Here is what Amy had to say about her first novel.
How A Stormy Knight Came To Be
A common question I get about my first book, A Stormy Knight, is about how I came up with the story. I think those inquiring want a moment when I saw something or heard something that triggered the story in my mind, but sadly, I do not remember that moment – if I even had one. That answer is not all that exciting or interesting. I cannot seem to dredge up the moment when inspiration struck.
Next, they ask how I found the time to write it. I have two kids – one is twelve and one is four. My husband sometimes has to work long hours away from home, and I have had back problems in the past that made life difficult. Sometimes it can be really hard to explain that writing, for some people, is just something you have to do whether you have time or not.
I started writing at a young age. I wrote a contemporary in my twenties that I never sent out. I stopped writing for a while after that. Years later, after the premature birth of my son, I was feeling old and beat up, and I was in a lot of pain. Household chores were difficult. Caring for a baby in my mid-thirties was trying because my back injury made even the simplest things hard to do. I could take care of the needs of my children, but the dishes had to wait. I could fill and run the washer, but could not empty it. I folded the dry clothes, but putting them in drawers was hard. My life at this time was a mix of extreme happiness and pain-fueled depression.
A Stormy Knight was born of this time. Today, life is so much better. In fact, I would call it wonderful. Thankfully, my back has been corrected with surgery and is in much better shape. I think the wide ranging emotions I had going on at that time led me to finally start writing the story I wanted to tell. It took two years. I would snatch an hour here and there to write because that was all that I could carve out. It became my release for things that were sometimes beyond my control. It took pain and conflict for the dam to break and the story to pour out.
As for finding the time now, I still have to grab the time when I can. I won’t write when my kids are awake because I become so involved in the story everything else disappears. They deserve my attention and they get it. I do try to do some promo work while they are playing or otherwise engaged, but the writing waits until bedtime. I write at night and sometimes during my son’s afternoon nap. I have to make it a priority or it’ll never get done. I can’t wait until I have time to do it, because that elusive free time never comes willingly.
Though I cannot say for sure, I would wager parts of A Stormy Knight and the personalities of Gemma and Nicholas came from how daunting life was for me a few years ago. Some people exercise or turn to a vice to rid themselves of terrible moods and feelings. I simply pound them out on a keyboard. Now that I have discovered I do have stories to tell, I don’t need a bad back and depression to get going. I just know those things drove me at first. I made it work. I needed it to work. I think A Stormy Knight helped get me through that time. I needed the happy ending as much as my characters did.
Here is an excerpt from A Stormy Knight:
“You defy me,” he said as he spun around to face her, “and you do it at every opportunity. You have caused me great pain, and I will have no more of it. You lead my men astray and cause them to be weak. I cannot be lord with you undermining my authority within these walls!”
Gemma steadied her voice, her only option clear, “I shall leave then. I will go to my uncle in Wales. We shall remain married. There is nothing that can change that, so your hold on this land is secure. ‘Tis all you care for. I once loved it here, but living with a man who does not know how to trust me is too much to bear.”
“You are my wife, like it or hate it, and you will do as you are told! You will stay out of my way, and you will not step foot outside of the keep until I say so.” His entire body was tense, his voice harsh.
“Nay,” she said while lifting her chin, “I shall leave. What you do not know, Nicholas de Reymes, is that I love you.”
He froze as she spoke but did not say anything.
“And because of that love” she continued, tears falling in earnest, “I can no longer abide this life. For the second time, loving you has been a mistake. My feelings betray me, and they anger you. I will be gone before I cause you more pain. I will take Isabel with me, and my father can come when he is up to travel. All I ask is you treat him well in my absence.”
“You will do no such thing!” he said. “It makes no sense, and I will not have you telling me what you are going to do. You are my wife, and you will do as I say. I will keep you safe, and I cannot do that if you are not here.”
“‘Tis not up to you,” she said, her voice low, “and you will not stop me. I love you, but I must be stronger than love. I realize now you feel I am the cause of all pain here. ‘Tis only right I lift the burden and leave so all who reside here are safe.” She abruptly left the room, unable to face him for a moment longer.
You can read a free preview of A Stormy Knight right here on Medieval Romances.