracle of birth and all that hogwash, but I was good with not remembering the moment.
“Well, we can’t wait for him. This baby is coming now. So give me a good push.”
“Augh,” I screamed with each push. More cursing spewed from my lips. I couldn’t believe how far I’d come in the last few years. Three years ago, my only goal in life had been to take a trip around the United States. I’d never even had a serious boyfriend. My travel dreams came to life, and along the way, I found my dream of a family. I was married to the love of my life, and we were having our first child. My husband wanted four, but we’d negotiate that once I got over the pain of this one ripping me apart. It was hard to believe all of this began with a bucket list dream.
Amy McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle-child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005.
Currently they have no human children, only the room full of colourful robots that transform into vehicles and the large headed Pop Funkos who represent their favorite characters. Collecting movies, shot glasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favourite pastimes.
Amy began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel, Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her, enabling her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life.