AC:I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I joke my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school in New Jersey when I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend. Writing has always been a stress reliever to me and came to me naturally.
Is this something you always wanted to do?
AC:I used to write for fun but didn’t consider pursuing getting published until approximately 2002 or so when I found Chesapeake Romance Writers, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I stumbled upon their website, attended a few meetings, met other writers, and realized I wanted to be a published author. I signed with an agent in 2005 and sold my Amish series in 2007.
Who was your inspiration when you started writing? Why?
AC:It was a hobby, so my early stories in elementary school and junior high were silly stories about other kids in school. I would make up stories in my head and then write them down in spiral notebooks.
Does your family help you with your ideas when you are writing a book?
AC:Absolutely! My mom is my best plotting partner. My husband has helped me with technical questions about cars for other books (obviously not Amish books!).
You wrote a Nascar novel called Betrayed…what was it like writing that?
AC:I’m a NASCAR fan, so writing about it was a natural progression after my husband introduced me to the sport. I enjoyed writing those books very much.
Did you get to go to a lot of races in order to write it?
AC:I’ve been to many races, and going to them was always inspirational. Before my husband became very ill, we frequented tracks in Dover, Charlotte, Richmond, Martinsville, and South Boston (Virginia). I hope we can go again when my husband is well.
Now on to your Amish books. How did you get into writing Amish fiction?
AC:I’m half-German, and my father immigrated to the United States with his parents and siblings in 1929. He once told me the Amish speak the same dialect as our relatives, so I feel a connection to them. I’ve always had a great respect and fascination with their faith and simple lives. I began reading other Amish authors and I was moved to create my own series.
Do you base characters on real people you have met or do they just come to you?
AC:Most of my characters are fictional, but some have qualities of people I know.
Do you prefer writing Amish over your Nascar books?
AC:Yes, I do. I love the Amish and am very excited about my upcoming Kauffman Amish Bakery books. However, I’m working on an inspirational young adult book that is not Amish. I can’t share more than that right now, but you’ll be surprised when it comes out in 2011. Let’s just say the book includes some roaring big-block engines in it.
How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
AC:A first draft can take me anywhere from a month to two months, but the editing is process is much longer and takes several months.
Do you have a favorite author? How about a favorite book?
AC:I enjoy many, many authors and many different genres, so it would be impossible to pick one favorite author. My favorite book when I was a young child was Goodnight Moon. My mother would turn the pages, and I would recite the book to her before I could read. As a young adult, the book that most influenced my love of reading and writing was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
What messages to you want to send out with your books?
AC:I hope that my readers will find a message of strength, hope, faith in God, and forgiveness in my books. Even in our darkest hour, God is with us, holding us and leading us.
What can your fans look forward to in the future?
AC:A Promise of Hope, the second in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, debuts in April 2010. A Christmas book, A Plain & Simple Christmas, will debut in September, followed by A Place of Peace in December. In 2011, another Christmas book and then a Life of Joy (Book #4) will follow. I’m very excited!
Thanks so much, Amy, for the great interview!
AC:Thank you for interviewing me!
~You can also stop by and visit Amy’s website: https://amyclipston.com ~
***Amy has graciously offered an ARC copy of her newest book, A Promise of Hope, to one lucky winner. The enter, simply leave a comment or question here for Amy! Please be sure to include your email address (no email=no valid entry) so I can contact you if you win! Giveaway will end on Sunday March 28th @6pm! ***