Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Interview with Amy Wallace

Today it's my absolute delight and pleasure to have one of my favorite authors here. Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises. These books are two of my favorite stories and I can't wait to read Enduring Justice, book three in the Defenders of Hope series (Spring '09). (Btw, there are some spoilers in the first chapter of Healing Promises so you might want to read Ransomed Dreams first.)

Now here's the best part. One very special commenter will win a Healing Promises Gift Pack, which contains a signed copy of the book, Healing Promises, a Healing Promises mug, and a Starbucks gift card!

Amy, you touch on some pretty powerful struggles with your characters. What’s the “story” behind this story?

Healing Promises grew out of a painful time of wrestling with God and doubting His goodness during two very intense experiences. One was attending a friend’s funeral after three years of praying for healing. My faith was rocked to the core and I struggled to pray for a long time after my friend died. The second difficult season was that of losing a baby before becoming pregnant with my third daughter. Both dark nights of the soul took me to the end of what I understood about God. As I worked on Healing Promises, I went back to those memories and poured into the pages all the pain of those moments as well as what God taught me and the grace He lavished on my wounded heart.

Clint’s character is so deep and real in his struggle to trust God through his cancer treatment. And what a challenge that must have been to write! How did you handle that?

I had an amazing group of people praying me through the writing of this story. And four very dear friends who shared their cancer journeys with gut-wrenching honesty and gave me the privilege of mixing my tears and prayers with theirs.

Sara’s constant feeling of failure, no matter how much she actually helped or accomplished, is true for so many Christians. What was your motivation to show her struggle?

Not until writing the end of this book did I realize how much of my life and my struggles appeared in Sara’s story. It would have been easier to sanitize Sara’s pain and rework her issues. But my mentor taught me that bleeding into our writing and letting the Lord work within the mess of our lives and our stories is the only way to fashion words that will capture people’s hearts and point them to the Lord.

One part I really could relate to was Sara’s role as Clint’s wife, especially in such a difficult time and through her own emotional struggles as well. Marriage is a challenge even in the best of circumstances. What holds this fictional couple together in such a difficult time in their lives and relationship?

The only thing that holds real-life together—the all-powerful and infinite love of our amazing God that never lets go of us. I think the various storms Clint and Sara faced together in the past as well as their deep love and respect for each other also provided some strong glue to their relationship.

There were definitely some hanging threads there with Michael and Hanna. Will we get to see their story in book three?

Absolutely! Enduring Justice is Michael and Hanna’s story as they learn that the difference between executing vengeance and pursuing justice is their choice to heal.

What has been the most difficult aspect in writing this series? The most rewarding?

The most difficult aspect has been pouring my soul into these stories and then having to let them go and trust that God will accomplish His good purpose for them.

The most rewarding has been pouring my soul into the pages and watching God touch hearts and do amazing things beyond what I could have asked or imagined.

One line in the book is so powerful. “Are you depending on circumstances or people?” Can you give blog readers a glimmer of this most important message?

It’s been said that trusting God on sunny days when life is cruising along is easy. But it’s a far different scene when storms are raging and God asks us to step out of the boat—the one we’re sure is the only thing keeping us safe.

I’ve watched God pry things from my hands that I knew were His will for me and His gifts. The problem was I kept looking to those people and circumstances for my peace and okayness. It’s God’s amazing grace and love that breaks our hold on the things that can’t keep us afloat when life turns stormy, so that we’ll cling to His hand instead. The hand that holds tight even when the waves roar and enables us to walk on water with Him.

Wow, great stuff, Amy. Thanks for sharing with us.

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win that gift pack. Also, check out Amy's AMAZINGLY cool website, where you can sign up for her newsletter, Dark Chocolate Suspense. You really don't want to miss that. Amy shares wonderful stories in her newsletter, and the most tempting recipes!


windycindy said...

I have read "Ransomed Dreams" and looking forward to reading this second installment in the series! It is so easy to feel great about God when the going is easy, but then when one is knocked on the ground and has to get back up again, where is the faith?! Anymore, I pray "Thy Will Be Done." I lost my mom and brother four months apart in 2000. I believe God knows the purpose of my losses more than I will ever understand. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh wow, Cindi, that must have been so hard to go through. Your trust in God is inspiring.

Both of Amy's books have touched me in ways I never expected, but I'm sure God intended. :-)

Thank you for stopping by!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

enter me!

heidibelle said...

I also really enjoyed reading Randsomed Dreams and would love to read this next book. She is a great author... I hope all is going well for you Dineen.

Niki said...

I too loved Ransomed Dreams. I was caught up in the storyline of faithful friendships and learning forgiveness and trust. The messages that Amy weaves through her books really touch my heart and encourage me to examine my own life and those places I need more work on. They also remind me to be thankful for what I have - a great family and wonderful friends who walk my path with me. Her stories are also very entertaining!

Please enter me in the drawing too! :)

Amy Wallace said...

Awww... you all are awesome! Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. Hearing your thoughts about Ransomed Dreams is a little like someone oohhing over my babies. ;-)

Dineen~ I'm one of your favorite authors? Wow. That's high praise indeed and I'm honored. Thank you.

Thank you for being a wonderful part of the blog tour, and sending some heart chocolate my way today!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hi Heidi! So great to hear from you. How's that new baby doing? I'm so glad you stopped by. :-)

Oh, I agree, Niki. Amy's books are so good at pointing out what really matters in life.

And yes, Amy. I thought you knew that. LOL! You most definitely are one of my favorite authors. :-)

ChristyJan said...

This sounds like a wonderful book ~ and series.
Thanks for introducing me to another new author (to me).
I'd love to be entered to win.
hawkes (at) citlink (dot) net

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey ChristyJan! Nice to see you here again. Thanks for commenting. :-)

Carole said...

What a great giveaway, Dineen! I definitely want to read Amy's books, so thank you for the opportunity to win this gift pack.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Grateful Gramma said...

Please enter me in the drawing too. Thanks!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Grateful Gramma (gotta love that name), you're the winner of the Healing Promises gift pack. I just need your name and address. :-)

Email me at dineen @ dineenmiller . com (without the spaces)