Amanda Flower – Author Spotlight

Thank you for joining me for this exciting Author Spotlight!

First, a bit about Amanda via her WEBSITE:

Amanda Flower
, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel.

She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel.

Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

Amanda is represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency.


Who better to write great books than a librarian?Tweet this!


Here is my interview with Amanda!

How long do you plan to work as a librarian? Is it your plan to write full-time eventually?

I love being a librarian and don’t have any immediate plans to quit. But yes, I hope to write full time someday. I think God will tell me when the time is right.

Do you find that writing under a deadline takes the fun out of writing? If so, how do you deal with that? Are there any special snacks you like to have handy?

Deadlines are stressful, but I need them because I’m a procrastinator. When I don’t have a deadline from a publisher, I give myself one just to keep myself on task. I write a word count countdown for every book with the approximate date I should have that many words. I have a variety of snacks, but I always have caffeine — usually unsweetened ice tea by the bucketful.

Do you often put parts of your family into your characters? Have you ever based a character entirely on someone you know, or just parts of people you know?

Definitely, there are parts of real people I know, including family members in my novels. Which characters they are like, I will never tell.

You post a lot about your cats; tell us about them…

Thanks for asking! I have two short-haired cats. One is a gray and white part Russian Blue named Reepicheep–we call him Cheeps–and the other is a tuxedo cat named Mr. Tumnus. His call name is Tummy. The are named after The Chronicles of Narnia characters. They are my best buds and first readers. They like to “help” me write by sitting on my laptop or walking across the keyboard.

We read about your trips… vacations, writer retreats, conferences and the like. Is this the norm for most authors? Are they necessary for your writing?

I love to travel, so it’s the norm for me. I’m sure I’d be traveling that much even if I wasn’t an author. It varies from author to author. Some travel much more than me, and I know some who don’t travel at all. It’s all personal interest.

Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor/agent/friends?

I don’t have a file exactly, but I have a notebook that I carry everywhere with new ideas. Most great ideas hit me while I’m driving. I have an two-hour commute every day to work, so it give me a lot of time to think.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am writing Murder, Plainly Read, the 4th Amish Quilt Shop Mystery. It comes out October 2015. An Amish bishop gets killed on a library bookmobile. It’s ridiculously fun to write.

In May 2015, my Living History Museum Mystery Series begins with The Final Reveille. I’m so excited about this one! One summer when I was in college I worked at a living history museum and loved it. It’s been wonderful to transform that unique experience into a mystery novel.

How did you come up with the pen name Isabella Alan? Do you plan to publish under other pen names in the future?

I chose the name Isabella Alan because Isabella is my niece’s first name and Alan was my father’s middle name. My niece was born a few weeks before my father passed away in 2009. It’s a tribute to two people I love most. I don’t have plans for another pen name, but what I’ve learned from publishing is always leave the window open for a new opportunity.

You are self-publishing your newest novel, A Plain Malice… could you share a bit about that with us? What advantages/disadvantages did you find in self-publishing? Is this something you would do again?

I self-pubbed A Plain Malice because the publisher canceled my contract for that series abruptly. I wanted to put out one more book to give readers a true ending for the characters they loved so much. I might self publish in the future, you never know. It’s all a matter of having the time to do it. It is a very time consuming process.


Did you know Amanda Flower self-published A Plain Malice?Tweet this!


Below is a quote from Amanda’s website about her very generous offer…

Pre-order or purchase any edition of A Plain Malice between now and Thursday, November 27, 2014, and 100% of my royalties will go to a local food pantry, The Landing, located in Akron, Ohio.

My brother and sister-in-law, Andrew and Nicole Flower, manage The Landing in the basement of Akron Christian Reformed Church with a group of dedicated volunteers.

The food pantry feeds over sixty families in the church’s neighborhood on $200 per week…

The Kindle and Nook edition released on September 16th. September 16th is a special day for me because it’s my mother’s birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to release A Plain Malice on her birthday. She read it before she passed away and said it was her favorite of all of my books.

~ ~  Amanda Flower


Thank You Amanda, for taking the time to share your thoughts on writing! I appreciate how you’ve patiently answered each question. We look forward to reading more of your wonderful books.


Click HERE to visit Amanda’s blog for updates and info, HERE for her Facebook page, HERE for Twitter and HERE for her Author page on GoodReads!


THANK YOU for joining me for this special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!.

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews — I plan to dedicate next month to another of my favorite authors!


Check back on November 1st to find out who it is…

God bless you!


©Donna J. Mynatt 2014


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