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Amy Clipston

BIO

Amy Clipston is a first-time author and member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She holds a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time as a public information specialist for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two sons. Find out more at AmyClipston.com.

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AUTHOR TALK

May 2009

In this interview, first-time novelist Amy Clipston (A GIFT OF GRACE) recounts her path to becoming a published author and lists some of the titles that have inspired her as a child. She also discusses the role faith plays in her writing and shares what she hopes readers will take away from her books.

Question: When and where were you born?
 
Amy Clipston: I was born and raised in New Jersey in 1972.
 
Q: Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books influenced you the most as a child?
 
AC: I was a big fan of Judy Blume and Francine Pascal when I was a kid. I remember sitting on the back porch reading Judy Blume during the summer and also curling up in my bed with Sweet Valley High books. As a teenager, I became obsessed with S. E. Hinton. I read THE OUTSIDERS more than a dozen times and knew the movie by heart.
 
Q: Who are your favorite authors and why?
 
AC: Oh, there are too many to name! I love a variety of books. I enjoy books that tug at my heartstrings and are full of emotion. My favorite authors run the gamut, including Robin Lee Hatcher, Robin Jones Gunn, Janet Evanovich, Melody Carlson, Stephenie Meyer, Beth Wiseman, Cindy Woodsmall, Kristin Hannah, Camy Tang, and Karen Kingsbury, to name only a few!
 
Q: Who are your heroes?
 
AC: My mother and my husband. My husband is facing a second kidney transplant and has never once asked, “Why me?” He’s brave and strong; he’s the most amazing man alive. My mother is my rock and my best friend.
 
Q: How did you become a publishing author?
 
AC: I was writing romances and signed with my fabulous agent, Mary Sue Seymour, in 2005. Through my deep faith, I felt a calling to move to inspirational. I’m half-German, and my father immigrated to the United States with his parents and siblings in 1929. He once told me that the Amish speak the same dialect as our relatives, so I feel a connection to them. I’ve always had a great respect and fascination with their faith and simple lives. I began reading other Amish authors, and I was moved to create my own series. Mary Sue sent out my proposal, and Zondervan picked me up two months later.
 
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
 
AC: I’m not sure where they come from. Usually, I come up with a concept and then bounce ideas around with my mother and a few close friends. I don’t really have a formula; I just do a lot of brainstorming.
 
Q: What was your first professional writing job?
 
AC: I currently work as a public information specialist, so I do a lot of corporate writing.
 
Q: Have you ever felt the Lord speak through your writing?
 
AC: Yes, I have. Elizabeth Kauffman, a character in my book, has a favorite Bible verse, which is Romans 12:12 (NIV) "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." I feel the Lord spoke to me when I chose that verse since it is the theme of my life right now with my husband’s illness. I pray a lot when I’m writing, and I feel the Lord guides me.
 
Q: What are your dreams for your writing? What dreams have you already reached in writing?
 
AC: I’ve already reached my dreams. Seeing my name on the cover of a published book is a dream come true.
 
Q: What’s your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

 
AC: I don’t have a least favorite part. My favorite part is having readers e-mail me and tell me that my words touched them. When I receive one of those e-mail messages, I’m the luckiest person in the world!
 
Q: What do you hope people come away with after reading your book?
 
AC: I hope that readers will feel a sense of hope after reading the book. Sometimes we may be convinced God has forgotten us or that what we’re experiencing isn’t part of His plan. However, things may not go the way we’d hoped, but God is always in control.
 
Q: Where can we find you on the Internet?
 
AC:
You can find my website at www.amyclipston.com. I also write for two blogs:  http://www.amyclipston.blogspot.com/ and
http://www.amishhearts.com/. You can also find me on Facebook.
 
Q: What's in store next for your readers?
 
AC:
My second Kauffman Amish Bakery book, A PROMISE OF HOPE, will debut in January 2010. In the meantime, I have a sweet romance, BETRAYED, coming with Five Star Publishing in the fall.
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