First, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
I am Amy Michelle Wiley, a lover of words and people, languages and cultures. These passions have led to my work as a professional sign language interpreter at my church and a community college and as a freelance author. I was honored to be homeschooled K-12 and graduated in 2000. My home in the Pacific Northwest is surrounded with the beauty and inspiration of God's creation. I am disabled and learning to find joy despite constant health issues. My online nickname, Sparrow, is a reminder to me from Matthew 10:29-31 that God cares about each tiny detail of our lives. Check out my website at www.sparrowsflight.com.
You are the director of Peculiar People. What is that?
Peculiar People (PeP) is an international collaborative fiction group. Since I founded it in 2005, almost 100 authors from seven or eight countries have submitted stories for consideration in our projects. The point of PeP is to bring fiction stories alive by letting a different author focus on each separate character to give them a unique personality, and in doing so, touch readers hearts with the love and care of God. I chose the name Peculiar People because of the Titus 2:13-14 passage which describes God's people as a peculiar people, set aside for good works. Plus it has a fun double-meaning because we writers tend to be pretty unusual and a bit odd!
What books have Peculiar People written?
To date we have two books published, Struggle Creek and Delivered. Struggle Creek is a small town mystery. Each chapter is told from the view-point of a different town member and written by a different author, slowly unfolding clues to the mystery. Delivered is a collection of short fiction stories about postcards that have been sent throughout the world offering, "Let me pray for you." Each story tells of someone who found a card and how letting a stranger pray for them influenced their lives. It also follows the story of the young lady who sent out the postcards as an act of bravery as she stepped from her Muslim past and embraced Christ as her Savior.
We also currently have the rough draft completed of an Heirloom Chronicles story, I Will Be Found, which follows a fictional box Jesus carved as it is passed down through history. Another project is in the writing phase: the as-yet-untitled Orphan Plane book, which puts a twist on the real-life 1800's orphan trains. This story is set in the future and the orphans are being sent to new homes on a space station.
Where can people buy the books by Peculiar People?
They can be bought through our website, www.peculiarpeoplebooks.com, or from many online bookstores such as Amazon. Delivered is also available as an a-book.
What was your most memorable homeschool project?
Perhaps it isn't a project exactly, but I really enjoyed a homeschool choir/singing school I was in during high school, Cathedral Choirs. We learned music theory and voice techniques as well as getting to give performances in churches and even nursing homes and other special events. I learned so much about how to better use my voice and love for music for God's glory.
I understand you have written and published some short stories. Tell us about them.
I've had nearly 70 short stories and articles published in various anthologies and magazines. Though I dabble in all genres, fiction is my favorite because I think God can use it to touch people's hearts in a special way. I especially love to take a true story and fictionalize it to make it come alive, and have written a number of Biblical fiction stories and ones based on current events. Lately I've also been trying my hand at writing devotionals, and contribute regularly to a daily devotional blog, www.jewelsofencouragement.com.
Where can people get them?
Many of my stories can be read on my website, www.sparrowsflight.net. I'm also working on a collection of short stories that I hope to eventually publish.
What keeps you writing?
I've been a storyteller since the time I could talk and all my life a large portion of my brain has been taken up by imaginary characters. In my early twenties I found an online Christian writing community called FaithWriters. It was through them that I became serious about my writing as I began participating in their weekly writing challenges. The people there provide me with so much encouragement, mentoring, and support, and were instrumental in me beginning to be published regularly.
When I write I feel fulfilled. It's a talent God gave me and that He uses to bless others and bring glory to Himself. My desire to be a good steward of that gift drives me to continue to put time and energy into writing and honing my craft. It's hard work, but I love it!
Is there anything you would like to add?
I'm especially excited right now about my two novels. I have a completed one, Reaching Sky, that I'm working on polishing up and already have a publisher who has requested to see the full manuscript. It is a young adult story about a brother and sister who run away from abusive foster care homes. During their road trip from California to Washington, they reconnect with each other and find God on their journey to look for a safe home.
I'm in the process of writing a suspense book, Voices of the Dark, about a trauma counselor who is fostering a withdrawn five-year-old. As she researches the child's past, she discovers the girl's silence is hiding a horrible secret: a child prostitution ring.