Debut author Amanda G. Stevens has had a deep love for “story” since the day she began reading. As a child, she once disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because ‘they could never happen.’ Now she writes speculative fiction.
Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in English, Amanda has taught literature and composition to home-school students. In 2011, she was a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest, which led to her signing with an agent. Seek and Hide is the first in a four book series from David C. Cook.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first story in first grade. I don’t remember a time I didn’t consider myself a writer. I have loved story my whole life, and I’ve always been very serious about it (even as a little kid). Fiction matters to me.
Sometimes God sends us down an unexpected path, one that ultimately blesses us despite the “inconvenience.” Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Only time will tell if my “detour” is a detour or a Road Closed sign. If you’d asked me ten years ago, I would have said I expected to be married by now. So far, that hasn’t been God’s plan for me.
How does your faith play into your writing?
Many ways, I’m sure, probably some I’m not even aware of. This must be true of every author, whatever faith they hold to. Mainly, as a Christian I want my fiction to be honest—about the darkness of the world we live in and about the only true Light, Jesus Christ. And I want to create the most excellent art I can for His glory.
Seek and Hide is the first in a four-book dystopian series. These characters are the ones I have loved and “lived with” for years now as I worked to better my craft (still working on that, of course) and rewrote/revised countless times. My series main character, Marcus, is a stubborn, broken guy who I just love endlessly. And before I start to ramble about Marcus, here’s the book blurb:
Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.
Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.
When Aubrey and Marcus’s lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.
God often uses our writing to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
Writing the faith journeys of fictional people certainly reminds me what is and should be important in my own journey—prayer, Bible study, truth and kindness. I also have to take a hard look sometimes at Marcus’s reactions, the ones both Marcus and I want to justify, and weigh them against God’s standard. Typically, the scene itself doesn’t change (Marcus is stubborn that way), but I’ve asked myself needed questions about my own ethics through his. Also, writing this particular storyworld, in which the Bible on my coffee table would get me sent to prison, left me with greater appreciation and awareness of my own freedom and the treasure of God’s Word we tend to take for granted.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Well, there’s always ice cream. Almost any flavor, really, though I have favorites, but they are too many to list. However, the food I can’t say no to, that I have to limit myself in buying—white cheddar popcorn. I’m so attached to this food, I include it in my bio. I never get tired of it. I eat it nonstop until the bag is empty. I’m ridiculous.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I really love music. I play piano, though not often enough to keep my sight reading skills sharp. I took lessons from age seven to fourteen, and I can play by ear as well. In high school, I dabbled for a few months with a hammered dulcimer, but I gave up too easily and then sold it in college (a life regret).
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I think maybe an instrumental folk piece, principally piano and violin, with some kind of unpredictable but unobtrusive percussion. The song would be quiet and energetic by turns.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
That’s quite a question. Am I allowed to say I’m pieces of all those women? Except the super heroine. I don’t feel any resonance with her. Sometimes I’m a level-headed anchor for the people in my life, and sometimes I feel pointless and invisible. Sometimes I’m sure of my footing, and sometimes I wobble.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
While I love my parents’ dog (a brilliant and lovable Boxer/Rottweiler named Lilly), I don’t feel compelled to have one of my own at this point. I do keep a cichlid aquarium. I like their color and energy (cichlids are very aggressive fish), and the ambient sound of water trickling/bubbling. I also like that I can leave town for a few days and they don’t need anyone to come over and let them outside.
Thanks, Amanda! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thanks so much for having me!
~ ~ ~
For more information about Amanda, visit her website.
To purchase Seek & Hide, logon to: