{Interview/Blog Tour Giveaway} Amy Finnegan, Author of NOT IN THE SCRIPT

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An interview with
Amy Finnegan

Amy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT (Bloomsbury, Oct 2014), came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthood.
Follow Amy on her multi-author blog, Twitterand Facebook!

What inspired you to write NOT IN THE SCRIPT?

I have a brother who has an amazing job: He works for Fox on their studio lot in Hollywood. Over the years, his behind-the-scenes stories about filmmaking have lit up my writer’s brain like bulbs on a Christmas tree, and one thing in particular that he said that inspired an important aspect of NOT IN THE SCRIPT: He told me about a film he was working on in which the villain of the story was played by one of the nicest guys he’d ever met (the actor would play basketball or just hang out with my brother during breaks, and he’d often talk about his family and friends), and the hero of the story was played by a skirt-chasing jerk with a filthy mouth. And then my brother said something like, “You wouldn’t believe how common that scenario is in this business.”

That’s when I went home and actually started writing. Additional concepts came into place quickly, but this was the spark that started a fire in me and became a central theme in the novel.

In your head, what actors come closest to bringing your characters Emma, Jake, Kimmi, and Brent into reality when imaging them on set?

In my mind, the characters all have their own looks, but if they each had a doppelgänger, these are the celebrities who would come closest:


Kristin Kreuk


Tom Welling

Beatrice Rosen

Justin Hartley

 Did you ever want to be a “star” growing up? What was your dream?

I’ve been prone to stage fright for as long as I can remember. I performed a lot as a dancer until I was about halfway through college, but even in a group, I remember my heart pounding and my hands trembling before the music started. So, no, I didn’t grow up wanting to be in the spotlight. I wanted to be a secretary.

And look at me now, livin’ the dream! Or at least the typing part of it.

Who is your celebrity crush?

I have a crush on just one American actor (Tom Welling), but show me almost any Brit and he’ll probably make me swoon. Here’s my short list of favorites: Ewan McGregor, Jonas Armstrong, Dougray Scot, Richard Armitage, Matthew Macfadyen, Jim Sturgess, Luke Mably . . . should I stop, or are you enjoying this parade of awesome? But fortunately, my husband is half-American and half-British, so I already have the perfect guy in my life! ^_^

Do you have a favorite movie or book about a star encounter?

Yes!! I love the movie Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Another cute movie is Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. And can I add a TV show? I love Nashville. And my favorite book about (way more than) a celebrity encounter is actually nonfiction: A ROYAL DUTY by Paul Burrell. I have a personal reason to believe that what he wrote about his many years serving Princess Diana and other members of the British royal family is likely accurate. It’s not a sensationalized “tell-all,” I promise! Burrell makes most of them look really good, especially the Queen. But two of the people closest to her, . . . well, not so much.

If there was a soundtrack to your life, what would be on the playlist?

Hmm . . . at the moment, the songs that come to mind are:
"Love Story" by Taylor Swift
"Paperback Writer" by The Beatles
"Don’t Stop Believin’" by Journey
And . . . "Everything is Awesome!!!" by Tegan and Sara, from the Lego Movie soundtrack 
(that song just became instantly stuck in your head, didn’t it? Sorry!)

Do you have a personal theme song?

Not really, but I "Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor would be a good one. We probably all have a reason to sing this song to ourselves once in a while. And we should, as loud as we can!

Did you listen to anything in particular while writing NOT IN THE SCRIPT?

I worked on NOT IN THE SCRIPT on and off for about seven years, so there was a lot of music involved in its creation. But the songs that follow in this list are the ones I most often think of in relation to certain scenes. A few of them are older (and one song is truly old-school), but since they’re some of my favorites and I listen to them often, they helped inspire a certain mood. There are also a few songs that are too new to have been a part of my actual writing process but have since made me think, “This song is perfect for this or that scene.” I love music almost as much as I love books, so it was super fun to create this Spotify playlist: NOT IN THE SCRIPT

The songs are:

SOMEBODY TOLD ME by The Killers (song playing when Jake and Emma walk into The Cage)
EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran
TREACHEROUS by Taylor Swift
SOMEDAY by Rob Thomas
TERRIFIED by Katharine McPhee and Zachary Levi (Spotify doesn’t have the Zachary Levi version of this song, but you can listen to it on iTunes, or here on YouTube.)
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST by Queen (from the paparazzi’s point of view!)
AMNESIA by 5 Seconds of Summer
IRIS by the Goo Goo Dolls (I’ve always thought of this as Jake & Emma’s theme song, and what they dance to right before they leave The Cage.)

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Amy Finnegan
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.


Ready to fall in love with

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