Today we are delighted to have Amy Clipston visiting with us. Amy is an Amish and Christian Author. She is a native of New Jersey, but on graduation from high school, she and her parents moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she met her husband, her senior year in college at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk.
Tell us about the beginnings of your writing.
“I was surfing the Internet for a professional editor’s group one day and accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and met writers in all stages of their careers. They helped me realize I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels. Through this group, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.
“My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.”
Tell us how your Amish series came about.
“I love writing about the Amish. An Amish friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, reads my manuscripts for accuracy. I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me that the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the Amish and their culture.
“My plots come straight from my heart and all involve family issues intertwined with faith.”
We are always asking our author visitors what is something they would like their readers to know about them that they don’t know. Amy Clipston graciously shares her answer with us.
Some readers may not know that my husband, Joe, has endured two kidney transplants. Joe received a kidney from his brother in 2004, and it only lasted four years. In 2008, he went back on dialysis, and he was very ill. I was willing to donate to Joe, but I wasn’t a perfect match. Instead of donating a kidney to Joe, I found another way to help him.
I donated a kidney through the paired donation program on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, my husband, Joe, received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. I donated a kidney to a woman, and in exchange, her husband gave a kidney to Joe. I wrote a memoir called A Gift of Love, which tells our story of how we fought Joe’s kidney disease.
Due to Joe’s kidney struggles, I’ve become an advocate for both organ and blood donation. I volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation, and I run blood drives at my church. If you are healthy and able, please give the gift of life and donate blood!
You share yours and your husband’s story in a memoir called A Gift of Love that released March 2014.
“Anyone is free to email me and ask me what it was like to be a kidney donor. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. If you’re healthy, please donate blood! Also, become an organ donor.
Wow, thank you Amy, first for sharing that with us and for becoming an advocate for organ and blood donations.
Every author has a memory about how it feels to hold their book when it is published and sent to them. Amy describes what if feels like for her.
Oh, there’s nothing like it! I jump up and down and screech like a child on Christmas morning when I see the boxes waiting for me on the porch. I then call my sons and ask them to help carry in the boxes. Once a box is open, I pick up the book, touch the cover, hug it, and breathe in that awesome smell of new book. It never gets old, and I’m thankful for each book.
Your also write Young Adult books. Tell us about those.
You are an author who has learned how to balance her family life and her writing life. I understand you are a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America.
“Yes, and I work full-time for the City of Charlotte. My chaotic home includes my husband, Joe; two sons, Zac and Matt; mother, Lola; and four spoiled rotten cats…Molly, Rico, Jet and Lilly.”
When authors are writing their books and see them published we like to know what that author would like the reader to take away with them after reading the book.
I believe the recurring themes in my books are faith and hope. I think those themes are subconsciously woven into my books due to what I’ve endured with my husband’s kidney disease. We faced some tough times, but we persevered with our faith. I hope that my books will give readers a sense of peace and help them find a renewed hope and faith in God.
You were just highlighted in the March/April 2015 Southern Writers Magazine in What’s The Story. Thank you for participating in the magazine.
We also thank you for coming today and can’t wait until your next book releases. Please drop us a note about it.
Visit Amy Clipston at her website and learn more about her.