Sometimes God orchestrates a meeting that even the most hard-core planner among us (* raises hand*) couldn’t arrange in a hundred years. Such was the case with meeting today’s guest, Amy Renaud! At ACFW last fall in Nashville, my roommate and I, who stayed offsite to save money, were faced with walking back to our hotel in formal wear. During a thunderstorm. I was steeling myself for this when my roommate informed me with enthusiasm that someone had learned of our predicament and offered us a ride, and lo and behold, here comes Amy on her noble white steed. (Okay, so it was a car rather than a horse. But I’m pretty sure it was white. And it was definitely noble). The ride only lasted a few minutes, but it launched a friendship that continues to this day! We pray for each other, encourage each other, and look forward to our next in-person encounter, whenever that happens to be. I’m so excited for you to get to know Amy a little bit better today!
Welcome to the blog, Amy!
Thanks so much!
What inspired you to start writing?
I had to write a story in the ninth grade, in health class believe it or not. At that time I received the first comments hinting that I should write, and I really enjoyed it, but did nothing about it. Since then, the thought of writing came and went. I had some opportunities (ministry related) arise, including writing articles online. But it was what my sister, Michelle, said to me in 2007 that got me serious about writing. “You should write a book,” she said. I started writing a short novel (just under 50,000 words) almost right away. I didn’t finish it until 2011, but I thought it was pretty good. Until I picked it up recently. It’s shelved until further notice.
Hahaha, that happens to all of us!
What does your writing routine look like, if you have one? What obstacles or challenges do you face in making time to write?
Well, my youngest is still at home with me, so I have to find writing windows wherever I can. Or make them, really. Even more so now that my four-year-old has given up his afternoon nap. He starts kindergarten part-time in the fall. It’s bittersweet. I’ll enjoy a more scheduled writing life, but I will miss having my little man with me as he joins his big brother at school.
I do find it helpful to write my goals and deadlines on our large family calendar, located on the fridge. Harder to avoid, you know? That way, my goals are screaming at me as I’m making lunches and grabbing coffee creamer.
What is the funniest thing that’s happened so far on your writing journey?
Probably realizing I have ruined my mom as a reader forever. As I have learned the craft of writing, so has she. She is an amazing proofreader, so shout out her way! I’m so grateful for all her help and support. She has become quite the book critic. I love it.
Also, the day I realized you only need one space after a period. How embarrassing. I seriously was about eight years late in getting this memo. It must have changed the day after I left the school scene.
You’re not alone in that, either!
How is God changing you during your writing journey?
Such a loaded question. Many ways, but I’ll just mention one.
I’m an army wife and a stay at home mom. And I am honored to be those things. But, even though I have amazing friends and family (we happen to live in the same city as my parents and one of my sisters), it’s still lonely when my husband is away. Having my writing waiting for me has been a lifeline, it’s helped me be at peace when I would have been antsy or restless. Once the kids are in bed, and hubby is miles away (and sometimes either in another time zone or without cell reception) writing has been a way that God has kept me focused. It’s an outlet that I need.
And we are deeply grateful to your husband—and you!—for your service and sacrifice!
If you could have coffee/tea/gratuitous amounts of carbs with any author(s), living or dead, who would you choose? What would you talk about?
I would love to have coffee and almond croissants with L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. Through her stories she made people love Anne Shirley and Prince Edward Island, a province of Canada. I’d want to ask her if she thought people would still love Anne more than a century after she wrote the books, ask her how she felt about movies and tv shows coming about based on her books? I want to bring people to Canada through my stories, as she did. Perhaps she might have some advice for me. And, I might ask her if she would consider endorsing my book for me. *Insert chuckle here*
What is the best book you’ve read recently, and why?
Amy: I’m still reading it! The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White. I love the history in it, but I also just love the way Roseanna tells a story. Since L.M. Montgomery is clearly not available, I’d love to have coffee or tea with Roseanna. I write around the same era as she does (my books are shortly after World War 1, her latest book is toward the end of World War 1). The job she has done with building her character Margot, the leading lady in The Number of Love, is astounding.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I suppose you mean things other than laundry, cooking, cleaning, and attending the kids' soccer games? Okay then. Spending time with friends and family, for sure. I enjoy singing, either with our church’s worship team or with my husband while he plays the guitar in our living room. I love spending time with friends and family. I lead a mom and kids prayer group, it’s small, and us moms have a pretty cool bond. It’s amazing what happens as you pray together. Of course, I am often reading, drinking coffee, spending time with friends and family, and eating more than my share of the chocolate in the house. That reminds me. I should make chocolate peanut butter squares. I just hope I haven’t been sneaking too much of my baking chocolate. Oh, and did I mention being with friends and family?
Last question, Amy. How can we pray for you?
I am about to begin querying, so I’d love prayer for the right agent, as well as the right home for my book in the world of publishing. I have some beta readers looking at it at the moment… is it selfish to pray that they will love it? *Laughs nervously*
Not selfish at all! I will be praying for your betas to love your book, and for God to bring you just the right agent at just the right time!
Amy Renaud is a historical fiction and devotional writer, chocolate and coffee enthusiast, pursuer of Matthew 6:33. Amy and her husband serve on their church’s worship team as well as prayer ministry (Ignition). She is a happily married army wife and mom of two boys that keep her on her toes and on her knees. Amy and her family make their home in Ontario, Canada. Connect with Amy at her website, instagram, Twitter , or Facebook.