Q&A with Amy Sue Nathan - Jade's Coach

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Amy Sue Nathan and I’m Jade Eby’s Book Coach with Author Accelerator. I’m also the author of The Glass Wives and The Good Neighbor and my next novel will be published in 2017. I’m the founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers blog, one of Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers. I’ve been writing and publishing articles and essays since 2006, and worked an editor, reader for literary agents, and book coach since 2009.

What’s your favorite part of being a book coach, specifically, being Jade’s book coach?

I love being a book coach because it’s all about potential. Starting a new writing project, whether it’s a novel or a memoir or non-fiction, it’s nothing but an idea. And usually, as writers, we’re excited about what’s to come, and about our ability to take that idea and build it into something substantial. And even though Jade’s written sixteen books—SIXTEEN BOOKS—that’s crazy, right?—she’s still on the brink of that idea and the excitement (and the fear) that comes with something new, or even with taking something old in a new direction.

When a writer is excited and determined, that’s what makes the book coach excited. I wasn’t invested in Jade’s idea at first, because it was new to me. I didn't know the characters or the storyline. But it didn't take more than one email to become fully invested IN JADE. Then I learned more about the story and characters and was hooked on that too. 

What’s your job as Jade’s book coach?

As a book coach in general, my job is to guide and encourage the writers I work with, but it’s also my job to challenge and push them. Learning the balance of those elements that’s right for each writer is key. 

With Jade, I know she wants to be pushed. She’s not a novice, but she’s also not a know-it-all type of writer (they exist, believe me) so she wants the interaction and feedback that allows her to kick it all up a notch or two. I started right away asking Jade questions about her main character, Tanner, lots of why questions, so both Jade and I could get to the heart of his story.

Another part of being a book coach is being a major part of a writer’s support system. And that’s different from being your therapist or your mother! I think my support for Jade has come in the form of (Bitmojis, yes, but we won’t go there) encouraging her to write her last chapter (Blueprint for a Book, Week 5) even though she’s finding it hard to go there, reminding her that it just has to be the last chapter for now, that she can change it later.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what we know so well—like the fact that the Author Accelerator programs aren’t random. They work together like puzzle pieces or building blocks to help you conceive and write a book. Of course Jade knows this, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded. I also share my personal writing experience (often) and what works for me (and what doesn't), knowing that it might help. I also share the pitfalls I’ve experienced. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone, right?

I’m thrilled to be taking this journey with Jade!!