Amy Woodley - Feel-Good, Lighthearted Reading
Amy Woodley has always loved feel-good, lighthearted books, so it was no surprise when she started writing them. Amy is surrounded by a big family with her husband, children, and grands. She lives way out in the country in the beautiful Ozarks of Southern Missouri. She enjoys her farm animals and quiet moments on the front porch with the Lord. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, City Girl.
Please give us a short introduction to what City Girl is about.
City Girl is about a woman named Esmae Grace who has always lived in the city. She comes to a breaking point when she catches her fiance cheating on her. Between the death of her grandmother, her demanding job, and the expectations her parents put on her, she decides she needs a change of pace. She feels like she doesn't know who she is. So, she buys a farm out in the country and purchases livestock as a way to make a living. She hasn't ever taken care of animals before and finds herself in over her head. After her fiance cheated on her, she had sworn off men until she meets Dawson and Trenton who both make her heart beat a bit faster. The book is lighthearted and full of funny moments as Esmae learns about life in the country.
What inspired you to write this story?
City Girl came about as I was going through a trying time in my life. Covid had just arrived and I wanted to get lost in something that was fun and lighthearted. I had just purchased goats and I hadn't ever had goats on our farm before and didn't know anything about them. All I had wanted was a tame goat that would follow me around in the yard, but what I ended up with was four goats that didn't want anything to do with me. One day as I was sitting outside in the goat's pen, the idea of City Girl came to me and I started writing.
Tell us more about Esmae Grace Williams. What makes her tick?
Esmae Grace Williams is a motivated, determined young woman who just wants to find peace and happiness. She is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful and isn't afraid of hard work. But her biggest desire is to know who she is and she finds herself in the country.
Why did you pick a small country town as the backdrop for your story?
I grew up mostly in bigger cities, but I have lived in a small town for a really long time now. When I married my husband 22 years ago, he lived out in the country. We built a house and have lived here ever since then. I love small-town country life and wanted to incorporate that into my story.
What, would you say, is so appealing about a "fish out of water" scenario?
I love the learning aspect of doing something out of the ordinary as Esmae did. She didn't have any idea what country life had in store for her, but she was willing to give it her all.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I live on a farm and take care of many different kinds of animals. We have a gecko, birds, fish, sheep, goats, dogs, ducks, chickens, guineas, turkeys, cats, and miniature horses. I enjoy all of my animals.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned with them?
Yes! I do not plot my books ahead of time. I may have an idea of what I want the main theme of the story to be, but that is all. I sit down at my laptop and just start typing and allow the story to come as it wills. I find myself often being surprised by what happens next. It is such an incredible experience. To me, writing a book is as exciting as reading one. I never know what is going to take place next and where the characters are going to end up.
Do you believe in true love in real life?
I do believe in true love in real life because my life is a testimony of that fact. My husband and I met on New Year's Eve in 1998, we got married a month later, February 1st,1999. As soon as we met, we just knew we were meant to be together. I wouldn't recommend anyone to marry after only knowing a person for a month, but it worked out wonderfully for us.
What did you have the most fun with when writing City Girl?
I enjoyed writing the funny scenes in City Girl and also the chemistry with the guys.
Where do you get your best ideas from?
I love happy endings. So Hallmark movies are my go-to. I also love old detective shows and old sitcoms. I grew up on I Love Lucy reruns and I still laugh when I watch those shows. Life can be grueling at times and I believe the most important way to fight that is with joy and laughter.
This is book 1 in the Meadow Creek series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Books one through three need to be read in order. They are about Esmae and who she ends up picking between Trenton and Dawson. The remaining three can be read as a standalone because they are about the other characters of the town. The Meadow Creek Series is a six-book series.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
My home is always filled with kids and noise, so when I write, I go to our camper that is parked away from the house. I try to go up around noon and spend a couple of hours writing. I also love writing on the front porch and at the lake when we go camping.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on book five in my Wannabe Spy Series. This will be a twelve-book series. This series is about a woman named Blake who has always wanted to be a spy. Of course, there is romance, and of course, it is lighthearted because that is what you will find in most of my books. I have twelve books published so far with City Girl being my first published book.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
All of my books are on Amazon. I also have a website at AmyWoodley.com. You can sign up for my newsletter to receive information about new releases. I am on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyWoodley) and Instagram (amyewoodley).