Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Amber Schamel - Shaping Characters Through Their Circumstances

Multi-published author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites.  Amber is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

Welcome back today, Amber!

If you’re anything like I am, one favorite book is hard to pick! Do you have two or three top picks among the historical genre that you would care to recommend?

It is hard to pick! But here’s a couple:

To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston
In Freedom’s Cause by G.A. Henty
Shenandoah Series by Michael Phillips
Tide & Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

What do you consider the best resources for historical research?

Cross referencing. Does that count? Haha, I always have to cross reference sources, because so much of history is influenced by opinions and perspectives. Besides that, I like best to find something that is written close to the time of the event. For example, newspaper articles from the time, or diary entries, accounts written by survivors etc.

What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?

Seeing God’s hand in history is inspiring to me. I didn’t set out thinking “I want to write inspirational fiction,” it just happened that way. Seeing history from a Christian perspective is just flat out inspiring.

What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?

Putting words on paper everyday, even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. For me, I’m easily distracted, curious and have difficulty finishing projects, so keeping my derriere in the chair and getting the story written is a challenge. I’ll come across a historical detail that I need in my book, and then I’ll spend the next 45 minutes researching office furniture during the 1800’s. (Confession of a history lover). But that doesn’t get the story written, so I have to discipline myself and force myself to move on from the details.

Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?

I think I’m more of a plot driven writer. I come up with a scenario, but I have to work and dig to get a good feel for the character and what their motivations are. But I also believe that the circumstances and events in people’s lives shape who they are. I hope that my readers can see how the circumstances shape the characters in my stories.

Would you like to share about what you are working on now?

Absolutely! What writer doesn’t love to talk about their WIP? J

I’m currently working on a Christmas story set during the Civil War and aftermath. A would-be attorney flees his failure by joining the ranks of the Union army. But when his closest friend is court martialed for desertion, he begs Caleb to plead his case. Caleb stands against all odds, and his greatest fear, for his friend's life, but when justice is ignored, he vows to clear his friend's name. Through the struggle Caleb discovers that the most important aspect of a pardon is not whether or not it was granted, but whether or not it was received.

Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?

If this is what you’re called to do, don’t quit. Failure is a part of success. Rejection is a part of success. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so keep writing, honing your craft and submitting your work because it it’s in God’s plan, you’ll find someone who will see the beauty in your work.

Thank you, Amber, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.

Thank you so much for having me! I consider it quite an honor.

Where to connect with Amber:
Facebook -
Twitter: @AmberSchamel
Pintrest -
Goodreads -

Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below and answer her question to qualify for a
chance to win The Messiah's Sign.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amber Schamel said...

It's been so much fun to be a guest on Novel PASTimes! Thank you so much for having me.

Amber Schamel
Bringing HIStory to Life

Deanna Stevens said...

I wasn't interested in History in school. But now I love reading Historical fiction. I'm really enjoying reading these type books since retirement :)

Amber Schamel said...

Hi Deanna,
Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway. I'm so glad that historical fiction is bringing you more of an interest in history. :D

Kathleen Rouser said...

Amber, thank you for sharing about your writing and research process! It's been great having you at
Novel PASTimes!

Thank you, Deanna, for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. While I've always liked at
least some aspects of history, historical fiction truly helps bring it to life and makes it more fun, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

No I didn't care much for History in school. It just wasn't taught interesting like the blogs and authors online do. And, they didn't teach so many facts in school that I have learned here. Would love to be a winner. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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