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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Interview with Amanda Cox & a Giveaway

By Deena Adams

I’m super excited to welcome Amanda Cox to the blog this week. I had the pleasure of being a launch team member for her second dual timeline novel, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery, which released yesterday. It’s fabulous and I can’t recommend it enough!

One lucky reader will win a paperback copy of Amanda’s new book. Be sure to comment on this post by September 14 to enter the giveaway!

Now, let’s get to the interview!

Welcome, Amanda! Share a little about yourself and your family.

I am a homeschooling mom of three. My husband and I live in East TN. We love traveling together and soaking up all life has to offer. Other residents of our home include a 15-year-old Golden Retriever, a Bengal cat, and as of August, a brand new puppy that we’re having a ton of fun training. (The kids begged for a puppy for a long time, so they are over the moon)

Sounds like a fun and full house. Do you have time for any hobbies? What do you do for fun? 

I just started beekeeping this year! I have had so much fun learning about these fascinating creatures.

What a unique hobby! How and when did you start writing?

I have loved stories for as long as I can remember. I wrote and attempted to publish my first novel when I was seven. That storytelling bug never really let go, but for most of my life my writing outlet took the form of journaling whenever life got a little hard to figure out. Writing is a key way I process my own emotions. 

Back in 2012, I picked up writing fiction again. God laid a story on my heart, a love story meant just for me. It took me about four years to complete it, but it taught me a lot about writing stories. After that I began working on what became my debut novel, The Edge of Belonging.

I loved The Edge of Belonging! The story portrayed such hope. Explain how you incorporate Christ and the message of hope into your writing? 

My stories have a common theme of healing and relational restoration. As the characters take a journey toward healing and finding a better way forward, it allows hope to shine through. (And Christ to shine through, because He is the living Hope).

Amen! Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history? 

The store in The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is named after the store my grandmother owned!

That’s cool! How long do you spend on research before you begin writing a book? 

I tend to research as I am writing my first draft. Things will come up in the story, and I will sometimes pause to make sure it is accurate if it plays a major role in the storyline. If it is a minor detail, I make a note to come back to it during my first round of self-edits.

How many hours a day do you spend writing? 

Every day I set aside 5:30-8:30 a.m. for writing. Different seasons may require me to increase that time, but no matter what is going on, I keep that early morning dedicated to writing.

You have great discipline. Good for you! How long, on average, does it take you to write a book? 

About 8 months to write a first draft and put it through a couple rounds of edits.

What did God teach you through the writing of The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery?  

That story offered me the opportunity to reflect on the type of legacy I want to leave behind as a mother. It was an encouragement to be aware of the way my children watch me, reminding me that I need God’s help every step of the way. Even though I’ll make mistakes, He is the redeemer and healer who brings restoration.

That’s beautiful, Amanda. What do you hope your readers take away from the book? 

I hope the second chances within this story inspire readers to embrace second chances in their own lives. Even though life may not have gone the way they’d hoped or planned, God provides a new way forward.

What an important lesson. Which character in The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery was easiest for you to write and why? Which character presented the biggest challenge? 

Glory Ann was the easiest character for me to write. Something about her and Clarence’s story just flowed naturally for me.

I had to work a little harder getting Sarah down on the page. At the beginning I didn’t have as clear a picture of the role I wanted her to play in the story, so I had to wrestle and rewrite it a few times until I found who she was supposed to be.

What was the hardest scene to write? 

The opening chapter for my present-day timeline. Sarah has been through a lot when the book opens, so I had to work through it a few times to find the right place to start her story and introduce her to readers.

Thanks for sharing on the blog today. It’s been fun getting to know you better. How can your readers and fans support you? 

I would love to connect via my newsletter. It comes out once every four months and contains all the latest updates like cover reveals, giveaways, and other exclusive content. If you’re interested, you can subscribe here.

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

Any last words for your readers? 

I hope you enjoy reading about Old Depot Grocery and the strong and sassy women who make it come alive!

Join the conversation. Have you read The Edge of Belonging? What did you love about it? Do you enjoy split time fiction? Do you prefer the historical timeline or the contemporary?

Be sure to comment by September 14 for a chance to win a copy of The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery.

Book Cover

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Click the book cover for purchase link

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

Interview with author, Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox is the author of The Edge of Belonging. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, but her first love is communicating through story. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in East Tennessee, with her husband and their three children. Learn more at

Connect with Amanda: Website / Facebook / Instagram

Please share this interview on social media to help promote Amanda’s new release.

If you missed last week’s interview with Lisa Howeler, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Deena Adams

    Congratulations Lynn Moore! You’re the winner of Amanda’s book. You should receive an email soon.

    Thanks everyone for reading and commenting! Keep trying to win books by commenting on the interviews each week. 🙂

  • eMarie

    Hi Deena and Amanda,
    Amanda, I love your dedication to writing what the Lord has put on your heart!!! 5:30-8:30 a.m. – most of us are asleep!!! God bless you and keep you energized and filled with His strength!!! 🙂

    • Amanda Cox

      I appreciate that prayer, emarie!! It’s definitely a struggle at times! Especially recently with our new puppy in the mix. She gets me up a couple times a night. But she does like to snuggle at 6 am, so maybe I have a good writing buddy in the making!!

  • Rachel B.

    I love historical novels, and a historical timeline seems to be what I frequent. I am embarrassed to say I have never read a split time novel before. I also homeschool. I have 2 kids, and haven’t been able to pick up a book in so long. Your novel really caught my eye!!! I hope to read some of your books soon.

    • Deena Adams

      Rachel, no need to be embarrassed. Dual timeline novels have just recently become popular. I’m really enjoying them. Hope you can find the time soon to check our Amanda’s. They’re both great! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Amanda Cox

      The struggle to squeeze reading time is so relatable! When you get a chance to check out a split timeline book, I hope you enjoy it. What I love about writing split timelines is exploring the ways our histories impact our present. Thanks for stopping by!!

  • Christy

    I love split time stories. I can’t wait to read this book and would love to win a copy! Amanda is a gifted author.

    • Amanda Cox

      Yay! I love meeting other split timeline fans. I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think they are so fun. I love working the puzzle of how the two timelines fit together. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Megan

    Thank you for the chance to win! I love split time novels, I’m always amazed how the authors manage to tie the different timelines together and make them cohesive. I have been looking forward to this book!

    • Deena Adams

      Thanks for reading! I’ve really enjoyed the split time novels the past couple of years too. Maybe I’ll try to write one someday. Thanks for stopping by, Megan!

    • Amanda Cox

      It is a lot of fun piecing them together! (Okay, sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself, but I can’t seem to resist the pull to weave storyines together!) So happy to hear that you’ve been looking forward to Old Depot Grocery! Thanks for stopping by and chatting!

  • Patty

    I loved The Edge of Belonging! I passed it on to my mother who also greatly enjoyed it.
    I’ve been enjoying the dual timeline stories that have become more prominent the past few years. Especially enjoyed this one where the two timelines are only 20 or 30 years apart.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Patty. I loved The Edge of Belonging too. I thought The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery was even better! I’m really enjoying the dual timeline stories as well. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Amanda Cox

      I’m so glad you enjoyed The Edge of Belonging! I loved every moment of writing Harvey’s character.
      It is so much fun getting to write the same character in different points in their life! I especially loved that process with Old Depot Grocery, because you get to see changes throughout their life and how they come to be the people you meet in the present. Thanks for giving my books a try!

  • Deb Gorman

    “…the right place to start her story and introduce her to readers.”

    Such an important concept for fiction writers to master. I constantly wonder if my storie(s) begin at the right point. Thanks, Deena, for bringing Amanda to us today. I’ll have to check out her books. They sound intriguing.


    • Deena Adams

      Yes, Deb, figuring out where to start the story is difficult sometimes. I’m sure you’ll love Amanda’s books! She’s a great writer. Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

    • Amanda Cox

      The really funny thing I’ve noticed with my writing is that there is always one character that I immediately know where to start their story. I can see it in my mind and it feels sooo right. Then there is another character in another timeline that I end up having to write and rewrite until I find it. It used to frustrate me, but now I’m starting to just accept it as part of my process!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  • Phyllis R

    I am looking forward to reading this book. It is on my wishlist! I do like split time books. I prefer to mesh them in with CHF. I always gravitate to the historical story, it seems.
    Enjoyed this interview!

  • Deena Adams

    Hi, Teresa. I was still awake at 12:30 last night too. I was fallling asleep reading and had to call it a night. I used to be a night owl but as I’ve gotten older, I wake up so early I can’t stay up as late as I used to.

    I hope you’ll enjoy Amanda’s book. I thought it was fantastic!

  • Teresa+Moyer

    I added this book to my want to buy list on Amazon. It sounds really good. I am not a morning person at all. I do my best writing in the evenings to late at night. As i comment on this blog it is 1230am here and I am still wide awake LOL. But I will soon lay down and read as I always read before going to sleep.

    • Amanda Cox

      Thank you for adding The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery to your wishlist!

      I used to write at night too! Then all of a sudden I started getting really tired in the evenings and I made a switch. Although I’ve never been much of a night owl…come to think of it…I’m not much of a morning person either. (Maybe I’m some sort of mid-day magpie??) The only people I can tolerate talking to at 6 am is my characters! One time I tried to do an early morning video to share with a book club what my typical writing morning. Ha, ha I chucked that idea pretty quickly because I couldn’t say anything coherent on the video!

      Have a great day! Happy Reading!