Welcome to Patterings, Amber!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
This happened when I dabbled in writing some fan fiction for 2 different TV shows. Reader feedback returned begging me for more. I had so much fun writing and felt truly inspired, so I started writing stories with characters I’d created. After chatting with fellow author and mentor, Tracie Peterson, I joined ACFW, and the rest is history.
Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
Oh wow! You want me to pick? Right now, I’d say it was Quills & Promises, which released last year. I loved it because it was the love story of my husband and me, only disguised in a Colonial time period setting. But my favorite character came from my first book. Gustaf Hanssen, because he embodies what every man can be when they rely fully on God. So many readers loved him and felt he was an idyllic hero.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Description. I often know in my head what a scene looks like and the appearance of characters, but I have trouble describing them for readers or remembering to include those little tidbits to set the scene. I overcome it by sending my chapters to critique partners and letting them tell me where I need to insert more description. I also have a book called “Description” from the Writer’s Digest collection.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
That would have to be William, because he had to work through his anger at God and balance it with his attraction to a young woman whose faith was evident in everything she did or said. She challenged him, and he often reacted out of his anger but also enjoyed verbally sparring with her. It was tough to cover all of the stages of his anger recovery, but the journey was worth it.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Wow, this is a tough one. I actually had to ask my husband because I couldn’t think of anything. But, when I looked at other words for ‘quirky’ and found unique or eccentric, I figured out something that would work. Anyone who knows me knows about my colorful Tiki bird slippers. Owning them alone is quirky, but I take it one step farther and wear them to an annual professional conference each year at ACFW.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Sometimes, going through and answering email because it piles up so quickly in my inbox. There is so much else that needs doing, and I know once I get started, I will get lost on the computer. There are times when I will clean, vacuum, do laundry and run errands before I’ll sit in front of my computer.
What would a perfect day for you look like?
Temperatures in the 70’s, clear blue skies, minimal breeze, low humidity, being outside with my husband and baby girl and our dog, enjoying a picnic or a walk through Garden of the Gods here in Colorado Springs. Or taking a drive through the mountains.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Primarily, I read historical fiction, but I also love romantic comedies and some women’s fiction. Legal thrillers are nice once in a while for a change of pace. And of course, I’m now getting into children’s books again because I have a daughter and want to instill in her the love of books I have.
Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Chocolate. LOL! M-n-M’s in particular. But, I also love Goldfish crackers or Cheez-Its. And I have to have a constant flow of sweet tea to give me the “pep” I need to keep going.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
God’s faithfulness is a strong one, but also doubt, anger, and why bad things happen to good people, as that’s a question so many ask.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
That I have been hiding behind the mask of staying busy or trying too hard to be accepted by others, when I only need to receive accolades from Him to be validated in my work. It’s not an easy lesson to learn or accept, and I’m still working at it.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
December, and it’s the 3rd book in the current trilogy set in Detroit during the Industrial Revolution. The title is Patterns and Progress. Here’s the back-cover copy:
Shannon Delaney was right.
Every time she might consider changing her stance on what other people called progress, something bad would happen and she would be proven right again. Take the day Jacob Berringer almost ran her over in that new Model-T, for instance. And he had the nerve to suggest she'd been daydreaming? Or the Titanic. A marvel of modern invention. Look where that got them. Or how about the new tractor her brother insisted they try out. What did he get from that? A broken arm. Why can't things just stay the way they are—the way they should be?
Jacob's got his work cut out for him, proving to the stubborn but beautiful Shannon that just because he works for the Henry Ford Company, he isn't evil incarnate. But something about her tells him she's worth the effort, and when Jacob puts his mind to something, he doesn't turn back.
But will either of them look to God for direction?
Oh, that sounds great! Thanks so much for being with us this week!
Amber is giving away a copy of Hearts and Harvest. To be entered in the book giveaway, you must have a US address. Leave a comment and check back on Thursday, October 1st to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you sign up for the email notifications and confirm your new subscription, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)
Don't forget to check out and leave a comment on Nikki Arana's book giveaway!