An avid reader and history buff since childhood, award-winning author and journalist Amanda Lauer is the author of the Heaven Intended Civil War series. A World Such as Heaven Intended won the 2016 CALA Award and A Freedom Such as Heaven Intended earned the 2022 Catholic Media Book Awards: First Place Catholic Novels: Inspirational. In addition, Lauer has written two time-travel novels, Anything But Groovy and Royal & Ancient and she contributed short stories to the anthologies Treasures: Visible & Invisible and Ashes: Visible & Invisible, and worked with Archduke Eduard Habsburg to bring his children’s tale Dubbie: The Double-Headed Eagle to life. Lauer and her husband John have been married 42 years, have four grown children, a daughter-in-law, three sons-in-law, and eight precious grandchildren.  Introduction: On October 2, 2023, Amanda Lauer will see her eighth Catholic fiction novel published. Royal & Ancient is a YA (young adult) time-travel tale set in Scotland in 1691 on the verge of the infamous Glencoe Massacre. This is Amanda’s first book with Chrism Press, and it’s their first foray into YA novels. She is currently under contract with WhiteCrown, an imprint of Chrism Press, for her book Lucky & Blessed, a story set in England during the reign of King Henry VIII. That book is scheduled to be released on September 1, 2024

There are prolific writers, and then there are PROLIFIC writers. Amanda Lauer is one of the latter. I’ve loved all of Amanda’s books, and so I’m thrilled to see her publish yet another masterpiece. I’m honored to post this Q&A with an author I respect and admire.

1) What inspired you to become an author of Catholic novels?

I’ve spent my career as a proofreader and journalist. Like all journalists, I had a deep desire to write my own book someday. I love historic romances, but wanted to create sweet romances, something that I’d want to read myself, ones that someday I’d feel honored to have my children and grandchildren read. When I wrote my first book, A World Such as Heaven Intended, I thought I’d completed my goal and would be resuming my “real” career. But, within a week, readers were asking for a sequel, so that was the launch of my new career as an author. I write in the Catholic realm because, as a lifelong Catholic, that’s what I know and can write best. 

2) How was your interest in time travel sparked?

One of my favorite books as a child was A Wrinkle In Time. I think I may have checked that book out of St. John’s Catholic School library in Antigo, Wisconsin, more than any other student in the school. 

3) How did you choose the topic for Royal & Ancient? 

This is my second time travel book. The first, Anything But Groovy, was set at St. John’s back in 1974. My supposed 13-year-old daughter gets a concussion and falls back in time to my 7th-grade life. The second time around, I wanted to do another YA story, but one with historical roots. I’ve always had a love for Scotland and recently, through DNA testing, found out that I have Scottish heritage. In researching, I learned of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692, when a Catholic clan was massacred by British soldiers after a neighboring clan turned them in for continuing to practice the Catholic faith, even after it had been outlawed in Scotland. It’s a serious topic, but there are numerous light moments in the book as a modern 17-year-old girl learns to negotiate life in an ancient land without modern amenities. In the meantime, she meets the young man of her dreams, so she isn’t so sure she wants to return to her modern life. 

4) What is your goal for this book?

Like all my work, I want it to fulfill my mission statement: My purpose in life is to write wholesome, unforgettable stories that align with my faith and values to touch the hearts of countless people worldwide. I pray that a wide audience will read this book and that people will have a greater appreciation for the Catholic Church after learning more about it. 

5) What has been the biggest surprise for you in your career as an author?

I always thought that writing the actual manuscript would be the hardest part of writing. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Marketing is everything when it comes to writing. If you don’t market effectively, no one will ever read your stories. You have to treat marketing like it’s another part-time job. 

6) What’s your greatest dream as an author?

That at least one of my books will be produced as a film or television series. We’re working diligently towards that goal. We’ll see where God leads us. 

Keep your eyes on the Chrism Press website for the official release of Royal & Ancient:

Keep your eyes on Amanda’s website for news about pre-orders and special announcements:

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