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Interview with Amy R. Anguish

Amy Anguish is living out her dream as she releases her latest contemporary romance novel, Writing Home. Though her two young children keep her busy, she still finds time for crafting, teaching preschool, and Bible classes!

Welcome, Amy. You state you want your writing to showcase real struggles but also how all things work out for good. What specific message do you hope readers take away from your newest release?
This novel started out as just a fun idea, but like all my stories, it developed several ideas deeper. In this one, both characters are struggling with the definition of home. He has always loved where he lives, but it still seems to be missing something (or someone). She grew up thinking she wanted to live in Huntsville, but it never really became home once she was there. Both have to decide what home means to them, and where they want that to be. Home is a huge theme for me—probably because of how many times I’ve moved throughout my life. This story also deals with growing a relationship deeper and more meaningful than what you can normally get through places like social media.

What literary pilgrimages have you taken (traveling for research)? What was your favorite and what did you discover or learn?
I actually haven’t gotten to travel only for research ... yet. That being said, I tend to use my travels in my writing later. For instance, my novella coming out in September is set on St. Simon’s Island, GA, where I had my honeymoon and got to go back a few years ago. Other stories are set where I’ve lived, including the Austin, TX area, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. And I’m working on a series of roadtrip novels where they visit New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, and Boulder. I might need to travel more in the future if I want to keep finding more settings. Think my husband would consider more vacations? Maybe we can knock out his desire to visit all the baseball stadiums in the country at the same time. Ha!

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Honestly, I don’t think about being original or meeting expectations so much as I simply write the stories God has given me. I’m not good at trying to use formulas or outlines others have come up with. I scribble down a few scenes that are in my head and then I start writing to see what happens. I can add or take away things needed later when I’m editing.

Have you thought about writing a series? Will any of your books become part of a series, or are they all standalone for now?
I am working on a series right now, although I might not ever do it again. Ha! It is a trilogy about three friends just out of college who have always gone on roadtrips together. The first has all three on one last trip. The second is about a girl and her ex-fiancé who end up both trying to go on the honeymoon trip by themselves. And the third is about a girl who doesn’t like the idea of facing adulthood and has to find a job before her dad takes away her convertible.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Goodness! This question is sort of hard because most of my “writing” money goes toward things like bookmarks or ordering copies. However, for several years I have attended the KenTen Writers’ Retreat, where I met Erin Howard and Heather Greer. Those two have become my biggest support and true writing sisters over the last few years. We stretch each other, encourage each other, and push each other out of our comfort zones, including starting a YouTube channel. So, I’d have to say that retreat registration might have been the best money spent so far.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I tend to research as I go. Let’s be honest. I write contemporary romance for a reason. As much as I love reading historicals, I am always afraid I’ll get something wrong, although my history teacher husband would help me edit. That being said, I do end up researching anyway. For this last book, I had to look up the name of the tool in the doctor office they use to look in ears (an otoscope), hunting season in Louisiana, stuffed pork chop recipes, and visiting hours for the Rocket Center in Huntsville, as well as other fun things, like whether scrubs have pockets (they do). I never know what I’m going to end up needing to confirm or make sure the timeline works with my story.

What did you edit OUT of this book?
Passive voice. Quite a few adverbs. Several brand names that might go against copyright law. And part of a scene where his plans came across a bit stalkerish instead of sweet. My editors helped me catch that one.

Your bio states you have an English degree because you wanted to use it to write. Is writing part-time or full-time for you? If you didn’t write, what would you do for work to replace that?
Writing is part-time, but becoming more full-time, if that makes sense. I had a goal of publishing at least one to two books a year last year. This year, I have two novels releasing as well as a novella. And I’m working with my publisher on hopefully what will be future releases coming next year. In a year and a half, both of my children will be in school full-time, and I’m looking forward to having more than just nap time each day to do most of my work. Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish then?
As of now, I am also a preschool teacher and full-time mom to a six-year-old and four-year-old.

You say you knew you wanted to be a writer in middle school. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I’m not sure. So much of what happened to me during those times shaped the person I am today, and made me able to write some of the things I write—like the book coming out in December about the preacher’s daughter who chose opposite of me and gave up her faith when she moved out. I couldn’t have written that if I hadn’t lived as a preacher’s daughter. I will say, if I’d known more in college, I would have taken a few marketing classes.

How do your faith and spiritual walk play out in your novels?
I can’t write a story without some element of faith coming through. The struggles my characters go through are often ones I’ve also dealt with—or am dealing with at the time of writing and use my stories to work them out for myself, too. That’s what I did in Faith & Hope, where my character Faith is going through infertility struggles. I was in the middle of it myself and much of what she says and feels is all me. I set out to write a book that was clean instead of inspirational or Christian, and I honestly couldn’t do it. Even when I read a book that’s not in the Christian market, I feel like something is missing that would’ve made it perfect, even if I enjoy the story itself.

Finish this statement: In the future, I will…
Have written a stack of books as tall as I am! (My husband would probably tell me to aim higher. I’m only five foot two.)


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having an active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works as a homeschool mom and independent contractor, helping others become their best from the inside out. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and son, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She has sold over 25 books so far, three of which have won annual reader's choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. (

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