Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Learning from a multi-published author

I'm very excited that my friend, Amy Wallace, has agreed to talk to us today about her second book, Healing Promises. It is interesting to see how writing and marketing change from one book to the other.

Writing Career Coach: Amy, first of all thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to include us on your blog tour.

AW: You’re very welcome and thank you for having me here! A tour for Healing Promises wouldn’t have been complete without stopping by because you and your husband were such an integral part of the story behind Healing Promises.

Writing Career Coach: This is the second book in the Defenders of Hope series for Multnomah, how was the process of bringing book two to publication different from book 1?

AW: Writing Ransomed Dreams the first time was total fun. I knew no rules and had no one telling me I had no idea what I was doing. ;-) Then I found out just how much I didn’t know. But writing Healing Promises was great because I not only knew the rules, but had also survived a major edit and lived to tell about it. Plus, I’d loved seeing Ransomed Dreams polished up and shining after edits. That helped me keep going with Healing Promises because I knew at the end of the editing process the story would be even better.

Writing Career Coach: Your website says that prior to publishing books you had pieces published in compilations. How did those shorter pieces help you to prepare?

AW: Writing shorter creative fiction stories taught me how to pack some punch into as few words as possible and also how to work with an editor. Plus, the income from a few of those stories paid my way to a writing conference where I learned even more about the nuts, bolts and heart of writing.

Writing Career Coach: Amy, you did a great job on creating a realistic character in Clint. To my readers, Amy and I met as she was writing Healing Promises. Her character was going through cancer treatment for the same cancer my husband had. She was writing the book as Chris, my husband, was starting Chemo. It was a “coincidence” that has made us great friends. How did you manage to write such believable characters?

AW: The characters in Healing Promises came to life because I had a number of amazing people share their cancer journeys with such gut-wrenching honesty. One example was meeting Tiff through ACFW and learning that her husband had the exact cancer I’d already been researching. Talk about a very cool God-incidence!

Another aspect that breathed life into the characters is what my writing mentor calls “bleeding into your work.” I’ve learned by watching God use my jagged-edged memories as I write that He wastes nothing in our lives. And when we’re willing to open ourselves up and let our characters feel what we felt in all its ugliness and transforming beauty, readers will sense that truth throughout the pages.

Writing Career Coach: Well, Amy, it worked. I wanted you to know when Chris read on page 21 “He already hated the miserable port deforming his chest just below his right collar bone. Who cared if the implanted device made filling his body with toxic chemicals easier? Two days, and he still couldn’t look at the thing.” Chris said “Yep.”

You captured in those first pages exactly what a man feels at that moment. Everyone may see what I mean by going to this page to read the first chapter of Healing Promises.

AW: Wow, it’s high praise to hear that Clint’s thoughts resonated with your husband. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Writing Career Coach: I know you’re involved in other things now that you’ve completed and turned in Enduring Justice, the final book of this series, due out spring of 2009. Tell us about some of those things.

AW: I’m excited about the next suspense series I’m working on as these stories have been brewing in my heart a long time. As to what they’re about…let’s just say they include law enforcement, families with children, and intense storylines.

Writing Career Coach: And you’ve been nominated for a pretty big award for the first book of this series, Ransomed Dreams. Tell us about how you found out. What was your reaction?

AW: I’m still very stunned and totally excited about being a RITA finalist. And the story behind my finding out highlights that. I’m usually busy with homeschooling, so I don’t typically answer the phone during school hours. The morning of the big call, the phone rang about six times, all from the same area code. I kept thinking the telemarketer would give up soon. So I was less than excited to answer when they called again during naptime. But then the very kind woman said she was calling about an RWA contest where I’d finaled. I was too surprised to really hear all that she said or even the name of the contest. Later that evening, I went to a writer’s meeting and told my story to a friend who’s served with RWA. She about jumped out of her chair with excitement and proceeded to tell me I’d finaled in the RITA, a contest I’ve heard described as the Academy Awards for writing. When that news sunk in all I could do was dance in open-mouthed awe that my first novel was nominated for such an amazing award.

Writing Career Coach: That is amazing. You should be excited. Thank you for stopping by, Amy. I hope all my readers will go get a copy of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises. They are really excellent stories.

AW: Thanks for having me here, Tiff!


windycindy said...

Good Afternoon! I have been following the virtual tour of Amy's since the beginning. You gave a wonderful interview session! I enjoy books done in a series. Cindi

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cindi for following the tour so faithfully! It was fun seeing you at each stop.

And thanks, Tiff, for a wonderful interview. As I said in the interview, Healing Promises was sooooo much better for knowing you and Chris. Thank you for sharing your journey with me.

Paulette Harris said...

That was a good interview Tiffany. I enjoyed reading it and will read the book.

Hugs in Jesus.
Paulette Harris

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