All About Amanda
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroad trilogy, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.
How to Connect with Amanda
The Friday Five with Amanda
- What inspired your latest story?
Secrets. We all have them. Some are small; others are big. What they have in common is that we don’t want anyone – and I mean anyone – to know them. But inevitably, someone discovers them, and then the “fun” begins.
When I started plotting the Cimarron Creek trilogy, I knew there would be one large secret that spans the three books, but I also knew there would be a number of smaller ones, because everyone has secrets, and when they’re revealed, there are often unexpected consequences. One idea led to another, and before I knew it, I had all three books outlined.
- Describe your decision to become a writer.
I really cannot remember a time when I didn’t write – or at least want to write, and so I wrote sporadically until I was almost 29. Since then I have come to believe that authors have at least one thing in common with oysters, namely that we need irritation to produce our pearls … er… our books. For me, that irritation was moving to a new area and discovering that what had appeared to be an ideal job was truly awful. Of course, that happened at a time when jobs were hard to find, so I stuck with the one I had for over three years. But the irritation was enough that I decided it was time to become serious about writing.
- What is your writing process like?
I’m almost afraid to tell you this, since when I explained my process to a group of eager readers at a library, another writer jumped out of her seat, clearly horrified, and announced that she didn’t understand how anyone could write that way. So … consider yourself warned. My technique doesn’t work for everyone.
I start with a five to eight-page synopsis, which is primarily a selling tool. (Agents and editors need synopses to decide whether or not they want the whole book.) For my own benefit, I create a chapter-by-chapter outline. The goal of that is to provide a road map, showing me which scenes are in which chapter. After that I write two drafts for each book (the skeleton and the flesh-and-blood). Those are followed by a final read-through and minor tweaking phase, which I refer to as the accessories. In keeping with the analogy of turning a skeleton into a living, breathing person, this is the time for makeup, hairdos and jewelry.
For the two drafts, I put myself on a two-chapters-a-week schedule. Since I’m a morning person, I write most mornings. I’d love to tell you that I always finish my allotted chapters by noon on Friday, but that doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, you’ll find me writing during the afternoon, even at night, to get those chapters done. And when I’m in the final polishing phase, I tend to work longer hours, mostly because I want to ensure continuity in the book. It’s during that final phase where I catch errors like a minor character being named Smith in one chapter and Jones in another. Those are the kind of mistakes that bother me when I see them in a published book, so I try my best to eliminate them.
- What the hardest thing about being a writer?
Surviving rejection. Although my first sale came relatively easily, I went years without a second sale. During those years there were many, many times when I wanted to abandon the whole idea of being a writer because of the heartache involved. Several times I stopped writing, but each time I did, I realized that I missed it. Oh, I didn’t miss the rejection letters, but I missed the process of writing. That’s when I changed my direction a bit. My philosophy became that a writer writes, and what’s important is the writing, not the specific genre. When my romances weren’t selling, I switched to writer-for-hire and technical books and articles. Now, fortunately, I’m back to writing fiction.
- What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Hearing from readers. There is nothing – and I repeat, NOTHING – more wonderful than receiving an email from a reader and learning that my story touched her heart.
About A Stolen Heart
The future she dreamed of is gone. But perhaps a better one awaits . . .
From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners—like her. Lydia won’t let that get her down, though. All will be well when she’s reunited with her fiancé.
But when she discovers he has disappeared—and that he left behind a pregnant wife—Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you into Texas’s storied past to experience adventure, mystery—and love.