Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Meow, my guest today is author Amanda Flower!

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

R:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.

 I’ve always been a story teller even as a very small child, but when I was in sixth grade I decided to be an author after reading a funny story I wrote to my class and the class laughed. I knew I want to write stories to make people laugh.

R: What writers in your genre would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?

 Nevada Barr, Earlene Fowler, and Janet Evanovich. My writing voice isn’t like these ladies, but I enjoy how distinctive their writing voices are. I hope mine is too.

R: Tell us about your Latest Release?

 My newest book is called Murder, Simply Stitched. It’s the second in the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, which I write as Isabella Alan.

When Angela Braddock enters her quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone....

Angie is finding her niche as the new owner of her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop, Running Stitch. But as the summer is winding down, so is business. To bolster support for the shop, Angie decides to sell her quilts in the Rolling Brook Amish Auction, including some of her aunt’s most prized works.

The quilts promise to be a hit—but the gavel comes down on the lively event when Angie stumbles upon the body of township trustee Wanda Hunt behind a canning shed. The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pie from Rachel Miller’s bakery table. Now Angie’s closest friend is a murder suspect. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women of her aunt’s quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.

R: What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m writing my third middle grade mystery in the Andi Boggs Series for Zonderkidz/HarperCollins. The first novel, Andi Unexpected, was nominated for an Agatha award.

R:  Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share?  How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?

I got my agent through a referral from a friend who was already a client of the same agency. Before she signed me, I met with her in person, and we hit it off right away. Signing with her was the best decision I’ve ever made as a writer.

The day I sold my first book was one of the best of life. There was lots of jumping up and down and squealing. I hope I never forget what that felt like.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?

 My laptop and caffeine… lots of it. I like unsweetened ice tea best.

R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?

 Wow, that’s pretty tough because I love history, but since I just sold a new series to Midnight Ink about a Civil War reenactment, I think I would pick the Civil War. What an interesting time, but I think it was a sad time to be alive too.

R:  If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?

I think A Plain Death would make a good movie. I would want Emma Stone to play my lead character computer whiz, Chloe Humphrey, and Ryan Gosling should play former Amish carpenter Timothy Troyer. Yep, Ryan Gosling would make an excellent Timothy.

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I’m a vegetarian. I’ve been one for over fifteen years. However, since I write a few Amish mystery series, almost all of my characters eat meat.

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? 

 traveled to Israel and Jordan alone. It was amazing but had some scary moments too.

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

Entertainment and a few hours of enjoyment.

R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Panster, much to my dismay.

R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)

I like to swim, hang out with my family and friends, and travel. I love going to new places.

R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?

I tweet too @aflowerwriter

R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Don’t give up. Keep beating your head against the door to publishing. It will eventually give.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?  Night

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  I love both, but cat. I have two cats.

Beach or Pool?   Beach

Steak or salad?  Salad

Favorite Drink?  Iced tea

Favorite Book?  Charlotte’s Web

Favorite TV Series?  Gilmore Girls

Favorite Movie?  Double Jeopardy

Favorite Actor: Gregory Peck

Favorite Actress: Ashley Judd

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina colada

Hawaii or Alaska? Alaska

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Beatrix Potter

If I had just one wish, it would be to have more time with my friends and family.

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be no one. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m happy with my life.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting interview! When you are a panster, you feel like quoting Adrian Monk,"It's a blessing....and a curse" , huh? LOL!
    Best of luck with your works,Amanda.