Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Back Amanda Cabot!
Linda: Welcome back and thanks for joining me today. It’s always a pleasure to have you. Congratulations on your latest release Out of the Embers. For those who haven’t visited your website to read the Story Behind the Story, what was your inspiration for the plot?
Amanda: I’ve always been fascinated by the way that events of the past shape us, so I started brainstorming worst-case scenarios. What if a young girl’s parents were murdered and she never knew why? What if she still felt as if someone was watching her and planning to kill her too, even though it’s been ten years? What if she narrowly missed being inside her new home when it was destroyed and everyone died? These were the seeds of Out of the Embers.
LM: Sounds fascinating! Many of your books are set during the 1800s. What about that time period draws you?
Amanda: I’m drawn to what many think of as the simpler lifestyle of that time. Reality, of course, is that life wasn’t simple, but being able to portray close-knit communities with deep family values against the background of some intriguing historical events appeals to me. And, judging from readers’ reactions, stories with those elements appeal to them too.
LM: In addition to your historical novels, you’ve written a contemporary trilogy. How was the writing process different for those books? Did you need to do the same amount of research as for your historicals?
Amanda: The writing process was the same: synopsis, chapter-by-chapter outline, two drafts, and a final polishing stage. Those steps seem to be hardwired into me. As for research, it was probably the same amount, but what I researched was quite different. Instead of looking for historical events at the time of my books and obsessing over whether a word would have been in common usage then, I checked trademark databases to be certain that product and company names I was using weren’t protected. I also called various sites that I mentioned in the books to ensure that I had all the details as accurate as possible.
LM: What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
Amanda: That would be participating in the annual Treasure Hunt at a friend’s summer home. What’s a Treasure Hunt? Picture twenty-five to thirty cars, each filled with six people, spending an evening driving down country roads at speeds we won’t mention, occasionally skidding to a stop. As soon as that happens, the passengers hop out, flashlights in hand, to run through fields, farms, ditches – you name it, we’ve been there – trying to find clues in coffee cans that have been buried in the ground. Whoever finds the clue runs away from the site (because no one wants to help a different team find the clue) and yells the team’s code word. That’s the signal for everyone on the team to race back to the car and start deciphering the new clue while the driver heads in what everyone hopes is the correct direction. Each clue leads to the next, with the car that reaches the final destination with all clues and the shortest elapsed time winning. What do they win? Money? Fame? No. They have the privilege of running the Treasure Hunt the next year. Yep, the winner has to draw maps, decide where to hide the clues, write the clues (Did I mention that they’re supposed to rhyme?), obtain permission to use private property, notify the state and local police. You get the idea. It’s a ton of work. So, why would anyone do that? Are we crazy? That’s exactly what we say each time we win. But it’s fun, in a crazy kind of way.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Mountains or Ocean for a vacation: Ocean
Sweet or Salty for a snack: Sweet
Coffee or tea as your “go-to” drink: Tea
LM: You’ve got over thirty-five books published. What is one piece of advice you can offer to fledgling writers?
Amanda: Never give up. If you choose the traditional publishing route, rejection is a fact of life. I won’t sugarcoat it: rejection hurts. But if you let it defeat you, if you stop sending out your manuscript because it was rejected, you’re only hurting yourself. Believe in your book and in yourself.
LM: What is your next project?
Amanda: I’m currently in the first phase of edits for the second book in the Mesquite Springs trilogy, which will be released next March. In it, Dorothy, whom readers meet in Out of the Embers, gets her chance at a happy ending. It’s not easy, though, because the town is disrupted by the arrival of a man determined to establish Mesquite Springs’s first newspaper and an itinerant artist with an agenda of his own.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Amanda: The easiest way is to go to my website: www.amandacabot.com I call it the “one stop shopping” site, because in addition to information about my books, it has links to my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
About Out of the Embers:
A young woman with a tragic past has arrived in town . . . and trouble is following close behind
Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds shelter in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.
At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?
Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VNHD638