Multi-published author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and is now the author of over half a dozen books. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.
How to connect with Amber...
Purchase: The Messiah's Sign (Book 2,Days of Messiah Series)
Author Interview | Amber Schamel
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I have always had an active imagination, and a bit of a knack for storytelling. But the real thing that got me into writing was when I began to see how much of a need there was for good books with Christian morals and world view. I wanted to write riveting stories that bring HIStory to life for the reader.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I love each and every book, and each of them are unique, so I really can't pick a favorite.
If published, what was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing about publishing is how much time it takes away from the actual writing. You suddenly have so many other things that take your time, there's hardly any left for writing the story. lol. Also, hitting the send button.
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...The Messiah's Sign is the second book in the Days of Messiah series. It's a story about a man whose life is torn apart when his wife contracts leprosy, a judgment that confirms his dreams of her infidelity are true. He is determined to protect Malon, his only son. But when a thief threatens his son's life, Tyrus must battle extortion, family persecution, and the beguiling lies of a false messiah to keep Malon safe.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Is it fair to say Jesus? Besides Him, it is hard to choose. Barabbas, as the villain, was a lot of fun to write! Aaliyah and Tyrus both have traits that mirror my own, so they hold a special place in my heart, but I think Malon is my favorite character in the series. He is full of life and curiosity, but with a really cute, sweet streak. He's modeled after my little brother, so I might be a bit bias. ;)
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...As hard as you try, you will never be sufficient on your own. It takes Christ working in you.
For those that have read volume one, I want them to realize that you cannot hate someone until you de-humanize them. The villain of book one becomes the hero of book two, and we see the motivations behind his 'heartless' acts. In truth, Tyrus was doing the best he could. If we can empathize with people in our lives, it will go a LONG way in keeping the roots of bitterness at bay.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I would say, both. I get ideas everywhere. Sometimes it is just something I see as I go throughout my day, sometimes a historical tidbit I read, sometimes – like in the case of the Days of Messiah series- it comes from a passage of Scripture.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To bring HIStory to life. To me, that means show the reader God's hand through history, in a way that brings it to vibrant life in their minds. I want them to walk away feeling as if they actually met the people in history and lived the story with them.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
....Be teachable, learn as much as you can, and remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because one agent/editor/publisher doesn't like your work doesn't mean that no one will. Keep making it better and submitting it until you find someone who sees the beauty.
...Also, start building your platform NOW. Now, as in yesterday. I made the mistake of thinking that I wouldn't need to work on my platform until I was published, I was wrong.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...Oh yes. Soundtracks. I LOVE soundtracks and listen to them whenever I write. It helps me focus on the story, rather than everything going on around me. That's important, because I often write on car trips.
What is your favorite season and why?
...That is so hard. I love Fall, because it is so beautiful. I love Winter for the Christmas season, and I love Spring because it is the time of Easter when everything resurrects. I just can't pick!
What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...The same genre that I write. Historical fiction. I love history, and I love stories, so it's just natural. ;)
Thank you so much for being a guest Amber! I love your focus of "HIStory" :) Also, love the idea of what your readers will identify with in your book. Christ working in you! I listen to soundtracks as well. One of my favorites is the "new" Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. I'm with you on your season choices too - it's hard to choose!