Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Romantic Reads: The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston

Interview with Amy Clipston about her book, 
The Heart of Splendid Lake

Congratulations on the release of your new novel today! Happy BOOK Birthday to The Heart of Splendid Lake! Let’s talk about it …

Alexis: Why did you write this book?

Amy: I enjoy reading contemporary romance novels, and I wanted to try to write my own. I came up with the idea for The Heart of Splendid Lake, and my agent and I pitched it to my publisher. I’m so grateful for the chance to share this story, which is very close to my heart.

Alexis: How did you dream up these characters? Did you use real-life people/movie stars as inspiration?

Amy: A few characters were inspired by people in my life, and some of the names are also special as well. As for Scott Gibson, the real estate mogul, he is loosely based on Jack Gibson, my favorite character on the television show “Station 19.” Some of Scott’s backstory is based on Jack’s on the show, but I’m not going to give that away. For Brianna, I imagined actress Olivia Holt, and for her fiancé, Taylor Reese, I envisioned Alberto Frezza, who also is an actor from “Station 19.”

Alexis: What was the most challenging part of writing this story?

Amy: It was nerve wracking to venture out of Amish fiction, the genre I’ve known and loved for so long. Amish fiction is comfortable for me, and I had to challenge myself to try something new. I learned a lot from writing this book, and I believe it has helped me grow as a writer.

Writing contemporary romance is much different from writing about the Amish, which means I had to think about romance from a different perspective. In an Amish book, holding hands on the porch and watching a sunset is romantic, but in a contemporary book, a romantic scene can take place in a hundred different places. I know what I love about contemporary romance books and movies, so I did my best to channel that into my book. I went through some tough edits, but I’m happy with how the book turned out. I can’t wait to see what readers think.

Alexis: Describe the lakeside town setting of this story. What makes it special to your main characters?

Amy: Splendid Lake is a fictional town set in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville, but in my head I see Schroon Lake, which is a real lake located in the Adirondacks of New York. I spent many summer vacations at Schroon Lake as a child. I remember swimming in the lake, shopping in the little downtown area, and going to the one-screen movie theater. I based the shopping area in Splendid Lake on the little town of Schroon Lake as well and incorporated some of my favorite stores there—the year-round Christmas shop and other little gift shops, an ice cream parlor, and a mini-golf course.

My main characters love the little town, and it’s home to Brianna. It’s where she was born and raised as well as where she wants to stay. She loves the lake and the cherished memories it holds for her.

Alexis: Brianna is the heroine of your story. Tell me about this character. What does she look/sound/act like? What are her hopes and dreams? What is her greatest fear and most troubling flaw?

Amy: I imagine Olivia Holt as Brianna. She has blonde hair and brown eyes, and she is petite. She rarely wears makeup, and she’s most comfortable in casual clothing. Her favorite outfit includes jeans, purple western boots, and a purple hoodie. She sometimes wears a baseball cap emblazoned with a Mustang logo. She enjoys working on boats, and she also has an appreciation for cars. Her hopes and dreams are to settle down at Splendid Lake and keep running the Splendid Lake Cabins and Marina resort, which is her family’s legacy. Her greatest fear is losing her family, and her most troubling flaw is stubbornness and having difficulty asking for help.

Alexis: Why does Brianna choose to stay in the town of Splendid Lake but her sisters choose to leave?

Amy: Brianna loves her lake and the family memories that she has created there. It’s truly her home, and she can’t see herself living anywhere else. She wants to keep the resort alive since it’s part of her family’s legacy.

Alexis: Being an expert boat mechanic is a unique role for a heroine! What made you decide to give her this profession and make her excellent in a trade that most people only think men do?

Amy: To be honest, I chose to make her a boat mechanic in order to create a unique heroine. While Brianna can rebuild a boat engine and work on her Mustang, she also has a feminine side. I wanted to write a memorable heroine who has many layers.

Also, I live in a house with two car mechanics and a third in the making, so I’ve grown accustomed to car talk. I thought it would be fun to have a heroine and hero bond over cars. In fact, I had a lot of fun writing about cars. I asked my older son to choose Scott’s cars, and he told me two of his dream cars. I included many car references, and some of the cars mentioned in the book are vehicles we have owned. And for extra fun, I included a true story about one of my husband’s old Gremlins. Also, Brianna’s dream car is my dream car, but readers will have to check out the book to find out what it is.

Alexis: What does Brianna love most about her home, the resort she runs, and her profession?

Amy: Brianna loves her lake and the family memories it holds for her. It’s truly her home, and she can’t imagine living anywhere else. She enjoys working with her hands and being out in her father’s shop. She appreciates that the resort has been passed down through her family. It’s her dream to spend the rest her life there, running the resort and raising a family.

Alexis: Brianna’s father dies unexpectedly and that sends Brianna into depression. Was she a Daddy’s Girl? Describe her bond with her father and tell me what they shared in common.

Amy: Brianna was not only a Daddy’s Girl, but she also had a special bond with her father. Brianna was more interested in following her father out to his shop than helping her mother in the kitchen. She considered her father one of her best friends, and they talked about everything.

Alexis: How does Brianna’s relationship with her father affect how she relates to men? Does she want to marry a man like her dad? Explain.

Amy: Brianna admires her father and she wants to marry someone like him—loving, easy to talk to, respectful to women, encouraging, hardworking, caring, and thoughtful. Her father always told her that she could do anything she set her mind her—especially when it came to being a mechanic. He told her to never let anyone tell her that she wasn’t capable because she was a woman, and those are words she lives by. She often hears his encouraging voice in her mind when she faces a problem.

Alexis: Scott Gibson is the hero of your story. Tell me about his character. What does he look/sound/act like? What are his greatest strengths and worse weaknesses? What are his dreams for his life?

Amy: Oh, I love Scott! In my mind I imagine Grey Damon, who plays Jack Gibson on my favorite show, “Station 19.” He’s tall and has thick, light-brown hair and baby-blue eyes. He’s thoughtful, trusting, and giving—almost to a fault. His strengths are that he’s hardworking and has a great business sense. He and his best friend built their own commercial real estate firm. His weakness is an occasional internal battle with low self-esteem, despite all of his accomplishments. He dreams of having a family of his own since he had a tough upbringing, but I don’t want to give away too much of his backstory.

Alexis: Why did you choose to make Scott’s profession that of being a real estate broker? What does he love about his job and how does his work play a role in this story?

Amy: I made Scott a real estate broker so that he would have an interest in the resort and also sort of be Brianna’s adversary since he wants to buy it. His interest in the resort and his background working in construction brings Scott and Brianna together but also gives her a reason to not completely trust his intentions. Scott loves his job because he not only built his own company, but he also has a stable income, which was his dream after his tough upbringing.

Alexis: What are Brianna’s first thoughts about Scott other than how handsome he is?

Amy: When Brianna first meets him in the Scott in the bookstore (literally bumps into him), she’s at first embarrassed, but she’s captivated by his sense of humor and their easy banter. Not only do they have an instant attraction, but they seem to just click. She would never dream of cheating on Taylor, her fiancé, but she also enjoys her short conversation with Scott. She’s intrigued by him.

Alexis: What was Scott’s first impression of Brianna? Why?

Amy: Scott also felt the same connection to Brianna that she felt toward him when they first met. He’s not only struck by how attractive she is but also by how they immediately began teasing each other. Scott, however, noticed her engagement ring, and he knew she was off-limits. At the same time, he also didn’t forget her. He recognized her when he met her again on the beach, and he wanted to know more about her.

Alexis: What is it about Brianna that makes Scott want to pursue her and win her heart?

Amy: Scott is immediately drawn to Brianna. However, he’s aware that she’s engaged and respects that. He would never dream of trying to come between her and her fiancé, Taylor, but he almost can’t stop his heart from longing for her. He enjoys their playful banter that comes naturally to them. He also is intrigued by her mechanical abilities and love of cars, which they bond over. Scott feels comfortable with her, and their conversations come easily. He believes that Taylor doesn’t treat her the way she deserves to be treated, but he tries to keep his opinions to himself.

Alexis: What is it about Scott that makes Brianna want to explore a relationship with him?

Amy: Scott calms her, but she doesn’t realize it until late in the story. When he sits quietly with her on the beach in Chapter 1, she almost instantly calms down. His presence is a balm to her soul during many of her tough times in the book. He also listens to her and offers her help, even when she insists she’s doing just fine by herself. He seems to know what she needs without her having to ask. She also enjoys his sense of humor, their fun conversations, and his love of super-cool cars. And he’s also really handsome, which doesn’t hurt!

Alexis: What brings Scott and Brianna together and what threatens to drive them apart?

Amy: They are brought together by the resort as they work together to get it ready for the summer season, and they are driven apart by Brianna’s loyalty to Taylor. Their doubts about their feelings for each other and how they could possibly make a relationship work is another roadblock. Scott also doesn’t believe he’s good enough for Brianna, and Brianna sometimes wonders if his intentions are true or if he’s only helping her to get the resort.

Alexis: What does Brianna’s fiancé think of Scott? How does he feel about this competition?

Amy: Oh, poor Taylor! He immediately feels threatened by Scott the first time he meets him and from then on, he can’t stand the sight of him. Taylor is furious every time he finds Scott at the resort, but at the same time, he’s never around when Brianna needs him.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story?

Amy: I hope readers find that The Heart of Splendid Lake is a wholesome, inspiring story about family and finding strength through tough times. I hope readers find solace and encouragement in the book.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Amy! Do you have closing comments?

Amy: Thank you so much for hosting me on your awesome blog! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get to know you and also to share my book with your readers.

Author Bio:

Amy Clipston is an award-winning bestselling author and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She’s sold more than one million books, and her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories.

She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan University and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America.

Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte (NC) and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and six spoiled rotten cats.

Book purchase links for The Heart of Splendid Lake can be found on Amy’s website: https://amyclipston.com/books/the-heart-of-splendid-lake/

The Heart of Splendid Lake book blurb:

Bestselling author Amy Clipston transports readers to a picturesque lakeside town in this heartwarming contemporary romance. 

Brianna is the youngest of the three Porter sisters and the only one who chose to stay in the small town of Splendid Lake, North Carolina. She followed in her father’s footsteps and became an expert boat mechanic, helping him run their small resort with cabin rentals, a convenience store, and a marina.

When Brianna’s father unexpectedly dies, Brianna is steeped in grief and guilt—then left alone to clean up the mess. To make matters worse, a constant stream of real estate brokers begins marching through her property, offering to buy the family land. In particular, she keeps running into handsome real estate mogul Scott Gibson.

As Brianna struggles to keep it all together, Scott finds his way into her heart. And as the two fight against their feelings, they just might find themselves forging a surprising and exciting new love at Splendid Lake.

Connect with Amy:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amy_clipston/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyClipston
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2765728.Amy_Clipston
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-clipston
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyclipston/
Website: www.AmyClipston.com
Online bookstore: www.gumroad.com/amyclipston

*U.S. Residents ONLY: Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting me on your beautiful blog!

  2. I love Amy's Amish books and I am looking forward to reading something new by her.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.