In the Acknowledgments to Ransomed Dreams, you speak of a “proverbial boot” on your backside moving you from dream to novel. Can you, um, share this booting with us?!
Sure! That proverbial boot belongs to my husband, who was and is my biggest fan and the one who nudged me from hobby writing into a career. It was David’s belief in me and his continual encouragement that fanned a little spark of a book idea into the novel that is now Ransomed Dreams. He even went so far as to find a Christian federal agent and set up a meeting with him so I couldn’t back out on my agreement to write this book. And he’s been the one to hang onto hope when plenty of rejection letters and tough writing days made me want to quit. So, all-in-all it’s been a soft booting, but a relentless one nonetheless. God knew that was exactly what I needed!
Any woman who is a self-confessed chocoholic is automatically one of my friends, but I’m truly impressed by your being a police academy graduate. What people won’t do for realism in their novels! Seriously, though, how do you mesh writing and working and mommying?
Chocoholics make great automatic friends, especially when they share chocolate! 😉 As for being a police academy graduate, I have to say that was a citizen’s academy, and the officers never intended for me to ever have real bullets or drive their cars in anything but the parking lot. My CPA instructor (now a friend) still groans about my crazy writer questions to the CSI presenter.
Meshing writing and mommying is a Cat in the Hat type deal most days. Sometimes the plates stay up in the air and things actually look pretty copasetic. Other days, life crashes, and it takes all I have to drag on sweats and say my name. But God is good to provide just what we need, right when we need it, and He keeps getting me out of bed to homeschool during the day and giving me the energy to stay awake and work at night.
Your book is the first in the Defenders of Hope Series. What can we expect next and can you tell us how the series and its title came about?
Up next in the DOH series is Sara and Clint’s story. Steven from Ransomed Dreams and a good many of the original cast still play major parts, but Book 2 explores how an FBI agent and his oncologist wife handle the diagnosis of cancer and a serial killer who eludes capture. Everything is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?
Book 3 moves into Michael and Hanna’s story and this novel intertwines a woman’s healing from sexual abuse with the FBI action plot centering on a racially motivated killer. The main question explored in this book is: What is justice?
The series originally existed as two books that were very real in my mind with two others that kept changing anytime I’d work on them. But my great editor at Multnomah helped me hone in on some fascinating things that happened in book 2 and challenged me to develop those. All the brainstorming condensed the ideas into a third book that is nothing like my original plan. But it’s so much better than I could have imagined. A great editor is such a gift from God!
The series title I presented along with five or six other possibilities all paled in comparison to what the great fiction team at Multnomah came up with. When they asked me about the title they’d developed, I loved it. Defenders of Hope encapsulates all the important elements that tie the three books together.
What challenges you most—writing or revising? And how do you meet the challenge head-on (boot not included!)?
That proverbial boot is always included! I need it—both my husband’s and my editor’s now. 😉 I really enjoy both the writing and revising. However, I’d like to skip the substantive edits which always make me question my sanity and why my editor bought the book in the first place. Those are the first huge edits that highlight everything that needs fixing. After those, the line edits are a lot of fun because that’s where my editor and I get in there and make everything shine. I totally enjoy that part.
How do I meet the challenge of first edits? With some tears, lots of chocolate, a trip to the beach, and then some good old BIC (behind in chair) sweat and late nights.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
I wish I’d have known in the beginning how much time I’d save by resting in the Lord and not stressing over every little detail. Then again, my first year of writing with all its stressing was a humbling time of being refined by God’s fire and grown up in a way I couldn’t have done otherwise.
What advice can you offer unpublished writers who wonder if there’s a place in the writing universe for their work?
I’d echo what many agents and editors say: there is a place for great writing when it’s God’s perfect time for you and your story. That wait time and growing time are so tough, but don’t give up. Keep writing and learning. Pray hard, hang close to Jesus, and trust that God Himself walks with you every step of the way. He will accomplish His good plan and purpose with your life and the talents and gifts He’s given you. Remember that He loves you, and you can trust Him to bring about His very best for you.
What are you doing in terms of marketing your book? How important is this to your book’s success and to you as a writer?
In terms of marketing, I’m going where the Lord has opened some great doors. I love doing interviews and blog tours, guest blogs, and especially connecting via email and in person with people who are interested in my work. When readers catch the vision and excitement for a book, their recommendations go far and wide.
I also have some book club talks set up and I’m doing a book launch party at the end of April. Beyond that, I have a radio interview and plan to visit local bookstores to see how I can best help them promote Ransomed Dreams. I hear taking chocolate works wonders, so I’m all for that.
How important is marketing to Ransomed Dreams success and mine as a writer? That’s a tough question. Marketing in terms of getting the book out there to connect with the people who will be touched by it is vital. But success for RD and for me can be summed up in terms of whether I obeyed the Lord and wrote what He gave me to write to the best of my ability and shared my heart with the people God brought into my life. I believe I’ve been obedient thus far, and it’s my constant prayer request to the amazing group of prayer warriors who pray with me weekly that I’ll continue walking in obedience for the glory of God.
Fill in the blank, “If I couldn’t write, I would………………”
Eat chocolate. 😉 But I can do both without messing up my keyboard too badly, so I think I’ll just keep typing away until the Lord says to stop.
Thanks so much for your great interview questions, Christa! This was fun!
Amy’s book, Ransomed Dreams, is scheduled for release this month. In addition to being a writer and chocoholic, she’s a wife to David (whom she bills as “a gorgeous blue-eyed missionary”), mother of three daughters, homeschool mom, and youth Bible study leader. You can visit her website at http://www.amywallace.com, and she also has a blog.
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