Thursday, December 17, 2020

Blog Tour: Friends by Amy Lou Jenkins #blogtour #interview #nonfiction #memoir #giveaway #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours


Voices Series, Book 2

Personal essay (narrative nonfiction, brief memoir)

Date Published: Oct 19, 2020

Publisher: Jack Walker Press

Friendships serve as a cornerstone to a rich life. Each of these twenty-four accomplished authors shares authentic stories that consider the meaning of life affirming, sometimes life saving or gut wrenching, and fun realities of investing in each other: Think chicken soup with adult beverages.

Editorial Reviews:

"A thoroughly enjoyable and heartfelt read! This is an invaluable book for anyone seeking insight and comprehension of the convoluted and often misunderstood road we travel known as friendship. A definite 5-star rating!" --International Review of Books

"Friends: Voices on the Gift of Companionship will take you through the full spectrum of what it means to call someone "friend." It's the book you reach for when you need to feel connected to humanity." --Skye McDonald author of the Anti-Belle series

"The authors in this anthology come from a wide range of backgrounds, and share their stories of friendship with convincing, if often difficult, passages. ...We may still regard the gifts of shared histories as nourishment to sustain us." --Carol Barrett, Ph.D. Coordinator, Creative Writing Certificate Program, Union Institute & University; author of Calling in the Bones and Pansies.

"As the stories evolve, readers will relish the personal tones, touches, and explorations that consider the nature of friendship, its gifts and resiliency, and its lasting impact on all. outstanding key to understanding how relationships evolve, change, pass, and often come full circle to become even more valued as the years go by." -- D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


What was your main drive to write this book?  Thank-You Momma G. I’m so happy to be discussing Friends: Voices on the Gift of Companionship with you.  I am drawn to personal essays, and after being published in dozens of anthologies and finishing my MFA in Writing, I decided I’d like to explore themes via personal essays.  Friends is the second anthology I assembled in the Voices series, and the theme interests me because as a writer, I can be selfish with my time. That can make friendships tricky.  I do not need to have a datebook full of social gatherings, but I do need meaningful connections.  I sometimes wonder if I’ve kept my close-friends list too small, but I’m guarded about being too social.  Selfishly, reading, editing, and assembling ‘Friends’ has helped me to understand friendships with even more reverence and acceptance. 



What do you hope readers will learn by reading this book?

Readers are likely to cherish their friends, as well as come to peace with the normalcy of friendships that burn out. Gifting ‘Friends’ offers a shared experience that communicates a deep caring.


Did you do much research when planning this book?

 I studied the early writings on friendship types from early Greek philosophers. They divided friendships into categories such as those related to shared experiences,  profitable relationships, and those that represent unselfish love.  While the research wasn’t used in an obvious way, I did use these categories and more to develop some frameworks that structure the arrangement of the personal stories into chapters.  Friendships don’t drop easily into just one category, rather relationships tend to evolve or be temporary. All types can be wonderful!



Did you have any main people who helped you in the process of this book or influenced you to write it?  Readers will find in the introduction and concluding story a real-life character ‘Ginny.’ She’s a friend of mine who grew into an alternate lifestyle, yet we managed to maintain a close friendship.  She and I live very differently, which can put me in some uncomfortable situations, but love prevails.  She’s a definite inspiration, and readers tell me they find my Ginny tales quite entertaining. I did send her a copy of the book pre-publication, and she loved it!


How long did this book take you to write from initial thought to hitting publish?  It took two and a half years to get the calls of submission out, sort through, edit, make final decisions, organize and more. 


Do you have plans to write more about this topic or new topics?  We plan a series of articles with the authors to further explore the themes of Friendship in their stories. We are beginning work on these now and will publish them on the blog ‘Dispatches from AL.’ 


Thanks so much!


About the Author

Amy Lou Jenkins holds an MFA from The Writing Seminars of Bennington, has taught writing at Carroll University, Milwaukee Area Tech College, and conferences and workshops, including NonfictioNow/Iowa Writers Workshop and Write by the Lake/University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her essays and stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including The Florida Review, Flint Hill review, Leopold Outlook, Sport Literate, Earth Island Journal, Consequence Magazine, The Maternal is Political, Journeys of Friendship, and Women on Writing. She’s the author of several books including Every Natural Fact; Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting. Her writing has been honored by US Book Award, Living Now Book Award, Ellis Henderson Outdoor Writing Award, and XJ Kennedy Award for Nonfiction and more. She pens a quarterly book review column for the Sierra Club. She writes for children under the name Lou Jenkins. She and her husband split their time between Wisconsin and Arkansas. Unless it’s so cold it hurts, she’d rather be outside. Follow her at

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1 comment:

Amy Lou said...

I enjoyed discussing FRIENDS with you: Thank you. Another way to win a free copy of Friends:

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