Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Interview with Amber Leigh Williams, Author of Navy SEAL's Match @aleighwilliams #VBT

“I know it’d be better for you if I left.”
“You let me be the judge of that,” she advised.
“The moment you’re burdened by me,” he said, slowly, “I’m out of here.”
She didn’t agree. No. Instead, she raised herself onto her toes.
Gavin’s eyes closed and his breath hitched as her kiss washed breathily over his lips and blew him away. Answers cropped up inside him, bright like candles. His hand moved to the back of her head, no more able to snuff them out than he was to convince her to walk away.”

--From NAVY SEAL’S MATCH by Amber Leigh Williams

Amber Leigh Williams is a romance writer who lives on the US Gulf Coast. She lives for beach days, the smell of real books and spending time with her husband and their two young children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), she can usually be found reading a good book or indulging her inner foodie. Amber is represented by the D4EO Literary Agency.

Amber’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Navy SEAL’S Match.

Book Description:

He believes he can’t be saved—she’ll prove him wrong!

Former SEAL Gavin Savitt always knew who he was—until his last deployment ended tragically. Now he’s home, his mind hijacked by trauma and the shadow of his once-perfect sight. Yet in this new hazy, unclear world, one person stands out—Mavis Bracken.

There are a million reasons why Gavin shouldn’t be with Mavis, including that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Yet he longs for her touch, her freckles and her special way with wild, skittish beasts like him. He just needs the courage to take his life back. And Mavis won’t let him give up without a fight.
Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started writing contemporary romance?

Amber: I began writing contemporary romances because I loved reading them so much. I remember reading Nora Roberts’ Irish Thoroughbred and thinking, “This is what I should be writing.” Who I am as a writer came to be through the process of writing contemporary romances so it’s very much my niche, creatively.

Do you find writing your books comes natural to you or is it a struggle sometimes?

Amber: It’s funny because you would think with every book you write that the process would become easier, but it really doesn’t. I’ve learned to be patient with that, though, because the rough draft of every story has something to teach. That challenge and the learning aspect of the process is what I love most, though I’m not going to lie—it can be grit-your-teeth frustrating.

Can you tell us a little about Gavin Savitt?

Amber: Gavin is a former Navy SEAL. He recently lost his dream job and the better part of his sight and he’s struggling with issues related to PTSD. Going back to civilian life is hard enough without the added difficulties so to say he’s struggling to make a new normal for himself in his post-military life is an understatement. SEALs can be seen as somewhat superhuman, but the most wonderful thing about Gavin I found was how very human he is—and that’s something he struggles with. It’s the heroine, Mavis Bracken, who makes him realize that the part of him that is his humanity and the part of him that feels so deeply and often leads him into trouble is the part of him that is most worth saving. Together, they both set out of do so and learn many things about each other along the way!

Can you tell us a little about the other main characters in your book?

Amber: Mavis is Gavin’s heroine. She was a fascinating person to write. I’ve never written anyone quite like her. Her job is paranormal investigation or “ghost-hunting.” Writing a non-paranormal story around a character who believes in supernatural presences was a fun dynamic. She’s a vegetarian and a bit of a yoga guru. She’s known in town as someone who’s very offbeat, but her family and friends know that she has an extraordinary ability to read people instead of what they project. As Gavin often says, there’s something a little bit “spooky” about Mavis and that’s one of the reasons he keeps coming back to her.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What’s one of the pivotal points in your book?

Amber: From the get-go, we open into Gavin’s new world and civilian life and the anxiety he faces. There’s a moment between him and Mavis in the first chapter in which they really connect, where he sees understanding in her that he hasn’t been able to find anywhere else. He didn’t even know he was looking for it. It’s a real zing moment and it’s the beginning of the bond between them. They bond in a way I’ve struggled to write in the past so to see it come alive on the page the way it did from that initial encounter under the bougainvillea was very exciting. I hope readers feel the same way about it!

What would you like to say to your readers and fans?

Amber: I was inspired to write Navy SEAL’s Match by servicemen and -women who had the courage to speak and write about their struggles with PTSD. I tried my best to make Gavin’s transition from SEAL to civilian as authentic as possible. If I succeeded, it’s because of those who live with these struggles in real life every day, sometimes long after their service is over. I think of those who were moved to tell me about their experience daily, including the families who supported a great many of them through their journey. This book is very much for them.

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