Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning 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. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio.
How did you become interested in writing fiction?
I’ve always been a storyteller. Even as a young child, I would come home from preschool and tell elaborate stories to my parents about what happened in school that day. I decided that I wanted to be an author when I read a story I wrote in front of my 6th grade English class, and my teacher and classmates laughed. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make people laugh with my words.
I’ve written 15 Amish cozy mysteries, and I love writing them. However, I wanted to write something new and different that was still a cozy mystery. So I proposed to my agent light paranormal mysteries, and happily publishers were receptive to the shift in my career. Now I write Amish and magical mysteries at the same time. They are very different worlds, and I like that the books are so different from each other and appeal to different kinds of readers.
Are you an avid gardener? What inspired your Magic Garden Mysteries?
I am! I love to garden. In fact, it’s my favorite pastime. Readers can follow my gardening adventures on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower/. Flowers inspired this series, as well as a trip to Scotland. It is a mystical place and the perfect setting for a magical mystery.
Your Magic Garden series is set in Scotland. What drew you to Scotland to place your series?
I had visited Scotland several years ago and loved all the old castles and the landscape. I knew if I ever set a novel in the UK, it would be a top choice for me.
You have two series featuring the Amish, the Amish Candy Shop series and the Appleseed Creek series. How did you become inspired to write about the Amish? What is the key difference between the series?
I was inspired to write Amish mysteries because I lived in Amish Country for three years when I was in my twenties working at a college library there. The key difference between the two series is Appleseed Creek is a bit more serious than the Amish Candy Shop, and the candy shop is the focal piece of that series. The store becomes a character in a way. There isn’t a building like that in the Appleseed Creek Series.
What kind of research do you perform for your books, and how do you go about doing this research?
I do a lot of research for all my books, but my favorite research is in person. I make a point of going to all the places where my stories are set. For example, for the Magical Bookshop, I spent time in Niagara Falls, and for the Magic Garden, I went to Scotland. To capture a place accurately, nothing beats a first person experience in my opinion.
The third book in your Magical Bookshop series, Metaphors and Murders, comes out February 12, 2019. What plans do you have for continuing this series?
For the series, I plan to answer some questions that readers have about Violet’s father, her relationship with Chief Rainwater, and of course, what she is going to decide to do about the magical bookshop–can she be the Caretaker and find love too. Also, Murders and Metaphors uses Little Women to solve the crime. I have a book in mind to solve the crime for book four too, but since I might change my mind, I will wait to say anything concrete on that.
You write a series about a Living History Museum.
I loved writing the Living History Museum series, and I was inspired to write the series because I worked at a living history museum in Ohio one summer during college called Hale Farm. It was a very fun job and inspired a lot of the series.
I have loved all your books that are on audio. Do you have plans to put your other books on audio too, so people like me can enjoy those too?
I love audiobooks too! It really varies from series to series. My agent sells audio rights to audio publishers, and she’s always trying to get my backlist on audio. It just depends if a producer picks the series up.
What authors have served as inspiration for your own writing?
I have so many mystery authors that I love, but the top ones for me are Heather Blake, Kylie Logan, Sue Grafton, and Nevada Barr.
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