Anne: Our interview today is with a young woman new to the Christian fiction marketplace, but certainly no slowpoke. Just type her name (Amber Schamel) into Amazon and you will see she has three books out, all three released in November 2013! Yesterday I reviewed one of them, a Christmas story called The Swaddling Clothes. You can read that review by clicking HERE.
Amber was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of eleven children, and she currently works with their ten family businesses as bookkeeper and marketing director. She volunteers half of the summer at a non-profit Christian Family boot camp in rural Missouri, helping and ministering to young girls and Christian families. During her spare time she enjoys crafting Christ-honoring stories that will inspire and encourage her readers.
To learn more about Amber, visit her author website: www.amberschamel.com.
Now--Amber, what gave you the idea for The Swaddling Clothes?
Amber: Well, I was praying about what to write for a Christmas story while I was making dinner. My siblings were in the living room watching The Toy That Saved Christmas (a Veggie Tales movie). Why they were watching a Christmas movie in August...I don't know, but they were. I overheard the part of the movie where the grandpa is reading the Bible story to the kids. "And Mary brought forth her first-born son and wrapped him in baby clothes and laid him in a manger."
I memorized the Book of Luke, Chapter 2 passage about the birth of Christ when I was in high school, so it caught my attention. "Wait a second," I thought. "In the King James Version of the Bible, it doesn't say 'baby clothes' it says 'swaddling clothes'. What are swaddling clothes? If they're just baby clothes, why would it be a sign to the shepherds to find a baby wrapped in baby clothes?"
I began my research and emerged with about four different theories and a story forming in my head. Thus The Swaddling Clothes was born.
Anne: I've always wondered about that too. Do you pattern you heroes and heroines after people you know?
Amber: Sort of. All of my characters are so different and have a mix of personalities, so they are usually a mix of people I know or have seen.
Anne: Mine too. I don't know how you could possibly keep people you know from showing up in one character or another in a manuscript! So--what's your favorite scene in the book?
Amber: Wow, that's a hard one. This book was really a challenge, but fun to write because it basically follows Jewish history from King David through to Jesus. I guess I would have to say that Absalom and his mother's conspiracy was my favorite part, just because it's fun to see the villain scheming.
Anne: Who (other than Jesus) is your favorite character?
Amber: I have always felt a special connection to Mary (Jesus' mom). I always enjoyed her story and the fact that she was so faithful and good that God would choose to bless her in that way. I always admired her faith and submissive heart when she says "be it unto me according to your word." She knew it wouldn't be easy, but she was prepared to do it for the Lord.
Anne: I agree. She faced death by stoning by saying that, but she said it anyway. Why do you write, Amber?
Amber: I write because I think there is a great need for good, clean Christian fiction that promotes Godliness and good morals.
Anne: Agree with that too! Do you have a favorite writer?
Amber: I really enjoy Susan J. Reinhardt, Max Lucado, and Francine Rivers.
Anne: Great choices! Would you like to tell us about your next release?
Amber: My next story is a part of a series I'm very excited about! My publisher, Helping Hands Press, is doing a series on the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. There are four to six authors who will each take one of the signers and bring their perspective on the events surrounding the declaration. I am Sam Adams, and my first short story will be coming out in the next few weeks.
Samuel has been working for liberty and independence for years. Now, Congress has finally consented to have a document drafted, but there are several delegates who disagree with the declaration, and their nay votes may keep the colonies enslaved. Can Sam convince them to change their minds?
Anne: I'm looking forward to that, Amber. I wish you all the best in your career as a writer for our Lord. Keep going, and keep growing!