Debut Author Spotlight
Today the spotlight is on author Amber Camp, whose debut cozy mystery novel Canter With a Killer just released. You’ll want to add her book to your “To Be Read” (TBR) pile right away and add another copy to give as a gift. Her story appeals to horse/animals lovers and mystery readers alike. And Amber is the real deal…she has rescued horses, dogs, maybe a few people… She walks the walk all right, but read on a find out more.
Here’s what her publisher has to say about Amber Camp:
Amber Camp writes cozy mysteries that reflect her love of animals and quirky small towns. A lifelong lover of books, she started writing her own stories as a teenager and found she loves to write as much as she loves to read. Amber lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband and daughter and works as a registered nurse at a small rural hospital. She has a menagerie of animals that includes dogs, cats, horses, chickens and what has been described as the Mule from Hell, which may or may not be a slight exaggeration. Amber is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.
So, Amber, what inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a mystery, but just never took the plunge. I lost my long-term job with COVID cutbacks in May of 2020, and I figured that was as good a time as any to focus on the things I’d always wanted to do. The inspiration for this book was a very specific incident that I can’t give away because its part of the climax of the story. The whole story developed around that one little detail.
We’ll have to read the book to learn more! In the meantime, do you ever get writer’s block? How do you come up with new ideas? Also, what is your writing process? How do you plan your stories?
I honestly have the opposite problem, and that’s not a humble brag because it can be just as paralyzing. I have notebooks full of ideas and it’s often very difficult for me to focus on any one project for all of the others clamoring for attention.
I start with a loose outline, and I flesh it out as I go. I usually have a good idea of the major plot points, but the smaller details are discovered as I write.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is going to be different for everyone, but for me, it’s one that lets me escape into that world for a little while. Sometimes it’s the amazing characters, sometimes it’s exceptional worldbuilding, sometimes it’s a freight train of a plot that I just have to ride until the end.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I feel like I’ve come full circle, because the Nancy Drew books were my first loves as a kid. I loved the mysteries and all of her adventures. I wrote just about everything but mysteries until I finally sat down and wrote Canter with a Killer.
What was the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I’d spent years spinning my wheels trying to “show” everything, because as writers you’re always told to “show, don’t tell.” But you just can’t do that and have a readable narrative. You have to learn when to “tell” and use it sparingly.
What tips would you give aspiring writers or anyone trying to follow their dreams?
Writing and publishing is hard. You spend months or years creating something with your blood, sweat, and tears and then send that work out into the world. It’s a very vulnerable thing, especially in an industry where rejection is around every corner. You have to figure out a way to reframe those rejections in a way that doesn’t destroy you every time it happens.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I have more hobbies than I have time. Seasonally, I love hiking and kayaking. I also like to paint and make jewelry.
What are three things you cannot live without?
COFFEE. Must. Have. Coffee. I also must have books, lots of them in multiple genres. And finally, a good hair tie because it drives me crazy when hair flies in my face.
What do YOU like to read and what are you reading now?
I love everything from cozies to horror, and I always have several books going at once. Currently, I’m reading Beach Read by Emily Henry, Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry, Verity by Collen Hoover, and The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.
What new projects are you working on?
Currently, my main focus is book two in the Horse Rescue Mystery series. I’m also developing a paranormal cozy mystery series and a romance.
Want to Know How to Get in Touch with Amber?
Wow, sounds like you’re one very busy woman, Amber! I’m looking forward to hearing more about some of those new projects. For those of you who would like to learn more about Amber Camp, you can find her on the social media links below and check out her book, Canter With a Killer!
Amber Camp’s Website:
Amazon Author Page
To purchase Canter With a Killer, go to: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/711851/canter-with-a-killer-by-amber-camp/
or your book seller of choice. It is also available on Audible, Google Play, and Apple Books.
Thanks, Amber, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Best of luck with this book and all the ones you have yet to write!