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.
Amber, it’s great to have you at Novel PASTimes today. Could you share with us some of the surprises you’ve encountered along the road to publishing?
Thanks so much for having me on today! One of the biggest surprises for me is how much of being a writer is not writing. There are a lot of other responsibilities that go along with being published, so the actual writing of the story is only about 30% of your time. There’s research, editing, marketing, just being social, studying the craft so your next novel will be even better…and the list goes on.
Please tell us something about your latest novel, The Messiah’s Sign.
The Messiah’s Sign is the second book in the "Days of Messiah" series. It’s a story about a devoted father who must fight against all odds to protect his son from a cynical outlaw, disease, and the beguiling lies of a false messiah.
Dreams…they shouldn’t bother him, but when Tyrus’ worst nightmare is vindicated, he has no choice but to face reality. His wife has been unfaithful, and God has punished her with the most feared disease in the land: leprosy. Banishing her to the leper colony, Tyrus struggles to raise and protect their son. But when Malon begins following the teacher from Nazareth, what remains of their business and reputation is at stake. Can Tyrus save his son from the beguiling lies of a false Messiah before he loses the only thing he has left?
The Messiah’s Sign is set in ancient Israel during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. What drew you to write about this time period and the location of your story?
I’ve always found story inspiration in the Bible. Picking up the Bible is like sticking my hand into a basket of story ideas. There’s heartbreak, danger, drama, action, adventure, love, and so much more woven into those pages.
Several years ago, I was overcoming a personal struggle with bitterness as I read the story of the lepers that were healed. Suddenly, the similarities between leprosy and bitterness stood out to me. That’s when Aaliyah’s story was born. A leper comes to Jesus for healing of her body, but realizes what she really needs is healing of her soul.
I’ve also had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land a couple of times, and that alone will make you want to write about it. Every inch of land has history on it.
Have you found that similar themes throughout your writing? Why? Or why not?
That’s a tough question. All the stories in the "Days of Messiah" series have a similar theme. An encounter with Jesus changes their life. For the rest of my writing, I endeavor to bring HIStory to life. To me, that means showing the reader that history is God’s hand at work, and making it more than a story—a living breathing event.
What drew you to writing historical novels?
I’ve always had a love for history, and a love of stories, so those two naturally combined. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. It’s what I like to read, so it’s also what I like to write. Besides that, these two quotes sum it up:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~Santayana
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?
More tomorrow from author Amber Schamel. Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below and
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