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Author Interviews > Interview with Amy Vastine Part 1

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message 1: by Heart (new)

Heart warming | 35 comments Mod
Interview with Amy Vastine – Part 1

I am delighted to welcome Heartwarming author Amy Vastine today. Amy has a new release out this month, The Girl He Used to Love, Book 1 in the Grace Note Records series. This is Amy Vastine’s 5th Heartwarming book. Amy’s bio is featured at the end of this interview. So without further delay, let’s find out all about Amy Vastine….

1. How many Heartwarming books have you written, and tell us a little about your newest release.

This is my 5th Heartwarming, which I guess is a cool milestone! It is also the beginning of a new series for me called Grace Note Records. Grace Note is a country music record company run by the hero in the first book, Dean Presley. The rest of the books in the series will feature other people who have some sort of relationship with the company. The Girl He Used to Love is the first and a story about forgiveness and second chances. Dean returns to his hometown after twelve long years, a place he swore he’d never set foot in again. He comes face to face with Faith Stratton, his first real love and his sister’s best friend. Can they forgive each other and find peace or will a new issue tear them apart once more?

2. Regarding your above mentioned release, which character is your favorite and why?

My favorite character in this story is probably Faith because she begins the story so weighed down by her feelings of guilt, that when she finally forgives herself and realizes that she doesn’t have to put her feelings and needs aside to make everyone else happy, it’s very satisfying. She is such a kind-hearted and loyal woman, she makes me wish I had her as a friend!

3. What comes to mind first when you get a story idea: the characters, setting, situation?

I guess it kind of depends on the story. Sometimes I start with a setting - like I did with my Chicago Sisters series. I knew I wanted to set the books in my hometown because I wouldn’t have to do so much research! But with this new book, I started with the characters and the record company idea.

4. Are you always on high alert for story inspiration? When an idea presents itself, how do you capture it in the moment?

My life is so busy with three kids, I don’t always have time to think about what I want to write. Inspiration sort of hits me when it hits me. I never know when it’s going to strike! I write lots of notes to myself when it does. I also make notes on my phone if paper and pencil are not within reach!

5. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I was a very late bloomer in this business. I always wanted to be a counselor for kids. I pursued that dream and am currently a middle school social worker. I love my job and feel like there is nothing more satisfying than making a difference in the life of a child. But I am a creative person who loves to daydream. I guess I’ve been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. I didn’t think about actually writing them down until I was in my thirties and I didn’t dare to think to let anyone else read them until I was almost forty! My first book, The Weather Girl, was published the same month I turned the big 4-0.

6. Once you knew you wanted to be a writer, what steps did you take to fulfill that goal?

I entered the So You Think You Can Write contest through Harlequin, never imagining I would really get very far. I figured it would be fun to see if I could get any feedback from someone in the publishing world. I made it to the semi-finals and received amazing feedback from two editors at Harlequin. I eventually decided to revise the story and propose it to Heartwarming. It was probably the least conventional way to get published ever!

7. Do you ever make significant progress writing a story before realizing that you have a better idea for your book? Do you stay with the original idea, or do you go in the new direction?

The Girl He Used to Love was actually a story I proposed to the Special Edition line but after talking to my editor decided to pitch to Heartwarming instead. So, I had a very different storyline all plotted out originally that I had to revamp to fit Heartwarming standards! So, it happens. Luckily, I only had a few chapters written and revising it wasn’t too painful!

8. Do you edit as you go along, after each chapter, or when you’ve finished the book?

I edit as I go. I literally spend more time editing what I wrote the day before than putting new words on the page every time I open up my document! I like to know everything sounds right before I can move on.

9. Are you in a zone when you write, oblivious to distractions, or do you need seclusion to write?

I am so easily distracted! I need to get away from everyone to really get a lot done. Sometimes, I head over to the local Panera Bread, put on some headphones, and spend the day writing! Other times, I have to sequester myself in one of the rooms in my house (with the same headphones) because my kids never need more attention than when I am on a book deadline!!

10. What is your writing style? Plotter? Pantser? Combination of the two?

Plotter. I can’t write if I don’t know where I am headed! I seriously don’t know how pantsers do it!!

Thank you so much Amy Vastine for being my guest today, and for sharing so many great details about yourself, your books and your writing style with us.

This concludes part 1 of Amy’s interview. Want to know more? Then come back on July 25th to read part 2.

**GIVEAWAY** Comment on Amy’s interview to be entered to receive either an autographed paperback or e-book copy (winner’s choice) of her Christmas novella, My Christmas Hero. Please leave a valid email address so that you can be contacted should you win. Winner will be chosen on July 30th.


Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. This USA Today bestselling author lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart.

message 2: by Terri (new)

Terri (tlcmom582) | 5 comments I don't know how anyone can write a book with kids hounding them. My hat is off to you!

message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Vastine | 21 comments Mod
Thanks for having me over here today, Laurie!! And hello to everyone stopping by. xoxo

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy Vastine | 21 comments Mod
Terri wrote: "I don't know how anyone can write a book with kids hounding them. My hat is off to you!"

Sometimes I don't know how I do it either, Terri!

message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz Flaherty (goodreadscomliz_flaherty) | 195 comments Mod
Once you've written the books with kids hounding you, then you have to learn how to do it withOUT them being around!

Great interview. I love your picture, Amy--you look like one of the kids yourself!

message 6: by Heart (new)

Heart warming | 35 comments Mod
My pleasure Amy. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. ( :

message 7: by Jimnlori (new)

Jimnlori | 7 comments Thank you for the great interview! Love learning about new to me writers :)
jlipayer (at) charter (dot) net

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (lucky47) | 14 comments I enjoyed your interview Amy. I'm looking forward to reding your books.I'm with Terri about writing and having 3 kids. But good for you because now we know you can write through anything :).
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

message 9: by Melinda (new)

Melinda M (researcher707) | 18 comments Enjoyed the interview. I always enjoy finding out that authors have to fit the writing in with their lives.

message 10: by Rula (new)

Rula Sinara (rulasinara) | 99 comments Mod
I love Amy's books! She always takes me on a roller coaster ride of emotions and I can count on her to make me laugh about life :).

message 11: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Bohrmueller Very nice interview i love the heartwarming books.


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda Buzard-Moffitt (lindamoffitt02) | 5 comments Great Interview Thanks for the chance to win Looks like a great book. iamabho (at) gmail (.) com

message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Ross (goodreadscomcarolross) | 4 comments Mod
What a fun interview, Amy! Thank you for sharing some insight into your life. Love your books and I'm already looking forward to more Grace Note Records.

message 14: by Heart (new)

Heart warming | 35 comments Mod
The winner of the giveaway is: Linda. Congratulations Linda!! Linda has been contacted and will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.

Thank you everyone for stopping by and we hope to see you again in the future for more interviews and giveaways.

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