Meet Debut Author Amy De Trempe

Amy De Trempe takes her readers on journeys to Regency England. She’s sold two books to Second Wind Publishing. Her debut novel, Loving Lydia, was released in June. Her second book, Pure is the Heart, will be available this winter.

Amy lives in Central Illinois with her husband, three children and three dogs, a calico, a gray cat and shepherd/lab mix (all adopted from the shelter). By day, Amy is a busy paralegal. At night, she travels back in time with her characters, who sometimes hijack her stories and take her places she never expected.

When Amy isn’t hanging out with the characters in her stories, she’s busy assisting with the costuming and make-up of those in her local community theater. She’s clothed the cast of Little Women and Man of La Mancha and designed the makeup for Suessical. Amy also likes to garden and gets some of her best story ideas when communing with nature.

Join me as we learn more about Amy and her journey to publication.
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Amy De Trempe.
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Amy’s Journey Begins

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Some writers finish their first manuscript and sell it in a relatively short amount of time. Others spend years waiting for the right book to be in front of the right publishing professional at the right time. Your journey began over ten years ago.

•What inspired you to put your first story on the page?

I have always made up stories in my mind and usually read no less than three books a week. After my husband commented that he should have taken stock out in our local bookstore I decided to try my hand at writing a romance and put one of the many stories in my head down on paper. As soon as I started typing the story I could not stop and it became my new passion or addiction, depending on how you want to look at it. Instead of reading every spare minute, I was writing, or researching. I absolutely love history.

•Why did you choose to write Regency romance?

I’ve read everything from Medieval to contemporary, but the Regency period has always been my favorite. However, now I am pulled toward the French Revolution and Napoleon. France has such a rich history and I wish more romances were put in that setting.
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Amy’s Process

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•What aspect of a story serves as your starting point? The cast of characters? The setting? The plot?

Each story is different. Sometimes a scene forms in my head that I just love and have to write it. Then I need to go back and write a beginning and an end. Other times it is a setting. One of my favorite places is Versailles and I plan to write a story that takes place there. I just don’t have my characters yet.

•Working fulltime, raising a family and volunteering with your community theater and your church must take a large chunk of your time. When do you fit writing into your busy schedule?

I write on my lunch hours, early in the morning or late at night. Sometimes when I am in the flow of a story the coffee pot will get switched on earlier than intended and I work through the night. When I am not involved in a show my evenings are more open.

•Research is an important part of the writing process, especially for a historical writer. You go to great lengths to conduct yours, even taking trips to France to gather information. What were some of the most amazing things you learned during your travels, and how did you work them into your story?

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to France twice. The first time was amazing, but I was so overwhelmed by the country and the information I couldn’t focus on what I needed to pay attention to. This last time I went with a plan. And even though I was chaperoning I was able to take 300+ photos and have notes from every place we visited. After being in the cathedrals, chateaus, palaces and gardens it is so much easier to visualize my characters in their settings. Most historical information can be found on the internet but nothing can replace actually standing in the very place you want your hero and heroine to be.
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Snoopy Dance Days

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•After years of working and waiting, you found a publishing home at Second Wind Publishing. How did this come about?

A few years ago I entered the first chapter of Loving Lydia in an online contest. The publisher read my chapter and gave me nothing but positive feedback. I didn’t know at the time that he would shortly establish Second Wind. When Second Wind began taking submissions I queried him and hoped he remembered the chapter and that he had liked it. Within a day I received a reply and he asked me to e-mail the entire manuscript. A short time later I received the e-mail (I guess that was my “Call”), offering representation. I think it took a few days for it to sink in but when the realization hit that I was going to be published excitement set in. The Snoopy dance didn’t happen until I opened the envelope containing the first copy of Loving Lydia.
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Amy’s Writing Buddies

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“I feel strongly about being part of a critique group,” you wrote on your blog. You’ve been actively involved in your current group for over a year and had the pleasure of meeting some of your critique partners at RWA® Nationals last month. How cool.

•Your group has fifteen active members. With so many involved, how do you structure your critiques so you still have time to work on your own stories?

Even though the fifteen are active in the group, not everyone is posting chapters. Some are busy editing their novels and others are in the process of contests or querying and submitting. I am a content critiquer and I concentrate on the flow of a story and if something makes sense or not. When reading it from that angle it doesn’t take long. I can usually critique one or two chapters over my lunch hour during the week and others I tackle on the weekend.

•What’s the best advice you’ve received from your CPs? The most surprising?

Honestly, all the advice I have received from this group is fantastic and varied. A few are grammar queens and a few are content queens and the rest fall in the middle. Nothing beats getting these well-rounded critiques because each of us has our strengths and weaknesses. Also, we have all done our own share of research and someone usually has an answer to a question.

I am not sure if there is anything surprising except the bond between these writers is stronger than anything I’ve experienced prior to this group. We know each other so well, and the stories being written, that when we hit a snag there will be a dozen answers. I painted my heroine into a corner recently and they got her back out with one simple suggestion.
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Amy’s Journey Continues

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•You’ve sold two books to Second Wind Publishing. What’s next?

To keep writing and editing. Two WIPs are finished but I now need to review all the critiques from my group and begin the editing process. There are also three stories I have in my head and partially started. Two take place during the French Revolution and I am anxious to begin on them.
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Amy’s Debut Novel

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•Please tell us about Loving Lydia.

Loving LydiaLoving Lydia is a sweet romance with inspirational elements set in Regency England. The story revolves around the lives of Lady Lydia Demains, a morally upright and tenderly naive young woman, and Lord Alexander Wake, an immoral rake, for lack of a better description. Or is he really? It is a rich romance of an innocent young woman caught up into the world of a gentleman who lost his ability to trust and made enemies along the way. A world of obstacles and danger. However, Lord Alex isn’t the only one who makes an enemy amongst the ton.
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Five Facts About Amy the Writer

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~ I’m a pantser. I’ve never enjoyed outlining and I like to be as surprised as my reader with how the story unfolds as I write it.

~ My muse has been known to take a vacation in the winter months. I spend a lot of time in my garden in the summer months and there is nothing to disturb my concentration when weeding and pruning. I don’t think my muse likes to be indoors.

~ I cannot write with music or the TV on.

~ Often story or scene ideas come to me while sitting in church. Sometimes the pastor will use a verse that strikes a cord for one of my characters and I find myself jotting a quick note for my story.

~ I get so caught up in research that I forget the one thing I was trying to find and end up making notes for other stories because of interesting tidbits I come across.
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Five Fun Facts About Amy the Person

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~ I’ve costumed shows but I can’t sew.

~ I harvest my own herbs for cooking and teas.

~ My oldest daughter, and firstborn, is getting married in May.

~ Wicked is my all time favorite musical.

~ I love to watch people.
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Amy’s Question for You

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•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Amy. Thanks for your great answers to my questions. And now it’s your turn to ask your visitors a question, so go for it.

I would like to read more romance novels set in France, particularly during the French Revolution. What setting and era would you like to read, but haven’t found much or anything of, on the bookshelves? Or, if your favorite genre is being published on a regular basis, what is it?

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Learn More About Amy

Visit her blog – http://amydetrempe.blogspot.com

Friend her on Facebook: Amy De Trempe

Follow her on Twitter: AmyDeTrempe
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Leave a Comment for Two Chances to Win

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My Regular Drawing
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My next drawing will take place August 20th. The winner will receive a metal bookmark from Hallmark that reads, “Miracles begin within.”

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Miracles begin within.
Miracles begin within.

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To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by August 21st and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On August 1st, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.
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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!
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If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and August 30th. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On September 1st, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of several covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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36 Responses to Meet Debut Author Amy De Trempe

  1. Amy De Trempe says:

    Thanks Kit, I often have my laptop outside when I write.

  2. RobynL says:

    my fav time period is the Victorian period and my fav genre is Contemporary romance.

  3. Amy De Trempe says:

    Robyn
    I really like the early Victorian. Probably because it is so close to Regency.

  4. michelle rooney says:

    Amy,

    You are a great lady. You’ve worked hard and I’m so happy to have your book “Loving Lydia” and that others can read your beautiful stories too.

  5. Amy De Trempe says:

    Awww, Michelle. Thank you.

  6. MaryC says:

    Hi Amy, Congratulations on the publication of “Loving Lydia”.

    My favorite period to write about is the Revolutionary War era. Unfortunately I’ve been told repeatedly that no one likes to read books set then. *sniff sniff*

  7. Amy De Trempe says:

    Mary,
    I like to read them, so you aren’t alone. I think Wild Rose Press is one of the publishers that does publish Rev War. You should check them out if you haven’t already.

  8. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Amy, my favorite genre would have to historical but it doesn’t matter about the time period. I also read a little of everything. I enjoy romantic suspense, mystery and paranormal.

  9. Amy De Trempe says:

    Quilt Lady,
    I have alwasy preferred the historical over the contemporary, though I read just about everything too. I am just starting to get into paranormal.

  10. Hi Amy! Great interview. Loving Lydia is an excellent book!

  11. Amy De Trempe says:

    Thanks, Claire

Comments are closed.