Friday with Friends (and chance to win a free book)–Tiff Stockton
Tiff and I met at the first ACFW Conference in 2002 when she was Amber Miller. Now, one husband and two children later, she writes as Amber Stockton. I have enjoyed reading several of Tiff’s books, both in draft form and published form as we used to critique for each other. I’ll let her tell you the rest.
SMALL TOWN LIVING
by: Tiffany Amber Stockton
I’m sitting here staring at my computer screen and loving the header graphic on Rose’s site. She invited me to come here and spend a little time with you today. As Rose will attest, she and I have traveled this long journey toward publication almost from the start. Her first book released in August this year and mine released in 2008. But many years ago, we started out as critique partners through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Btw, my name is Tiffany, but I publish under my middle and last names of Amber Stockton.
So, my latest book takes me back to my home state of Delaware and the small town of Brandywine. My first series during the Colonial era was set in the small town of New Castle, but at the time it was the center of trade and commerce. For Bound by Grace, I jump forward a little over 100 years and connect my characters to the family I featured in the Liberty’s Promise trilogy. It was a lot of fun returning to this setting and linking the stories. Many of my readers asked me if I would do that at some point down the line, and I’m happy to be able to answer with a resounding “yes!”
Now, a “small town” for a lot of people wouldn’t include many areas on the East Coast. That’s likely because so many big cities exist there. Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, Atlanta, etc. And this area has often been called the Megalopolis stretching from Boston to D.C. But while it’s true the interstate allows you to get from one end to the other of these cities in about 7-1/2 hours, if you zip along that highway, you miss all the charming small towns you pass along the way. You never know what little treasures could be tucked in those nooks.
That’s the focus of my first series, and now this current series. Far too often I hear folks assuming Delaware is in New England, and I almost always have to correct them by saying that’s Rhode Island. Delaware is actually a little state occupying most of the DelMarVa Peninsula right smack in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland and Virginia. There is a unique culture here, but most drive right on by on their way to one of the bigger cities.
When I sold my first book, the editor told me I had 3 hurdles to jump as a new historical author: 1) a unique setting (check); 2) a unique time period (check); and 3) good writing. I can check that off now, but it took a little work at the onset. Nevertheless, the editor was impressed with the story and loved the setting, so he was eager to acquire it for the line.
As much as he loved the story, though, my readers have written time and time again to thank me for opening up their eyes and taking them on a journey to an area of the U.S. they wouldn’t think to explore. In one reader’s words, I “take you into the world of an influential little state most people blink and miss.” I “offer a history lesson without being boring and blend the lives of the characters seamlessly into the history of the region.”
Needless to say, this series and my first occupy quite a significant chunk of my heart, and I’m thrilled to share those stories with you.
So, when you think of small towns, what areas of the country come to mind, and why? Are you a small town kind of a person, or do you prefer the sprawling areas of suburban dwellings? Share your thoughts in the comments for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of my latest book, Bound by Grace. And visit my web site to read about this as well as my other 10 books. (http://www.amberstockton.com/) I will draw the name of the winner in one week.
Thank you for dropping by today.
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Wow, Tiff, I feel like a slacker since you have 10 books already out! You know I am very happy for you and all your success. And, I love this cover! When Tiff mentioned the DelMarVa Peninsula it reminded me of a trip my husband and I took and Tiff came to visit us at Chincoteaque Island during the running of the ponies, an annual event there. We had a fun day in spite of all the walking in the rain we did! Memories!