Welcome to the Story Sparks multi-Author Blog Tour. Between May 21-26, 2018, readers get a chance to enter and win ebooks from six different authors. Today, Amber Schamel is the featured author. A lucky winner will win a copy of her 2018 Christian Indie Award winner, Solve by Christmas, PLUS she has a cover reveal to share. Read on to discover what sparks Amber’s creativity and to enter the rafflecopter to win her inspirational mystery with a Sherlock flare.
“Too many books, not enough time” is a two-fold saying for me. On one hand, there are so many good books to read, and on the other hand, there are so many ideas to write. For me, ideas come from everywhere. They can come from passing a mailbox, walking by an abandoned building, overhearing a conversation in the grocery store, day dreaming, reading the Scripture, or from history reading. Other times the idea is just dropped into my mind like a Valentine from God.
Usually though, the best ideas come from a combination of the above. With Solve by Christmas, the recent winner of the Christian Indie Award, I had a vague idea of a story. I wanted something with a tight timeframe that would create urgency. I’ve always loved detective stories, and those go perfectly with tight timeframes, so I started with that. From there, I wasn’t sure where to go…Then I thought, “What if Christmas was the deadline, and a Sherlock-ish detective had to stop some tragic event BY CHRISTMAS?”
From there, I didn’t really know where to go. Until the next piece dropped into my mind and stuck like a burr to a wool sock. What if the case the detective had to solve, wasn’t a case like he was thinking at all? What if he had to come up with a “case” for a loved one to continue living?
The Lord had given me an issue to address, and I knew it would be a hard one to pull off.
From there, I hit the history books. Researching the time period and location, I found all kinds of great information that added to the story depth. Such as the labor and Union wars in Denver during the 1910’s, which added great opportunities for tension and villains. Then the infanthood of detective work added to my character’s difficulty and need to prove himself. Researching organized crime and the development of the major detective agencies formed the backstory that drives Detective Jasper Hollock, even though it isn’t seen on stage in the book.
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
So, for Solve by Christmas, I guess you could say that it was a series of sparks that resulted in that story. Kinda like one of those fireworks that has multiple explosions.
History is one of my favorite places to look for inspiration, and I always hit the books when I come to writer’s block, even during a story. I love it so much, that I’m actually getting ready to release my very first non-fiction work, 12 Sisters Who Changed History. And today I’m revealing the cover! Would ya’ll like to see it?
I was researching Jane Austen and some other great heroines of history when the idea for Sisters Who Changed History came to me. Being the second born of twelve children, siblings are often on my mind. All the time we are taught of famous individuals and the impact that they had, but what about those that were sisters and how they influenced the world? A blog series was born, which then developed into a book of its own. The book will be releasing July 17th!
Thanks for joining us today. Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway.
Let me know what you think of the cover, and the oddest places that you have found inspiration in your life!
Two-time winner of the Christian Indie Award for historical fiction, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!