It all started because I was fighting a cold, it was about that time of the month, and my kids wouldn’t stop fighting. Not a fun combination. So, instead of hanging out at home with my children and running the risk of seriously losing it, my husband and I decided to go for a bike ride. I figured it was a win-win. It would get us away from the children, it would be a great time with my husband, and it would help get my creative juices flowing. You see, exercising is one of the ways I combat writer’s block, so I fully expected my brain to start moving at warp speed during the ride. And I was happy about that because I need to work out some kinks in my current WIP, CUTS RUN DEEP.
Stopping for a much needed coffee in the middle of the bike ride.
And I did have a burst of inspiration. Just not in the way I thought I would. Instead of thinking about Jackson and Piper, I started thinking about my life.
I thought about how blessed I am. I thought about how lucky I am to have Andrew as my husband, best friend and partner. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you know that I was sick for a long time. I’m getting better everyday -god is restoring me to full health, I’m sure of it. But the past two years have been difficult for my husband. Yet he has loved me well through it and has supported me every step of the way. As I was riding and thinking about this, I had this great idea to write a fictional story about my own real life romance. But then I realized that I’ve already done that. Andrew is in all of my books – he’s in every single one of my heroes. And if you read my author’s note at the back of BREAK FREE then you know that I stole Andrew’s exact words and put them in Kyler’s mouth. But he’s also there in Asher’s unconditional love for Ivy, in Tripp’s kind words to Hadley, in Tag’s patience with Harper, and in Carter’s understanding of Aspen.
As a writer, my first duty is to entertain. Readers read as a means of escape. So in every book I write my intention is to entertain the reader. To give them a story they can escape into. But I would be lying if I said that was all I wanted. There is a method to my madness.
In many of the reviews of my books, there is a common theme. A lot of reviewers make a statement like this: “Amber sure knows how to write her men.”
That’s because I have such a wonderful, shining example of what a loving man is like.
However, this hasn’t always been the case. Before meeting my husband I was in a different relationship. One that was unhealthy. One that was abusive. One that almost killed me.
Growing up, I never had very high self-esteem. I wasn’t the pretty girl or the popular girl. I wasn’t the one the boys were interested in. And I was always dreaming of one day falling in love. Since I’m an avid reader and I have an active imagination, I thought love was all-consuming, desperate, passionate. So when I met a boy at 15 and started to fall for him, I thought it was normal when he separated me from my friends and family. I didn’t find it odd at all that our relationship was all-consuming and desperate, forsaking all others. I even found it romantic when my friends and family warned me to stay away from him. Almost like the fact that our love was forbidden made it more real. Some of you have read ENGRAVED and BREAK FREE, so you know about my past as a drug addict. It was with this boy that I first used drugs. Since we both had addictive personalities, our drug use made our relationship even more unhealthy and we spiraled downward until it almost destroyed us both. Getting out of that situation was the only way to save my life.
Meeting my husband after that was the best thing that ever happened to me. Andrew was nothing like the other boy. And I was grateful to finally be in a healthy, loving relationship. As a mom, I pray my kids will only know that kind of love. I pray they will know healthy, unconditional love. Not co-dependent, addictive, desperate kind of love. However, I worry sometimes that in books and movies, this is the kind of love that is sensationalized.
So in my books I write about the kinds of guys I want my daughter to date. Boys worthy of a heart as wonderful and pure as my sweet girl’s. And I pray that you, my readers, will find the same thing. I want you, girls, to know your worth. Know that your hearts and your bodies are sacred and beautiful and deserve the best. This is what I hope you take away from my books.
But mostly, I hope you enjoy the story…and that you fall madly in love with the characters. After all, there’s nothing better than a beautiful love story.