1. What Inspired you to write Chasing Amanda?
I tend to write about my worst fears, and Chasing Amanda was born while I was running alone down White Ground Road (the road mentioned in the book). There are parts of the road that are very secluded, and I began to see how easily someone could simply disappear. That led me to thoughts of children disappearing, which led me to abduction, and Chasing Amanda.
2.What character intrigued you the most as the author? And why?
I was intrigued by many of the characters. Edie has a mysterious way about her. Pastor Lett has been through so much and been put in an incredibly difficult position, and yet she’s able to carry on from day-to-day. Probably the most intriguing to me, though, was one that would be considered a spoiler, so I’ll have to keep that person to myself.
3.What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your latest novel?
I was surprised at how scary the idea of a second novel was. The actual writing process wasn’t scary, but when it came time to give it to readers, bring it to the public, I was terrified. Megan’s Way had been so well received, that I worried about being able to follow it up with a quality novel and not let my readers down.
Beyond the fear of releasing my book, I discovered that I enjoyed writing a story with a multitude of characters. I wasn’t sure I would be able to flesh out my characters, but truly enjoyed doing so.
4. Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
Yes, there are a few. One thought I would like the readers to come away with is that we must protect and watch our children. I think in this day and age, when everyone has a cell phone to their ear and their eyes trained on a texting keyboard, the family as an interested, engaged unit, falls by the wayside (to some extent). Our children rely on us for protection, and our eyes need to be on them.
The second thought that I hope readers will come away with is, like in Megan’s Way, there are things that people do with their lives, decisions they make, that others may never understand or be privy to, and I believe it’s important not to be too judgmental of others without having all of the facts. In Megan’s Way, Megan’s decision to withhold the name of Olivia’s father was to protect those she loved, and in Chasing Amanda, several key characters have done things that appear to be selfish and wrong, yet when reasons are exposed, some are possibly forgivable (I am being vague so as not to reveal spoilers). I would hope readers will come away with a little more patience in their judgments.
5.If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
Don’t Tell Me I Can’t…or…For Love of Chocolate, Children, and Happiness…or maybe…Boundless Energy
6.If you could travel back in time and meet yourself as a 10 year old what advice would you want to give her?
Wow – great question.
Do everything as you plan to, but tuck away your insecurities. You’re just fine the way you are.
7.If you could live in any book, which one would it be?
Easy! Winnie-The-Pooh. Life is simple and I’d be surrounded by happy friends.
8.What is your favorite quote?
This is embarrassing, but it’s my quote, “Enjoy each and every day, no one else will do it for you.”
About Chasing Amanda & Book Flame Review
"Nine years ago, Molly Tanner witnessed a young girl’s abduction in the busy city of Philadelphia, shifting her occasional clairvoyance into overdrive. Two days later, the girl’s body was found, and Molly’s life fell apart. Consumed by guilt for not acting upon her visions, and on the brink of losing her family, Molly escaped the torturous reminders in the city, fleeing to the safety of the close-knit rural community of Boyds, Maryland.
Molly’s life is back on track, her son has begun college, and she and her husband have finally rekindled their relationship. Their fresh start is shattered when a seven-year-old girl disappears from a local park near Molly’s home. Unable to turn her back on another child and troubled by memories of the past, Molly sets out to find her, jeopardizing the marriage she’d fought so hard to hold together. While unearthing clues and struggling to decipher her visions, Molly discovers another side of Boyds, where the residents–and the land itself–hold potentially lethal secrets, and exposes another side of her husband, one that threatens to tear them apart."
Review: Very few books have been able to get raw emotions out of me and Chasing Amanda just happens to be one of those rare books. Melissa Foster was able to drive so many different types of feelings out of me from anger,sadness,frustration and hope all while keeping me at the edge of my seat.
What really drew me into this novel was the fact that there were many different point of views. I was able to get inside the heads of all the key characters including the abductor and Tracey the little girl who was kidnapped. And even though I knew the thought process of the abductor I loved how the character was still surrounded by suspense and mystery. Not once did I know who it was until the conclusion of it all.
There were many twists and turns in the novel. I was kept guessing the whole time. And being the mother of two daughters myself I believe Foster did an excellent job diving into an issue that is very scary but very real in our society.
If it was possible I would give Chasing Amanda more than 5 stars. It was extremely well written with a lot of depth behind it and an overall message reminding us as parents that our kids are depending on us to keep them safe.