# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! I’m Amanda Cabot, and I’m honored to be interviewed by NFReads. I’m the bestselling author of more than forty books, a variety of novellas, and what I describe as “enough technical articles to cure insomnia in a medium-sized city.” Although I’ve written fiction as well as non-fiction for the secular market, I’m now delighted to be writing only inspirational fiction. My most recent release is Dreams Rekindled, the second in the Mesquite Springs trilogy.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Like many writers, I’m an avid reader. In fact, I don’t want to even consider what it would be like to live in a world without books. Books have transported me to exotic places, entertained me on cold, rainy days, and introduced me to fascinating aspects of life in earlier times, including the fact that actresses during the War of 1812 used melted wax to lengthen their eyelashes. (Whoever invented mascara deserves a gold medal.) Since books brought me so much pleasure, it seemed logical to my seven-year-old self that I should write stories of my own. I’ve never looked back.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Actually, I think the two are closely entwined, since my goal with each book is to touch my readers’ hearts and deepen their faith. Receiving an email from a reader saying she couldn’t put my book down or that my characters’ struggles helped her deal with a crisis in her own life makes all the hard work and anguish – yes, I agonize over each and every story – worthwhile. On the other side of the equation, when I’m outlining a book, I craft a plotline that I want to read, since it would be painful to spend six or more months working on a story that didn’t touch my heart.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I’ve been known to say that there’s no problem so big that it can’t be solved, or at least helped a bit, by eating a piece of chocolate. A box of Godiva or a big Ghiradelli bar doesn’t make one-star reviews disappear, but it puts them into perspective. Seriously, though, as much as I dislike receiving negative reviews, I read each of them, looking for a pattern and – if I find one – I carefully consider whether it points to something I should do differently in my next book.
# How do you deal with creative block?
Since you know how I respond to bad reviews, you’re probably expecting me to say that I turn to chocolate. Not this time. I’ve never suffered from severe writer’s block, but when I’m feeling less than productive or when a plot point refuses to make sense to me, I walk away from it. Literally. A brisk walk almost always resolves the problem. I don’t know whether it’s the physical exercise, the endorphins that exercise generates, or simply the distance, but it works … at least for me.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I’m sure there are authors who will disagree with me, but I believe the biggest mistake writers can make is writing to the latest trend unless – and this is a big “unless” – that trend is one that resonates with them. Readers aren’t dumb; they can tell whether the book they’re reading is a true book of the heart or whether the author is trying to cash in on what could be a passing fad.
# What are your plans for future books?
The third of the Mesquite Springs books, The Spark of Love, will be released in March 2022. After that, I’m contracted for another trilogy, which is tentatively called the Sweetwater Crossing series. The first of those will be a March 2023 release. And, even though I’m only halfway done writing the first Sweetwater book, a minor character in that book sparked ideas for yet another series.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I’m not sure this qualifies as quirky, but I believe that creativity comes in many forms. I enjoy sewing and have a lot of fun dressing dolls for the local women’s shelter. (Oh, how I wish there were no need for the shelter!) I also find knitting relaxing and have started designing sweaters, combining aspects from various patterns to create something unique. And, since I believe food should be at least slightly healthy (except for the chocolate I mentioned above), I’ve been adapting recipes to make them lower fat and lower cholesterol. Was that quirky? You tell me.