Thursday, July 14, 2016

A.M. Heath | Author Interview

Today, I have a fellow Indie author -- who has become a great friend -- over for an interview! I got A.M. Heath's books last December and within two days, read them both (granted, I was sick and had nothing "better" to do). If you're a Civil War fanatic, you will want to pick up these books! And the good news is: they're only 99 cents on Amazon right now! To make it easier for you to go and purchase your own copies, book 1 is here and book 2 is here. You're welcome! ;)

In a nutshell, what do you write​?​
Christian Fiction or Christian Romance. At the moment, I'm in the middle of a multi-generational series. The first three books cover the Civil War and the last two are set in the present day. But at the heart of everything I write there is at least a touch of good, clean romance AND a God-centered message. 

Amen! And readers like me really, really, appreciate this!! What spurred on the desire for writing​?​

I think I've always wanted to write. For as far back as I could remember, I went through seasons where I wrote my own stories. As an adult, I started writing just for fun, but it soon turned into something more serious. 
Now, I've come to see that it's God's will for my life and the "spurring" comes from Him and the characters that refuse to be silenced. :) 

Definitely can identify there! How do you balance writing with living -- or is writing your full-time job?
I'm a stay at home mom with 4 kids so balance is a really big deal. So how do I balance my life? First of all, I should tell you that I often feel like I'm anything but balanced and am constantly turning back to the basics and starting over. :) But Christians are great repenters, right?!
I have found the key to balance is to understand that your time is NOT your own. It's God's. So you need to be ready and willing to be where He wants you in each moment of each day. If I have a sick child at home that might mean snuggling on the couch or running to the doctor's office. It might mean setting aside my work to chat with a friend who is hurting. Or spending my plotting time doing the dishes and the laundry (which is a great place to plot, by the way!) When you understand that your time isn't YOURS, it becomes easier to roll with the punches without getting frustrated. I typically wake up everyday seeking God's will for my day. I also pray for God's blessings on my efforts since my time is limited and the work pile is great.
Knowing that curve balls are a normal part of my life, I try to make certain adjustments to help ensure that I'm getting a solid writing session. I cannot write when my kids are around. The constant "mommy!" interruptions are just too much for my nerves not to mention my creative thinking. So I don't even bother trying. Instead, I focus on something that I CAN do while my children are running through the house and save my writing for the quieter hours. Lots of trial and error has taught me some things about myself that I can put into practice to ensure a better writing session. For example, I've learned that picking up a fiction book interferes with my creative thinking so I've learned to write first and read last. So don't be afraid to try new things. Even if it fails, you might learn something about yourself that will help you find what works best for you and when you can get the best quality of writing time.  
So the key to balance is to 1) Seek God's will for you day/hour 2) Plan to work when you don't plan to be interrupted 3) Pray for God's blessings on your efforts 4) Don't be afraid to try new things 5) When all else fails, just roll with the punches. More than a book, God is writing the story of my life. How I handle upsets really does matter. And who I choose to spend my time on matters also. 

Wow, I'll have to revisit that answer! That's basically what the Lord has been teaching me (again and again) -- to put Him first and leave the minutes of writing up to His blessing.

Who do you hope to reach with your writing?I hope to both the believer and the unbeliever. It's my constant prayer that the Lord will use my work, whether it's a post on social media, a blog post, or one of my novels, to edify and draw the Christian closer to Him while also being a witness to the Lost. 

If someone asked you for your best writing tip, what would it be?
I like to keep a collection of encouraging quotes displayed on my desk. Here's one of my favorites: 
"This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and it's that hard." - Neil Gaiman
I had stumbled upon this quote at a time in my writing career when I was struggling. This simplified version of a writer's life helped me to set aside the big picture and just focus on the next word. I was so moved that I blogged about the experience. You can read the full lesson here:

What are three things that you greatly enjoy doing?
Wow, only 3 things....
1) I love to be creative. I've been coloring as an adult before it was the new fad. Lol I also love being creative with the camera (since my hands refuse to be talented with a paint brush or pencil). And being creative in the kitchen for sure!! I love to play with colors, textures, and table settings when I cook. If I didn't spend so much time writing Christian fiction, I would definitely be food blogging! Lol I'm also a cake decorator and it's where this artist "paints."
2) I love to relax. And I do that in many ways: snuggling with my family on the couch, reading a good book, drinking tea or coffee (hot or iced! I take it all!!! Lol), taking in some quiet time outside, napping, and snacking. 
3) And I also really enjoy serving my Lord. I love to witness to the Lost, teach my children and those in my Sunday School class, and encourage other believers to persevere and cling to Christ. 

Thanks so much for your wonderful answers! I had so much fun reading them!


Bio: Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.


A.M. Heath said...

Thanks so much for having me, Amanda!

Olivia said...

Love the interview! And a good reminder about time not being our own!!

Alicia G. Ruggieri said...

Great interview! :-) I will second your thumbs-up for the Ancient Words series, Amanda -- The Gospel message shines so beautifully through the characters and story there -- characters and a story which which stay in the reader's heart and mind for a long while.

Amanda T. said...

@ A.M. Heath - thanks for your willingness to answer all of the questions! :) I had fun!

@ Olivia - agree!!

@ Alicia - Amen! :) I'm so glad to have solid stories to read and recommend!

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