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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spotlight on Amy Wallace and....Ransomed Dreams

Who is Amy Wallace?

What a sweeping question. Wife, homeschool mom, writer, youth Bible study teacher, and chocoholic are some of the hats I wear. But getting to the heart of who I am can be summed up in a few short words: I’m a daughter of the King learning to live and love with laughter. My greatest passion in life is to know God and show others how He heals hearts and how to they can glorify God by enjoying Him forever.

Ransomed Dreams
ISBN: 159052747X
Order your copy today!
Publisher: Multnomah Fiction

Can Dreams Be Redeemed?

Gracie Lang is being watched by a man who will stop at nothing to hide the truth from her. Having lost the only man she ever loved and the children who were her world, Gracie embarks on a quest to find out what really happened. Then she meets Steven Kessler, a Crimes Against Children FBI agent, assigned to uncover an international plot to kidnap the British Ambassador's daughter. Steven awakens more than memories; he revives the possibility of a life Gracie desires. A life where healing and peace crowd out the nightmares. But his case and her past are dangerously connected. Suddenly, Gracie must decide if she's able - let alone willing - to pay the required ransom to redeem dreams and restore hope.

INTERVIEW

1. This is book 1 in your Defenders of Hope series, a set focusing on 3 FBI agents who "risk their lives and hearts serving in the Washington DC Crimes Against Children Unit." What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Ransomed Dreams started as a literal dream about a mom in trouble and an FBI agent's wounded heart. As I did the research and met with a Christian federal agent, one comment about an agent my advisor knew who had ended his life due to the diagnosis of cancer sparked the idea for book 2. But that story grew in depth as God allowed me to walk through some very close friends' cancer journeys. And book 3 grew out of a secret that came to the forefront in writing part of a secondary character's story in book 2.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Gracie and Steven? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Gracie embodies my greatest fear and Steven and Gracie both personify my struggle with the issue of forgiveness. But it was fascinating to watch these characters become less and less about me and more about universal flesh and blood pain that people deal with and how they heal. Gracie's quest for answers became hers alone pretty early on in the writing, as did Steven’s compartmentalizing life into bite-sized pieces he could conquer.

3. What themes exist in Ransomed Dreams that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The theme of forgiveness is an integral part Ransomed Dream's story, but there were other themes like the human desire to understand the painful why's of life and the message of hope and healing that are less overt but interwoven into the fabric of the novel. My prayer is that in seeing different ways the characters process the circumstances of their lives, readers will see forgiveness and healing "with skin on" so to speak and be drawn closer to the Lord in the midst of enjoying an action-packed story.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

So many of the emotionally-charged scenes were difficult to write, the prologue especially. It didn't help that my family often ran errands in a blue van very similar to Gracie's and were late enough times that a well memorized prayer about not wanting to live Gracie’s life ran through my head.

My favorite parts to write were the scenes with Clint and Steven. I love their friendship and how they are both fiercely loyal and always ribbing each other. I also had a great time writing the epilogue. It was a perfect balance in payoff to the pain of the opening scenes.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Book 2 is due out in April of 2008. This story explores how an FBI agent and his oncologist wife handle the diagnosis of cancer and a serial killer who eludes capture. Everything is reduced to one all-important question: Can God be trusted?

Book 3, set for an April 2009 release, intertwines a woman's healing from sexual abuse with the FBI action plot centering on a racially motivated killer. The main question explored in this book is: What is justice?

I've already heard plenty of groans about the long wait for the rest of the series, but to help abate that some I have a few fun ways to pass the time:

* Check out the fun story-related quizzes updated monthly on my Defenders of Hope website.
* Subscribe to the DOH newsletter to receive an inside peek into the writing life, kid-friendly recipes, and special tips and website links for keeping kids safe. I plan to start talking about how I created the characters for the Defenders of Hope series and some of their backgrounds that don’t explicitly make it into the books.
* Join the Heart Chocolate community via the discussion boards. Please feel free to ask questions or just chat about the DOH books, writing, mommying, or anything else of interest. I hope you’ll join me there!

Thanks so much for allowing me to be in the spotlight here! It’s been fun visiting with you today.

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Thank *you*, Amy. We're glad to have you here. Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of Amy's book. Winner announced next week here in the comments on this post.

5 comments:

Cherie J said...

I think this book sounds so good! I followed the blog tour as much as I could and learned enough about the book to think that it sounds like a winner.

Cherie Japp

Shauna said...

I've checked this book out as well, and think it sounds awesome!

Amy Wallace said...

Cherie~ thanks for continuing to blog tour with me and for your compliments!

Shauna~ thanks for your kind words!

Zinnia said...

Nice interview, and I love that lady sitting on the header as if she's on a windowseat! How cool!

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

Zinnia, that's a definite favorite for me too. The lady is the "inner me" dreaming of the mountains. And not too long, I'll be living amongst them in the Rockies of Colorado. :) Glad you stopped by.

Now, this week's winner of a FREE BOOK is... *drumroll*

Cherie!

Congratulations! I'll send Amy your information and have her send out your book as soon as possible.

Thank you to everyone who visits and comments. Your support means a lot.