Monday, October 5, 2015

Interview with 'His Rebel Heart' Amber Leigh Williams

Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she lives for beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband and two children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones and two large dogs she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, His Rebel Heart.

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Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

My priority when I’m not writing is my family. I have two very young children so I feel fortunate to work from home because it allows me to be there for them from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. My husband and I love trail riding so on weekends we wait for a good weather, break out the bicycles, kiddies in tow, and exercise and take in some fresh air. The Gulf Coast of Alabama is a beautiful place so we try to take advantage of it as much as we can.

When did you start writing?

I began writing in the third grade when by chance I discovered this hidden pocket of detailed stories in my head. Writing came naturally to me because I was terribly introverted. Through the years, writing has become my passion and my craft. It’s always been my best way of expressing myself.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Getting contracted by Harlequin for the first time was pretty huge. I read my first series romance novel when I was fourteen and I remember thinking that that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. To see that dream come true was very exciting. HIS REBEL HEART is my third book with Harlequin Superromance, but I still get a little thrill when I tell people “I’m a Harlequin romance writer.”

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Where wouldn’t I go? I love exploring new places through my work. I would love to go to Tuscany. I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and Ireland, not to mention Paris and the French countryside. I would love to explore Canada and Alaska. My next trilogy will take place in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It would be fabulous to do a trip there…you know, for research! My grandmother has a lakehouse in north Alabama. It’s the perfect place for writing, inspiration, and deep thoughts. 

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I’m so torn over this because there are just never enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do. I would write. I would spend more playtime with my preschooler and more cuddle time with my infant. I would definitely need at least half an hour to soak in a hot bath with a cup of tea and a good book. That sort of luxury has been hard to come by lately.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Great question! The answer would have to be Scotland. I recently found out that my mother’s family comes from the Isle of Skye and Clan McLeod. There’s a castle called Dunvegan that’s linked to my ancestors as well as fairy pools and hills I would love to explore in real life as well as through the eyes of my characters. There’s something magical about Scotland.

Back to your present book, His Rebel Heart, how did you publish it?

HIS REBEL HEART is the third book in my hometown series published by Harlequin Superromance. The series revolves around four friends who live in Fairhope, Alabama (my real life hometown). This book is the story of Adrian, the single mother of the group.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I don’t live all that far from Fairhope now so whenever I needed a little inspiration, it was easy just to get in my car and drive to the Eastern Shore. I take advantage of any excuse to go to Fairhope. It’s peaceful, charming, and the pace of life on the shore is always a great way to detox and bring me back down to earth. The characters take a trip by sailboat in the book to Fort McRee, which is on the Alabama-Florida line. I’ve never been there, but my husband and his brothers camped there for years. There was a shipwreck that washed up there recently. Intriguingly, the fort and shipwreck can only be accessed by water.

Why was writing His Rebel Heart so important to you?

It felt important to tell Adrian’s story as well as the other characters’ because I’ve never written a heroine with such strength of spirit and who’s overcome so much to be all she is when the reader meets her in the first chapter. She’s fierce. The hero, James, really pulled at me, too. It’s rare for a character to come to me fully fleshed out or three-dimensional. I usually start out with an idea or a bare-bones personality and I have to build on that organically as I’m writing. Pretty much every detail of James hit me all at once. He’s a complex character and a fascinating one and it was a pleasure to tell his story as well. He’s also really, really sexy…which didn’t hurt at all!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Ideas come from everywhere. The best way to receive ideas is to live life. I can’t afford to sit around and pry them out of my mind one after the other. Ideas definitely spring to me faster if I’m going about my day-to-day routine or exploring the world and having adventures with my family.

Any final words?

Thank you for having me! If you don’t mind the ramblings of a book mommy fairly obsessed with the written word, chocolate truffles, wine, flip-flops, and kilted heroes, feel free to follow me on Facebook ( or Twitter (!

About the Book:

Title: His Rebel Heart
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Pages: 380
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your new next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he's back. And Adrian's desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn't enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James. But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay.

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