1--What is the title of your latest release?
HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD THE BEES
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Beekeeper, Beckett Walsh, was living her dream, working alongside her father on their small farm until his unexpected death thrusts a new part-owner into her world who threatens not only her livelihood, but her beliefs about the goodness of the man she’d always perceived to be her kind and faithful father.
When Callie Peterson finds out that a mysterious benefactor named her in his trust, she envisions all her financial struggles melting away and the dreams she’s worked so hard for coming to fruition. But then she learns that to gain her inheritance she’ll be forcing Beckett Walsh to sell the only place she feels safe in the world. Callie is certain she has no right to someone else's farm, but when her mother reenters her life seeking help for her lifelong issues with substance use, Callie is desperate to help. For her, everything hinges on discovering why she was named in that trust.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
My first book was set in middle Tennessee and my second in west Tennessee, so it only seemed fitting to set the third in the part of the state that I call home, east Tennessee!
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
I would most definitely hang out with Beck. She lives on a farm in Tennessee, which is kind of my dream. And plus, she is a seasoned beekeeper, so I’d like to learn from her expertise.
My other protagonist, Callie, loves coffee as much as I do, so I know we’d both be down for a coffee date. And she makes natural body care products which I think is super cool.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Both Beck and Callie are resilient, hardworking, and devoted. Each woman is very different and portrays these qualities in different ways. But they have more in common than they originally think!
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I had a lot of fun incorporating things I had learned as a hobby beekeeper about the habits of bees into this book! One of my favorite things I learned about bees is the way that young bees orient themselves to the hive by taking orientation flights. It is so incredible that bees can travel up to five miles and still find their way back home!
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I try my best not to edit too much as I draft, but it is hard to resist. I’m a recovering perfectionist.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Chocolate and coffee!
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I have a little desk in the corner of my open concept living room that has served me well to keep an eye on my kiddos while they were small. Now that they are getting older, I am dreaming of a someday office that is a little quieter and a little more remote!
10--Who is an author you admire?
Fredrik Backman for his incredible ability express both the heartbreaking and hilarious tendencies of human nature all on the same page.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
Other than the Bible, I don’t know that I can point to a single book, but the world of books most definitely changed my life. Throughout my childhood stories were a safe place for me to explore other worlds, and they allowed me windows into unique experiences and cultures that were not my own. Throughout my life, reading books built my capacity for empathy. This made such a huge impact on who I am as a person and as a writer.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I got the call from my agent letting me know the He Should Have Told the Bees was going to be published right around Christmas in 2021. Learning that I was getting a second contract with a publisher that I love working with was an amazing Christmas gift!
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Women’s fiction and historical fiction are my usual!
14--What’s your favorite movie?
It is hard to pick, but I always find myself coming back to Far and Away.
15--What is your favorite season?
Fall! I love the colors, the smells, and the cooler temperatures.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
With cake. And family too - as long as they bring cake.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
I am obsessed with the Masterpiece series, All Creatures Great and Small. The acting, casting, and writing are stellar. I want to live next door to Skeldale House.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
I really enjoy Asian flavors, but southern comfort foods will always be my favorite.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Going on hikes with my family with our silly German shorthair pointer puppy as our sidekick always has a way of refreshing my soul. We also love traveling together when we get the chance. I’m a wannabe gardener who is more likely to kill her plants than nurture them. And of course I have a love for beekeeping, which inspired my new book.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I have a yet-to-be titled book releasing in the summer of 2024! This one is partially set in Tennessee and partially set on a fictional North Carolina island. It involves the restoration of an old lighthouse with a mysterious past, and the unearthing of family secrets. I can’t wait to share more soon!
Uncovering long-held family secrets may sting at first--but the result can be sweeter than honey
Beekeeper Beckett Walsh is living her dream, working alongside her father in their apiary, until his untimely death sends her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with a new part owner of the family business--one who is looking to sell the property. Beck cannot fathom why her father would put her into the position to lose everything they built together.
When Callie Peterson is named in the trust of a man she's never heard of, she's not sure what to do. Her fledgling business has just taken wing and her mother has reentered her life asking for help getting into rehab for her lifelong substance abuse issues, making Callie's financial situation rather . . . precarious. She's sure she has no right to someone else's farm, but the money from the sale could solve her problems and give her the stability she's always craved.
As these two women navigate their present conundrum, they will discover a complex and entangled past full of secrets--and the potential for a brighter future for both of them.
Christian | Women's Fiction Contemporary [Revell, On Sale: August 29, 2023, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780800742737 / eISBN: 9781493441280]
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children.
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