Sunday, December 25, 2011

You Are Beautiful!

I originally wrote this as a guest post for The Elliot Review as part of my blog tour, but wanted to upload it here for those of you who may have missed it. I wrote it with fellow writers in mind. I hope you'll be encouraged by it! Best wishes for a happy new year!

I’ll start by saying every step toward Saving Elizabeth’s publication has been a milestone – a smoothing of the rough edges each writer begins his journey with, but there are many rough edges yet to be smoothed. I’m not convinced there will ever come a time when any of us step back, look at ourselves in the mirror and think there’s no sand papering needed … no growth left to do. As a matter of fact, one of my jagged edges, “fear of man,” recently reared its ugly head during the publication of Saving Elizabeth. As much as I’d like to tell you otherwise, what people think or say means a lot to me….more than it probably should. People -pleasing was ingrained in me at an early age, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve done my best to make everyone happy, despite how unhappy living up to others’ expectations may have made me. I’m a perfectionist, to say the least, but I’m also a very passionate person who wears her emotions on her sleeve. When combined, those two character traits can create a wonderful novel. Unfortunately, they can also create a doubtful, nervous author who’s sometimes afraid of reading reviews. I imagine I’m not alone in these character traits. Have you ever been afraid to share your writing with others?

I thought so.

I wish I could give you an easy solution that would erase your fears. Someone once said that when a writer screams at the page, the reader only hears a whisper. How true that is! Writers are passionate people by design. Our emotions must lie close to the surface in order for us to easily tap into them and create something that moves readers. We feel deeply, which means rejection often crushes us to the core. There’s no built in emotional switch that can be flipped on when it’s time to write, and then flipped off when our work is finally presented to the world. We must realize we are who we are. Our work is beautiful, regardless of what others have to say about it. It always has been, and always will be because essentially, it’s us on the page. It’s our thoughts, our ideas, our emotions, our desires that make up our stories, and what right does anyone have to tell us that we are not beautiful? At a recent writing conference, Tosca Lee shared this quote by Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Translation? When you shove your writing in a drawer because you’re afraid of what people will say, remember, you and your writing are both brilliant. Keep dreaming. Keep writing. Keep bleeding on the page despite what others might think. A few may not be ready for it, but there are others out there who NEED to hear your stories. Happy writing! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saving Elizabeth Update

Hi, everyone! We're in the middle of this blog tour, and as you can imagine, things are busy, busy, busy! It seems right when I think I'm finished with all of the interviews and guest posts another one rolls in. Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining at all. The more the merrier in my opinion, so keep sending those requests! I'm more than happy to share myself, and my writing with you guys. 

I wish I had the time to write a longer, more elaborate post, but unfortunately, time will not allow it. I do want to let you know how things are going with Saving Elizabeth since its release. So far, I've gotten nothing but wonderful reviews from those who have read it. *breathes a sigh of relief* People seem to be reading it and loving it. I'm so excited! Check out what people are saying, and join in my excitement! 

  "I LOVE RIEL!!! He is so heart-breakingly wonderful. Amy’s writing could take me from laughter to tears to chills in a snap. Saving Elizabeth is a sweet, soulful, and engaging read." 
Author Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil) - YAtopia Review

"For the teens in the world who LOVED the Twilight series and the parents that wished their children were reading more about their "Faith". This book is the perfect blend for young adults who love to read about adventure, drama, and a great guy! " DailyBolton - Amazon

"A great book for fans of "Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand, "Halo" by Alexandra  Adornetto, and "Angel Burn" by L.A. Weatherly."  Michelle D. -  YA Literature Review

"I must say I am amazed! Amy's writing style is wonderful!"
Angela Binkerd - Goodreads

"Amy Machelle hit a HOMERUN with the book !"  Blaine Green - Goodreads

"This is a very clean and sweet story.  It illustrates the power of Satan and how he tempts and tries  humans.  There are some powerful statements and illustrations geared to empower teens in their quest to a life overcoming temptation."
Lisa - Bookworm Lisa Reviews

On top of the awesome reviews, Saving Elizabeth currently has 4.65 out of five stars on Goodreads, and is ranked  51st out of 159 books on the Goodreads Clean Teen Fiction (Christian) list. It's currently tied with The Hobbit for 10th place on the Goodreads Great Christian Fiction for Children and Young Adults List. Eeeek!!!!! (Go cast your vote!)

I guess that catches you up on everything! I am so very blessed and thankful for the wonderful opportunites I've had recently to share my work. Oh, there are a couple of stops left on our blog tour! Check out my website for a schedule. I'd love it if you'd stop by and say hello! Best wishes to you all, and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reviews, Interviews & Blog Tours! Oh, My!

Click Picture for Tour Schedule

That's right! Can you believe it? I know! I'm still in shock! The blog tour is about to kick off, and I'm so excited, yet nervous at the same time. Those of you who have followed me through this journey know I've been very open about the roller coaster of emotions I've been on since first putting pen to paper. Each baby step taken toward publication has been riddled with fear and excitement, and this one is no different. I've worked very hard to preen my "baby" and prepare her for the world. Now, she's ready to take flight, but I can't help but wonder if I've done enough to help her in this journey. My mind is filled with countless doubts.

What will people think? 

How will they respond?

Will Saving Elizabeth be something people force into the hands of their friends to read, or will it be something they regret spending their time on and toss on a virtual shelf never to visit again? 

I guess we'll soon find out! 

There's a lot I haven't known about this process, and still don't know, but one thing is certain.  It's about time the world hears Elizabeth's story! So grab a front row seat. Open your hearts and prepare your minds for the spiritual tug-of-war you're about to experience. The roller coaster isn't over yet, people. In fact, it's just beginning. Step in, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.