Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Amanda Cabot-A Time For Change

Today we welcome author:
Amanda Cabot

Mary here. After inviting Amanda to join us, I had a chance to read her amazing post below. As you will soon see, Amanda speaks from a heart that has been touched in a special way by God. A wonderful tell of how her books read. I asked Amanda to share how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

A Time For Change

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  From the time I was seven, there was only one answer: I wanted to be a writer. The question became, what kind of writer, and the answer seemed to vary by the day.

In grade school I wrote and produced two plays, both of which received enormous critical acclaim. Admittedly, that might be a slight exaggeration, but “All About Thermometers” and “Hawaii: The Fiftieth State” did play to sold-out audiences.  (Translation: everyone in the fifth grade had to attend.)

I also dabbled with creating and publishing a neighborhood newspaper – no competition to the New York Times, I assure you – but what really caught my fancy was fiction. And so I gave myself the goal of selling my first novel before I turned thirty.

I met my goal. I was one of those lucky people whose manuscript sold to the second editor who read it.  At that point, I was sure my career as a novelist was established. I was wrong. Oh, how wrong I was! My first book was released the same month that the publisher decided to discontinue that line in favor of spicier books. Since I wasn’t comfortable writing stories with explicit sex scenes, I didn’t sell a second book to that editor.

In fact, for a number of years, my writing career consisted of collecting a truly impressive number of rejections. Eventually I sold my first historical romance. Unfortunately, the month that book was published, my editor was fired. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Was God sending me a message that this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing? If so, I wasn’t listening.

Over the years, I sold a number of books to various secular publishers.  Many of those books received good reviews, but none came close to the bestseller lists.  In fact, the comments I received most often from readers were, “You ought to write for the Christian market.” Each time, I shook my head. “Those books are too preachy,” I declared and continued plotting and writing secular books.

And then everything changed. One month after my husband and I achieved our lifelong goal of moving to a home in the West, I got a call from a dear friend from college. My friend's leukemia, which we had thought was in remission, had recurred. Jean Ellen had only two months to live. Talk about a wake-up call!

Though we were separated by thousands of miles, that summer brought Jean Ellen and me closer than we’d ever been. Knowing we had only a few months left together, we spoke of many things.  For the first time in the more than thirty years we’d known each other, we spoke of what was truly important: faith, love and hope. In our lighter moments, we spoke of the final gift she had for me. Though she was referring to a piece of French porcelain, what she gave me was of far greater value. Her last months on Earth brought me a stronger faith and the realization that it was time for me to write about God’s love.

By the end of the summer, I had changed and so had my writing. I took a new look at Christian books and discovered that they’d changed – or maybe it was only that my perspective had changed. Instead of considering them preachy, I now realized they were life-affirming.

More than that, I recognized that they were the kind of books I wanted to read … and write.  It had taken me a long time, and there were numerous detours along the way, but I finally had the answer to that question I’d asked so many years before. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was what God wanted. When I grew up, God wanted me to be a writer, a Christian writer.  And so I am.


Amanda Cabot and friend, Jean Ellen at a Victorian Tea

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming. 

Here is how you can connect with Amanda:


CLICK HERE to buy or see In Firefly Valley

In Firefly Valley-Released May 2015

She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.


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Thank you, Amanda, for joining us this weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

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marilyn leach said...

Amanda, enjoyed following your "writing trail" to where you are now. Isn't the way He works amazing? Cheers

Mary Vee Writer said...

Marilyn, I'm so glad you joined Amanda and me today. I completely agree. God does work in amazing ways. Praise God. :)

Amanda Cabot said...

Marilyn -- One part of my "Glamour, Grit and God" workshop deals with all the seemingly random things that occurred along my path to publication -- all of which were clearly part of God's plan for me. It's so amazing when I look back on them.

Trixi said...

Oh, Amanda, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious friend! My eyes just welled up with tears for you when I read that! I'm glad, though that you had those last months together to talk about the deeper things of, hope & love. God used that to bring you both closer to each other and to Him! What precious memories for you, dear Amanda, and knowing that she is rejoicing with the Lord today! How bittersweet that is. Knowing too, that one day you will be joined again in glory with her, what an awesome thought :-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Trixi, I couldn't have said your sweet words any better. Thanks for joining us today, and sharing.

Amanda Cabot said...

Trixi -- As you can guess, that was a difficult summer, and yet as I look back on it, it was one filled with hope. The day Jean Ellen called to tell me she was in the final stages, we had the most glorious rainbow. I joked that it came from my tears and not the rain, but in either case, it made us both smile and talk about the time when we'd be together again ... forever.