Amber is a blogging friend I met last year and I have really admired her funny wit and ability to see the good in situations. She is the mom to 4 boys and the author of Memoirs of Mayhem. You can enter to win a copy of her book on yesterday’s giveaway found here. You can also grab a copy of it from Amazon here. I was really excited to do an author interview with Amber and learn more about her.
With out further adieu, Amber Christensen:
Have you always been a writer?
Yes! I wrote fictional stories from elementary school all the way through college. When I got bored during class, I wrote stories. It was perfect, because I looked like I was taking notes. It was more of a personal outlet than anything, and I put a lot of my own feelings into the characters I wrote about. I also wrote for the school paper in Jr. High, High School, and college.
I didn’t share my stories when I was younger because I was too afraid to put myself out there. But I finally found a message worth taking the risk for with Memoirs of Mayhem, which is a humor book about the ups and downs of parenting. My hope is that it will find other moms who need to know it’s okay if they don’t love every single thing about being a parent, and that we all make mistakes we’re not proud of. If more people would admit those things out loud, we’d all feel better about ourselves!
Tell us about your cover art, it always makes me smile and laugh a little – is it true to your family? How did you come up with it?
The cover art is my family through and through! My husband Nick and I are always trying to sneak in some together time while chaos unfolds around us. The picture of my second son, Blake, pouring gasoline onto the ground really happened – in our garage! If ever I was going to start drinking, that would have been the day. As for the baby dumping the laundry, he’s now two and still does that!
I had an idea of what I wanted the cover to look like, but I have no art skills whatsoever. So I spent hours searching freelance websites for the right illustrator. When I found Anne Zimanski on eLance (now Upwork), I knew she was the one. I told her what I wanted each person to be doing, and she did a beautiful job of bringing the cover to life!
Is there a particular author or book that influenced you growing up?
I read everything growing up, from Jane Austen to John Grisham to Harriet Beecher Stowe. On the bus to and from school, I read. If there was free time during class, I always had a book handy. People at school often made comments about how it seemed like I brought a new book to class every day. I didn’t read quite that fast, and I don’t think one single author influenced me, but reading definitely did. It exposed to me to new ideas, expanded my vocabulary, and introduced me to different writing styles. It also let my mind escape, and still does!
What was the hardest part of writing this book and what did you learn from it? And really – you are one busy mom! Where did you come up with the time?
The hardest part was making myself sit down and get it done. There was definitely a lot of self-bribery involved in the process! I let myself check Facebook, eat a piece of chocolate, or something simple like that after finishing a page or chapter I was having a hard time focusing on. There were also times I had to tell myself I wasn’t allowed to do anything else until I reached a writing goal, because there are always messes to clean up, baskets of laundry to fold, and phone calls to make.
The best time I found to write was when my four-year-old was at preschool and my baby was napping. That was the only time my house was silent. Sometimes on Saturdays, my husband took the kids to the park so I could write in peace. Bless his soul, he was my biggest cheerleader throughout the entire process!
I learned a lot about my feelings toward my kids and husband when I had to put them into words. Putting all my jumbled thoughts and emotions on paper also taught me a lot about myself. My favorite chapter is Raw, Organic Mom Guilt because if you split me open, that’s what you find inside. I cried when I wrote it, and again when I back to edit it. I’ve never been one to sugar coat things, I just wasn’t born with that skill. That chapter is as real as I can get.
Do you think you will write any more books? Why or Why not?
Yes! I’m working on one right now! I served a mission for the LDS church in Italy, and I’m working on a book for missionaries getting ready to go out. There was some funny stuff that happened during my mission and some of those stories will be in there. It will also include stories about mission miracles and some unsolicited advice about things I would do differently if I had it to do over again. I better turn the self-bribery back on though, because I’m not very far into it. After that, I’m going to write a novel. I already have the storyline all figured out!
Why will I write more books?
I spend a lot of time feeding, cleaning up after, and chauffeuring my boys. I need something for myself, and I love writing. Also, as my husband puts it, when I get bored I get ornery.
Just for fun – What is your favorite snack or treat?
My Achilles heel is Oreo Dream Extreme cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. It’s a good thing we don’t have one very close by!
I love doing author interviews and getting to know a little bit more about how authors work and what’s behind the books they write! Don’t forget you can enter to win a copy of her book HERE or grab a copy to read tonight, HERE.
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