Amanda Tero grew up attending a one room school with her eleven siblings—and loved it! She also fell in love with reading to the point her mom withheld her books to get her to do her chores. That love of reading turned into a love of writing YA fiction. Amanda is a music teacher by day and a literary guide by night, creating stories that whisk readers off to new eras and introduce them to heroic but flawed characters that live out their faith in astonishing ways.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
When I was six? Writing has always been my passion, but becoming a published author wasn’t really my dream until my early twenties.
2. Writing is incredibly rewarding, but the challenges are certainly there as well. What advice would you give to other writers who are feeling discouraged about their writing process?
The biggest tip I can give is this: be sure you’re following God and the path He has for you. If you know beyond a doubt this is where He has you, then He’ll also show you the next steps to take. As in anything with life, writing is a continual journey of learning and growing; don’t be discouraged from the growing pains. We all have them!
3. Who are some of your favorite authors, and what books could you recommend to our readers? [Outside of your own books of course]
I find that my list of favorite authors is constantly changing as I grow as a writer and reader. I usually pick up any book by Sarah Sundin (WWII), Roseanna M. White (historical fiction with suspense), Lynette Eason (Christian suspense), and Melissa Ferguson (rom-com). Book recommendations are also tricky, as it totally depends on your preference in reading. I regularly read and review books on my Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13592900.Amanda_Tero), so that is a good way to find my regular thoughts and recommendations.
4. What current projects are you working on? Please share if you can!
Because of college and health challenges, writing has taken a bit of a back burner. For now, I’m primarily writing short stories that I occasionally share for free with my newsletter subscribers (http://amandatero.com/newsletter)
5. The literary journey holds so many memories! Are there any funny stories you would like to share with our readers?
There are so many glitches in this ride! I think one of the funniest seasons I had was when I wrote a book and didn’t really know how to pronounce any of the names in it. 😉 The Secret Slipper features Raoul, Jolin, Noel, Dumphey, Bioti, and more. Have fun with those. 🙂
Oh! Another awkward-funny moment was when I was about to publish A Strand of Hope and realized I quoted a preacher’s entire sermon for Pastor Stuart… but didn’t remember whose sermon it was! I had to hunt down my sermon notes, talk with about six different preachers I know, and finally found him (he graciously gave permission for me to use his notes).
6. As writers, we tend to write from our own life experiences–who or what would you say is your greatest inspiration?
A little bit of me and my life definitely slips into many of the pages. A little bit of my grandmother slipped into A Strand of Hope, the wisdom from various preachers definitely show up on the pages, and my family humor in Wedding Score.
7. Writing is a God given talent. Have there been any literary paths the Lord led you to that were surprising or changed your life in some way?
When I was a teen, I was obsessed with writing. It took all my free time and crowded good things out of my life. God graciously led me away from fiction writing for several years and I didn’t know if I’d be able to return to it with a proper focus. But, after I grew up some and realized how I could use it for God’s glory, He re-opened the writing door. That would probably be the biggest path adjustment in my writing life.
8. Your stories are so full of encouragement and lessons that can be applied to life. How did you decide what genre of writing you wanted to pursue?
I literally wrote what I loved. Strong Christian themes and historical depth have always been elements I appreciate in the books I read. It just naturally flowed onto the page and I didn’t really “choose” it.
9.What is the greatest lesson the Lord has taught you as an author?
To be sure to follow Him. Sometimes, writing takes a back burner, other times it can be the focus. My life is not about writing. My life is about living for Christ and doing all for His glory. If I pursue writing, I will fail. But if I pursue Christ, I will succeed, whatever “success” may look like.
10. As a published author, what advice would you give to beginning writers?
Learn everything you can about writing, editing, and publishing, and do not be so quick to publish (actually, it is recommended to never publish your first book). If you’re going to be more than a hobby writer, seriously consider marketing and platform building courses. If you believe God has given you something to share, there is no shame in sharing it—but it will take work to do so. It’s a worthy journey, but it isn’t easy. If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to talk with you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thanks for joining us, Amanda! Wishing you (and all you readers) a blessed day!
Amanda has graciously offered to giveaway a couple of her books to two lucky readers! She will be giving a digital copy of one of her books–the winner gets to pick the book! And she will also be giving away the audiobook (US and UK only) A Strand of Hope. Enter below!