Jen: Today we welcome Amy Vastine to Romancing the Book as part of the Summer Lovin’ Tour. Amy, will you share a short bio with us?
Amy: Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. This USA Today bestselling author lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.
Jen: Tell us a little about your newest release.
Amy: The Girl He Used to Love is my newest release and was born out of my love of music. I love a guy who plays guitar (who doesn’t?), but I needed a way to make a series out of the idea and decided on a record company as my backdrop. The television show Nashville led me to focus on country music. I didn’t really watch more than one or two episodes but it was clear that there could be lots of drama in the music business! The story started out being about two strangers brought together because the hero wanted to sign the heroine’s brother to his record label. I revised to it make it a reunion story to up the stakes and give the characters a few more hurdles to jump for their happy ending! Hopefully it was the right call.
The past will always be between them
He swore he’d never return home. Then a flat tire lands Dean Presley back in Grass Lake, Tennessee, and he’s forced to confront the woman he left behind. Faith Stratton was once the love of his life. Now her gifted brother could be the rising Nashville star Dean needs for his struggling music label. But it means taking Sawyer away from the horse therapy farm that Faith’s so proud of. That won’t be easy, especially since those old feelings that started all the trouble… Well, let’s just say he can’t go back there, because he doesn’t want to relive the memories of the terrible accident that drove them apart.
Jen: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Amy: Plotter. I can’t write if I don’t know where I am headed! I seriously don’t know how pantsers do it!!
Jen: At what age did you discover writing?
Amy: I was a very late bloomer in this business. I always wanted to be a counselor for kids. I pursued that dream and am currently a middle school social worker. I love my job and feel like there is nothing more satisfying than making a difference in the life of a child. But I am a creative person who loves to daydream. I guess I’ve been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. I didn’t think about actually writing them down until I was in my thirties and I didn’t dare to think to let anyone else read them until I was almost forty! In 2013, I entered the So You Think You Can Write contest through Harlequin, never imagining I would really get very far. I figured it would be fun to see if I could get any feedback from someone in the publishing world. I made it to the semi-finals and received amazing feedback from two editors at Harlequin. I eventually decided to revise the story and propose it to Heartwarming. It was probably the least conventional way to get published ever! My first book, The Weather Girl, was published in January 2014 – the same month I turned the big 4-0.
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Amy: Around the same time I was writing for the contest, my kids were begging my husband and I for a dog. I jokingly told them that if I ever got published, I would buy them a dog. I was sure it would never be that easy. Little did I know that a few months later, I would be accepting a contract with Harlequin Heartwarming! So in July of 2013, we adopted Macy. Macy is a mutt who was rescued from a kill shelter in Alabama. She is the perfect addition to our family and loves us more than anything else in the whole world. Seriously, this dog LOVES her family. She loves to hug us and is the best snuggler we know.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Amy: Free time? Am I supposed to have free time? I am a full-time social worker, mom of three kiddos, and decided to try writing 2-3 books a year. There isn’t much free time in between work, running kids from activity to activity, writing, and keeping the house in somewhat order. I do love to do stuff with my kids. Since they are all teenagers or almost teenagers now and I know my time with them is limited. I love watching my boys play football and my daughter dance. I work in a middle school, so I do have the summers off (making it my favorite time of year!) We have a boat and I love going out on the lake and just chilling out with friends and family.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Amy: I have recently finished the second book in the series, To Catch a Fallen Star. It is scheduled to be released in December. I am super excited about it because the hero really grew on me as I wrote it and I kind of want everyone else to fall for him too! I am busy writing a Christmas novella and putting together some new proposals. So much to do, so little time!