The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Picture of Amy K. Nichols

Amy K. Nichols

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty, 2018

Amy K. Nichols has been a musician, a web designer, a political assistant, a teacher, and a technical writer. She’s traveled overseas, studied medieval paleography, earned a brown belt in karate, been complimented by Benedict Cumberbatch, and survived being crushed by drunken Scots. She lives in Peoria with her husband, two children and too many books. She is the author of the YA science fiction novels Now That You're Here and While You Were Gone published by Knopf. She taught with the Your Novel Year program at the Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU, served as the Writer in Residence for the Glendale Public Library, and is currently plotting her next adventure. Visit her online at

Selected Media

"Amy K. Nichols: Five Things I Learned Writing Now That You're Gone." Amy K. Nichols, Terrible Minds (Dec 11, 2014). 

"I used to do contract work in writing, graphic design, web design, you-name-it, and again and again I ran into this quandary: should I count the time I spend thinking about a project as billable hours? Because it isn’t like you just sit down at the computer, press some keys and poof! Here’s a website! Or poof! Here’s a new company logo! No. The reality is, there’s all this time where you’re just sitting there, staring at the wall. Sometimes you might doodle on a legal pad or sticky note or the back of a pizza box, but mostly, you’re just thinking. All the hard work is happening up in your head."

"Summer Guide: Amy K. Nichols on How Phoenix Inspires Her YA Novels." Robrt Pela, Phoenix New Times (June 5, 2015).

"Her literary mash-up of teen romance and science fiction, she says, also come from her childhood here. 'I was a bored teenager and it was too hot to go outside,' she recalls. 'I read a lot of books aimed at teen girls, and a lot of science fiction. And then there was this Saturday morning movie on Channel 5 called The World Beyond; it was all these monster movies and sci-fi movies. I ate those up.'

Nichols always intended to write literary fiction. 'But I got bored,' she says, laughing again. 'I like language and writing pretty sentences, but writing about adults was just bleh.'"

Book Trailer: Now That You're Here (Duplexity, Part 1). See also Book Trailer: While You Were Gone (Duplexity, Part 2).

"Chaos theory is founded on two principles. One: every system has an underlying order regardless of its complexity. And two: even the smallest variants in a system can result in complex and seemingly unrelated behaviors or events. A butterfly flaps its wings in the Congo and causes rain to fall in Belgium. A boy shows up at my door and shatters everything I understand about the universe."