Interview with Amy Herrig
Not long ago, Amy Herrig was living the American dream. Along with her father, she ran a multi-million-dollar business, lived in a $2 million Spanish Colonial home, traveled, and owned vacation homes. On June 4, 2014, everything changed. On that day DEA agents raided her home and businesses, seized their assets and her nightmare began. From having, what many would describe as everything, Amy was suddenly in danger of losing everything including her freedom – for life.
Amy’s new book, “No More Dodging Bullets,” tells her captivating story. She explains how this harrowing experience in many ways changed her for the better, addresses how she overcame obstacles during the most difficult times, and ultimately how her unwavering faith and knowing that there is a bigger force/power looking out for her helped her cope and persevere. We asked Amy about her journey and why she chose to writer her book.
Why did you decide to write a memoir about your life?
Because I had a unique childhood in many ways, I always thought I would maybe one day write a book about my life, but I had no idea how my story was going to ultimately develop over the years. When I was almost 40, my life took a very unexpected turn and my whole world was basically turned upside down and I knew then that I had an interesting and important story to tell.
How would you describe your book, " No More Dodging Bullets”?
There are many facets to the book - there is the harrowing intense legal battle which was the ultimate catalyst for me writing the book, there is a story of drug addiction and recovery, there is a bit of a love story, there are female and health issues, and there is a great deal about self-esteem and personal growth. There is a bit of drama and intensity but also some lighthearted humor. It's basically a very raw and candid story about my life and journey of self-discovery and all the hurdles that were overcome along the way. Some of the material is dark and negative but the crux of the book is to be inspiring, and I've been told that reading it is like "having a conversation with the girl next door."
Yours is an intense story, who or what brought you hope during the most difficult parts of your journey? How did you keep moving forward?
I'm often asked this question, and it's very easy for me to ramble excessively about this because a big part of my story is hope and perseverance and how I learned to not give up and stay positive even in the most challenging of times, and I could talk about this forever. So, recently I decided I could sum up my answer to this question by saying "the three Fs - faith, family, friends." A big part of my story is my journey in faith and what that means to me, and I think faith is very important, but I also understand that faith can be different for each person, but whatever your faith may be, I think the important thing is to have faith in something bigger than yourself. My family has always been my biggest support system and they never wavered once in their support, even in the most stressful of times. And I have an unbelievable circle of friends, and I really learned how much I could depend on them and how much they wanted to help during my darkest times, and that was really a gift for me to know I could rely on people and that it was okay for me to ask for help - I didn't have to do it alone, and learning to lean on people was a new concept for me.
We are now in the middle of a pandemic and everyone is facing uncertainty. What lessons do you think readers can take away from your book on how we can all deal with uncertain times?
I think part of faith is recognizing that there is a bigger force and power than ourselves. My faith is Christian based, and I believe in God, but if that's uncomfortable for someone or isn't in line with their personal beliefs, I respect that, but I do strongly believe that we all need to believe in something. I think recognizing that there is some higher power out there is crucial because then we realize we really aren't in charge and we are really in control of very little and no matter how difficult current circumstances may be, it is somehow part of a master plan that we aren't meant to fully understand. I have a saying I love to use - "if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plan." During my challenges and overwhelmingly stressful times, I had to learn to let go and find some sort of solace and peace in the belief that no matter what was going to happen, I would be okay because whatever happened was exactly what was supposed to happen, even if it wasn't what I wanted to happen. I've had many discussions with employees and friends during this pandemic about their fears and anxiety, and what really is causing many people to struggle right now is the realization that there is so much happening and we really have very little control over any of it and we can't make plans and have our future mapped out like we are so used to doing. But the reality is we've never really had control over life or our future. We make plans and we think we know what we are doing and that we are in charge of our destiny, but we really aren't, and something like this current pandemic forces people to recognize that for the first time and that can be very scary and overwhelming. So, I think it's important for people to learn to let go a little, control what you can - which is basically just your own actions and reactions - and learn to feel comfortable and even grateful with the idea that we are in charge of very little in this world.
What do you feel you learned from the writing of your book?
As I was writing my book, I was able to clearly see how every phase in my life led to another, and I was able to clearly see how I had ended up exactly where I was. It was like the book became a roadmap of my life and I understood more about myself and how and why I had done certain things and made certain choices. It was very therapeutic and healing. It helped me learn more about myself and it helped me to love and forgive myself.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope people feel inspired. I also hope they gain an understanding about our federal justice system and how it truly works. And I hope people realize that we are all perfectly flawed human beings. I like to say "perfectly flawed" because we are all flawed, but our flaws are part of who we are, and we need to embrace that in ourselves and each other and we need to love ourselves and each other. Everybody has done something that they have guilt or shame about - maybe my wrongdoings are more extreme than someone else's, but we've all done something, and we need to remember that we don't have to be negatively defined by our negative actions forever. People can change and do differently, and we need to encourage one another to do so and build each other up rather than criticizing and tearing each other down.
Is there a story behind the title you chose?
There is a story behind it, and it's in a pivotal part of the book so I don't want to give too much away. However, I can say that the title is a metaphor for learning to do differently in life and breaking negative behavior patterns.
Do you have any other projects coming up you would like to share?
I have a blog on my website - amyherrig.com. It's fairly new, but I have a few posts and will be writing more. I write about current issues. There is actually one about the pandemic and how it's affecting people. I'd like to write another book. We will see how my story continues to develop and when the time is right, I'll know it.
For more info on Amy please visit : amyherrig.com.