I love Authors Interview 21
Welcome everyone to I love Authors Interview 21. My special guest with me on the couch today is Amy Young – Let’s all give Amy a warm welcome.
Hello, Amy, you are the author of Love, Amy which is currently on tour with Celebrate Lit 19th April – 2nd May. Wow, this is the last day of the tour so you folks need to enter Amy’s GIVEAWAY fast to have a chance of winning. Well jump to it, you’ll find the link at the bottom of the post!
Amy, my couch on a desert island is far from your time in China. However, it provides me with a great opportunity to get to know some little-known facts about you. I love doing these interviews! (She says with a smile and a twinkle in her eye!)
Let’s dive in right away Amy
What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?
Amy – After many years of having uncomfortable furniture in China, I have found that if I have a decent sofa, I can live about anywhere. So, a bed, a comfy reading chair, and a soft—but firm—sofa.
I think after your time in China you deserve all three items. How about this one? You could talk to it as well. (Note – dog not provided)
Let’s talk books
What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?
Amy – Since I only get one, I am going to choose a very long book. Years ago I read Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I would either reread that book because it contains so much history I find fascinating and life lessons I will need when I get off the island: how to love and work with “rivals.” This is a message our world needs today. For years I have been meaning to read The Bully Pulpit (also by Goodwin) about Teddy Roosevelt and the golden age of journalism. The size is the main reason I haven’t gotten around to it! So, I’d try and sneak that one along too!
Well, you certainly would have time to read both of those. From reading the blurb on Team of Rivals it sounds like a great read, I like the part that says Abraham Lincoln saved America by appointing his fiercest rival to key cabinet positions. That is both a great concept and one that would challenge any present Government. I love this idea. I might propose it to the English Prime minister! (Oh don’t get me started on politics.)
I think we need to move on to more about you
On the island you have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?
Amy – My first job? Junior high math teacher. I backed into this writing gig. I moved to China in an era before the internet existed and I wanted to communicate with both my family and my church/supporters. The only way to communicate was through handwritten letters. I wrote monthly newsletters than ended up chronicling my life and ministry. At the same time, I wrote long letters. These I mailed to my parents who faithfully photocopied and mailed them to family and close friends.
And later on?
I began to think of myself years later when I started my blog The Messy Middle. At that time, I felt like my voice in my job was being shut down. Feeling voiceless in your own life is agonizing, it was through that blog I regained my voice and found that people, in fact, do enjoy engaging with me.
I can identify with that Amy, the feeling of being voiceless. It is agonizing without a doubt and I am so glad that you have shared your voice with us all. I know it will enrich others
Tell us more about yourself
I know you like writing but do you have another passion?
Amy – Oh yes! I love watching the Denver Broncos when it comes to football and the Kansas Jayhawks when it comes to college basketball.
So a lover of sport. It’s good to have a hobby that is outside of writing. I expect you missed those when you were in China, on the other hand, you were too busy to miss them.
We can’t leave without talking food!
You are allowed on a favourite meal on the island what would it be?
Amy – I would order my favorite Chinese meal: Chicken and peanuts, spicy twice-fried green beans, and spicy deep fried potatoes. If I’m really stuck on a desert island, I’m not sure so much spicy food would be wise, but it sure would be tasty!!
Sounds delicious Amy, I can almost smell the fragrance from here!
Sadly, that is all we have time for, but it has been a pleasure meeting you Amy. You have introduced a couple of interesting books as well. I wish you success with your blog tour.
Amy – Thank you, Margaret, for inviting me.
Please give a standing ovation for Amy Young.
Don’t forget Amy’s GIVEAWAY at the end of the page.
I love Authors Interview 21 was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak, supporter of alternative interviews. If you have enjoyed this post please check some of my other interviews. Many thanks.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Book
Title: Love, Amy
Author: Amy Young
Release Date: June, 2017
She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose.
About the Author
Amy Young is a writer, speaker, and advocate for embracing the messy middle of your one glorious life.
She is the author of Looming Transitions, Twenty Two Activities for Families in Transition, and The Looming Transitions Workbook, and also created the blog The Messy Middle (www.messmiddle.com). Amy has been a part of Velvet Ashes, (an online community for missionaries) from the beginning, and contributes regularly to A Life Overseas. Ms Young enjoys nothing more than being with her people, wherever they are in the world. She also enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and Kansas Jayhawks. After nearly twenty years in China, she returned to Denver and much to her shock, discovered the joys of gardening.
Guest Post from Amy Young
The tug for a life that is “Anything but Boring”
When I was in college the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Sarah Plain and Tall changed my life. You’ve probably seen it and been moved too. Sarah, a spinster by the standard of her day, moves from Boston to the fields of Kansas to consider marrying a widower and help him raise his children and work his farm. Her brother could not understand why Sarah would move from so-called civilization to the middle of nowhere. But the longing she felt for her life to matter resonated deeply with me.
I was in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood. Like Sarah, I knew I could stay where I was and live a good life, but I wanted more. And so I moved to China.
Change the world stories
Our world is one that loves big, change-the-world stories. I love them too. Notably, I remember reading The End of the Spear, the story of Jim Elliott and his friends who were martyred for their faith. Also, I lost myself in the stories of Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Lottie Moon, and Amy Carmichael. Furthermore, I remember reading about a missionary that had some worm pulled out of his stomach that was the size of a large snake. Disgusting! Fascinating! All for the gospel!
The life of faith was exciting and God was on the move all the time! While it is true, the life of faith is exciting and God is on the move, it is also ordinary, boring, disappointing, and confusing. When I started compiling the letters I wrote from my days in China, I was embarrassed by what “first year Amy” said. She was so clueless, so uninformed, so willing to display her lack of cultural knowledge. I wanted to put my hand over her mouth and ask her to please pipe down because she did not really believe what she was saying. But she did, “first year Amy” could not know what “fifteen year in China Amy” knew.
These change the world stories I love? Turns out they have been more sanitized than I realized without showing the cultural and ministry progression that must have taken place.
Wanting my life to matter
Even now, knowing what I know, part of me wishes my newsletters contained miracles and throngs coming to Christ because of my work. I thought throngs and miracles were what a “real” cross-cultural worker would do. I thought that would show that my life mattered, like Sarah’s when she moved to Kansas. Don’t we all want our lives to matter?
I believed that mattering was measurable. By compiling and writing this book the lesson Love, Amy has taught me is that too often we confuse size with significance. I still hear the whisper that says, “Amy, really? You wrote about the cultural beliefs that influence standing in line and you think that is worth people giving of their prayer, money, and time?” Part of me is reluctant even now to publish these letters because they are common. In truth, I am happy with my life and the contributions I have made. Of course, I have regrets and wish I’d handled certain situations differently. But if all we hear are the spectacular stories, we can miss the gift our beautifully ordinary lives can be.
Jesus makes the insignificant matter
Who made it into the Gospels? A widow and her two mites. A boy and his few fish. She is described as offering out of her poverty. His common lunch was used to feed more than he could have imagined. Jesus did not tend to elevate those in power or those who seemed impressive.
My first year, a fellow teacher in China told me, “You’re lucky you’re still in your first year. Wait until your second year and you have told all your stories. You’ll have nothing to say in your newsletters.” Isn’t that the heart of what we fear—that we will have nothing to say with our lives? The secret to combating this fear is not that secretive. Show up and be present. Taken individually, these letters don’t add up to much, but put them together and much to my surprise, month after month I wrote an accidental memoir.
As ordinary as it is, I do have to say, life in China was anything but boring! If you love memoirs and want to hear stories that will make you laugh or cringe (and sometimes both), join me on a college campus in China.
Reading Is My SuperPower, April 19
Inklings and notions , April 20
Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, April 20
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21
Mary Hake, April 21
Texas Book-aholic, April 22
Carpe Diem, April 23
A Baker’s Perspective, April 24
Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26
Pursuing Stacie, April 27
Lots of Helpers, April 27
Bibliophile Reviews, April 28
proud to be an autism mom, April 29
A Greater Yes, April 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30
Janices book reviews, April 30
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1
Bigreadersite, May 2
margaret kazmierczak, May 2 (Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a grand prize of a letter writing basket that includes a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!