Today I'd like you to meet Amy Walsh, an online friend and author. And a magnificent member of my Given Lives launch team.
If you know me, you'll know that I like working with others and connecting people with one another. And there's nothing better than connecting avid readers to a new author. I asked Amy a few questions about herself, her life and her writing so that you could get to know her and her books.
Hi Amy! It's great to have you here today. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you start writing? And is it your full-time occupation?
Thanks for having me on your blog, Anna! It has been lovely to get to know you and your writing this summer.
I grew up in a rural setting in northeastern Pennsylvania. Not only did we live in the country, but we had no television. So, I spent much time enjoying nature as my brothers and I played in the woods and fields surrounding our home. I count those times as the beginning of my writing “career” because we came up with some fantastic stories that we acted out – some real epics!
I was a total bookworm and begged my poor parents to take me to the nearest libraries constantly. I would come home with a stack of books and have them read in no time because even as a child, I couldn’t put a book down once I had started reading. Often my brothers would have me retell the novels I had read at bedtime.
In 5th-grade, I started writing poems and songs and carrying around a journal to write down my prayers and story ideas.
I eventually became a teacher and now live in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where I teach 5th grade in a public school. I enjoy teaching so much. I have never had a dull day! Every class of students is different, every year is a fresh start, and I get to teach about what I love – reading and writing!
While I was on maternity leave with my two youngest children, I began querying publishing companies about my ideas for novels. I was looking for a way to be a stay-at-home-mother. I learned so much about writing, and there were companies interested in my manuscripts, but I discovered that I could become obsessive about writing. I was putting more hours into writing than was wise for a mother of young children, so I decided to put “authoring” to the side until my children were older. Teaching and mothering were a perfect match, especially since eventually, my kids could go to school with me each day.
I didn’t start writing novels again until this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of my after school activities were curtailed; I was teaching virtually; My children were almost grown-up – I needed to take on a big project because I was used to being busy all the time. So I started writing Elsie Whitmore: A Star from Oak Hills on Election night as a way to take my mind off all that was going on in our country.
What genres do you write in? Why have you chosen those?
This past year has been such a growing experience for me. I have spent much time learning from other authors and writing/marketing experts and experimenting with my writing. So far, I have published a historical Christian novel, a sweet contemporary romance, and a fantasy. Currently, I am working on a time split that involves the ruins of a sanitorium near where I live.
A Misplaced Beauty takes place in Victorian times because I am fascinated with that period.
In addition, I enjoyed introducing some of
my church heroes to readers (Charles Spurgeon and Dwight L. Moody) along with London culture. The task I assigned to myself with that novel was to make the reader fall in love with a hero who is not the ideal of most romance fans.
Elsie Whitmore: A Star from Oak Hills is the story of a teacher whose YouTube channel gains the attention of a superstar. I enjoyed writing a story within a story since Elsie takes part in a musical film production. I created the scenes Elsie acted in and even some of the lyrics she sang. In addition, I wanted to show the inner angst of having to choose between lifestyle and love.
What is the hardest thing about writing and publishing?
Because I chose to self-publish, I have taken on many roles besides being a writer. For example, I am the editor, the marketer, the accountant, the cover designer, and more! So, time management is probably my biggest struggle when it comes to writing and publishing. Also, finding it necessary to have more of a presence on social media was hard for me because I am a private person – who would rather be enjoying the outdoors or having my nose in a book.
Tell us about your latest release...
A Cursed Enchantment is a fantasy about a doll family which is brought to life and then abandoned. It is quite whimsical, but it is very much a survival story. Each chapter was written from a different character’s perspective, so I learned much about POV from this project. Because I have seen so many of my students and friends struggling with anxiety this past year, I added some life lessons to A Cursed Enchantment. I hope seeing the doll family learn how to think biblically (Phil. 4:8) during tough times will encourage readers to do the same.
I am so happy with the feedback I have gotten so far. I like how people of all ages have enjoyed this book – from grandmothers down to young children. There is a companion coloring/activity book. Additionally, I am working on a teaching guide and a Bible study for the novel.
Thanks again for taking the time to get to know me and to share my writing with others!
It's great to have spent time with you, Amy. If readers want to connect more with you, or check out your books, where should they go?
My website is https://walshmountainpublishing.com/.
And my books are all available on Amazon:
A Misplaced Beauty
Elsie Whitmore: A Star from Oak Hills
A Cursed Enchantment