How much research did Arms of Love take?
Since much of Arms is focused on PTSD, it took months of both clinical and historical research. It was consuming but great fun. I love history.
What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Arms of Love?
I learned how incredibly persecuted the Amish were in the Old World---it drove them to America. But their tortures and sufferings there were unbelievable and unable to be written as they were so truly heinous. I learned that this suffering produced an incredible will in an incredible people.
How many books will be in the Amish Beginnings Series?
I hope there will be at least four…Isaac’s story is next and then we move ahead to the Amish and the Industrial Revolution and then the Amish during the World Wars. But, the history is only backdrop or a rumbling to what actually goes on within the context of the community. I want to delve into the beginnings of this people to understand better why they do what they do today.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
I have two special needs kids with MANY issues. It is so hard to write amidst stress and pain, but God does it. I am terrified most of the time that things will not get done but God works to accomplish in the midst of what appears to be chaos.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I like finishing. That may sound odd, but it’s true. It feels good to finish a work and then reflect on it.
What writing clubs or organizations do you belong to?
I belong to ACFW, The Writer’s View, Amish Living, Blog regularly for Amish Hearts and have a critique partner full-time.
What were your favorite books as a child?
I loved Sydney Taylor’s All-Of-A-Kind family books—about a Jewish family growing up in New York in the 1920’s. I loved Little House, Anne of Green Gables, and poetry of any kind.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in between?)
I write non-linearally. I write Chapter 3 then Chapter 9 or whatever. I see it all laid out like a puzzle on the floor and I just pick up different pieces and fit them together…it keeps things engaging for me.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
I suppose that I should say yes…but I used to teach high school…I keep a tight rein on my brain and thus on my characters. So, they pretty much do what I want…I think that may be bad but there it is.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
Let’s see…I have Seth’s story, the third novel in A Patch of Heaven series coming up. An Amish Wedding comes out soon…An Amish Kitchen is due for next year. I have two interesting books in the kettle…The Amish Brides of Ice Mountain and Amish Unseen Forces—A spiritual warfare attack on an Amish community…..so it should be busy.