Today I’m thrilled to have my friend, Beth Shriver, visit our blog. Beth is an awesome writer, and I know many of you have read and enjoyed her books. Beth has very kindly offered to give away a copy of one of her books. Leave a comment below, and we’ll randomly draw a winner in a week.
Amish Overload by Beth Shriver
When my agent suggested I write an Amish story a couple of years ago I wondered how exactly one would do that without knowing them. Although, I have always admired their determination to live a life that is from the past, somewhere between the prairie days and a modern day farm, but there is nothing modern about them. And there are a lot of different groups with different names that mean different things. There’s the Old Order, the New Order, the Progressive Amish and the Beachy Amish, Beachy Mennonite Amish, and Amish Mennonite, Swartentruber Amish, and there’s even more. Whew! Are you confused yet? I was.
I still had no idea how much research there would be for this story. That’s when I discovered how many other people were searching for information about them too. I don’t know when it happened or how, but people are crazy over Amish. The conversion rate is up and tourism is at an all time high. There are Amish documentaries, movies and even a reality show called Amish in the City. You can buy a Whoopie Pie at Starbucks and Shoofly Pie at your local Corner Bakery.
So great, there’s a ton of info out there to do research for my books. But once I got started there was so much, I had to start piecing together what I needed for each story. There is always research when writing a fiction book, no matter what you’re writing about but I’d never had access like this. It’s turned out to be just as much work sorting through the information than trying to dig up info on a less demanding subject.
There’s another problem. The Amish don’t want to be the center of attention, and you can’t take their picture, so there are not many ways to get a first account from the very people I’m writing about. Fortunately, I’ve found an Amish group an hour away so I have some Amish to observe first-hand in case there is something I’ve written that may be questionable or doesn’t depict them in the correct light. I recently attended an Amish wedding which was very different than any I’ve been to or read about, so the informative was important to know before writing a similar scene in one of my stories.
So when people ask me, “How are you going to write all of those books about the Amish?” My reply is, “How am I going to fit all of this information into these books?”
You can connect with Beth here and find her on Facebook here. You can also check out all of her books on Amazon, B&N or CBD. Be sure to leave a comment below, so you’ll be entered in the drawing, and a big thank you to Beth for joining us this week.