As part of Amy’s blog tour, she has some great goodies to give away and you can have a chance to win by leaving a comment! You can check out her books here and here on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble here
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a wife, a mother, and a bonafide Southern Belle. I grew up in Mississippi, but moved to Oklahoma just after high school. Two short years later, I met and married my husband. We’ve been together ever since. We have an awesome son, two ‘sweet’ cats, and a lazy beagle.
What do you do for fun?
I love to spend time with my family. Anything I get to do with them is fun. From walking the dog to playing board games, going to church or on road trips to visit the relatives, being with my husband and son is the most important thing to me.
How did you become interested in writing?
I had to write a descriptive paragraph in the 7th grade. The teacher praised my use of alliteration, and I was hooked! Of course, at the time I had no idea what alliteration was and had to look it up, but I was tickled all the same. I knew that I had found the one thing in life I wanted to do most.
What compelled you to write Saving Gideon?
I started Saving Gideon at the suggestion of my agent. Am I glad I listened! Saving Gideon is a composite of many of my favorite types of stories. I love a tortured hero and the idea that love can heal all. Take that concept and mix in the ‘fish out of water’ story of a Dallas socialite, add the sheer charm of the Amish way of life, and that’s Saving Gideon.
How did Katie’s Choice come about?
Katie’s Choice had originally been planned as the third book in the series. But when I starting digging into the stories I knew that hers needed to be told first. (No, I can’t really explain why without giving away too much about Gabriel’s Bride). But keep in mind that I’m a romance writer first and foremost. When looking at finding a beau for Katie, I knew I needed the “love triangle”. And what better way than for her to have the love of two very different men: Zane Carson, worldly reporter used to living life on the edge, and Samuel Beachy, the bishop’s son returning after a very extended rumpsringa in order to finally take his place at Katie’s side.
How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?
Growing up in the Deep South and in the country to boot has given me an appreciation of the slower pace of life of the Amish. I have to admit that I’m very old-fashioned and love the respect and attitudes of the Amish toward each other—even the gender roles. I know it’s not a popular theory these days, but I love to cook for my husband and son every night. I could fall headlong into the role of housewife with ease. Well, as long as I have time to write!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Overcoming distractions. Sometimes it’s hard to sit down and get words ‘on paper’, especially when there are dishes in the sink and clothes that need to be folded. (Because I’m not a full-time housewife.) But all things have their time. When they lay me to rest and friends come around to tell what they know about me, surely someone will remember that I wrote books. No one will mention the lack of cleanliness in my kitchen.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Write what’s in your heart, but listen to the critiques and suggestions of others. It takes a lot of practice and patience to learn what to accept as your own and what to leave behind. Only by putting your work in front of others can you learn the difference. Enter contests and find a good critique group or partner. By good, I mean someone who’ll tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear. And don’t give up! Don’t ever give up.
Do you have a favorite part of Saving Gideon?
Saving Gideon is so special to me that it’s hard to pin down a favorite part, but I would have to say their kiss. The scene is sweet, but filled with longing. It’s forbidden and yet acceptable. It’s about two people who need each other, and know they need each other, but feel their relationship will never last due to a myriad of reasons. And yet, they are attracted to each other all the same.
Is there a favorite part for you in Katie’s Choice?
I love the humor that Zane Carson brings into the Fisher household. And the banter that he and John Paul share. That said, I think perhaps the taco dinner scene is my favorite. Right after the scene where Katie and Zane deliver the colt.
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your books?
Love heals all wounds. But isn’t that the theme to most all romances? Okay, so love heals all wounds, and God will be there to show you the way to love. Even when you think you don’t need it (or deserve it) at all.
Do you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go?
Yes and no. I love my characters, but usually by the time the book gets to print, I’m ready to move onto a new project.
What’s next for you?
I just signed a three book Amish romance series that takes place in Oklahoma, this time in a Beachy community. I’m really excited to showcase this order of the Amish which is the classification for the Amish that currently live in Oklahoma.
What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
There are so many disappointments in life, so much bad news in the world. I love romance as a wonderful escape as two people fall in love and live happily ever after. There’s not much better than that!
What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Seeing my name of the cover of a book that I love is a thrill that is not easily topped.
What is the best thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
My agent once told me, “You’re a writer; write it.” Sounds simple enough but those are very powerful words.
What is your top writing career goal?
I would love to write a check in a store and have the clerk ask me if I’m the Amy Lillard who writes Amish romance novels. Yes, I wanna be a rock star! LOL
What has been your favorite fan letter or fan comment ever?
I had a reader put me in league with Beverly Lewis. *That* was a great moment for me, but I am continually amazed at the depth of devotion from the readers of Amish fiction. Everyone has been so gracious and supportive. I love my readers!
I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.
Though I was born in Mississippi, I moved to Oklahoma (Boomer!) when I was in high school and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course! We have two funny cats and a very lazy beagle.
I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) Until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my love for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.
I love homemade tacos, shoes, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.