I have had the honor of being on Amy Clipston’s Street Team, Amy Clipston’s Bakery Bunch. All of us help Amy promote her books by word of mouth, sharing on Social Media and by posting reviews. I have had the privilege to send Amy some questions that I have wanted to ask for her to answer. Here are those Q & A’s!!!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always loved to write. It’s always been sort of a stress reliever for me. I started making up stories in my head when I was in elementary school, and I carried around notebooks that I filled with silly stories. I’ve always felt like something is missing if I’m not working on a book.
The strange thing is that I didn’t want to pursue a career in writing until after college when I accidentally found a local chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA). Until I joined RWA, writing was a hobby. When I attended a meeting, I realized I could possibly turn my hobby into something more. Through RWA, I met writers in all stages of their careers, and I learned how to polish a book and then find an agent.
After knowing writing was something you wanted to do, how did you choose the style of writing you use, the genre?
I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County when I was younger, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the culture. I was inspired by other Amish authors to try to write my own Amish stories.
Have you always lived in North Carolina? If not, how did you know that’s where you wanted to be?
I was born and raised in Ridgewood, New Jersey. My parents and I fell in love with Virginia Beach, VA, while we were tourists. When I was 18, my father was 62 and wanted to retire, and we made the move to Virginia Beach. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College and then went to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk, Virginia. I also met and married my husband, Joe, while I was in Virginia. Joe and I decided we wanted to live further south, so moved my parents and our children to the Charlotte area of North Carolina in 2006. We love it here! I often joke that I may have been born in New Jersey, but I got to North Carolina as quickly as I could.
A lot of people don’t know that you gave your husband one of your kidneys, how did you make that decision? How did he feel when you told him?
Joe received a kidney from his brother in 2004, and it only lasted four years. In 2008, he went back on dialysis, and he was very ill. I was willing to donate to Joe, but I wasn’t a perfect match. Instead of donating a kidney to Joe, I found another way to help him. I became a paired donor for him, meaning that I donated a kidney so that he could receive one in exchange.
I donated a kidney on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, Joe received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. I donated a kidney to a woman, and in exchange, her husband gave a kidney to Joe.
My memoir, A Gift of Love, details our journey with Joe’s kidney disease and his two kidney transplants. You can find my memoir here: http://amyclipston.com/project/the-gift-of-love/
Due to Joe’s kidney struggles, I’ve become an advocate for both organ and blood donation. I volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation, and I also run blood drives at my church. If you are healthy and able, please give the gift of life and donate blood.
What are some things that you and your husband do to make your marriage stronger?
We try to make time for each other, whether it’s date night where we go to dinner or just watching a movie together. We do our best to keep the lines of communication open and talk things out when we get frustrated with each other. Marriage is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. We’ve faced some tough times, but in the end, we’re thankful to have each other and our two awesome sons.
Thank you to Amy Clipston for answering these questions for me!! Be sure to check out Amy’s newest series: Amish Heirloom Series and her newest novella in An Amish Harvest.