Right now, my focus has been my Anabel series. The first one, Anabel Unraveled, was released in December of 2012. The sequel, Anabel Divided, came out in October of 2014, right in time for my birthday!
I write New Adult books that are a lovely hodgepodge of mystery and romance with a little suspense thrown in. More so the first one than the second, but the third book in the series, which I am working on right now, definitely returns to the suspense roots set in Anabel Unraveled.
Synopsis of Anabel Unraveled: Anabel Martin’s world was destroyed the day her father was murdered. After spending seventeen years of her life trapped on a Top Secret island in the South Pacific, she now finds herself in Washington, DC in the care of her former politician brother and his unwelcoming wife. While she wants nothing more than to be left alone, she is thrust into the limelight as a key witness in the Congressional hearings investigating the murder of her father and the existence of her former home. For Anabel, it’s hard to concentrate on these proceedings when the thing she wants most in the world is for Jared Sorensen to die. What’s even worse is that Jared is the only reason she’s still alive.
Synopsis of Anabel Divided: Anabel Martin thought the resolution of her father’s murder would bring a resolution to her problems. After all, she was starting life over in a new place with new friends and new adventures. Focusing on attending college and raising her daughter free from the distractions of Washington, DC, she was ready to move on. But a trip back to the District for Meghan’s wedding stirs up old feelings and brings new life to old relationships. Matt is cold and distant while Jared is caring and attentive. A woman from Matt’s past, a bold public flirtation, and Anabel’s desire to be truly loved lead her to a crossroads…and her final decision leaves her with more questions than answers.
Can you tell us a bit about the query and submission process with your books?
I finished the first version of Anabel Unraveled in 2010. At first I attempted the traditional publication process: I queried agents. I did this for awhile, and I had received about five or six rejection letters when I received a rejection letter that wasn’t a form letter. Rather, the agent who wrote back to me said this: “I can see what you’re trying to do, and I think what you actually need to do is go back and cut your manuscript down. It definitely has potential.”
So I took her words to heart and I cut about 40K words out of AU. Painful, I tell you! However, I was dealing with being a new mom—then I became pregnant with my second child in 2011—so that process took awhile, and I started querying again in 2012. Instead of going the agent route, however, I set my sights on smaller presses. I actually had a couple interested at the time I accepted eLectio’s offer.
Your first book Anabel Unraveled was the first novel eLectio Publishing released. How did that come about?
It was, and I am so proud of that! And this is a fun story. So when I got the rejection letter from the agent, I actually tweeted about it, saying something along the lines of, “How odd, I received the best rejection letter ever!” Because even though I had been rejected, I had someone validating my work, and that meant a great deal to me. That was when some guy named Chad Thomas Johnston tweeted back at me about how cool that was. Chad and I became friends talking back and forth.
Flash forward to 2012–Chad informs me he has signed on with eLectio to publish his book Nightmarriage, and because he read AU (and even titled it!), he would be happy to recommend it. So, I submitted it, and a few months later I heard the awesome news they wanted to publish it.
Describe a bit about your relationships with your editor, publisher, and other writers.
Oh, Jennifer Harris Dault, my editor. I love and adore her. She is one of my best friends, even though she frequently disapproves of my writing. I also met her through Chad. It’s a funny world we live in, is it not? I’ve never met Chad in person, but I’ve met her because of him! She’s busy caring for a newborn now, but I cherish my relationship with her. I have enjoyed my relationship with my publisher. I worked extensively with Jesse Greever on AU and more so with Christopher Dixon on AD. Both of them are professional and funny, and even though I don’t think I’m what they expected they often show a great deal of grace towards me.
I’ve also been blessed with my connections to other writers. Parker J. Cole, a fellow eLectio author, has become a dear friend, and I have been fortunate because a couple other eLectio authors live nearby. I joined a Virginia Writer’s group because of one of them.
How do you balance your writing life with caring for your three boys, as well as your other responsibilities? What time-management hints can you give other busy writers?
My oldest starts kindergarten next year, the middle one starts preschool, and even though it’s bittersweet for me, I have to admit, I am looking forward to having time with only one kid. It’s not easy to juggle my kids and my marriage and making sure that there’s food on the table, that’s for sure.
Right now I primarily write/edit at night and on the weekends, although as my kids get older I will hopefully have more time during the day. When I sit down to write that is all I do—I close out my social media and the ever-tempting email, because I know my writing time is precious. My goal is to be present during whatever activity is currently going on, so if it’s daytime time with my boys, that’s my focus. If it’s nighttime writing, that’s my focus. Some days it doesn’t work out that well, but I do try.
Amanda Romine Lynch is a writer, editor, and blogger who grew up in Florida knowing she belonged somewhere else. She now lives in the DC Metro Area with her husband and three amazing little boys. She is the Eco-Friendly/Green Living Contributor over at the Prime Parents’ Club and strives to live earth friendly in a world of disposable diapers. When not writing about Anabel and Jared or chasing around a curly-haired boy, she cheers for the Gators (in all kinds of weather) and occasionally remembers to sleep.
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