Monday, July 24, 2017

AMY MARTINSEN, a very talented author

I am so excited to tell you about Amy Martinsen, a wonderful author and an amazing person, whom I greatly admire. I asked her if I could interview her and post it on my blog. Someone suggested I read her book, Changing Worlds. I loved it and am now a fan. Below are the covers of two of her books that I have read and love along with my interview. I hope you will take a minute and read through it. Her books can be purchased at

Anna Barrett works for Kamp Keepers, a company that hires BYU students to help out at girls’ camps all over the country. Her latest assignment takes her to the dense forest of Kentucky and Camp Boughlynch, owned by Sylvia Boughlynch and her two sons. Anna finds herself drawn to the handsome Daniel Santini, who confides that he took the Kamp Keepers job to lay low after joining the LDS Church and leaving his mafia family’s organized crime ring.

Everyone at the camp is required to wear a tracking device at all times, and Billy and Bobby Boughlynch forbid even the staff from going near a certain storage shed. Daniel and Anna suspect the sinister brothers are involved in illegal activities, using the girls’ camp as a front. When Billy and Bobby discover Anna knows too much, it seems they will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

But the troubles at Camp Boughlynch are only the beginning for Anna and Daniel as they fall in love and face the wrath of his family. Can she find the faith and inner strength to accept his past? And will the pair survive the mafia to build a future of their own?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if obituaries told the truth? The people of a small town in Montana don t have to wonder because they have Lizzy Langston, the secret obituary writer for the local newspaper. With information she receives at an anonymous email address, she produces mostly humorous, sometimes poignant, but always truthful obituaries that magically appear between sections A and B of the morning paper.
When several cryptic emails question the official details of a man s death, Lizzy elicits the help of handsome detective Jackson Clark. Together, they travel halfway around the world to search for answers . . . and maybe even find love along the way.
With mystery, romance, and a hefty helping of humor, The Secret Obituary Writer will keep you entertained until the very last page

1. What was your inspiration for The Secret Obituary Writer? 
Well, first off, my publisher wanted me to write something humorous, so I had that in the back of my mind. But several years ago I read a book where one of the characters was an older man who wrote obituaries for the local newspaper - that was his only job. If he liked you, you received a glowing obituary - if he didn't, you maybe got a few lines. I just thought this was so funny and could see it actually happening somewhere. I put this character together with the idea of having obituaries tell the "whole" story about someone's there you have it. Every time I've asked someone "what if obituaries told the truth?" they've I felt I was on the right track.

2. What was your favorite obituary to write? 
I'd have to say, Darwin Strayhorn. I actually wrote this obituary as I was still formulating the idea for the book. He just kind of walked into my mind, sat down in a Starbucks and gave in to a Mini Frappuccino...I laughed out loud. Poor Darwin.

3. What advice would you give to beginning writers  
Well, I still feel like a beginning writer, so....I don't know. The only thing I feel worthy to share is my work ethic, which is to simply keep writing - every day if you can. Just keep at it! Because of some caregiving responsibilities that are mine and will be for a while, I've had to learn to write when and where I can. But I feel if you keep trying, the ideas and inspiration will come...but the work and effort have to come first.
4. What's next? 
I'm working on a continuation of The Secret Obituary Writer...just not through with Lizzy and Jackson and all those people in Cutlip, Montana. I'm about a third of the way through and hope to have a rough draft by the end of summer. I also have a few other ideas for completely different novels that keep elbowing their way into my thoughts. I just need that quiet cabin in the woods with no responsibilities that all we writers long for....ha!
Amy Martinsen was born in Mesa, Arizona and has lived in the same neighborhood, on the same block and with the same people her entire life. She loves these people and has learned that you don’t have to travel to remote places to find fascinating stories; they are all around you if you are willing to listen and learn.
Amy received a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University. She is the author of “The Tower of Babel and the Teaching of Grammar: Writing Instruction for a New Century” published in the September 2000 English Journal and the short story Lilly’s Photograph by Moose Enterprise in October 2002. She is the author of two novels: Changing Worlds published by Walnut Springs Press in 2015 and The Secret Obituary Writer published by Walnut Springs Press in 2016.

She loves to hear a reader have the “I just have to know what’s going to happen next” moment and strives to achieve that in her stories. Learn more about Amy and her writing at