Saturday, June 6, 2015

Author Spotlight: Amy C. Blake

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to read Whitewashed by Amy C. Blake; and I was not disappointed (see review "here"). Not only is the book well written and highly detailed, it kept my attention from page one to the very last turn of the final page. To me, she rivals Terri Blackstock and other Mississippi based writers. Recently I contacted Amy with a few questions. Read below to learn more about her book, Whitewashed, and her as an author. Plus, at the end of the post you can enter for your chance to win a copy of Whitewashed.
 RBR: You live in Columbus, Ohio. Why choose a fictional deep South Mississippi town?
AB: My family moved to Grenada, Mississippi, when I was 12, and I graduated from Grenada High School in 1991. My husband (whom I met in Argumentation class at Mississippi College) and I moved out of the state after I received my MA in English from Mississippi College. All that to say, Mississippi fills a large part of my personal history and so was a natural choice for my fictional setting. While I enjoy living in Ohio, part of me will always be a Mississippi girl, a fact that becomes quite evident to my kids when we go South to visit family and my dormant Southern accent flares up.

RBR: Hades is behind in technology and other conveniences, which is a sore reality in many states. Why did you choose to have Hades, MS still locked in the pre-tech decades?
AB: I thought locking Verity College in the pre-tech age would create an intriguing problem for Patience, an 18-year-old girl steeped in the computer era, as she has to wade through decades of handwritten records to solve a mystery rooted in a past that so deeply colors the present.
RBR:  You bounced from 1st person to 3rd. Normally this isn't a conceivable style, but you pulled it off well. Did you at any point doubt your writing style?
AB: Sure, I doubted at times. I played around with different points of view, but I chose first person for Patience so the reader would closely identify with her. Also, to help facilitate skipping between centuries for the reader, I wanted a clear distinctive between Patience's pov and the historical Simon's pov. That's why I pulled back to third person for him. Then, of course, there's Vengeance's first person plural pov, which I chose to mask identity and add weight to the character's mental instability.  
RBR: In the book, you delved deep into the mind of a deranged person. Explain how you were able to accurately portray this person.
AB: I researched mental illness and psychological patterns and tried to think through what shaped Vengeance's personality and the childhood/historical issues that contributed to the character's mental state. For Mabel's character, I researched Alzheimer's so I could portray the way the disease affects its victims, their loved ones, and their caregivers. In both cases, I tried to imagine how I'd feel in their shoes and to present them in a compassionate light. 
RBR: This is book one. How many more On the Brink books do you plan? Are they set in the Deep South or varied places?
AB: There are two more books in the On the Brink series, which follows three homeschooled friends--Patience, Christy, and Natalie--as they step out into adulthood. Book two, Colorblind, is about Christy and is set in Buckeye Lake, Ohio. It is due to release in February, 2016. The third book is about Natalie. I haven't begun writing it yet, though it's tentatively set in the Washington DC area. 
RBR: Thanks for the spotlight, Amy. And I look forward to future books by you. 

Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor's wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. She has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. Her Christian suspense novel, Whitewashed, released in February, 2015. The Trojan Horse Traitor, the first book in her Levi Prince YA fantasy series, releases in November, 2015. Colorblind, the second book in her On the Brink suspense series, releases in February, 2016. She'd love for you to visit her website at

Connect with Amy C. Blake through the following links:

AB: I'm giving away 3 paperback copies of Whitewashed. Enter now until June 22nd on my website:  Whitewashed Giveaway
Whitewashed Giveaway
I'm giving away 3 paperback copies of Whitewashed, my Christian suspense novel about 18-year-old homeschooler Patience McDonough. For more information about...

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