Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Edge of Belonging: Interview and Giveaway


Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400

Scroll down for the giveaway!

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother's estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo framesshe provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved. In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truthboth the search for it and the desire to keep it from otherstakes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

Interview with Amanda Cox,

author of The Edge of Belonging

Where did your love of books come from?

I can’t remember a time in which books were not a part of my life. My parents read to me before bed and took me to story time at the library. They weren’t the type to let me buy a new toy just because I wanted it, but they always said yes to books.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my very first story for publication when I was seven. It didn’t end up getting published, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort on my part! My parents recently unearthed a copy of it from their archives of kid crafts, and I got to read it to my own kids. It was really fun, seeing similar ways my storyteller’s brain worked back then that still endures in my writing today. That writing dream went dormant for about twenty years. I picked that childhood dream back up about ten years ago.


How do you write? Any backstory to your choice?

My very first novel-length work I wrote entirely in longhand, in a series of journals. I don’t write that way anymore, but if there is a particularly emotional scene, I always write it longhand first. There is something about pen and paper that is more connected to my heart.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The very first few drafts of this story were as a single-timeline novel. As time went on it became clear that something was missing, that the story was not quite complete in its original form. So, I went through the process of making some very tough decisions on the cutting-room floor, cutting out half of a story I loved in order to write and weave together a new timeline. It took several tries to create a new timeline that I was happy with. That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done writing-wise. But in the end that hard work paid off, and this story became my first published work.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The characters. This cast of characters felt so real to me from the very beginning. And though they are each broken in their own ways, it was really fun writing a redemptive, restorative path for them. I hope that comes through as people read this story.


How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

My degree in counseling has made a huge impact on the way I develop characters and take them through an authentic change process. I really tap into that education to think about what events would change my characters, with their particular personality type, and how it would change them.


Do you have a favorite character in The Edge of Belonging and why?

Each of the characters has a special place in my heart, each for different reasons. But Harvey stood out to me from the first lines I wrote of his story. He’s a complex character with very simple desires in his life. Or so he thinks. His life has taught him that extreme independence is the same thing as safety and that love is something he can witness but never experience for himself. But the story quickly develops to show that, though he struggles to express himself and despite all he’s been through, Harvey has a huge capacity to love. There’s a tender nature beneath his rough exterior that I find so endearing, and I think readers will not be able to help loving him too.


What literary character is most like you?

I often tell people that I act a lot like Jane Bennet outwardly, but to those who are a part of my very close inner circle, they’d probably think I was a little more Elizabeth Bennet. Only in their presence does my playful, snarky wit emerge.

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. 
She holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. 
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.

THREE WINNERS  1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag  + $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card  2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
September 1-11, 2020
(U.S. Only)

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Author Interview
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