Amy Hatvany

Amy Hatvany is the bestselling author of seven novels. It Happens All The Time is published by Atria.

On Writing



Single best resource on how to get your book published:

Jane Friedman – Writing, reading, and publishing in the digital age





What you have to KNOW to get published:

  • What’s the hook of your story – what’s going to pull the reader in?
  • What is the action of the story? What moves the story along; what are the characters going to do that will hold the attention of the reader? What is your non-fiction book going to teach readers that they don’t already know?
  • Why is your story different? What separates it from every other book out there? Why is what YOU have to say so important? How is it unique?

What you have to DO to get published:

  • Write your book – more often than not, no agent or publisher will give you a second thought unless you already have a finished product.
  • Research agents – for the most part, publishing houses don’t look at anything not represented by an agent.
  • Write a stellar query letter. There are multitudes of online resources and books to help you craft yours!

How to survive the wait to get published; or, what Amy wishes she had known twenty years ago!

  • Give up coffee, take up yoga.
  • Remember it only takes the right pair of eyes. Make this your mantra.
  • Be willing to revise…and revise some more – the best writers are those who can hit the delete button and not mourn it (too much!)
  • Understand it takes a lot of time to make all of this happen – after writing your book, be prepared for at least a two-year journey.

Amy's favorite books to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, by Natalie Goldberg. If you are the type of writer who enjoys structured exercises, these are definitely the books for you. Short chapters, easy to read, and thought provoking.
  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott. The book I return to again and again to remind myself of how this writing-life works.
  • Escaping into the Open, by Elizabeth Berg. Beyond inspiring. This woman is down to earth about the writing process, how to access the author within.
  • On Writing, by Stephen King. Practical, tell it like it is, sit your butt down in front of the computer and get it done. Fabulous motivation, dispels a lot of the myths around the need for inspiration to write. It’s a job – sit down and do it advice.