Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Both of Amanda Cabot's parents were avid readers, so it wasn't a surprise that Amanda learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than twenty novels under a variety of pseudonyms. Paper Roses is her first book for the CBA market.
Welcome, Amanda! Tell us a little about your road to publication.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about seven, but – other than some very amateur attempts at playwriting and a neighborhood newspaper (no competition for the New York Times, I assure you) – I wasn’t serious about writing until a month before my twenty-ninth birthday. Although I had thought I’d write romantic suspense á la Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt, a television commercial for Harlequin introduced me to the world of romance. There was no turning back. Other than three YA mysteries, all of my books have had at least a romantic element to them. Paper Roses is no exception.
When you first entered the publishing world, what surprised you the most?
The length of time involved in the publishing process. With one exception, when I sold a book in late August and it was published that December, it’s always been at least a year between selling the book and seeing it on the shelves. In one case, it took two and a half years. My friends were almost convinced that my story of that sale was a work of fiction.
Why historical fiction?
Although I’ve written both contemporary and historical fiction, I have to admit to a strong preference for tales of days gone by. I love fiction because of its ability to transport us out of the here-and-now into a different world, and what’s more different than an earlier time? I also love learning about (and writing about) different eras, seeing how the social constraints of the time influenced characters.
What are you working on now that you’d like us to know about?
I’m currently finishing up the first draft of the last book in the Texas Dreams trilogy, which seems a bit strange, since the first one has only just hit the bookshelves. So, here I am saying good-bye to characters and a town that my readers have just met. That’s always a bit sad for me, because the characters become real to me – as I hope they do for my readers. Although all three books are set in the same fictional Texas town – a town where centuries-old hostilities divide the residents – and characters from one book appear in the next, they are designed as stand-alone books, so readers don’t need to worry if they discover the second book first.
Do you have a favorite historical novel?
Growing up, my favorite book was Little Women, and I’m still drawn to it for its portrait of a difficult era in American history. I admire Louisa May Alcott’s skill in blending humor with decidedly serious subjects and her portrayal of the four very different March sisters.
Is there anything or anyone that inspires your writing?
Come back tomorrow for the answer, and don't forget to leave a comment with your email in the form name [at] domain [dot] com for your chance to win Paper Roses.