Welcome everyone! This week I want to introduce you to ultra-talented author of Amish Romance, and another of my Seymour Agency sisters, Amy Lillard! Amy's debut novel is titled Saving Gideon. Like me, Amy is repped by the awesome Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency. Now grab a cup of your favorite whatever, or a munch, and settle in. We're also doing a giveaway!
|Author, Amy Lillard|
Doesn't Amy have the prettiest blue eyes?
THE GIVEAWAY - Amy has generously offered to give away a copy of Saving Gideon, and I'm throwing in a Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is answer Amy's question at the end of the post in the comment section, or my New Years question at the end of the blog post. For those who have trouble commenting on Blogger, leave your answer on my Facebook Author Page. The winner of Amy's book and the gift card will be drawn at random next Sunday, January 6, 2012, at 9pm CDT, and announced on next week’s blog post.
~ Saving Gideon ~
Welcome Amy! So glad you stopped in for a visit!
Thanks Loree! Glad to be here.
So Amy, how long have you been writing? Is this your first novel?
I guess you could say that I've been writing my whole life. I remember making up stories as early as the first grade. But when I got an A on a descriptive paragraph in junior high, I was hooked. I have been writing seriously for about twenty years (it almost hurts to say that). Like every author, I suffered set backs and rejections before finding where I really belonged in the literary world.
What is the inspiration behind the book?
I have always wanted to write a story with a tortured hero, a man who loved a woman so deeply that after her death he finds it nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other and live. Only Gideon's faith keeps him going though he feels that it's gone as well.That's where the story started. After I had Gideon developed, I had to find a heroine spunky enough to bring him out of his own world and make him start living again.
Is there a sequel or series planned?
There is a series. Katie's Choice, the second in the Clover Ridge series is scheduled to release May 1 of 2013. Katie Rose Fisher is Gideon's sister.
They say that there is a bit of each of us in all of our characters. Which character in the book is most like you, and why?
Most like me...hmmm. I suppose, Mary Elizabeth, Gideon's niece. She's a little chubby, a little chatty and loves animals. We have those things in common, but it's Rachel Yoder, the heroine of Gabriel's Bride (working title) who's most like me. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until February of 2014 before you'll get to meet her.
What do you read for enjoyment, Amy?
Actually I read all sorts of books. Though my favorites are contemporary romance novels. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Elizabeth Beverly and Susan Andersen. That's not to say that my mom and my sisters can't talk me into reading a women's fiction or chicklit. And of course I read Amish fiction and have a few favorite authors in the Love Inspired line from Harlequin.
Now please welcome Author, Amy Lillard, as she gives us a glimpse into her writing, Amish fiction, and Saving Gideon!
What to Do When Your Muse Is Fixed to a Different Setting
by Amy Lillard
I have to admit that I didn’t start out writing Amish fiction. The initial idea was something of a surprise. Write an Amish book? At first, I thought the notion to be crazy, but the more I mulled it over, the more appealing it became.
Saving Gideon is a first for me in many ways. It’s my first Amish book, my first published book, and the first book that I didn’t rely exclusively on my muse to develop.
See, all authors have what we call a muse. It’s that little voice that whispers in our heads and hearts and says things like “What if…?” and “why don’t you…?”
Now my normal muse talks to me about different things than Amish fiction. I don’t live in the Amish community and see them every day to fill my thoughts with “Amish what ifs.” So she needed a bit of prodding to help me get together not only one idea, but three.
The idea started with Gideon. I had his name before I had anything else. If I was going to write an Amish book, I wanted my hero’s name to be Gideon. And I wanted him to be a loner, which is unusual for the Amish. So I made him a widower, grieving and on his last leg (spiritually speaking). Gideon has hidden himself away from the community and everyone who loves him.
Gideon with all of his hurts and scars needed to have a heroine who could stand up to him and help him—after all, the title is Saving Gideon. But everything I knew about the Amish had me deciding that Gideon’s one true love had to be English (non-Amish as they call them). An Amish woman would not stand up to an Amish man the way Avery does Gideon. A Plain woman would not push him back into life, ignoring his protests and somehow bringing him into the sun again.
Gideon isn’t the only one who makes life changes. I had some surprises in store from my never-wanted-for-anything-in-her-life heroine—God. For as she pulls Gideon back into his community, she also finds out for herself how wonderful God’s love can be. A hole that she has ignored her entire life is finally filled and all thanks to Gideon.
But no good romance is the same without sacrifice. In order for an Amish widower and a Dallas socialite to fall in love and make it work, someone has to give up their way of life, their family, friends, and everything they cherish. But is it possible for two people from such opposite worlds learn to make it one? You’ll have to read and see. My one hint is that this is a romance—in the contemporary sense of the word. But if that’s not enough for you, I’m giving away a copy of Saving Gideon to one lucky commenter this week. Just answer this question: What would you give up to have the love of your life?
Thanks so much to Loree for having me here today and thanks to everyone who stopped by. Your participation is much appreciated. Happy Reading!
Thanks for stopping in, Amy! It's been really fun! I have one last question for you, and for everyone...
What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year?
In 2013, I'm hoping and praying for a new contract for the next three stories in the Clover Ridge series. And I also have a couple of other ideas tucked up my sleeve, but I'll have to see where the year takes me before I can say more.
You can find out more about Amy Lillard at her website: http://amywritesromance.com/
Follow her on twitter @AmyWritesRomnce
Like her on Facebook:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Between you, me and the gatepost,