Rebecca's Choice, Rebecca Series #3Rebecca's Choice, Rebecca Series #3
Jerry S. Eicher
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Rebecca Keim is now engaged to John Miller, and they are looking forward to life together. When Rebecca goes to Milroy to attend her beloved teacher's funeral, John receives a mysterious letter accusing Rebecca of scheming to marry him for money. Determined to forsake his past jealousies and suspicions, John tries hard to push the accusations from his mind.

Upon Rebecca's return, disturbing news quickly follows. She is named as the sole heir to her teacher's three farms. But there's a condition-she must marry an Amish man. When John confronts Rebecca, she claims to know nothing. Soon Rachel Byler, the vengeful but rightful heir to the property, arrives and reveals secrets from the past. Now the whole community is reeling!
     


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Jerry EicherAs a boy, Jerry Eicher spent eight years in Honduras where his grandfather helped found an Amish community outreach. As an adult, Jerry taught for two terms in parochial Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. He has also been involved in church renewal for 14 years, and has preached in churches and conducted weekend meetings of in–depth Bible teaching. Jerry lives with his wife Tina and their four children in Virginia.

  • Favorite Verse: John 1:12  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

 

 Our Interview with Jerry Eicher


 

What inspired your interest and passion for Amish fiction?

I grew up in the faith, saw it loved with great passion, and that no doubt influenced me. Granted, I have left, but is not love forever?

How did you come up with the concept for Rebecca’s Choice?

From parts unknown, the concept came, of an Amish girl who on the eve of her engagement remembers a promise made to another boy in grade school.

Rebecca’s Choice of course, is well into the story, but that’s where it all started.

Is any part of Rebecca’s Choice factual?

Not that I am aware of.

How closely is Rebecca’s Choice based on your life experiences?

I didn’t personally experienced anything connected with the story.


How did you choose the location for the setting?

I needed a covered bridge, preferable in the north. I knew that Ohio had them, since I used to live there, and so I tracked down an Amish community which had exactly what I needed. It seemed more than coincidental that the Amish community associated with the Wheat Ridge Amish, located in Milroy, Indiana should also have another set of conveniently located covered bridges.

 

How long did Rebecca’s Choice take you to complete?

Something on the order of four months, for the first book.

Do you have a favorite character in Rebecca’s Choice? Why?

Strangely, it is the secondary plot line, i.e. Rachel, the villain. Misguided as she is, I was stirred with compassion to somehow reach her, to penetrate the blindness with which she has surrounded herself.

How much research did Rebecca’s Choice take?

A day trip to the Wheat Ridge area, and satellite imaginary of the Milroy, Indiana area.

What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing Rebecca’s Choice?

I became acquainted with the Wheat Ridge Amish community, and subscribed to their little bi-monthly newsletter, The Wheat Ridge Exchange.

How many books will be in the Rebecca Series?

Three

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

The emotional drain of the write. I hadn’t quite imagined it to be so severe.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

To see a new world come alive on the pages.

What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)

I am by nature structured, I structure whether I want to or not. I suppose the style is my own, though. I need a foundational idea, a broad structure of the story, a solid beginning and a satisfactory end. From there, I go, and use the title to keep myself in the zone.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

That is what I hope for, that the hunks of clay begin to breathe. Since no man can give life, one can only give thanks to God when you think that happens.

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?

There are plans with Harvest House for another three books, The Little Valley Series, based in Upper, New York State. First book, A House to Build, due out in Jan. 2011.

 What message would you like your readers to take from Rebecca’s Choice?

I intentionally don’t write with a message in mind. That said, the theme did turn into one of victory over fear and jealousy in relationships.

What is your greatest achievement?

I was present at the birth of our first child. My reaction to his cry, was both unexpected and deeply transformational. Tina and I are now the parents of four children.

In other ways, one is thankful for all success, and I hope some of my best accomplishments are still ahead, hint…hint…the New York Times bestseller list. Yet, at the end, it will have been enough that I was a father.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

The celebration of Christian values.

What do you do to get away from it all?

I suppose the trick won’t always work, but for now, I write to get away from work, and work to get away from writing. The vacations, my wife plans those.

 

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