Thursday, July 3, 2014

I always wrote as a child, but I don’t want to be a writer until I found a link to a local Romance Writer’s of America chapter. I went to a meeting and met writers in all stages of their careers. I joined the chapter and then learned how to polish my skills. I signed with my first agent in 2005 and sold my first book in 2007. My first book, A Gift of Grace, which is the first in my Kauffman Amish Bakery series, was published in April 2009.

I love receiving my first box of books, holding the book in my hand, and smelling it. There’s nothing like the smell of a new book. I dread the editing process. Rewriting the book and reworking the story is always a challenge, but it’s worth it to hold that new book!

I write alongside a full-time job. It’s not easy to juggle two demanding occupations, but I make it work. I handle Human Resources for my department with the City of Charlotte. I work four 10-hour days and enjoy my Fridays off. On Fridays, I usually work on my latest book and run errands, and I also try to have lunch with my younger son at his school at least once a month. During the summers, I enjoy sleeping in and then taking my kids to the pool at the aquatic center. At the pool, I’ll find a table in the picnic area and work on my latest book or read.

I’m definitely a Type A plotter!  I start off with a detailed synopsis. After my editor approves it, I write a very detailed outline, going chapter by chapter, and scene by scene. I use that outline as a roadmap for the book. The outline changes and grows, but it keeps me on track to help prevent the dreaded writer’s block. My outline usually prevents writer’s block because I know where I’m headed with the story. If I get stuck, then I’ll toss ideas around with my agent or my editor. Talking through it with another person helps.

If I’m on deadline, I try to write every day. I’ll write late into the night during the week, since I work a full-time job. I’ll also write all weekend long, only taking breaks to eat and sleep. I have to push myself to get through that first draft, and then I polish before I hand it off to my friends and agent to read. I used to need complete quiet while I worked, but now I use headphones and music to block out the noise of my family.

I always pray at night while I’m writing and ask God to make the story pleasing to Him. When I’m writing on weekends, I go into a room with a cup of tea and my headphones. A few of my cats are normally my only company. I have to leave the door cracked so the cats can go in and out as they please. I get up periodically and walk around, and when I get sick of the hot tea, I drive Diet Coke and flavored water.

I try not to sit all day long. My goal is to get exercise at least five days per week. I love Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds. At work, I reserve a conference room at lunch time and do the video every day. I also do the video on weekends with my mom. We love Leslie!

I am definitely a cat person. Four cats own my family and me – Jet, Molly, Rico, and Lily. They have four different personalities. Lily is the smallest and the loudest, and she’s the bully. She picks on the other cats. Jet follows me around like my shadow. He’s a big, fluffy tuxedo cat. Molly is a sweetheart, who tries to mind her own business. She sleeps with my younger son. Rico likes to follow my husband around and sit on his lap.

Some folks may not know that I donated a kidney through a swap for my husband in 2011. My husband, Joe, had received a kidney from his brother in 2004, and it only lasted 4 years.  Joe went back on dialysis in 2008, and he was very ill. No one matched him, so I signed up to give a kidney through the paired donation program. Through that program, I donated a kidney to a woman, and the same day, her husband gave a kidney to Joe. We’ll celebrate our three-year kidney-versary on June 14. I wrote a memoir called A Gift of Love about our story. I’m an advocate for organ and blood donation.  Donate life! Donate blood!

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at 

Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks 
Twitter: @AmyClipston

Make sure to stop by tomorrow, when you'll have a chance to win Amy's newest title, A Mother's Secret!


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