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Interview With Amber Stockton

With the release of Liberty’s Promise, (Tiff) Amber Stockton sees three of her Heartsong Presents! books in print again. And the reader is treated to her unique storytelling abilities. Choosing to write about Colonial America has proved to be a good decision for Tiff, a time period I have enjoyed reading about. It was my privilege to interview my friend and fellow transplanted Coloradoan this week.

Tiff, what led you to write historical romance?

I have always loved history. Like so many, I grew up on Little House on the Prairie books and then the TV show. That portrayal of simpler times combined with engaging stories and characters that lived on in your hearts made me want to write stories just like that. I also developed a passion for accurate history when I was in high school. Seeing how textbooks these days are including less and less of our country’s true history makes me want to write it how it really was and showcase the spiritual foundations of our great country.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
That would be two-fold. The first would be the years I spent reading almost every historical fiction book I could find. I began reading them around age 11 when I moved from young adult to adult fiction. The second would be joining ACFW at the recommendation of Tracie Peterson. She and her husband coached and mentored me, and Jim was the acquisitions editor who gave the green light on my first novel. He told me it was the last acquisition he made before he and Tracie stepped down from Heartsong, and he couldn’t think of a better book on which to end.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Wow! What’s NOT a challenge? Not only do I have my books, but I’m also a web designer and I work part-time for David C. Cook, a Christian publishing company. Add to that caring for a daughter who will turn one on April 2nd, helping my husband with his writing career, and keeping up with household/church responsibilities, and I’m one tuckered out mom. At first, it was a big adjustment, but I’ve learned to make the most of the snippets of time I have. And so far, it’s working. One day at a time, and one task at a time.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I wouldn’t have the career I do without the Lord. I’ve been a Christian since age 7 and have never fallen from my faith. Each and every book is first turned over to God before I write it. Regardless of how many buy my books, if the story resonates with just one person, I know it’s reached its intended target. By leaving my career, my income, and the ministry in God’s hands, I don’t have to worry about my advances or my royalties or even my sales. God’s got it all under control.

I also pray often for strength and perseverance when the going gets tough. Each of my books has a theme based in scripture, and I can’t count the number of times that verse has spoken to me in numerous ways during the writing of each book, sometimes long after I write the last word.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
My love of writing is what drives me. That and knowing I have books in print which will touch lives for years to come, along with the legacy I’ll be leaving for my daughter and eventual family all spurs me to write each and every story that comes to mind.

My ideas come from real life and real people. It could be a TV show, a movie, a conversation, a news article, or anything really. I gather bits and pieces from all over, mix it in with my own creative flare, then let the characters take it from there.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
Hmm, I have often pondered this myself. There have been times when I wonder if my writing will resonate with anyone. My life has been fairly sheltered, and I don’t have any of those gut-wrenching or life-altering experiences with heartfelt emotions from which to pull. But I write from the heart, and craft characters based upon the many people I meet, praying their lives, words, and deeds will resonate with my readers. Truth be told, I write what I would love to read and leave the rest to God. Perhaps my simplistic approach is what makes my style unique. But you might have to ask my readers to see what they like best to get a real answer to your question.

Finish this question. The heart of romance is . . . “the never-ending pursuit of life’s peak experiences.” But I can’t take credit for that quote. If I were to put it in my own words, I’d say it’s a daily decision to find the beauty in every situation. It’s not the flowers, the sweet words, or even the relationship. It’s the commitment and the mindset to celebrate the little things, as well as the value placed on people over things and temporal successes.

Any parting words?
I owe a lot of thanks to my readers, my editors, and everyone who has encouraged me along the way or believed in me. An author is nowhere without readers and a strong support system. ACFW has been that and so much more to me.

And to those who are waiting for that first book contract, don’t give up. It took me 4 years from the time I started writing my debut book until I received the contract. I’d written 2 books before that, though, so when I add it all together, it took me 7 years before I saw my dream realized and 2 more years from the contract to the book release. Writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes hard work, determination, and perseverance. But if you truly believe this is where you’re called to be, go for it and don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.

Thanks for sharing with us, Tiff!
Thank YOU for having me here. It’s quite an honor, a long-awaited dream, and yet another answer to prayer.

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