Amanda Flower | Cruise Interrupted
April 14, 2012
The Malice Domestic
Convention, which awards the Agatha Awards for best traditional mysteries,
is at the end of this month in Bethseda, Maryland. In 2011, to my utter shock
and delight, my debut mystery novel, MAID OF MURDER, was
nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and so began a chain of
events that changed my life.
Of the nominees, I was the only one without a literary agent. With the
nomination in my pocket, I knew it was time for me to ramp up my search for the
right one. Like any creative professional, authors have to make strategic moves
when they are in the news. There was one particular literary agent, Nicole
Resciniti from the Seymour Agency, who I wanted to represent me. I had heard
wonderful things about her and the agency from author friends who I trusted
implicitly. Also she sold to inspirational and mainstream houses, and I wanted
to be a crossover writer. Most agents I spoke to said I had to pick one or the
other. They insisted I couldn't do both. I didn't believe them, which is one of
the reasons it took me so long to find the right agent.
I queried Nicole, and she requested a partial of my novel to read. A few weeks
later, I was supposed to go on a cruise somewhere in the Caribbean, but due to
an illness in my family, I decided I needed to stay in the country. I changed my
plans just a few days before flying out. The boat was scheduled to leave from
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and I wasn't able to refund my plane tickets—note
to self, buy travel insurance—so I decide to just go to Florida for the
week. It would be easy to return home if need be. The night before I left, I
realized Nicole was in Florida at the same time. Now, I chewed on my lip. Do
I contact her to tell her I'm in Florida for a week or not? Is that pushy? The
worst thing she could do was say "no," right?
I did email Nicole, and again to my shock—are you getting I'm surprised a
lot—she emailed me back within the hour saying that she would be happy to
meet up with me while I was in Florida.
We met for lunch, and I have no idea what I ordered because I was way too
nervous to eat. I learned within a few seconds that all the good reports I had
heard about her were true. She's one of the most encouraging and charming people
I've ever met. I told her I wanted to write mysteries for both inspirational and
mainstream publishers. She was unfazed by this and didn't seem to think it was a
bad idea like so many others had. We chatted for a bit more, and she said, "You
know I'm going to sign you."
I believe my heart actually stopped when she said that. I think I lost my
hearing too because sounds echoed for the next hour or so. After I more or less
regained my composure, we discussed series ideas, and I mentioned that I used to
live in Ohio's Amish Country. That got her attention, and she told me I needed
to write a mystery about that. She could sell that. I said I would try,
thinking, "I hope I pull this off, or she's going to regret signing me!"
When I got home from Florida, I wrote a fifty page Amish mystery proposal for
Nicole, and she sent it off to the publishing houses within days. A few short
months later, Nicole told me that she sold not one but two Amish mystery series
for me. The Appleseed Creek Mystery Series to B&H, an inspirational house,
and the Amish Quilt Mystery Series to New American Library/Penguin, a mainstream
house, which I would write as Isabella Alan.
There have been many times when I felt that God had a plan for me. That day
remains the clearest proof. He took a family emergency and turned it into one of
the biggest opportunities of my life. As for the Caribbean cruise, I still
haven't gone and don't regret it for a second.
About The Author
Amanda Flower is the
Agatha Award-nominated author of the India Hayes Mystery Series and debuts the
first novel in The Appleseed Creek Mystery Series, A PLAIN DEATH, July 2012.
To learn more this series or Amanda other mysteries visit her online at amandaflower.com/. You
can also follow Amanda on Facebook and Twitter: aflowerwriter.
Tell us what you think about Amanda's journey to being published and one
commenter will win a copy of her latest, MURDER IN A BASKET
36 comments posted.
Re: Amanda Flower | Cruise Interrupted
I believe this book will be great! I do feel that Tim and Chloe will get together and find out who sabotaged her car even though Becky borrowed it, then follow up with a romantic ending.
(Theresa Smith 5:10pm April 9, 2012)
When God has plans for us He lets us know in no uncertain terms. God bless you on your journey. The book sounds great too.
(Kathleen Yohanna 12:52pm April 14, 2012)
this book looks really good would love to win it thanks
(Denise Smith 3:53am April 14, 2012)
Nicole sounds like one smart cookie! I love Amish stories and can't wait to read yours.
(Karen Gervasi 8:04am April 14, 2012)
I would love to read this book...thanks so much for the chance to win it!!
(Bonnie Capuano 8:48am April 14, 2012)
What a great way to meet ur agent! I would very much like to win this
book! I've been impatiently waiting for our library to get it. Thank u for the
(Valerie Consoer 9:30am April 14, 2012)
Great story. I am always inspired hearing how people get their literary start.
(Pam Howell 9:42am April 14, 2012)
That is a great story!! I can't wait to read your books...
(Michelle Dellagnese 10:15am April 14, 2012)
I love murder mysteries
(Dawn Staniszeski 10:27am April 14, 2012)
So want to get my hands on this book!
(Angela k 10:53am April 14, 2012)
What a wonderful story. Congrats on the Agatha nomination.
(G S Moch 11:22am April 14, 2012)
Love your story! I like the title of this book, it sounds great.
(Wendy Newcomb 11:45am April 14, 2012)
Congrats on all! You have the right attitude and it will take you far. Looking for the positive and turning hurdles into opportunities. Good for you!
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 12:23pm April 14, 2012)
It's always interesting to hear stories from behind the scenes.
(Shirley Nienkark 12:31pm April 14, 2012)
How wonderful that you recognized God's hand in your life.
(Marjorie Carmony 12:45pm April 14, 2012)
Wow! Sometimes God's plans take a leap of faith and a little guts. Not courage, guts. I don't know if I would have had the gut to tell her I just happened to be in Florida for a week and I would like to get together. Congrats on having guts and getting published!
(Jennifer Beyer 12:57pm April 14, 2012)
Having faith in yourself is the most difficult but belief in a higher power makes it a little easier.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 1:14pm April 14, 2012)
That's a great story. Whenever something bad happens to me, I have learned to be patient, that's there's usually something else going on. Something I can either learn from, or there's an opportunity opening up that I wouldn't have considered otherwise.
(Kathleen Conner 2:06pm April 14, 2012)
This sounds like a great book. I like the crossover of 2 book genre also. That is the type I am always trying to find.
(Roseann Moss 2:14pm April 14, 2012)
this story sounds great. I'd love to read it and winning it
is even better.
(Mary Hay 2:26pm April 14, 2012)
Your book sounds very interesting.Thanks for giving me a chance to win it.
(Linda Hall 2:31pm April 14, 2012)
Sounds like a fun read!
(Darci Paice-Bailey 2:35pm April 14, 2012)
I think it was an inspirational story. Many thanks.
(Elaine Seymour 2:37pm April 14, 2012)
The book sounds very interesting. I also think it is wonderful getting to know how a writer gets their start
and the excitment in their voice when they write about it!
Keep up the good works! (or writing shall I say)
(Ann Thaxton 2:38pm April 14, 2012)
Somehow bad things can turn good---but it also sounds like you put a lot of work into making your writing very good, too.
(Sue Farrell 4:25pm April 14, 2012)
Sometimes it's all about timing, being in the right place at the right time. You and Nicole being in Florida, your getting the courage to email her, meeting up and having lunch together, signing you and giving good advice to run with, Amish stories to incorporate as subject matter into your mystery writing. Love reading how this all came to be for you, and can't wait to read your books which sound so very good! Your faith in yourself and enthusiasm to do what you love brings you the success you deserve!
(Linda Luinstra 5:47pm April 14, 2012)
I admire and respect all the hard work authors must do to put together a good read and there are so many!!!!!! Congrads!!!!
(Joanne Bozik 6:37pm April 14, 2012)
I believe that when someone has a gift, angels watch over them, and open doors for them when the timing is right. First we have to know what the gift is. Amanda knew what her gift was. As for the trip, it got changed for a reason. There were more important things for Amanda to do, like start writing books!! I'm thrilled that things went the way she wanted them to, and I'm very anxious to read them. I'm also excited for her getting the nomination on her book!! The cover of this book is very well done. I love the quaint and homey feel to it.
(Peggy Roberson 6:51pm April 14, 2012)
Thank You, Amanda for sharing your journey in getting published. I would love to write a book but not knowing what to do or how it is done, is a scary step for me. I'm always at what do I do next or what if I can't do it. By sharing your journey, it is good to know that I'm not the only one that feel that way.
Thanks for sharing!!!
(Kai Wong 10:03pm April 14, 2012)
The way opened, as Quakers say, but you bravely reached out and took advantage of the opportunities before you - good for you! Looking forward to reading the books!
(Beth Fuller 10:08pm April 14, 2012)
Thank you for sharing. This was just wonderful. I love that you were continually surprised.
(Mary Preston 12:17pm April 15, 2012)
Congratulations on your talent and on getting an agent. That must be a big load off your mind. But you probably know who holds your todays and your tomorrows in his hands. Isn't that a wonderfully reassuring thought, even if we don't always remember right away when adversity rather than serendipity strike? God bless you in your writing.
(Sigrun Schulz 4:19am April 15, 2012)
I believe that when under pressure, the brain kicks into action and you're the most creative because there's nothing else you can truly depend on. I'm glad you had the urge to get on paper those thoughts and truned them into a gripping story.
(Alyson Widen 4:37pm April 15, 2012)
That's Awesome Amanda. Not just one but 2 series, Wow. Congratulations and can't wait to read "Murder in a Basket" which I already have on my wish list.
(Brenda Hill 5:03pm April 15, 2012)
That is wonderful that things worked out so well.
(Maureen Emmons 5:14pm April 15, 2012)
This is wonderful and congratulations for you and your book. I think you will go a long way in the writing of your books. Sound like a great book here. Would love to read it.
(Diane Castiglione 2:02pm April 16, 2012)
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