Author Interview: Amanda Collins Beams


Welcome readers to another addition of the Books Delight Author Interview series. Today we are chatting with Amanda Collins Beams about her book, October Storms. Grab a cup of something warm and settle into a comfy chair and let's find out about Amanda.


JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Amanda. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

ACB- I live in central Illinois where summers are hot, winters are cold, and if one doesn’t like the weather, one need only wait a day or two and it will change. The perfect day for me is a hot, sunny summer day spent with friends and family kayaking the clear waters of Courtois Creek in eastern Missouri, followed by a night of good food, tall tales, and plenty of laughter around a campfire.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

ACB- I would have to say my favorite is the nineteenth century. It was a time of mass immigration and great change in our country which offers a storyteller many avenues to explore.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

ACB- My favorite historical figure is not famous. She is the pioneer woman. The hardy soul who risked her life to live alongside her husband in the borderlands and worked her fingers to the bone from sunrise to sunset cooking, cleaning, gardening, gathering, canning, washing, mending, etc.  The more I learn about the pioneer woman and the discomforts and deprivations she suffered, the more my admiration grows. My question would be: “On the frontier, which was worse? The fear or the loneliness?”

JMR- I interview so many American authors who write European historical fiction, it’s a pleasure to come across an American who writes American historical fiction. Why do you think that is? Are Americans bored by their history? Too close to it?

ACB- To be honest, I think most people find European history sexier than American history. Our American accoutrements are not glamorous. Instead of kings living in castles, wearing fine clothes, and occasionally, beheading their wives, we have pioneers dressed in homespun, living in log cabins, and occasionally, butchering a hog.

JMR- Tell us about your book, October Storms.

ACB- October Storms is historical fiction with a contemporary twist. A tale of loss, survival, trust and bonds of friendship even death couldn’t break. 

On the Illinois prairie in October 1897, Louise Hawkes, severely beaten and near death, and her two young children, are found on the muddy bank of Friends Creek. Transported to Dunham’s Crossing, they are taken in by Agnes Dunham Hoskins. Over the many months of Louise’s recuperation, the women’s lives become increasingly intertwined. An unbreakable bond is formed that will endure far beyond their natural lives.

Nearly a century later, on an October afternoon, Belinda Page and Julie Stephens embark on a day trip to Allerton Park. A twist of fate forces them off the highway and into the clutches of a violent thunderstorm. In the aftermath, the discovery of a long-buried curio leads to an experience neither Belinda nor Julie could have ever imagined.

JMR- How did you research this book? What sources did you use? How important is it to get the details right?

ACB- Historical accuracy in every aspect of the story is very important to me. I scoured the library and the internet for historical books and records pertaining to the time period. In October Storms, I set the story in a location I knew well.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

ACB- My WIP recounts the birth of organized crime in the American Midwest in the first half of the nineteenth century.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

ACB- You can find me on Facebook @AuthorAmandaCollinsBeams or on Twitter @BeamsAmanda

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

ACB- I’m not sure you would ever ask what I do with the profits from the book, but I will happily tell you. As a hobby novelist, I donate all proceeds from October Storms to: 

Oglala Lakota Children's Justice Center (

 JMR- That's wonderful Amanda. Thank you for a fun and informative interview. Good luck with your next book! Readers, if you are interested in see Amanda's book, click on the Amazon link.


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