The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with BJ Taylor is Mary Ellen Ashenfelder ! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week Amy Wallace is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her book, Hiding in Plain Sight leave a comment on this post!
I’m married with three amazing kiddos that I have the privilege of homeschooling. So yes, I work full time as a teacher and as an author. It’s exhausting sometimes, but I love both teaching and writing, so I’m thankful to do both.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I love writing suspense and romantic suspense that deal with law enforcement. In college I wanted to work for the FBI in the Behavioral Science Unit as a “profiler.” But way back then diabetes kept me off that path. So now I write what I love and don’t have to pass the FBI’s rigorous physical training or risk getting shot in the field. Another great aspect about writing law enforcement related books is that my novels are a way to say thank you to the men and women—both local and federal law enforcement—who serve to protect us.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
God and my husband teamed up nudged (I say pushed) me onto this journey. My first book started as a dream, and after I shared it with my husband, he made an appointment for me to talk to a secret service agent about a book I was writing. He actually lied. I wasn’t writing a book. I’d only had a dream and a nudge from God. But having a secret service agent expecting to talk over book ideas made me come up with some. Fast. And then I was totally hooked on both research and writing.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
It was five years—almost to the day—from my dream of an FBI agent with a wounded heart and a mom in danger to Ransomed Dream’s release in April 2007.
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?
What gets me writing is sitting at my desk and remembering the story God gave me to write and that there’s a deadline to be met. I always hesitate to say this, but I write on Saturdays and put in about fifteen solid hours of work. During the week I do all the other work writers have to do like edits, research, marketing, and answering emails. This became my schedule out of necessity with homeschooling my kiddos during the week, but now I love it. I pour out all I am and get to stay in my writing world for a full day, then I pretend to be normal the rest of the week.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? (Explain your answer)
I believed the writing life was going to be a nice solitary life full of writing fun stories. Boy, was I mistaken! God has much to teach me through each story I write, which is both amazing and tough. Some of it is fun, but most of it hurts on the way toward healing.
I also had no idea how rich the friendships in the writing world were. I’ve been really blessed by getting to know some of my favorite authors and developing deep friendships with them.
What are your biggest distractions?
Blue skies, my kids outside playing away, chocolate to be eaten, email, just being tired. But what helps is having goals for each writing day and the motivation that if I meet my goal, there are positive rewards. Like the chocolate, bedtime stories with my kiddos, or maybe even a few extra hours of sleep.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
Best moment: cheering with my children when my first box of Ransomed Dreams author copies arrived.
Worst moment: seeing the box of Ransomed Dreams author copies and realizing my book baby was being launched into the world.
What do you most like about being a writer?
I love reader letters and meeting readers! Hearing how God worked through the pages of my books are true highlights that remind me God is the one directing my steps and working through these stories.
What is the role and importance of an agent?
My agent is my champion, my friend, the one who talks me down from ledges and helps me safely through the minefields of this business. When I’ve wanted to quit, Chip’s the one who tells me I can do this, and that I will do this when there’s a deadline. Honestly, I wouldn’t have gotten published or stayed published if it wasn’t for the grace of God and a fantastic agent.
Hold onto God’s hand and follow His heart for you. Don’t look around to see what He’s doing with or for others. Focus on Him and His journey with you on this writing path.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
If you love action-packed adventure that leads to hope and healing, if you’ve ever struggled with who’s really in control and can He be trusted, then Hiding in Plain Sight is the book for you! Within the pages, you’ll meet world weary Police Officer Ashley Walters, compassionate Marriage and Family Counselor Patrick James, and Bradley Yoder, a runaway Mennonite teen who team up to stop the violence erupting over revitalization plans that pit the Montezuma and Mennonite communities against one another.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)