Aminata Coote fell in love with books as a child. She writes stories that point to a God bigger than our failings and walks with us through our trials. She is also the author of several Bible studies and devotionals for women. Aminata lives in Montego Bay, Jamaica with her husband and son.
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?
His Perfect Choice is the final book in my Orange Valley series. It features Jessica Smith who was an antagonist in His Perfect Match which is book one in the series. Jessica has to learn to be honest about who she is and her needs so she can follow her path rather than chase after unrealistic expectations. The love interest, Andre Meyers, had been in love with Jessica for years so there's a hint of unrequited love. Other tropes you'll find in His Perfect Choice are learning to love, redemption, and found family.
Q2: How long does it take you to write a book? How long does each stage of the process usually take?
It varies. I've taken anywhere from two weeks to four months to complete a first draft (depending on the length of the book). My thing is challenges: I like to give myself a target to see how well I can meet it and how I feel during the process. For me, the drafting is easier (not that everything is perfect), but I can meet a manuscript completion date if I set my mind to it. The part I struggle with is revisions--that takes forever! Okay, realistically, it's probably about 2-3 months depending on how clean my first draft is.
Q3: What is your favourite type of character to write?
I like writing characters who either start with no or weak faith and then, as the story unfolds, they encounter God and He turns their life around.
Q4: Do you mine your own life for ideas, settings and/or characters?
They say you should "write what you know" which is one of the reasons Orange Valley is a town on an island. Now people may read it and wonder why my characters never go to the beach, but... I've lived on an island my whole life and we don't go to the beach as often as we'd like.
Q5: What is something you wish you had known earlier on in your writing career?
To keep writing and talking about my books. I took a year off to write full-time, wrote a couple of books, and sat back waiting for the books to sell... As you can imagine, that didn't happen, at least not the volume I was expecting. I finally realized that I had tons more books to write and I needed to get started. I also needed to find ways to talk about what I'm writing that invite my community to be a part of the process.
Q6: What do you do when you find yourself in a bit of a writing rut? Is there any strategy you find works for you to help the words start flowing again?
I don't get writing ruts as much as I once did--not since I started setting manuscript due dates for my books. Because I set that deadline, I have to find a way to write. If the words aren't flowing, then I go for a walk. This isn't always possible since I write at night, so I pace on my roof (that's not as dangerous as it sounds). My husband is usually willing to walk with me and I bounce ideas off him until I feel the words bubbling up. If that doesn't work, then I work on another project. Sometimes the brain just needs a break from the thing it's hyper-focused on.
Q7: What is your favourite writing resource?
The Reedsy Book Editor. My computer crashed in 2022 and I lost more words than I want to remember. With Reedsy, my manuscript is automatically saved. I can write on my phone and it syncs to the cloud. Plus, I have a built-in book formatter and e-book/paperback file generator.
Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
My ideal reader is someone who enjoys reading about characters who remind them of themselves. People who struggle in their faith but are ultimately able to connect to their Heavenly Father and gain victory over their situation.
Q9: What authors or books inspire you the most?
So many authors and books inspire me that if I were to name that all it would take forever. I'm inspired by authors who are not afraid to write about hard things, whose stories have characters who actively exercise their faith and are not afraid to admit that they're Christians or that sometimes they struggle.
Q10: What are you currently reading?
She Reigns by Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien, In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer, The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman, Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer.
Jessica Smith has always prided herself on being in control, but when her vision of being the perfect pastor's wife falls apart, she's forced to confront her vulnerability. As she battles weakness and fatigue, she attributes it to a stubborn cold until a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré Syndrome shakes her world. Determined to overcome the illness, she's thrown into a challenging journey with her physical therapist, Andre Meyers. Andre has been in love with Jessica for years but watched her chase after someone who didn't know she existed. When he’s assigned as her therapist, he sees this as a chance to show her how much she means to him. As they work together, they must confront their past and discover that God can use brokenness to create a beautiful ending. Will they take a chance on each other and find their happily-ever-after? Find out in this heartwarming tale of hope, faith, and second chances.