Blog Tour: "Amelia Unabridged" by Ashley Schumacher | Q&A
Hello and welcome to the blog, where today I’ll be posting a Q&A with author Ashley Schumacher in celebration of the recent release of Amelia Unabridged, a gorgeously-written, beautiful love story about grief and finding a new way forward after tragedy.
The book came out Feb. 17, 2021 and I had the chance to read an Advance Review Copy thanks to the publisher and my participation in this blog tour.
I absolutely adored this book, which is the story of 18-year-old Amelia Griffin attempting to come to terms with the death of her best friend, Jenna. She takes a trip to a nearly-magical town and meets a boy with his own struggles and griefs, and it’s just such a loving story about trauma and recovery.
There are incredible side characters who bring the story to life as well as a dog whom I absolutely adored.
Ashley Schumacher is a debut author whose website bio indicates she “[loves] to read, watch Disney movies, play stupid amounts of video and board games with my husband, hand embroider, browse used bookstores for hidden treasures, play the piano, and occasionally leaf through the dozens of fairytale and folktale anthologies I keep buying “for research”.”
I was so stoked to hop on this blog tour and have the chance to send Ashley some questions, so with no further ado — here are her answers!
Why do you write? It’s maybe a cliché answer, but I write because I must. Writing is my favorite way of making sense of the world around me, which is in large part due to being a lifelong reader. I see the world in words, and it’s exhausting to carry them around in my head for too long without putting them down on paper.
What was the inspiration for Amelia Unabridged? I find inspiration for my characters and books everywhere: Overheard conversations in the grocery store, articles I read, internet rabbit holes I tumble down when I ought to be writing, movies. AMELIA UNABRIDGED has many roots in many different gardens, but one of my favorite aspects was inspired by the magnificence of whales in the documentary Blackfish. I found the existence of such large, beautiful animals on the same planet as me an oddly comforting thought, so I gave them to—and let them also inspire—Amelia and her journey.
What was one of the most joyful aspects of writing/publishing this book? This is what I always wanted to do. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see my name on the cover of a book, and what an honor to finally see that dream realized. I pinch myself every day that AMELIA UNABRIDGED found such a wonderful home at Wednesday Books. The whole process has been a dream, and it’s thanks in large part to a supportive agent, publishing team, and friends and family.
What part of writing/publishing this post was more difficult? This was my first novel, so the entire experience was a joyful learning curve, but a learning curve all the same. I think it’s always intimidating to know that your work is going to be read by humans other than your most trusted critique partners and friends, but thankfully I had a FANTASTIC team behind me and even this new challenge felt not-so-difficult with them on my side.
Do you have any advice for writers or readers? For writers, give yourself permission to rest. Your creativity will not go dormant if you take time for self-care and recuperation. This is true of all stages of writing and publishing: Drafting, editing, querying, submission. Take a break if you need it. The most important part of any story you’ll write is you, so take care of yourself. For readers, ditto. We live in a world of reading goals and constant pressure to do more and be more, but rest is crucial in all things, even reading. It’s okay to take a break to do something else. I promise that books will welcome you back with open pages when you’re ready.
If you liked this post or were interested in or inspired by Ashley’s answers, please definitely consider ordering the book, which I cannot express enough how much I loved. It was a five-star read for me and I can’t imagine you wouldn’t love it, too!