Indie artist, published author and guitar instructor • Lives in Fruitland Park • Age: 54
High notes: I was a nurse for 15 years and then decided to follow my passion for music. While in my 30s, I earned an associate degree in music at Lake-Sumter State College. I began giving private guitar lessons and later taught guitar classes at The Villages Charter School. Today, I sing and play guitar, and my music ranges from rock and pop to country and Celtic. My music is available at blacksheepsongs.com.
Sweet dreams: My music comes to me while I’m relaxing in bed and drifting to sleep. I have to record the songs as soon as I wake up; otherwise I’ll forget.
One for the books: I am also author of the book “Wreckage: Prescription Drug Addiction Caught by Surprise.” The book focuses on my personal experience with prescription drug addiction. Five years ago I was hit by a semi and required two cervical spine surgeries. Because the pain persisted, I was prescribed OxyContin for one year and became ridiculously addicted. Addiction is enslavement and the situation worsens with each relapse. For people who read my book, I want them to understand how medical patients can stumble into dark places and that most people addicted to prescription drugs are not the dregs of society.
Worst advice: When my doctor said I was in pain and needed more OxyContin. He increased my dosage from 20 milligrams to 60 milligrams three times a day.
In five years: I plan to have finished some projects — music and film — and be living comfortably on royalties. I see myself still writing, teaching, mentoring and most importantly, living in peace. I need peace. Then a Grammy would be nice. I will also have a better understanding of the business aspect of music. I know the creative and theory side but the business side is another challenge.
Music you’d take on a deserted island: The Beatles. This band was so eclectic and their music was all over the place. Therefore, I could never get bored listening to them.
Something nobody knows about you: People see me as a very strong person, but honestly, I sometimes feel vulnerable, weak and tired.
If you could be an animal: I would be an eagle. They fly high, they’re powerful and they live alone in remote places.
Desired tombstone inscription: “She went for it.”
Favorite junk food: Dark chocolate.
Personal quote: “Don’t be disappointed if you do not succeed. Be disappointed if you do not try.”
A singer and songwriter, Amber is working on an album for Studio 51, which plans to use her music for national advertisements, talk shows and television shows.
Amber is making her book about prescription drug addiction into a movie. She is currently writing a screenplay.