I’m introducing a new feature: Author Background Checks. First under the hot lights: Amanda Lee.
Amanda Lee, also writing as Gayle Trent, is a full-time writer living with her family in Southwest Virginia. She writes the embroidery mystery series as Amanda Lee and writes the cake decorating series and the Myrtle Crumb series as Gayle Trent.
Here’s what she had to say when I grilled her about her writing process, her guilty pleasures and what’s on her nightstand. (Spoiler Alert: the lady likes to read.)
First real job: I was a secretary in a law office so small that we didn’t even have our own printer! I had to walk up the street to the courthouse.
Best writing advice: Press on. Keep growing and learning and writing and sending out those manuscripts. Someone will eventually realize how good you are!
Before I published I wish someone had told me: One rejection doesn’t mean your manuscript is lousy. Do not immediately throw it away!
My morning routine: I first check email and Facebook…often before I even get out of bed. Then I feed the pets their breakfast, take my own breakfast to the computer, and get to work.
Favorite workout: Stationary bike. I enjoy walking too (and swinging at the playground!), but I can read as I bike.
On my nightstand: Wow…all of them? Let’s see…. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson; Applause from Heaven by Max Lucado; A Book on Dream Meanings; and Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. My Kindle is also on my nightstand, and I’m currently reading four…maybe five…books on there too.
Favorite way to decompress: Laughing with my family. My children make me laugh so hard that I’ve been known to beg them to hush—especially on road trips—because they make me laugh until I can’t breathe and get about to pee!
Book I wish I’d written: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My favorite guilty pleasure: Chocolate
If I had more time, I’d: Read more books. I might actually make a dent in my TBR pile!
I can’t start writing till: It’s quiet.
Next on my reading list: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
What’s next for my protag: Marcy will be taking part in a Renaissance Faire in her next book, Wicked Stitch!
TV show I never miss: Oooh, there’s more than one. Do I have to pick only one? If so, I’ll say Once Upon a Time. I discovered it during a sick day earlier this year and binge watched until I got caught up! (Not all on the same day, of course.) Bring on Season Four with Rumple being Rumple and the Evil Queen doing what she does best.
Me, in a word: Blessed
Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion. The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.