Our guest on the Diamond Mine this
week is Amber Schamel.
Welcome to the Diamond Mine this week Amber. I’d like to start
by asking you a few questions about your early life. J
Thank you so much for hosting me on
the blog, Misty! I’m so honored to be here.
What was it like being in a family of twelve children? I was a
member of seven and that was hard to take at times.
The best way I know how to explain it
is this, pick eleven of your best friends, and imagine having them all over for
a sleepover. Everyday. That’s pretty much what it’s like. I love being a part
of such a big family. There are times when it can be difficult, but it is all
completely worth it. The comradery, the amount of work we can accomplish and
the character forged is priceless.
When did you decide you wanted to be an author? I read that you
were first published at 21.
I’ve always had an active imagination,
and I can’t remember when I first started coming up with stories. I finished my
first short when I was 16, and it was published in an online forum, I guess
that’s where I was bit by the bug. J I later rewrote and lengthened that story and it became my
first officially published work when I was 21 years old.
Besides a love of history in general, was there anything else
that was a catalyst for you to write about it?
To me, history is alive. I see it
played out in my mind as I read about it, and I wanted to bring it to life for
others as well. I have also had the blessing of travelling a lot, and that also
propelled me to write about the places I’ve visited. My family took me to a lot
of the Civil War battlefields, and boy, if that didn’t spark some story ideas…
I’ve also visited Israel, and every
square inch of that place has history on it! As I walked along the Galilee,
through the ruins of cities, wove through the olive trees in Gethsemane, my
mind was a whirlwind of ideas. I had no choice but to write them down.
Could you tell us a bit about your newest book? And will you be
giving away a free e-book or hardcopy?
Oh, I love giveaways! I’d be happy to
give an autographed paperback of The Messiah’s Sign to one of your readers.
(Ebook for outside the US)
The Messiah’s Sign is the second book
in the Days of Messiah Series. Here’s the back cover summary.
Dreams…they shouldn’t bother him, but
when Tyrus’ worst nightmare is vindicated, he has no choice but to face
reality. His wife has been unfaithful, and God has punished her with the most
feared disease in the land: leprosy. Banishing her to the leper colony, Tyrus
struggles to raise and protect their son. But when Malon begins following the
teacher from Nazareth, what remains of their business and reputation is at
stake. Can Tyrus save his son from the beguiling lies of a false Messiah before
he loses the only thing he has left?
What was it like being homeschooled? I homeschooled three of my
boys for three years and it was hard for me. Your parents must be real
My parents are AMAZING. I feel blessed
beyond measure to have been homeschooled. It really gave me a head start in
writing, life, business, relationships, and protected me from a lot of bad
influence. Because I was homeschooled, my education was tailored to what I
wanted to do/be in the future, so I had subjects and classes that prepared me
for that. My dad also mentors us in business and people skills, and that has
been invaluable. I will definitely homeschool my children, even though it can
be a tough road. I am living proof that it works.
Could you tell us a bit about being chosen to be a judge for the
Genesis contest and what it was like?
When they told me I was eligible to
judge the Genesis contest, I was really excited because I had entered the
contest a few years ago. Even though I didn’t place, the input that I received
from the judges of that contest is a big part of what took my writing to a
publishable level, so I was thrilled to be able to ‘give back’ in that
capacity. Let me tell you though, judging is HARD! But it is a LOT of fun to
see the different up and coming authors. It was awesome to see some of the
entries that I judged end up published by the next year.
Could you give those aspiring authors out there some advice, and
maybe a little encouragement for the long road ahead?
First, work very hard on making your
writing the best that it can be. Study the craft and make your stories shine
for God’s glory.
After that, just remember that beauty
is in the eye of the beholder. Keep querying and writing because, eventually,
you will find an agent or editor that sees the beauty in your work. You’ll find
readers who will love you too. You can’t please everyone, so just focus on
those who see the beauty in your writing.
One question I always like to ask is: What is your favorite work
and why? And who is your favorite character and why?
Goodness, it is so hard to pick
favorites! Is it fair to say The Bible? It is, of course, the bestseller of all
time, and I find the stories in there to be very inspirational and deep. ;)
My favorite character is Jesus. He is
the perfect balance and example, and yet His human side fascinates me. Can you
imagine being Mary and looking up into Jesus’ eyes as He wept for her brother,
Lazarus? Oh, it just raises goosebumps on my arms!
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the Mine this
week. I look forward to reading your work. J
Thanks again for having me! Can’t wait
to see who wins The Messiah’s Sign!