How long have you been writing? Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I’ve been writing since I was nine years old. I’d crawl out of my bedroom window with a notebook, perch on the roof, stare at the horizon with my mind full of daydreams and scribble stories until dark. In high school, I’d pass my stories around in study hall and get in trouble for daydreaming in algebra class. Eventually, my love of writing led me to a career in journalism with fiction writing being a hobby. Now I’m thankful that I’m a published novelist. Writing is something I’d be doing with or without a publisher and is something I’ll do until I die.
What books or stories have you written?
My romantic suspense novel, “Kiss Me Slowly,” is out now in paperback and all ebook forms. This summer I have two more romantic suspense novels being released, “Rising Tide” and “Reckless Endangerment.” I absolutely love writing romantic suspense stories because of the emotions that drive the characters and the intricate plots that get them into trouble. I have fun writing them–and FUN is essential to happiness, at least in my world.
In addition to fiction, I’m also writing a non-fiction book, “Free Fall,” about my journey as widow overcoming my husband’s suicide and guiding two young children through grief. I’m using my journals as a basis for this non-fiction book, and it’s been a painful experience going back through them. I feel it’s important, though, for me to share this story so that no one ever feels alone on their journey through the loss of a loved one–especially if that loss is the result of suicide.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
Overcoming the judgment of others about my decision to pursue fiction as a career has been one of the hardest hurdles to leap, especially after my husband died. People have been very vocal in their opinions that my pursuit was irresponsible and delusional. Only a year ago–prior to the publication of “Kiss Me Slowly”–a close family member told me to “get realistic” and stop “sitting around the house and writing all day” when I had two kids to raise solo. I held firm and now here I am, a published novelist, who still sits around the house and writes all day. That is, after all, what a writer does.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
Yes, I’d tell any aspiring author to learn as much as possible about the business. Go to writers’ conferences. Read books about writing. Use the information you feel valuable and disregard the rest. Compromise as needed–but don’t do anything that your instinct says is wrong. Be true to yourself. Revise, revise, REVISE! I like the image of the palm tree that bends against fierce winds, holds firm in its roots and stands tall after the storm. I like this image so much that I now always wear a necklace with a palm tree to remind me to bend but never break. Be like the palm tree in your pursuit of publication. Be resilient.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Well, you’re asking a biased person here. Writing has many benefits. Writing allows you to express your soul, to bleed your pain onto the pages, to explore unchartered territory, to escape the confines of the day-to-day, to break free of limitations and to connect with a higher power. Writing is liberating…and painful…and bliss. Like I said, I’m biased.
Has writing made you a better person? Was there a point in your life where writing helped you deal with something, a death or a problem relationship perhaps?
Writing has helped me all of my life. I have piles of journals that I’ve kept throughout the years. They chronicle everything from first loves, painful heartbreak, world travels, joyful moments and deep despair. I think that writing and being able to express myself in that way has truly saved my life on more than one occasion. And I do mean that literally.
Amber Lea Easton grew up in Hartford, South Dakota, where she spent her time daydreaming of big adventures over the horizon under a giant blue sky. Now living in Colorado, she is an avid traveler who incorporates her real life adventures into her novels as much as possible (minus the illegal activities her characters become immersed in–she swears). To her, setting is another character in the novel and often serves as an inspiration. Although she is a romantic suspense author, she’s an avid reader of all genres or “whatever turns her on in the moment”. Love is her motivation for all things–whether it be writing, traveling, playing with her dogs or hanging with her two teenagers–if it’s not done with love, then what’s the point?
To stay up to date with Amber Lea Easton’s new releases and events, check out her website or subscribe to her author blog. Follow her on Twitter or be her friend on Facebook. Readers can buy her books on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble and Bookstrand.