Meet Amanda Wen

Meet Amanda Wen

Amanda Wen is a fellow Kregel author, and it is my pleasure to introduce to you this Selah and Carol award-winning and Christy finalist author. She is an amazing woman that you don’t want to miss the opportunity to get to know. Even better, make sure to read all the way to the bottom where Amanda is generously giving away a signed paperback to one lucky U.S. resident.

Amanda Wen’s novels have released to both reader and critical acclaim. Her second novel, The Songs That Could Have Been, won both the Selah and the Carol Awards, and her debut, Roots of Wood and Stone, was a finalist for the Christy Award. In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

You can connect with her through:  Website  |  BookBub 

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Amanda with rapid-fire.


CC: Pineapple pizza or candy corn?

AW: Probably pineapple pizza because I can pretend it’s healthy.  

CC: Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

AW: Test the waters. I’m generally a pretty cautious person.  

CC: Guacamole or salsa?

AW: Guacamole, forever and always. 

CC: Silly hats or silly socks?

AW: Socks. Despite my author photo, I’m not usually a hat person!

CC: Passwords or secret handshakes?

AW: Secret handshakes. 

I am a huge guacamole fan, too, especially when it’s homemade and fresh. Oh, man. Now I’m craving some. I guess I’ll have to pick up an avocado, tomatoes, and onion. So lets dive a little deeper into getting to know you.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

AW: I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and I have a vague memory of my dad paying me a penny a word in order to encourage me to write stories. (Decades later, I discovered editors don’t necessarily believe that more words = better, but hey, you gotta start somewhere!) My formal education was focused exclusively on music, resulting in two degrees in cello performance, but when I finished with school, fiction writing still called to me. I wrote a few stories for fun, but didn’t get serious about it until we moved back to my hometown in 2009 and I reconnected with my middle school BFF, who by then was a multi-published general market author. I finally got up the guts to show her my writing and she said I had promise! The rest, as they say, is history… 

CC: How cool is that! I love that your dad paid you to write, and then your friend encouraged you too. (And can I admit I always wanted to play either the violin or cello but that was never offered at my school, so I got stuck with clarinet?)

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

AW: Making time for writing! The beginning of me getting serious about writing not-so-conveniently coincided with my beginning of Life As A Mom, so writing always came in snippets. I always wrote during my kids’ naptime, though, so most days I got 1-2 hours to focus on writing. Now that my kids are teens and tweens, my other job as a musician is what frequently gets in the way! I love love love my day job, and I can’t imagine not doing it, but balancing is sometimes incredibly challenging.  

CC: I can only imagine. You frequently blow my mind with how much you perform, get to be an incredible mother, and yet still find time to write. You are a rock star.

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

AW: Just do it! You’ll never know until you try. And hardly anyone is good at it when they first start–I know I wasn’t! Study the craft, dig into books you love and find out WHY you love them, then figure out how to incorporate those elements into your own stories. Finally, connect with the writing community. Those who are further along the path than you are will usually be eager to help you, and as you progress on your own journey you get to extend a hand to those further behind you. It is so rich and rewarding and one of the best parts of being a writer.  

CC: I 100% agree. And I adore helping other writers. It truly is one of the best parts of being a writer.

Now I’m excited to talk about your newest release, The Rhythm of Fractured Grace.

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen

When a new customer brings a badly damaged violin into Siobhan Walsh’s shop, it is exactly the sort of challenge she craves. The man who brought it in is not. He’s too close to the painful past that left her heart and her faith in shambles.

Matt Buchanan has had a rough start as the new worship pastor. A car accident on his way into town left him with a nearly totaled truck, and an heirloom violin in pieces. When he takes it to a repair shop, he’s fascinated with the restoration process–and with the edgy, closed-off woman doing the work.

As their friendship deepens and turns into more, they both discover secrets that force them to face past wounds. And the history of the violin reveals more about their current problems than they could have ever expected.

On the nineteenth-century frontier, a gruesome tomahawk attack wiped out most of Deborah Caldwell’s family. Her greatest solace after the tragedy is the music from her father’s prized violin. Given her horrendous scars, she’d resigned herself to a spinster’s life. But Levi Martinson’s gentle love starts to chip away at her hardened heart, until devastating details about the attack are revealed, putting their love–and Deborah’s shaky faith–to the ultimate test.

Full of forgiveness and the message that no one is too damaged for God’s healing touch, the final book in the split-time Sedgwick County Chronicles will thrill fans of Rachel Hauck, Lisa Wingate, and Kristy Cambron. 

Purchase your copy at  Amazon

CC: Where did you get the idea for The Rhythm of Fractured Grace?

AW:  The historical story comes directly from my own family tree, which my mom has been researching for the last 50 years or so. In 1782, my 6x-great grandmother, Delilah Corbly, then 7 years old, survived a tomahawk attack that wiped out her mother and three of her siblings and left her and her sister, Elizabeth, maimed and scarred. Despite her injuries, Delilah lived to adulthood, got married, birthed and raised ten children, and died at the age of 64, which back then was quite the achievement for anyone, let alone someone who’d been scalped! The idea that someone could survive something so traumatic has always been an inspiration to me, so when I started writing novels, I knew I wanted to explore that issue in fiction.

CC: Wow! That is both incredibly horrifying and intriguing. I can see why you would write a story around that.

What readers do you think will enjoy this book?

AW: Readers who like deep fiction that deals with tough issues, split-time fiction, the friends-to-lovers trope, and pioneer-era stories. Also, to anyone who enjoyed Jack and Annabelle in the historical timeline of my debut, Roots of Wood and Stone…they just might show up in this book, too. 😉

CC: Oh! How fun! I love it when characters from other books show up!

How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through it?

AW: The contemporary storyline deals with toxic churches, and narcissistic abuse. What I didn’t realize when I wrote the book was that I was trapped in a web of manipulation and gaslighting courtesy of a narcissist in my own life. It wasn’t until I’d submitted the manuscript and was in the final stages of editing that I realized how closely some aspects of what my heroine, Siobhan, went through mirrored my own experience. And just as Siobhan was able–by God’s grace–to forgive her abuser, you guessed it, God called me to forgive mine. And– by His grace–I am thrilled to report that I have.

CC: Praise the Lord for your obedience in forgiveness, and oh my, how my heart hurts that you had to endure it.

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

AW: The idea that no one is too far gone, too broken, or too damaged for God to redeem and restore.

CC: Amen. Such a powerful thing. To wrap this interview up, I always like to ask a fun question.

If you were stuck on an island, what three items would you have with you? Why?

AW: Sunscreen so I don’t burn, food so I don’t get hangry, and my cell phone (with battery pack) so I could get off the island and get back to Kansas where I belong. (There might not be a big hurry, though; we Kansans don’t get to see islands very often!)

CC: Wise decisions, and I laughed out loud about the cellphone. LOL That is a wise woman, if I do say so myself!

Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Rhythm of Fractured Grace and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

GIVEAWAY – U.S. Residents only, ends 11:59 p.m. EST on 2/27/24.

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Reader, have you ever played an instrument? Or did you ever dream of playing one? Which one?

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