I'm Thrilled to introduce to you Tiffany Amber Stockton. She was the CAN (Christian Author Network) Featured author this month. She gave away 10 copies of her new book Bound by Grace.
You've been on our network before with our Christmas giveaway last year. I'm glad to have you back. I wanted to do an interview with you about your book club experience. THANKS for giving us a peek into what it's like from an authors point of view.
ABOUT AUTHOR: Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, virtual assistant, and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Australian shepherd named Roxie. She has sold 12 books so far with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site: www.amberstockton.com.
ABOUT BOOK: Unlike other young ladies, Charlotte Pringle would rather run her bookshop than pursue eligible gentlemen. But when her parents pressure her to agree to an advantageous match, she fears she'll be trapped in a loveless marriage. Richard Baxton feels pressure at every turn now that he's responsible for the family business and his niece Grace, who is unable to walk. When Grace's love for books leads him to Charlotte's bookshop, Richard is drawn to Charlotte's sweet spirit. But with endless problems on the horizon, will God's grace enable them to accept the hardship with dignity and strength?
What do you like best about TBCN?
I love the author features, the publicity, the camaraderie, and the general cohesive feel to the clubs and all promotion that takes place there. I’ve been a member of TBCN since it first launched. I don’t have a book club of my own. But as an author I do make appearances when invited.
What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?
I have been able to hear directly from multiple readers at once, and from a group who has discussed the aspects of my books together, often building upon each other to deepen their takeaway value from the book they’ve read.
Where would you like to see your relationship with reading groups grow? How do you think your goals can be met?
I would love to connect on a more personal level (such as a phone or Skype appearance) and be more in touch with my readers. Meeting this goal would take time and dedication, plus taking that first step to get started.
Do you have a set size a reading group has to be before you'll talk to them on the phone or in person? What do you feel most comfortable doing?
No. I will talk to 2 or 20. It makes no difference to me. I am far more comfortable in person or on Skype, where I can see who I’m talking to. I don’t do well on the phone when I can’t interact with anything more than a voice.
Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why?
Any meeting where I can see the other members. I’m a visual person, not audio. It’s far easier for me to connect when I can interact face-to-face, whether in person or virtually.
What have you learned about your book and yourself from book club meetings?
I have yet to be told of a group who has read my book, though I have had countless individual readers, many of whom know each other, who has discussed by book informally.
Did you learn more about your characters than what you had originally intended? If so what?
The feedback I’ve received from readers has brought a great deal of insight I wouldn’t have had without their input. I love hearing from readers, discovering what they’ve gleaned from my books. Quite often, it’s nothing I planned to be or even knew was there.
Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? One of your characters? If so, which ones or what surprised you?
Yes. Copper and Candles brought the most entertaining feedback, especially with readers speaking of how much they loved my portrayal of the different social classes without making one “better” than the other. However, my first series, set in Colonial Delaware (so far) has received the greatest amount of letters and feedback from readers. We’ll see what happens with my current series which takes that same setting and jumps forward a little over 100 years to the end of the 19th century and early 20th century.
Has your book club experience - getting feedback from reading groups - helped you in writing future books? If so, how has it helped you?
Without a doubt. I have been able to glean what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve even taken suggestions from readers on what to include in future novels. I get a feel for what my readers love the most about what I write and what I can leave out with the next book I pen. It’s fantastic!
What would you like to experience in reading groups that you haven’t experienced so far?
That true personal connection. Quite often I feel as if readers of my books see me as an untouchable or distant entity, someone they could never hope to truly know as anything but an author. But as a human being created by God to crave that personal touch, I know for a fact that’s not true. I love to talk to and meet new people. And I’d be deeply honored to have one of my books selected for a reading group. As of yet, it has not happened...at least of which not that I’m aware.
Can you give us a sneak peek at what you are working on now? I heard it will be out in 2013. I’m curious as to what it’s about!! Do tell!!
I just sent a proposal in to Abingdon for their Quilts of Love series, but I won’t know for a while if the editor will accept the story. And I recently finished book 3 in my newest series, Brandywine Brides. The 3-book collection will be out in 2013 sometime, though I don’t know the exact month. Right now, I am without a contract, but my agent has several proposals floating on multiple editors’ desks. We’ll see what unfolds. In the meantime, I’m taking the summer to focus on my 2 little ones (ages 3 and 1) and enjoy the break from deadlines. I’ve had back-to-back ones for about 4 years now. With adding children to our family, the balancing act hasn’t been easy.
FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK
What movie most affected you when you were young. If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you most in your youth?
The Sound of Music. This might seem silly, but it instilled in me the hope of happily ever after, despite your circumstances. It also reinforced the need to be yourself and not what you think someone else would want you to be. It’s you and your core that will mean the most to others. So, be real.
What is the most special thing anyone has ever done for you?
When my husband let me do what I wanted when I wanted for one entire day. He didn’t attempt to fill up the day with special events or buy me special gifts. He simply took care of the kids, helped me when I needed it, and let me be *me* for a day. In a world where so many demand so much of me nearly every minute of every day? That was priceless!
A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for a couple of days. What would you do with it? Any events you’d like to experience? If so which ones?
I would love to be there when John Hancock put his name on the Declaration of Independence! Or at the reading of the Gettysburg Address. Monumental moments in our nation’s history, and ones I fear are being lost with each passing generation. The wonders and joys of history aren’t as important to people today, and there’s a sadness in my heart about that.
You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?
I’d be a leader and one who takes charge, delegating tasks, seeing what needed to be done and either doing it if I could or finding someone who could. If another with a greater knowledge of the group stepped up to lead, I’d likely co-lead and also provide the administrative or detail support necessary to see everything got accomplished.
You've been given 48 hours to hang out with any two (alive or dead). Who would you pick and what would you do?
Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin. With Abigail, I would ask her to share her secrets to being a devoted wife who her husband adored, and how she remained everything her husband needed, in spite of his stress and the demands of the work he did. With Benjamin, I would simply ask him to share some of his wisdom, but I would also walk with him and shadow him for 2 days to get a good idea of how his mind worked.
What three books did you love as a kid?
Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion, Little House on the Prairie
THANKS Tiffany for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I'm excited about featuring you and your book at the TBCN this month.
Thank YOU, Nora, for having me. I look forward to interacting with everyone and mailing out my books to the winners!
Blessings to you and your family Tiffany!
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