Amber was born was March 11, 1976, in Van Wert, Ohio. The second daughter of David and Mavis Rigby. She grew up on a small farm in Monroe, Indiana. When Amber was old enough for school, she attended a small farm community school in Monroe. All grades from Kindergarten through high school were in one building. She attended Adams Central Community Schools until her Junior year in high school when she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Amber was teased and bullied while she attended Adams Central. The children called her names, excluded her, chose her last when making a team in class, gossiped from a distance where she could hear them and went as far as destroying her belongings. Amber learned if she reacted to them, it would only make things worse, so she bottled it up. She turned inward, where she depended on her imagination to make friends and keep herself entertained. When Amber was 10 years old, the pain was so severe that she attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on Tylenol. Luckily, it didn't work.
A year later, when Amber was 11 years old, she discovered writing. She learned that she had a gift for story telling and enjoyed writing stories. Knowing that she was now a "somebody" and finally had a talent, writing became her tool to deal with the teasing and bullying. The act of writing her stories saved her life. It was all she wanted to do. She closed herself off even more and made "friends" with the characters she created.
Amber wanted to know if she was good at writing so she asked anyone who would listen to read her stories. Her mother refused even though she loved to read and lost the story she had written. Instead of giving up, Amber decided a write another story--one that she fell on love with and began submitting it to publishers without knowing how to do it. Amber's classmates read her stories and thought they were good, which made Amber feel good. This was the beginning of her healing process. When Amber moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana and started attending North Side high school, Amber was beginning to come out of her shell and make real-live friends. Her self esteem approved and her grades were higher as a result.
At North Side, Amber studied creative writing, Journalism, typing, and she majored in English. She also studied Interior Design because it was a hobby of hers. She received high grades for her writing and became a reporter for the school newspaper, which gave Amber the skill to write with a deadline and under pressure. She graduated from North Side in 1994.
Towards the end of the year, Amber enlisted in the National Guard because she wanted to "toughen up" and learn how to stand on her own two feet. She couldn't handle the stress of being in the military so she was discharged. She was the first woman in her family to attempt the military and gained respect from the men in her family.
In 1995, Amber met Jack Grosjean. This was the man she would marry a year later. On June 22, 1996, they shared their vows. They had three children (two girls and one boy). Today, they are still married and now have 4 grandchildren with 1 on the way in 2022.
Jack (aka Billy) is Amber's rock. He is her biggest fan and encourages her to write. He saved her from her family who were also mentally abusive towards Amber.
Amber takes pride in her work. She is a creative person and can see outside of the box, giving a unique twist to her stories. She does not copy any other writers. Her style is her own, and her head is always in the clouds, dreaming up new ideas. They are as unique as she is. For this reason, it is hard to compare her to other writers. If you do see an author she writes similar to, please let her know.
Amber especially loves fantasy stories because the sky is the limit with her imagination. She's the type of person who can see shapes in clouds and can be caught daydreaming as she stares at them. Amber also enjoys Science Fiction for the same reason. She's a Star Trek fan, loves outer space, and believes aliens exist. She often felt like an alien growing up.
Amber did write one book that was erotica, but it's not a genre that she will continue to write in because of the fact she does write children's books. Novella and Novel length children's books, not books for toddlers although if an idea came up, she wouldn't turn a book down for that age group. But Amber will use the same pen name for all of her books. She likes variety. That's why Amber writes in most genres. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, a little comedy if the right idea pops up, and whatever comes her way. She will not turn an idea down just because of the genre (unless it is erotica).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you write a story about me?
I actually don't take requests for stories, but I always thank people for their ideas. I have enough ideas boiling in my mind so I'm good for quite a few years and more ideas are brewing almost daily. I did meet a man who played for the Harlem Globe Trotters in the day and a book was written about him. He said if he had met me first, I'd be the one writing that book. He autographed it and gave me a free copy. I gave him one of my books too and signed it for him. That would have been one book that I would have written for someone. He turned out being a great friend. He's passed away since then.
I bet you make a lot of money, don't you?
Believe it or not, most writers don't make a living on writing. We write because we love it. I'm one of those writers. Of course, I would love to be like Stephen King who does make tons of money on my books, but sadly I don't yet. It would be an added bonus for me. Until then, I will just keep on writing. Most writers need a full time so they can pay their bills, and write in their spare time. I do write full time but haven't hit it big yet. I'm going to keep learning and growing as an author so I can shoot for that goal but it isn't the most important thing for me. The important thing is getting read.
Borrowed Question. What is your religion?
I say Christian, although I don't really belong to one area. For me, it's a relationship, not a religion.
How do you come up with your ideas?
Ideas come from all around me. And sometimes, they come from out of nowhere lol. I had one idea that did just that, and it scared my husband because I accidentally blurted it out loud. It still makes me laugh thinking back at that moment. It has gotten to the point now that if my husband has a dream, he shares it with me and tells me I can use it for one of my books if I want to. I have one of his dreams written down with the intention of writing a book with it. It was a weird dream but sparked my own idea, so it was cool lol. He thinks it's amazing.
I do keep my mind and eyes open for endless possibilities as I move around daily. I never know when something someone says or does sparks another idea to form in my mind. My own dreams included. I keep a pad of paper with me when I do go out just in case something hits me and I have to write it down for later. That way, I don't forget!
Borrowed Question. Can you give me some writing tips?
I am always sharing tips on writing, editing, marketing, and cover design in my newsletters (on the 1st of each month) and sometimes on Instagram. I enjoy helping other authors because I know how it feels to start from nothing and have no help. So if you want to know something, ask on Instagram or subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletters. It's the easiest way to get the information. You're also welcome to email me at email@example.com for something quicker. Most questions are then added to my newsletter for others to learn.
How do you handle rejection?
When I first began writing, I received a lot of rejections for Peterson Estate. And I mean a lot. The first one came from 17 Magazine. It was a magazine my sister read a lot so I thought it was the perfect place to try first. I was writing for my age group so it made sense to me. When they finally replied back saying no thank you, I was excited because the editor did say it was good but it just wasn't for them. It gave me hope, something I hadn't had yet. Imagine, someone professional, saying I was good. I went back to the drawing board. The story was just a short story at the time, so I began working on it, and I improved it far beyond my wildest dreams. The short story turned into a novel-length story. I had the beginning. I wrote, then rewrote, then rewrote again. So instead of tossing the story out and giving up, it inspired me to keep going. I tried again. Another rejection. I tried again and kept going. I was determined to find one publisher who wanted this story.
After losing this story and rewriting it from memory, I decided to put it on hold and try another story. Cursed Blood was finally accepted, then Stolen Identity, and then finally a publisher accepted Peterson Estate. This was a result of my determination and dream.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Every book is different although the average book can take 1-2 months to write. Then 1 month to edit, give or take. I have a lot of books that I have started writing but put them on the back burner for other things. So those books may take less time to finish because the bones are already there. I've had a few books that actually took a year to write from beginning to end before the editing process started. Those books were on the back burner for a long time before I got back to them and finally finished them. And I had a story or two that took less than a month because it just flowed quickly. The editing process for those took longer to make sure they were just right. I have no control over how fast the stories leave my mind so I feel blessed I've been able to get them out and onto the paper. I try to stay motivated and inspired so writer's block doesn't affect me.
More questions and answers coming soon!