During the weeks we spent creating this special issue of CCM, members of our editorial team enjoyed several planning meetings with Amy Grant, both at our offices and in her home.

To our pleasant surprise, rather than opt out of some of the tasks we wanted her to take on, she requested more and more involvement. On one April day in particular, she not only kept plugging from one meeting to another, she took time out for an extended lunch with our entire Salem Publishing staff. The setting was up-close and personal and filled with all sorts of interesting conversation as Amy fielded our onslaught of random questions, and somehow, managed not to talk even once with her mouth full. We thought you’d enjoy this peek behind the scenes, which includes a sampling of our informal Q&A with Amy.

Q:  Are you currently working on any collaborations with other artists?

Amy:  Nope. I wrote a song with Vince yesterday, and we finished it. We were sitting at lunch with this preacher friend of ours, Mac Hanna, who lives in Atlanta. Mac married a woman named Patty. He actually led her to the Lord on their first date. He took her to the beach. He [recalls], “I don’t know what I was thinking. Make out? Share Christ? Make out? Share Christ? I guess I was so taken with her I shared Christ.” They have grown children [now] and are grandparents several times.

Mac was telling us that every year he has talked to Patty’s brother about Jesus and shared with him. I bet they’ve been married 30 or 35 years. Mac said, “I’m not trying to be a broken record, but he’s my family.” We sat down and Mac said, “You’re not going to believe it. Patty’s brother — I went to visit him, and he said, ‘Mac, let’s just go fishing.’” So they got out on this fishing boat and were in the middle of a pond and he said, “I’m not sure what it is, but something in my heart feels like it’s ready to change. Will you tell me one more time about Jesus?” [Amy looks across the CCM conference room table, seeing others are struck by the turn of events.] Of course, Vince and I are going, “It’s a song!” (Laughs)

Patty’s brother accepted the Lord after 30 years and how many conversations? So we finished a song yesterday. It starts off, “here comes my old friend the preacher knocking at my back door/ he’s been out trying to save all the sinners/ he’s been here a thousand times before/ I love his easy conversation/ man, he sure can talk/ always points my need for salvation/ even though he knows I’m stubborn to a fault/ tell me one more time about Jesus.” In the second verse he walks the aisle. It was just so much fun to write a song that came from a real place.

Q:  Do you have a dream duet partner that you’d love to record with some day?

Amy:  It used to be James Taylor. I did call him and ask him if he would sing a song with me, and he said, “Yes.” I was so excited. I sent him a song. He called me back and said, “I was just hoping we could do a really special song, and this is so average.” (Laughs) Of course, I had written it. It was immediately removed from the record. I’ve gotten to sing with some really neat people.  I don’t know.

Q:  Do you have any projects of your own that you’re already planning?

Amy:  Well, Radio Shack is going to do a music line like Starbucks does. My old friend Chris Christian — who signed me to my first record deal when I was 15 years old — has been assigned to this music line coming out of Radio Shack. So I’m going to have a Christmas compilation. It will be songs from the three records that I’ve done and maybe a few other things.