Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
Welcome Amy Lillard, author of Caroline’s Secret, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of Amy’s latest release!
I’ve been married to my husband forever. Okay, just twenty-five years. ☺ We have one son, two spoiled cats, and a lazy dog. I write full-time these days. It’s fun, but a little different than I imagined it would be all those years when I was working full-time and writing on the side.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest . . .
I have many interests. (Doesn’t that sound better than I’m ADD and can barely focus on one thing long enough to see it through before I head off to something else?) Seriously, though, I love writing Amish romance, but I am also branching out a little with Amish and non-Amish mysteries, inspy historicals and even an inspy contemporary.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
I’m almost embarrassed to say that it took nearly twenty years before I was published. But if there are any writers out there who are struggling to get their work published, keep going. I had so many close calls over the years. I even sold a book but the publishing house went under before it made it to print. You can’t let things like that ruin your dream. I’m not going to say that it’s easy, but you just have to keep going.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
Have I mentioned how ADD I am? Where I write, what I write on (sometimes I resort back to notebook paper and pen), how much I write, and what I work on vary from day to day and book to book. I can get in a rut really easily. The key is shaking myself out of it and moving on. The hardest part is realizing I’m stuck
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
All of the above. For any authors out there aspiring to be published, remember this: if you are writing, you are an author. Not an aspiring author so stop calling yourself that! Get Stephen King’s book On Writing. He talks about a writer’s tool box. You need all of these in your tool box. So don’t cut yourself short by limiting your tools.
What are your biggest distractions?
Facebook, email, Twitter, Facebook. Oh, wait, I already said Facebook. Seriously, aside from my family who think I ‘just write books,’ the internet is a terrible distraction and time drain. It’s invaluable as a research tool, but there has to be limits. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out what they are yet.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
One of the best moments was when my first book Saving Gideon won a Carol Award for romance. It’s been almost a year and I’m still a little stunned. The worst was . . . was . . . well, there have been some bad patches, but no real ‘worst moments’. I’ll take that as a plus.
What advice would you give to new writers?Don’t give up. Keep an open mind and be true to yourself. That’s not to say that you write to a trend, but it means you can make those trends work for you.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
All sorts of things. Historical novellas, a contemporary Christian romance, and there’s even some talk of an Amish Christmas novella. But that’s still top secret. 😉
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
My website address is amywritesromance.com. All my books are listed there with links to Amazon and other online retailers. Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million brick and mortar stores should have them. And best of all, I’m hearing reports that my latest book is available in Wal-mart. I’m AmyLillard~Author on Facebook and @AmyWritesRomnce on Twitter. Come find me!