Monday, November 5, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Amber Stockton

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning best-selling author, speaker, and virtual assistant who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold 14 books so far with more on the horizon. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for Barbour’s Heartsong Presents book club. Read more about her at her web site:

Tiffany has graciously offered to give away a copy of one of her books. See below for details.

Hi Tiffany! Thanks for being with us today. Why don’t you tell me a bit about your family. How many children do you have, and if they still live at home, how old are they?

I have 2 children, ages 3-1/2 and 1-1/2. They obviously still live at home and are quite under foot. :) They were born exactly 2 years, 1 week, and 1 hour apart. I spoke to my son in utero and told him he had to wait until his sister had her 2nd birthday before he arrived. He listened. :)

Wow, they sure are young. You must stay really busy around the house. Why did you choose to work from home rather than find a job elsewhere?

The spring before we discovered we were pregnant, I lost my job of 11 years due to cut-backs and corporate decision to eliminate me because I earned more than any other equivalent employee in my position. The economy at the time made it nearly impossible to find anything to equal my income, so my husband and I talked it over and we decided I’d increase my work from home. That summer, we learned we were expecting, and it solidified our decision. I’ve been working from home ever since and wouldn’t trade a moment of the opportunity to be with my children every day.

What is the most challenging aspect of working from home while raising children?

Time. I don’t have a lot of it with my children so young right now and so dependent upon me to change diapers, get them dressed or help pick out clothes, prepare all their meals, clean up after them, bathe them, etc. Nap time is what I consider my “sacred” time. I worked very hard once my son started giving up his morning nap to get my two children on the same nap schedule. It doesn’t work every day, as either one of them have been known to take short naps or no nap at all from time to time. However, for the most part, they nap 2 to 2-1/2 hours every afternoon, and that gives me a solid block of time to be as productive as I can be. I also work after they go to bed or first thing in the morning before they wake. I snag whatever time I am able to find.

Oh goodness, do I ever sympathize with you. My two kids are three years apart, and I started seriously writing when my youngest was just four months old. It's hard to get ANY extra work besides mommying and housekeeping done some days. Did you ever get your children involved with your home business? What advice would you give mothers thinking about having their children help with their business?

Right now, no. They are too young. But I do encourage them to help me with little things like taping up mailing envelopes, carrying books and other items to the car when we have to make a run to the post office or other errands, and I explain to them the importance of mommy needing to focus on work sometimes while they are awake. I have been blessed with two children who play well together (when they aren’t engaging in typical sibling squabbles) or independently, so when I have a pressing need to complete a task for the publisher for whom I’m a virtual assistant, or work that needs to be done for my writing career, I can usually complete it without too much discipline interruptions. I pray it remains this way and only improves as my children get older. It would be wonderful to have their help with my work at home when they are old enough to be involved.

If you're married, what challenges did working from home present to your marriage, and how did you compensate?
Again, it’s the time. Because I work first thing in the morning, during nap time, and after the children go to bed, my husband and I often have to schedule “us” time. We were both single for the entire decade of our 20’s, and we’ve only been married 5 years this year, so we’re still fairly new at this. However, he is a gamer and when I am busy, he disappears into his gaming world, often not communicating to me that he’d like to spend time together. I try to remember to schedule that time, but removing the spontaneity has forced us to be creative in other ways for our time together. And we often have the conversation about communication to remind each other of the importance of letting the other one know how we feel. We’re both guilty of slipping into our “single” mindset, so it’s a daily practice.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

I often tell people I see every day why authors wait until their children are older before getting started with a writing career. It certainly wasn’t in MY plan to have a career first then a husband and children. My goal was husband and family then career, but God obviously had another plan…and a unique sense of humor. I’ve had to adapt. I’m not sure I’d go back to my original plan or not, as my life now is giving me a substantial amount of content for my speaking career, and it’s forcing me to depend on others to help me through this where if I had it my way, I might not have reached out as much as I do.

As for what I would do the same? That’s easy. I’d choose again to stay home with my children.

I completely understand. It's so hard to find writing time with little kids running around. And I think it's even worse for unpublished writers. I really think if I didn't get my first book contract for Sanctuary for a Lady when I did, I wouldn't still be writing. It took so much of my energy away from my family, and I wasn't even getting paid for it! That's hard. Is it worth it? What keeps you home instead of having an outside career? 

Most definitely! I knew at a young age I only wanted to be a wife and mother, but nearly 15 years of work outside the home helped me see I also needed to work. God provided the means and the opportunity for me to have it all and stay home. It’s a tremendous blessing in so many ways

Oh goodness, are we every opposite. I WOULD have chosen that career before marrying and becoming a mom. But God had different plans, and I found myself pregnant after only nine months of marriage.

Tiffany has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of one of her books to one lucky winner this week. To enter the contest, you need to answer Tiffany's question in the comment section below. The giveaway will end Saturday, November 10 at midnight. Tiffany will be back with us again on Thursday, sharing her breakfast casserole recipe. Yummy!

So, Tiffany's question for you to answer is . . . What do you see as one positive and negative aspect of working from home. Why?

Keep in mind you'll need to answer this question to be entered in the giveaway.

In the meantime, take a look at one of her new novels out this month, Stealing Hearts.

When Grace Baxton comes face-to-face with the thief who broke into her uncle's home, she isn't prepared for meeting Andrew Bradenton—not a young boy out to cause trouble and no hardened criminal, either. The judge sentences Andrew Bradenton to work for the Baxton family, and being forced to see him almost daily, Grace struggles with forgiveness. Out of guilt, Andrew offers to help Grace search for an heirloom book. When a handsome stranger appears with the book in hand, warming Grace's heart and finding favor with her uncle, Grace is torn over her growing attraction for both men. Andrew tries to prove the stranger is up to no good, but after key documents and money go missing from her uncle's safe, Andrew is seen as the guilty party. Will Grace discover the truth in time?


  1. Pro about working at home - choosing my own hours

    Con -- those hours can be interrupted by important people who make you feel guilty with their pouty faces!

  2. being able to be with family and work your own hours but being bugged just when you are into the work

  3. Ah yes, the interruptions are one of my least favorite things, as well as the headache of trying to schedule everything so you have time to work interrupted and don't feel guilty about it!

    Thanks for stopping by, and remember to leave your email address so I have a way of contacting you in case you win!

    1. thanks for the chance to read one of amber's novels...

      i guess determination/dedication would be a huge factor to work from home.

      kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. Whoops! I never hopped over here last week during the feature, although I *did* promote and announce it. Only once though. Last week ended up being a blur, and I find if I don't write down reminders to myself of what I need to do, it gets forgotten.

    But, Karen, Lola, and Melissa...thanks for stopping by. I'll wait to hear from Naomi on the winner of my book, Stealing Hearts, then I'll get it in the mail this week.