ABOUT AUTHOR: AMANDA CABOT - From the time that she was seven, Amanda Cabot dreamed of becoming a published author, but it was only when she set herself the goal of selling a book by her thirtieth birthday that the dream came true. A former director of Information Technology, Amanda has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. She’s delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian historical romances. Her Texas Dreams trilogy received critical acclaim, and Christmas Roses, her first stand-alone story, was just released.
How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book?
It all started when another author who’d read Scattered Petals told me she wanted to see one of the secondary characters have a happy ending. I started thinking about that character, and – as often happens to me – my thoughts took a major detour. Instead of a young bride in
Texas looking forward to the birth of her first child, I envisioned a young widow in Wyoming, wanting nothing more than to keep her infant daughter safe. Christmas Roses was born.
I enjoyed your novel and characters, what made you set it in the time period you did?
Dare I say practicality? I’d done a lot of research for the Westward Winds series, which takes place in
Wyoming in the 1880s, so it made sense to use some of what I’d learned by giving Christmas Roses a similar timeframe. The reality is, that was an exciting time in Wyoming history. The Indian conflict had ended, and settlers were coming to the territory to raise cattle and, in the case of my fictional town, to mine copper. I know you asked about the time period rather than the setting, but readers might enjoy knowing that although Easton is a fictional town, it was inspired by the real copper mining town of Sunrise, Wyoming.
Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?
Let’s start with why I write fiction, specifically romance. I love telling stories where characters overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to find love and happiness. In a world where bad news sometimes seems to dominate, I find it reassuring to write about happily-ever-afters. Next comes the Christian aspect of my writing. I believe that being able to incorporate my faith and show how God’s love helps heal wounded spirits and how it strengthens the love between the hero and heroine adds an important dimension to romance. I also like to think of my writing as a form of ministry, using fiction to tell stories that – if I've done my job correctly – touch readers’ hearts and strengthen their faith.
What has surprised you in writing Christian Fiction as opposed to writing for the secular market like you did?
The biggest surprise is how much more fun it is. Oh, dear, that sounds as if writing for the secular market was a chore. It wasn't, but I always had the feeling that I was censoring myself, making sure I didn't offend potential readers by including anything related to God. Now that I’m free to include faith elements, I feel liberated, and that makes it even more fun.
I've heard you say in an interview that being an author is who you are, not something you do. What has surprised you in this journey in discovering you are an author and it’s not just something you do?
The biggest surprise was discovering that there’s a difference between what I do and who I am. Once I recognized that, everything made sense. I realized why every time I tried to stop writing, I felt as if there were a void inside me that needed to be filled. I also realized why it was so easy to walk away from my day job. I enjoyed the day job, and it was fulfilling in many ways beyond the paycheck, but it was what I did. Writing is who I am. That’s why it’s only when I’m writing that I feel whole.
What scriptures bring you hope, healing and comfort to your soul?
My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” I find comfort in knowing that God is with me wherever I go, and the fact that this is phrased as a command makes me determined to be strong and courageous, although I don’t always succeed.
Can you give us a peek at what you are working on now? When can we expect it to hit book shelves?
Publishing schedules being what they are, I’m currently working on two books that will be 2014 releases. One is the last of my Westward Winds trilogy, the other the first of a new series tentatively called Home Front. What’s more exciting for me right now is that I have a new book almost ready to release. The official pub date for Waiting for Spring is January 1, 2013, but the print version should be available in brick and mortar stores and online around the middle of December. I’m absolutely delighted with the cover for this book. Though Revell has given me gorgeous covers for all my books, I think this is the best yet. They even commissioned the gown specifically for this cover – a huge honor and one that left me speechless.
FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK
You've been given the opportunity to use a time machine. Where would you go and what would you do?
A time machine – what a marvelous idea! I've always thought it would be fun to live in
England at the turn of the last century. They had many of what I consider essentials of life, things like indoor plumbing and electricity, but the lifestyle seemed more relaxed and – dare I say? – elegant than our current frantic lives. Of course, I need to add that my dream involves being part of the aristocracy, the people who had servants to wait on them, rather than being part of the “downstairs” staff. If you read my answer to question #4, you’ll know that mops and I are not the best of companions.
If you had 24 hours to hang out with any two people alive or dead in the history of the world (besides Jesus – that’s a given), what two people would you pick and what would you do?
This was a tough question to answer – so many fascinating people, and you let me choose only two. My first person to meet is Abraham Lincoln, and I've selected a specific date to spend with him: the day after
Appomattox. I’d love to know what he was feeling now that the war that almost destroyed the country had ended and, even more importantly, what plans he had for the future. I’m confident that had John Wilkes Booth’s bullet missed its target, the post-war period would have been far different, but if I could talk to Lincoln, I’d know just how different.
One of the reasons I’d like to spend some time with
Lincoln is that my very first writing award was for a short essay entitled “ Lincoln’s Ideas of Americanism” which I wrote as part of a contest for elementary school children when I was ten years old. It didn't make me rich or famous, but I still have the prize: a picture of Lincoln created not with brushstrokes but with the words of the Gettysburg Address.
My second person to spend a day with is Walt Disney. I've heard people who knew him say that he was a genius, and I don’t doubt that. I think it would be fascinating to watch him at work and get a glimpse into the imagination that created so many enduring characters.
Where did you live growing up? What did you like about growing up there?
I spent my early childhood (ages one to seven) in a small
Texas town. After that, I lived in the suburbs of metropolitan areas, but I never forgot the friendliness of small town life, the feeling that everyone knew everyone else and that I was safe, no matter where I went – except for the cemetery, which had rattlesnakes. My lifelong fear of snakes had its roots there.
Name two jobs that you've had people might be surprised at.
In high school I worked as a clerk at a self-service laundromat. What a glamorous job! Not only did my responsibilities include cleaning the washing machines at the end of the day, but I had the privilege of mopping the floor. That was enough to convince me that I’d never have anything but no-wax, easy to clean floors. Later, when I was a newlywed and my husband was stationed in
Germany with the Army, I had a part-time job as secretary for the Service Club. Let’s not mention that the job paid less than minimum wage. Instead, we’ll focus on the fact that I was able to combine my love of writing and travel to create a newsletter to promote the Club’s various tours. Even better, I was able to speak German with the staff and learned to make strudel.
Name three everyday things you’d not want to live without.
My computer, my e-reader and the microwave.
What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why? If you didn’t watch movies as a kid what book affected you?
“The Diary of Anne Frank” influenced me in many ways. I’d read the book, but seeing the movie brought the terrible inhumanity that was part of World War II to life. Even now many years later, I cringe when I hear European police sirens, because to me they symbolize the Nazis coming for Anne and her family.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR READERS?
I’m delighted to have been able to spend this time with you. Thanks, Nora, for inviting me to be part of TBCN.
THANKS for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your new book. I’m thrilled that Revell is giving away copies of your new book at The Book Club Network’s contest. Which starts on the 19th. I hope that you can join in the discussion. The readers and book club leaders enjoy the author interaction.
READERS HURRY ON OVER TO TBCN and ENTER THE DRAWING for a copy of LYNETTE EASON'S NEW BOOK WHEN A HEART STOPS!! www.bookfun.org
ALL Entries Are to be made at TBCN Not on this blog post!
ALL Entries Are to be made at TBCN Not on this blog post!
Blessings to you in your writing adventures.
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