We are so happy to have Amy Machelle, author of Saving Elizabeth, stop by the blog for a visit!WINNERS! Congratulations to Stella @ Hushed Paradox &Helen!
First off, let's introduce you to this phenomenal YA book!
Blaming God for the death of her father, sixteen year old Elizabeth Bridges denounces her faith and vows never to utter His name again. She tries to distance herself from anything spiritual, but the events that occur after an unwanted move make that difficult.
First, the dreams come – dreams of evil creatures, and rendezvous with the gorgeous stranger she thinks her mind created to escape her miserable life. But her first day at Glacier High proves there’s more to it than that.
Elizabeth meets Riel, the boy from her dreams, and he knows more about her than is humanly possible. He says she possesses a coveted gift that all of Hell is clamoring to seize. The monsters she dreams of are real, and they’re battling for her soul. Soon, Elizabeth is thrust into a spiritual realm where she doesn’t know friend from foe. She battles demons in the storage closets of her high school, with Riel, her only protection.
Will Elizabeth be able to trust Riel and help him save what matters most, or will they both join forces with darkness and turn their backs forever on the only One who can offer them the love and peace they so deeply desire? - synopsis from Goodreads
Hi Amy, and welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time in stopping by the blog and spending some time with us today!
Hi, MaryAnn! Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, how about a quick breakdown of what Saving Elizabeth is about. In tweet form (140 characters or less), tell us what your novel is about.
Angry over the death of her father, Elizabeth denounces her faith, but will she be able to deny God once
the demons come to call?
1 - What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been a daydreamer for as long as I can remember. I’d jot down my daydreams from time to time in high school, but I didn’t start writing seriously until 2009. That’s when the Twilight craze swept through the youth group at our church. Not having read the books, I couldn’t imagine what would have the girls so captivated. I read the series for myself and made it my mission to find faith based paranormal romances that the girls would enjoy. Unfortunately, after perusing our local book stores, I came up empty handed. That’s when I made it my mission to fill the gap.
2 - How did you come up with the idea in writing Saving Elizabeth?
I wish I could say something cool like it came to me in a dream, but it didn’t work that way. At least, not in dreams I have at night. It was more like an extensive puzzle. I had all of these components floating around in my mind left over from various daydreaming sessions that I knew I wanted to see in a novel. I just had to find a way to piece them together. I’m a big fan of romance, so I knew there had to be a love interest. I’m intrigued by the spiritual realm, so I wanted to include angels, demons, and epic battles between the two. Faith is a big part of my life, so I wanted to explore it. What better way to do that than to place a character in a tough situation that makes them question it? Don’t ask me how it all came together. That’s still somewhat of a mystery to me. Every time I read it I ask myself, “Where in the world did that come from? Did I seriously write that?” All I know is that it just sort of evolved.
3 - Are the characters in your novel inspired by people in your life? If so, how and why?
I think Elizabeth happens to be a mesh of people. She’s spunky like the girls in our youth group. She’s stubborn like me. She’s strong like my mother. Every time I read back through the novel I find a new characteristic that reminds me of someone I know and love.
4 - Are there any authors who have influenced your writing, or that you look up to and have inspired you to start writing?
I love Ted Dekker. He has such an amazing way of leaving me hanging at the end of each chapter, and he explores faith and spiritual issues that cause me to reflect deeply on my own life. I have a hard time putting his books down. I’m a big fan of Tosca Lee for the same reasons, only add to that a beautifully poetic way of writing. Her words just seem to dance off the page.
5 - What is the first Young Adult novel that you’ve read? How did it impact you, if any?
The first YA novels I ever remember reading were by Lurlene McDaniel. In fact, my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Pennington, used to read them to us every day after lunch. That’s how I discovered them. The novels were pretty deep and explored the lives of teens dealing with life-threatening illnesses. The stories were so inspirational, yet heart wrenching at times. I’ll never forget looking around the room one day and finding everyone crying, including the boys who always groaned over the “mushy” parts. I can only hope my novels cause readers to feel so deeply.
6 - Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Never quit. Never back down. Keep going forward. Saving Elizabeth received its fair share of rejections. As a matter of fact, I just received one from an agent I queried over a year ago. Rejection and disappointment is sure to come, but like gold, we are refined in the fire. Each rejection helps smooth rough edges and prepare us for the day someone will fall just as deeply in love with our novel as we are.
Thank you so much for stopping by! We look forward to your future reads!
Thanks so much for having me. It has been a blast!
Available for purchase at Amazon
Amy and her team has been gracious enough to provide us with 2
e-copies for 2 lucky winners!
e-copies for 2 lucky winners!
Simply leave a comment with your email, and we'll draw a winner using Random.org!
Ends midnight Jan 12, 2012. The winners will be announced sometime on January 13, 2012.