Welcome back for our second day with author Tiffany Amber Stockton! You can connect with her and learn more about her books at:
- Website: www.amberstockton.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberStockton
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmberStockton or @AmberStockton
You’re our research guru here at Novel Pastimes! What are one or two of the most interesting things you’ve learned while researching a novel?
Yes, I have amassed quite the collection of reliable web sites, resources, and connections through the research I’ve done on my own books or through connections with other historical authors. There are so many unique facts and discoveries, it’s difficult to narrow it down to one or two.
But one fact was featured in my fifth book, Hearts and Harvest. That was about Mayor Pingree of Detroit during the late 1800s and the financial crisis which hit the nation. He developed what came to be known as Pingree’s Potato Patches where those not hit as hard offered up parts of their land to be farmed by those who were left near penniless, with the produce divided between those who worked the land and distributed to the rest of the city. It was amazing reading about how a city came together in a crisis and helped each other out of it. Sad to think that would likely never happen today.
There are a lot of little tidbits I discover during research, and one thing I enjoy most is inserting those facts throughout each of my books. Instead of highlighting them or delving too deeply into the details, I sprinkle them through my stories, sort of dangling the carrot for my readers and inspiring them to want to learn more. I’d rather encourage further research than spread it all out in front of someone, and that’s what you’ll find in the books I write.
That’s a great way to handle all those things you learn along the way. When starting a new project, do you tend to begin with a time period or event and create the characters to live it, or do you start with characters and then find their story?
This depends on whether it’s a story I developed on my own, or if it’s one my agent or an editor suggested and asked that I write. For the most part, I begin with a time period or event, then throw my characters into the mix. But for two of my books, I had the characters first and created the events around them. Whatever seems to work best for the project is where I begin.
A compilation of three of your books – Bound By Grace, Stealing Hearts, and Antique Dreams – will be released in October. That’s exciting! Tell us about those stories, in case someone hasn’t had the chance to read them.
Yes, it’s the third compilation book of my previous books to be released. These always sell quite well, and I’m especially excited to know my publisher is returning to only a photo representative of the setting on the cover, instead of a photo with a cover model in the foreground. As soon as they send me the cover, and it’s finalized and approved, I’ll get it posted on my web site.
The 3 books featured in this compilation are set in the Gilded Age in the northern part of the state of Delaware. My first 3 books (compiled in Liberty’s Promise) also featured Delaware as the setting, and the characters in these 3 are distantly related to the characters in my first 3. You can read the summaries on the books page of my web site, but I had a lot of fun tying together some threads between the two sets of books and bringing some fun facts into the mix.
What would you like readers to gain from reading what you’ve written?
My tagline is Real Life Empowered by Faith or Sharing History through Faith-Based Stories, so faith is at the center of everything I write. I’ve been blessed with a strong amount of faith, and I’ve never wavered in it, no matter what life has thrown my way. It has been my core, my rock, and the reason I have been able to continue in the face of opposition and significant setbacks. So, I’d love my readers to know how integral faith is in guiding life. When you have the faith that God’s got a great view of the big picture and He’ll never leave you no matter what, you can get through the day-to-day with more spring in your step and confidence in your future.
Amen to that! You’re an author, speaker, website designer, and virtual assistant – on top of all the usual things of life. How do you balance everything?
Actually, I just closed the doors on my web design and virtual assistant work last week to pursue another business venture that allows me to focus more on my family, and merges well with my writing and speaking. It’s a brand new step I’m taking, but already, I can see the amazing fruit coming from that leap of faith. I can’t tell you about the huge weight I feel lifted from my shoulders after 15 years of juggling far more than I should have. It’s not that I regret any of those years. In fact, that work made so many other connections and opportunities possible and introduced me to lifelong friends. But I am at peace about this decision and am confident only continued abundant blessings from my Heavenly Father are in store.
Any final words?
You pretty much covered everything that comes to my mind. Of course, it’s after midnight as I’m writing this, so my sleep-fogged brain might not be thinking as clearly. J Still, I owe so much to my readers and those who support my work. We as authors wouldn’t be able to do what we love if you didn’t read and purchase our books or share them with others. I love meeting new readers all the time. That never gets old. And I love hearing from you, so drop me a line any time. I personally reply to all emails, messages, cards, letters, etc. Get in touch with me in whatever manner works best for you. Looking forward to notes.
Thank you again for allowing me to come and visit with everyone these past two days. I appreciate your support and encouragement, and I especially appreciate you taking time to drop by Novel PASTimes amidst your busy week. May the remainder of your week be blessed.
Visitors, don’t forget to answer Amber’s question so you can enter our weekly drawing! Here it is again:
What is one thing you know about Mackinac Island?
Include your name and email with your comment (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). The winner will have his/her choice of Antique Dreams (which is available now) or A Grand Design or Brandywine Brides (which will both be released in the fall). The winner will be announced in our Friday morning post. Good luck and thanks for entering!