Are you an Amy Watkins reader?
Welcome to my interview with Amy Watkins! Discover her writing journey and everything you need to know about her amazing book.
Hi Amy Watkins! Please introduce yourself and share some fun facts about you.
Hi! I am Amy Watkins, the author of 200 Letters. Born and raised in Washington, DC. I received an undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University and a Medical Degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore. Served in the US Navy for 8 years and currently work as a family medicine physician for the Navy. I am a single mother of three. Love to dance, swim, read, and hang out on the beach. I am a Christian and am very active in church. I also believe in equality for all, coexistence, and eliminating prejudices.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I have always had a creative imagination. I started writing for fun in college. Then in later adulthood, my life was plagued with several struggles. Writing was an outlet for me. It helped me to release all my hurt, anger and frustration in a safe and effective way.
Tell us about your debut novel 200 Letters.
200 Letters is an inspirational romance suspense novel that follows two people as they try to escape abusive relationships. Their paths cross and they fall in love with each other. However, the tainted lovers from their past invade and scheme in attempt to destroy the happy couple. This scheming leads to an unjust incarceration during which the couple maintains their bond through a series of letters. Through those letters, they both gain spiritual enlightenment and discernment. The letters eventually uncover the people who are really responsible for the turmoil.
How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
200 Letters is based on some events that occurred in my life and the life of some of my closest friends. I intertwined our stories to create this novel.
What were the most challenging parts of writing your novel?
It took me about 1.5 years to write the story. I didn’t get writers block through the entire production. I feel like the words flowed nicely. However, being a single mother and a doctor, one of the challenges was finding the time to write. I usually wrote during “mommy time.” Mommy time was my created time period between 8 and 10 pm when the kids would give me time and space to create. I recommend mommy time for all moms, writers or not, as we all need a little time for ourselves.
Most notable victories?
I did not start writing thinking that it would turn into a complete novel. But, when I finished the book I knew I had to share it with the world. The book addresses many social issues from abuse to mass incarceration to prejudice. I hoped that it would inspire others and give those who are going through similar struggles hope.
The first time someone came to me and said the book changed their life and gave them hope was the largest victory for me. I have also had people tell me they would share the book with their daughters or other loved ones as to open up a dialogue about struggles they may have to face or may need to avoid as a woman. My most notable victory is that my book was a blessing to someone else.
What was the publishing experience like for you?
I am self-published through Amazon. The experience was simple and straight forward. You fill out some forms, upload your book, upload the cover and you’re done. The hardest part; however, is marketing.
What are your favourite themes explored in 200 Letters?
There are several themes in 200 Letters including love vs lust, prejudice, judgemental Christians, developing spiritually, abuse of various kinds (financial, physical, emotional, abuse of power), cyberbullying, family betrayal, unjust judicial systems, and mass incarceration. My favorite theme is escaping abusive relationships as I feel that is the most helpful to other women who are in a similar situation.
Do you relate to the characters in your book and how?
I relate very well to the characters in 200 Letters as one of the characters is based on me. Also, I tried to make the other characters very relatable. I didn’t want there to be one bad guy and one good guy so as the story unfolds you can discover that all the characters have purpose. They all have good qualities and flaws. They all make mistakes, just like real humans all make mistakes.
What is something unique about your book?
The book is Christian as it uses scripture and relates it to modern life. But it is also very raw. There is foul language, sex, drug use, homosexuality, violence, divorce, and adultery throughout the book. I wanted real obstacles that plague real people (even Christians) to be presented in a graphic way. Didn’t sugar coat anything. I did this on purpose because I wanted real people to be able to relate to it and learn from it. I wanted to show sinners, like me, that despite all that you have done or been through God is still there and He still loves you.
What do you hope people will gain from reading your work?
I want lessons to be learned and hope to be restored. I want people to know that they are not obligated to stay in an abusive relationship. To know that social injustice is rampant in the American judicial system and there needs to be changes. I want people to know that God is always there waiting for you and that if you take one step toward Him, he will take several steps toward you. To know that being judgemental and condemning others is harmful. I want people to realize that none of us is perfect and that when we make mistakes we should confess, repent, get up, and press on.
What advice can you share with aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Write with your entire heart and do not hold back. You are going to have some who love your book for its realness and some that are uncomfortable with it. But when you write with your heart, your book is liable to be a blessing to others.
How do you hope to proceed with your writing career in the next five years?
I have a few ideas for spin-offs floating around in my head.
Any final thoughts to share with your readers about you and your book?
Please check out 200 Letters which is available on Amazon and free with Kindle Unlimited. I hope this book is a blessing to you.
Thank you so much Amy Watkins to sharing your book with us! I hope to see a lot more books from you in the future! Pick up your copy of the book 200 Letters on Amazon (U.S., Canada, U.K.), and stay in touch with her on Facebook and her Author Page.
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