Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace Series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including Christianbook, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the city of Charlotte, NC.
In this interview, Amy talks with us about her most recent novel, Something Old, Something New.
FF: What inspired the story in your new book?
I was first inspired to write Something Old, Something New when my husband, Joe, and I attended a car show in Oakboro, a small town in North Carolina. While we stood on the main street, I took in a few antique stores lining the road and thought, “I need to write a book about a young woman who owns an antique store.”
Soon after, the main character Christine came to life in my mind, and then the story began to form. I hope readers enjoy spending time in Flowering Grove, my fictional small North Carolina town, and getting to know Christine and Brent.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Something Old, Something New centers on Christine and Brent. Christine runs an antique store located on Main Street in Flowering Grove and she always felt inferior to her fraternal twin sister, Britney, who was the popular and beautiful twin. Britney was homecoming queen and cheerleader and dated Brent, the quarterback and captain of their high school football team. Christine loves her sister and adores her sweet nieces, but she secretly wishes she could find a love like her sister has with her husband.
Although Brent was the quarterback of the high school team and homecoming king, his life changed when an injury ended his college football career. Since then, he moved away and started a construction business that failed thanks to his so-called best friend. Now he has returned to Flowering Grove, to help his great-aunt get her house ready to sell. His plan is to help his great-aunt and then leave Flowering Grove and his painful past in his rearview mirror for good.
When Christine and Brent run into each other, they form an unexpected friendship. As they work together cleaning out his aunt’s house, they realized something is sparking between them, but Brent is convinced he isn’t good enough for Christine since his life is in shambles, and Britney’s disapproval of their relationship offers even more complications.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Christine’s relationship with her fraternal twin sister, Britney, surprised me the most. When I plotted the book, I thought that the core of the story was a romance, but as I began to write, I realized that it was much more complex and deeper than I expected. Christine and Britney had some important issues that needed to be worked out before the story ended. As I explored Christine, I found that she had been holding in some hurt feelings and pain that Britney had caused her over the years, and she reached a breaking point during the story. I had so much fun writing this book, and I truly believe it is the strongest and best book I’ve ever written.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
I believe everyone loves a good story. Reading is a wonderful escape from the busyness and stress of our everyday lives. We all struggle as humans, and we can relate to stories about people who fall and then recover by holding onto their faith. Authors weave our inspirational messages through our stories, and hopefully our messages are a balm to the souls of our readers who need to feel God’s love and grace.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
I’m working on more contemporary romances, but my next book that will release is Breaking New Ground, the third in my Amish Legacy Series. This book is coming April 11th, and it’s the Korey’s story. Korey is the middle Bontrager, and I know that he’s not a favorite among my readers. Korey Bontrager knows he’s been a stinker. When his widowed dad remarried, Korey was unwelcoming to his kindhearted stepmother. Then he became estranged from his older brother. But after fourteen months in Ohio, God called Korey home to make amends. This book gives Korey a chance to redeem himself, and I promise that he will have to work for it.
FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Since Brent works in construction and is getting his great-aunt’s house ready to sell, I drove my husband crazy with my constant random questions about home improvement projects. I also did quite a bit of research online, reading about home remodeling, tools, and supplies. It was a fun book to write, and I’m always grateful for my husband’s patience with my questions.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
In Something Old, Something New Christine followed her passion to sell antiques. She found her love of antique malls when she was a little girl and would go on antiquing adventures with her grandmother. It was always her dream to open her own antique mall and fulfilling that dream has brought great joy to her life. I hope that my readers can follow their passions and make their own dreams come true. As for Brent, he reluctantly returns to Flowering Grove and is forced to face the pain and heartbreak of his past, but in doing so, he finds the courage to start over and work on his fractured relationship with his father. I hope that readers can find courage to start over or fix broken relationships that they might have in their own lives. Lastly, the story is an example of how love can blossom in even the strangest of circumstances. So, I hope readers never give up on love.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in this genre?
Something Old, Something New is my third contemporary romance. My challenge with each of these books has been to not only tell a unique story, but also to infuse the book with emotion. I work hard to write heartfelt romances that include relatable characters and interesting plots. I hope readers enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
I love books with a good story that also include a romance thread. While enjoying short writing break earlier this year, I had a blast listening to books by Denise Hunter, Melissa Ferguson, Kathleen Fuller, and Bethany Turner. I highly recommend their novels!
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
The faith element in Something Old, Something New is very subtle. I used faith to mold both Christine and Brent, but their faith is shone in different ways. Christine is very close to her family members. She adores her nieces, and even though her fraternal twin sister, Britney, drives her crazy at times, she loves her sister. Family is her number one priority, and she interacts with them almost daily. While family is a priority to Brent, he has a strained relationship with his father. He does, however, drop everything to come back to his hometown to help his great-aunt, and he is close to his sister. Brent is also a giving and caring man, who is more interested in taking care of others than himself. He truly reflects Jesus’s teachings in the ways that he takes care of his aunt as well as Christine. He is one of my favorite heroes, and I can’t wait to see what readers think of his character.
Something Old, Something New
A Sweet Contemporary Romance
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Small Town Romance
Release Date: January 3, 2023
Sometimes treasure can be found where you least expect it.
In the decade since high school graduation, Christine Sawyer has realized her dream of opening Treasure Hunting Antique Mall, the place where shoppers find gems that are new to them. Between her store, her house, and her role as a doting aunt, she’s happy with her life—if a bit lonely. But she’s used to being less lucky in love than her fraternal twin sister. Britney was always the popular one, the lead cheerleader who dated the homecoming king and quarterback, while Christine stayed in the shadows.
Brent Nicholson is still trying to come to grips with the shambles his life has become. After leading his football team to a state championship, he suffered a career-ending injury. Now he’s lost his construction business thanks to his so-called best friend. So when his great aunt Midge asks for his help readying her home to put it on the market, the opportunity to spend time with his biggest fan is a balm to his bruised soul.
But the antiques Brent finds in his aunt’s house lead him to an unexpected partnership with Christine. After being blind to her for so many years, is it too late for the former high school jock to win the heart of the self-proclaimed “nerdy twin”?
As they shift through things of the past, Christine and Brent learn to let go of the pieces they don’t want to bring into the future—and realize the value of what’s in front of them today.
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