Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so pleased to introduce to you Amanda Cabot. Being married to someone in the IT field, that is always on my radar. Over the years, it has been amazing to me how many technical writers come out of IT and into the romance writing field! Amanda is one of those amazing writers who shifted from technical to romance. I loved reading her interview, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What can I say other than that I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and now I’m living that dream? I’m a former director of Information Technology and have written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Along the way, I’ve managed to write more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Now I’m thrilled to be a full-time writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with my husband in Wyoming.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always wanted to write. From the time I was seven, when reading was my favorite pastime, I thought the most wonderful thing in the world would be to be a writer. It took a while before I actually submitted a manuscript to an editor, but once I did, there was no turning back. And, no, that first story didn’t sell to the first editor, but I was fortunate enough to sell it to the second one.
Do you have your plot-line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Don’t laugh, but the answer is “both.” In addition to the synopsis, which tells the story from beginning to end, I write a chapter-by-chapter outline. That tells me what scenes will occur in each chapter and makes sure that subplots are properly paced. The chapter-by-chapter outline is my road map. But as I write, I sometimes find myself taking detours. And when I finish the first draft, I know my characters so much better than I did at the beginning of that draft that there are always more detours during the second draft.
Tell us about your current release. As someone who’s challenged to finish a book in less than 110,000 words, giving a brief description of my books is almost as difficult as writing the book itself. Instead, let me share the back cover copy with you.
Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.
Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country.
Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort’s unassuming handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye—billions more, in fact.
Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?
Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow’s End.
For me, one of the most exciting things about this book is that Publishers Weekly gave it one of their coveted starred reviews. To say that I was thrilled by that is no understatement. I was doing the Snoopy dance for days afterward!
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? One of the good/bad things about my day job was that I was a very frequent flyer. The good part was that I was able to visit a lot of different places, and some of them provided inspiration for books. I was sitting in a restaurant in Phoenix, eating alone (one of the bad things about all the traveling), when the Muzak started playing “Stranger in Paradise.” “What a great title for a book,” I said to myself. (No, I haven’t gotten to the point where I talk out loud and cause strangers to stare.) That started the whole process of asking questions. “Where’s paradise?” Answer: Hawaii. “Why would someone be there and feel like a stranger?” The answers to that question turned into a book. Even though I changed the title, the story begins in Hawaii and the hero and heroine are definitely strangers there.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I have three pieces of advice. The first is to read extensively in the genre you want to write. That’s the best way to learn what publishers are buying. Secondly, join a writer’s group. ACFW is wonderful for writers in the Christian marketplace, and Romance Writers of America is excellent for anyone interested in writing romance. A writer’s group provides support, networking and so many other resources to the aspiring writer that I can’t over emphasize the importance of joining one. And lastly, never give up. Rejection is a fact of life. I won’t sugarcoat it: rejection hurts. But if you let it defeat you, if you stop sending out your manuscript just because it was rejected, you’ll never be published. Believe in your book and in yourself. Oh … that was four pieces of advice. Sorry!
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I was (and still am) a great fan of Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Although they both died before I was born, I always wished I could have met them, so I did the next best thing and visited the places that inspired their books. Orchard House in Massachusetts, where Alcott lived and wrote, was fascinating, but the place I fell in love with was Montgomery’s Prince Edward Island. The combination of the red dirt and that incredibly green grass, not to mention the vivid blue sky and white surf was unbeatable. We won’t talk about how difficult it was to get that red clay off the side of the car, though.
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At Bluebonnet Lake, Texas Crossroads Series #1
By Amanda Cabot / Revell
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