Sunday, March 14, 2010
Honestly, each step is a new one on this exciting journey. God has blessed me in more ways than I could imagine with this career, and I eagerly await all that He has in store. In the more immediate future, I’m pursuing a break into trade-length from the mass-market fiction as well as seeking an agent. We’ll see what happens.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to another author, Stuart Stockton, who had his first book release in April of 2009. His second releases in October of this year. We have one daughter who will be 1 in April this year, and we live at the base of beautiful Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs. We also have a border collie named Roxie, who keeps life bouncing. Outside of our little circle, I have 3 brothers and my parents have been married for over 35 years. Stuart has 2 sisters and a brother (all of whom are married), 3 aunts, 2 uncles, 4 cousins, 1 nephew and 1 niece. His parents have also been married 35 years.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Definitely! I’ve discovered books I used to enjoy that I no longer do because I have become quite a bit pickier than I used to be. As a writer, you have to be aware of the rules of writing and write what an editor will deem a worthy novel. Once you’ve established yourself and proven that you can meet those guidelines, there is a bit more freedom granted. I’ve found that I can’t usually get into a book that hops in and out of point-of-view characters within a scene or includes a lot of telling and not showing. And books with pages and pages of nothing but narrative without interspersing dialogue usually don’t hold my attention.
What are you working on right now?
Although I don’t have any current contracts, I am working on two historical series. The first is set in Wyoming featuring a socialite artist from Philadelphia who accepts a teaching position out west so she can sketch the wondrous landscapes. She befriends a cattle baron and learns the ways of a ranch while discovering a simplistic way of life that fulfills her in ways far beyond her imagination.
The second series is focused on silver mining in Colorado, featuring 3 siblings who sold their mine to run a ranch but find their mine is still irrevocably entwined in their lives.
What outside interests do you have?
I love to travel, enjoy photography, spend a lot of time designing web sites (especially for other authors and speakers), relax when watching old movies and listening to music. It’s rare for my home to be “silent” even if it’s just music playing in the background.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Some of the names that come to mind are Abraham Lincoln or George Washington or John Adams. But, I’m going to go back even farther and say I’d love to spend an evening with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her acceptance of God’s plan for her life and her willingness to do what was asked of her, despite her fears and uncertainties are quite an inspiration. None of us know exactly where our lives are headed, but if we make up our minds to say “yes” no matter what, I think we’ll discover amazing things.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How difficult it would be to be accepted as a serious novelist or even an author with any wisdom to share with others when I’m so young. I was published before I turned 30 and with so many authors out there who didn’t start until their 40’s or 50’s or older, there is a definite stigma against younger authors not having “lived life” enough to share any wisdom with those older.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To trust in Him and wait on His timing. I’m getting antsy without a contract right now, but God is telling me He’s got it all under control, and I just need to wait on Him.
I know what you mean. I'm also "between contracts." What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Write. Read. Network. Write as much as you can and always keep at least one story going at all times. Read a wide variety of authors in multiple genres to get a feel for different writing styles and to see what is selling out there. Network with everyone and anyone. You just never know where those connections might lead, and word of mouth is by the far the best marketing tool for your books.
Tell us about the featured book?
This book is an anthology collection of my first 3 novels, all set in Colonial Delaware. Relive the birth of a new country as three women battle for determining to whom they can entrust their hearts. Raelene is all alone, but is there peace in following the wishes of her deceased father? Elanna is intelligent for her young age, but will her love for an older man turn into a passing fancy when his integrity is questioned? Margret's loyalties are torn when the colonists rebel, for how can a relationship with a British soldier built on deceptions survive? Will each woman find her place of freedom to embrace her faith and trust her heart to love?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Heedless of the home-stitched stockings showing at her knees, Raelene Strattford ran down the tree-lined lane, her skirts flying behind her. Strands of hair from her crown of braids came loose and flailed in the cool breeze. After being cooped inside the house for the past week, abed with a fever, it should have been refreshing, but Raelene was distracted by the lone wagon coming toward her.
It wasn't the one she expected. This one belonged to her neighbors, not her mother and father. One man drove it at a dirge-like pace as another walked alongside, both with heads down. But what made Raelene run even harder were the two workhorses tied behind it. Her family's workhorses! That could only mean. . .
A sob tore through her body.
Her pounding heart beat her voice dead in her throat, but not the furtive prayers for this not to be what it seemed, what she feared. As she reached the wagon, her mouth as parched as the dirt beneath her feet, the driver halted the horses.
Raelene couldn't recall her neighbors' names, not with the panic racing through her mind.
"I am sorry, miss," the larger of the two said, stepping between her and the wagon. The cocky farm boy had actually had the nerve to ask her father permission to court her. What was his name?
I'm intrigued. How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can always find me at my web site or my blog. I update my books page with my latest releases and books coming soon. So, if you want to keep up with my career, you can check that page on my site. I also have a group on Facebook called Amber Stockton Readers that you can join. There are weekly discussions on my books and fiction in general. Then, my blog features author spotlights and book giveaways each week. Here are the URL’s:
Thanks so much, Lena, for having me here today. It’s been a pleasure in so many ways. And of course, I’d love to hear from you readers in the comments. Thanks for coming by today and for your support of my books and my career. An author is nowhere without readers and support.
That is so true. I'm really glad you could stop by.
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