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Author Features

MEET: Amy Engel author of “I Did It For You”

Amy is a former criminal defense attorney, and she lives in Missouri with her family.

Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

author Amy Engel
I Did It For You by Amy Engel

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

ALL THE SINNERS BLEED by S.A. Cosby.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

I haven’t read any classics lately, to be honest.  I was an English major in college and my mother was an English teacher, so I’ve read a ton of classics throughout my life.  I can’t think of the last one I read for the first time.  But my all-time favorite is EAST OF EDEN by Steinbeck.

Do you re-read books   And if yes, what was your last re-read?

I’m a big fan of a re-read. My last re-read was RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston.  I can’t wait for the movie!

What are your go-to genres?

Thriller, romance, and narrative nonfiction.

What is your favorite childhood book?

My favorite picture book was MOG THE FORGETFUL CAT by Judith Kerr, and my favorite chapter book was JANE-EMILY by Patricia Clapp.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

Oh boy, my bedside table is pretty much sagging under the weight of books.  Right now I have YELLOWFACE by R.F. Kuang; POVERTY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond; ANTHEM by Noah Hawley; HELLO STRANGER by Katherine Center; and FAIRY TALE by Stephen King.  And that’s just the top layer.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?

I’m going to be thrown into book jail, but I dog ear.

What is your ideal reading setting?

Either snuggled up in bed with my cat next to me or in the comfiest chair in my living room with a glass of wine and a fuzzy blanket.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

Literati in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I discovered it when my daughter started college at the University of Michigan, and I have to visit every time I’m in Ann Arbor.  It has an amazing vibe, such a great collection of books, and makes me happy every time I step inside the door.

Amy Engel's favorite bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

When I was five, my mom read me CHARLOTTE’S WEB and I cried so hard when Charlotte died that I threw up all over my bed.  That was my first lesson in the power of words and the visceral impact they can have on the reader.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Not many, unfortunately. I tried to go to the Globe Theater in London, but Trump was visiting at the same time and all the roads were blocked.

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

I do all my writing and editing in that comfy living room chair I mentioned earlier.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Most of the time it energizes me.  Sometimes, when I’m really stuck on a scene, it’s exhausting. But that’s the exception rather than the rule.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Hmmm.  Four or five?  Some I may come back to one day.  The others are unsalvageable.

Do you read your book reviews?  How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I try not to.  Nothing good comes of it.  I try to write the best book I can and then let the results go.  Advice easier given than followed, at times.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

That publishing is a business, like any other business, and a lot of times it will break your heart.  But you can only control your writing; what happens beyond that is really out of your hands.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

Running, working part-time at my local library, binge watching shows, traveling, going out to dinner.

What are your three favorite things right now?

The song vampire by Olivia Rodrigo;  Trader Joe’s strawberry & jalapeño crisps; and counting down the days until autumn.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

Paris, always.  It’s my favorite place in the world.  I love the food, the people, how utterly gorgeous it is everywhere you look.  I’m going back in September for the third time, and I cannot wait.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Can I do two?  The first is escargot with a crusty baguette and a glass of rose (see my love for Paris above).  My second is chips, guacamole, blazing hot salsa, and a super tart margarita, no salt.

Amy Engel's favorite food to eat

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Oh, this is the best question!  David Sedaris, Barack and Michelle Obama, Stephen King, Rod Stewart, and my dad, because he was always the life of every party.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?

I have no idea what genre my life would be considered. Dramedy?  My childhood was pretty unique.  I was born on a commune, lived all over the world, and was the quintessential semi-neglected child of the 70s.  But my adult life has been relatively tame in comparison.  Criminal defense attorney turned author, married with two kids, living in the ‘burbs.  As for who would play me…she’d have to dye her hair, but I love Phoebe Waller-Bridge, so she’d probably be my pick.

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

The Bear on Hulu.  I’m obsessed with it.  The story telling, the acting, the soundtrack. It’s all flawless.

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

Trust me when I say there is no one in the world who wants me to do this.  But if I had to sing in public, it would be Summer Nights from Grease.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

This question is straight-up mean.  Today I’d say 11/22/63 by Stephen King because it has a bit of everything, and I discover something new every time I read it.  But ask again tomorrow, and my answer will probably be different.

I Did It For You

Buy I Did It For You by Amy Engel from: AMAZON / BOOKSHOP

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