The day has finally come that we begin the Forget Me Not blog tour, and To Be A Person has the honor of hosting Amber Stokes, my friend and the author of this fabulous read, on the very first day! How cool is that?!
So, I’d like you to join us below for a fun chat. I promise, you won’t get bored!
1. Hello Amber! It’s nice to have you join us today! Could you tell us a little about yourself? And is it coffee, tea or choco?
A – It’s a pleasure to be here, Miranda. Thank you for having me!
I’m a self-published inspirational romance author, as well as a freelance editor, publicist, and blogger. I’m taking the whole “facing the world” thing one day at a time—and in the meantime, I’m enjoying navigating the wild and wonderful world of book publishing. When I’m not on the computer, I enjoy reading (of course!) and spending time with my family.
And definitely hot chocolate for me! I do occasionally enjoy tea (hot, not cold), but I’m currently not a fan of coffee.
2. The publishing world is a wild one, isn’t it? I completely agree with you. And what better way to navigate it one small step at a time. I’m like you in some ways (that doesn’t surprise me!), except I appreciate coffee every now and then, and tea is first on my list. 🙂
So tell, when did you first discover your love for books, and at what point in your life did you realize you were born to write?
A – My love for books came very early on. My mom used to read to me, and I took to books like—well, a duck to water, or something else just as cliché. 😉 By early elementary school, I was in love with stories (I had a particular fondness for the “Disney Girl” books by Gabrielle Charbonnet).
When I discovered the joys of Christian romance fiction a little later on (via my elementary school’s library), with books like Port Royal by Linda Lee Chaikin and Treasures of the North by Tracie Peterson, I was hooked. For my own writing, I took to poetry and eventually pursued fiction—but when the idea for Forget Me Not took root in high school, the course was set. And now I’ve come full circle in at least one regard: one of my elementary school’s former librarians told me recently that they hope to get Bleeding Heart into the library, complete with an Accelerated Reader quiz. I can only hope that if it all works out my debut might encourage another young girl to fall in love with the written word!
3. Wow! This is amazing! To have one of your books in your former school’s library should be one of your dreams come true! The kids hearing that it was published by a former student will definitely inspire someone. Well done!
Linda Lee Chaikin was also one of the first authors I discovered in Christian romance fiction. Her book Silk was impressive. Read it twice, I think? It’s good to know you were inspired by her too!
What writers have influenced you most, and who would you say is your mentor—why?
A – Well, those three authors I mentioned in the previous response (Gabrielle Charbonnet, Linda Lee Chaikin, and Tracie Peterson) obviously influenced me a lot as a young girl, showing me that stories can be magical, history can be fascinating, and romance can be exciting and beautiful.
More recently, I’ve been inspired by Elizabeth Camden, Laura Frantz, MaryLu Tyndall, and Karen Witemeyer—to name a few inspirational historical romance authors who remind me why I love the genre and how fun and moving it can be! I’m also falling more in love with young adult fiction and the like… My mentor, Lena Goldfinch, writes YA books, and she does it marvelously! I consider her my mentor because, while I initially got in contact with her to be one of her beta readers, she’s completely taken me under her wing. She’s helped me navigate the world of self-publishing, in addition to being my cover designer and print formatter. We work together on projects, discuss pricing and marketing (etc.), and inspire each other’s creativity. 🙂
4. I completely understand when you say you history can be fascinating. It was one of the things that drew me to Linda’s books. I myself I’m influenced and inspired by MaryLu Tyndall, even though I haven’t written historical (yet! Lol!). And isn’t Lena a sweet person to work with? Even though I recently discovered her, I like what I’ve learned of her. She is easy to work with. 🙂
Some writers say they’ve been called by God to reach out to the broken-hearted through their work, others say they’ve been called to reach the lost. Have you been called? If yes, then to whom?
A – I believe God calls all of His followers to reach out to others. I’m not sure I’ve sensed a call to minister to a specific group of people… I guess it’s more that wherever God leads me and whatever I’m doing, I know I need to love those around me. 🙂 For now—with my blogging, editing, and writing—I have a certain circle of influence, and I just hope that the work I do and the things I write remind people of God’s goodness, healing, and hope.
5. Sweet! And I get your meaning on that circle of influence thing.
You’re an author, book reviewer, freelance editor/publicist, and blogger—that’s a lot on your plate! How do you keep it all balanced, and how do you unwind after a hard day’s work?
A – I’m not sure I always keep it all balanced as well as I ought to. *chuckles* It’s a struggle, for sure, to prioritize and to keep focused on the things that need to be done. And right now, with these tasks as my current “job,” I never really feel like my day is done, you know? I’m a night owl, so my writing/editing/reading/reviewing/blogging/marketing usually extends late into the night in some form or fashion. Then I sleep in, LOL.
All that to say, finding balance is a battle I’m still fighting. Through God’s grace, I keep taking one step at a time…
As for unwinding, I love watching movies and reading (of course!). Playing the Wii with my family or watching a show with them is always a fun way to spend the evening. And when I actually get out of the house, I do love being in nature. I live in a gorgeous part of the world, with the Pacific ocean and redwood forests right nearby.
6. I love movies! Especially those with a good mix of action and romance—can’t get enough of those! And I’m a night owl myself. I guess the night makes a perfect time for peace and quiet, no distractions and excellent speed in your work. That’s how it works for me. 🙂 And I have seen the Atlantic Ocean, but not the Pacific. I hope to one day, though. 🙂
When I say “exotic”, what part of the world comes to your mind? Is it your dream vacation spot as well? If not, what is?
A – Probably Hawaii or some other islands. I used to be completely against the idea of actually visiting Hawaii, though, because the islands are volcanoes, for goodness’ sake! LOL. (After watching Dante’s Peak in middle school, I was completely freaked out by the idea of volcanoes…) Now, I think I might enjoy a trip there. It does seem like a beautiful place!
My dream vacation spot, though, is Prince Edward Island, Canada. I love Anne of Green Gables, and I’d love to see that place for myself. And while I’m dreaming, I’d adore a train trip across Canada. Could you just imagine taking a train through the Canadian Rockies? So romantic. (I absolutely love trains!)
7. Ah! Love your answer! Why? Dante’s Peak shook me like a broom tree in a crazy storm! Kept asking myself, why would anyone even think of living near a volcano—active or dormant? But I guess, with geography classes later on in my life, my heart finally had some peacet. And trains? Of course! It would be a dreamy experience! I guess it’s part of the reason I put that little bit in To Die Once when Jennifer and Rodrigo were on their way to Anguillara Sabazia from Rome. One day, I hope to experience it myself. 😀
Hey! This is an interview of a romance author, right? This should allow us get to know some romance bits about you. 😉 Could you please, kindly and passionately describe to us your dream date?
A – OK, I’m going to try to be slightly realistic and plan this as a local dream date (instead of, say, suggesting a train trip across Canada—I’ll save that for my dream honeymoon ;)). My dream date would be an all-day event. We’d begin the day by driving up north a ways to Crescent City on the coast, where we’d visit Starbucks. (I’d get a hot chocolate and petite vanilla bean scones.) Then we’d backtrack a bit to the Trees of Mystery, where we’d take our time enjoying the sights, riding the Sky Trail (gondola), and hiking back down. We’d hold hands, of course, and have people take our picture together at spots like the Cathedral Tree or the carved redwood heart. If we were feeling especially ambitions/rebellious, we’d carve our own initials into the heart (which is covered with the initials of many couples who have come through before). We’d buy each other little mementos at the gift shop, then head across the street to the Forest Cafe for lunch. Oh, and we’d have to get a picture with Paul Bunyan before we left!
After that, we’d drive back down the coast until we reached Trinidad. If we were up for it, we’d hike Trinidad Head, or we’d just view the ocean from the pier.
Then he would drop me off at my house to get dressed up. I’d wear my gray dress, or perhaps my purple and black one, if I was feeling flirty. 😉 My mom would help me with my hair, because goodness knows I don’t currently have the skill to make it curl at all! My dream boyfriend would return to pick me up, and we’d go have dinner at the Plaza Grill or Abruzzi’s. Either way, we’d have to have the chocolate paradiso for dessert, because it is the most amazing thing ever.
After that, we’d be off to go square dancing (because we’d choose a night when a square dance was being held). We’d laugh at our mistakes, hum along to the lively music, and basically have a grand time. Not to mention how thrilled I’d be to actually go to one of these dances with a man instead of going with the hope that there’d be some people there who’d take pity on poor, partner-less me. 😉
Finally, he would drive me home and walk me to the door like any gentleman should. We’d both declare how wonderful the day was and make plans for the next date, because after a date like that (with the right man), my poor heart would need something else to anticipate!
Trinidad? Gondola? Chocolates? Yes, yes, yes!!! The only thing missing there are roses—red roses. And puh-leaaase, sign me up for ambitious and rebellious any day!
Amber, it was such a joy having you here today! I had so much fun. Let’s do this again and again!
Folks, you can learn more about this book, the series, and the blog tour on Amber’s website, the book’s website, and the Hearts Spring Series website. I hope you had fun with us today. I certainly did!
Amber’s hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway and you can enter by following the link for a chance to win an entertainment package that includes signed paper back of Forget Me Not (to be sent when the paperback becomes available), The Journey of Natty Gann on DVD, and “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars on CD. This giveaway is open to US residents only.
About the Book
Prequel to Bleeding Heart
Old hurts, new betrayals, and a love that survives them all…
A startling revelation sends Elizabeth Lawson escaping into a stormy night – and tosses her into the arms of a young mountain man with secrets of his own. When he offers to take her to the Nevada mining town where her long-lost brother lives, she accepts. Suspicions and uncertainties are pushed aside as she struggles to forge a future for herself by meeting her past.
David has been hiding from his painful memories for years. The solitude and wildness of the Rocky Mountains are challenge and comfort enough for him – until Elizabeth’s arrival. Fueled by anger and a sense of obligation, he strives to take control of his new situation…only to find control slipping from his grasp with each new emotion Elizabeth evokes in him.
When their journey leads them on unexpected paths, can two lonely hearts find the strength to remember the good amid the heartbreak?
Inspirational Historical Romance
Book Website: http://forgetmenotnovel.blogspot.com/
Series Blog: http://theheartsspringseries.blogspot.com/
About the Author
Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word – from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing.