VC’s not-so-messy desk
We’ve been following a “get to know one another” theme here on the blog. So far we’ve covered–
Today I wanted to answer a question I get a lot–Where do you get your ideas? That’s a great question, though of course it’s not an easy answer. Story ideas come from many different places. Personally, I’ll have something in my mind, think about it, chew on it for a few weeks or months while I’m writing something else. Then, if I’m lucky, those ideas bake together into a satisfying story. A few places I find ideas are:
- Visiting the area I’m writing about
- Reading the Budget
- Listening to other people talk about family and friends
- News stories
- My own friends and family
VC’s research shelf
One thing I learned early on is that an idea doesn’t make a story all by itself. You need several ideas and at least 2 characters who seem real. Once you have all of that, you’re ready to start!
As far as research, I have a lot of reference books to help me, and I have trip notes. I also have email addresses for a few Mennonite friends who are willing to answer questions, and other authors of Amish fiction are also more than happy to help if you have a question.
It’s been a lot of fun crafting stories for the last 10 years, and I hope to continue doing so for the next 10 (God willing and the creek don’t rise, as my grandpa used to say).
What about you? Do you have a good story idea? I’m all ears. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section.
Announcements for this week
- Amish Christmas Matchmaker debuted at #4 on the Neilsen Book Scan list and #12 on Publishers Weekly Mass Market list. A big thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy. You should be able to find the book in local Walmart stores for another two weeks–if they’re not sold out. And it’s always available through on-line stores.
- I have new items in my VC Boutique Store, including fall hats, book bags, and a new afghan. Check it out here.
- I’m putting the final touches on my new Amish cozy mystery, Dead Wrong which will release on November 5th, and yes–it will be available at all retailers in both print and ebook.
VC at Essenhaus in Middlebury, IN
One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is WHY AMISH? It’s a pretty specialized genre, so why write Amish books? The question always makes me laugh, because if you’d asked me 10 years ago, I would have never guessed that I would have Continue reading
Do you read the book dedication in the front of books?
I do. In fact, I read all of the front matter. It’s a funny thing. If you’re reading on an e-reader, sometimes they start on page 1 of chapter 1. I always want to shout “Slow down, Nelly.” I have to tell the e-reader to go to the cover, and let me read all of the front stuff. Of course if it’s a print book, I can just flip to the front!
For me, it’s a special thing to be able to dedicate a book to someone. After all, it takes a village to Continue reading
Today is my book birthday! I’m so excited that Amish Christmas Memories is now available in stores. (The ebook will release on 12-1, so hang on dear e-readers.)
I can’t say that in 2010 I imagined releasing 30 books in 8 years. At the time, I was thrilled that someone wanted to publish A Simple Amish Christmas. I think it’s fitting and right that my 30th Continue reading
As fall settles over the Texas Hill Country, my thoughts turn to good books and old friends. Not such a strange combination, if you think about it.
I love to read in the fall. (Confession–I love to read all the time.) When the weather turns cold, I like to make a hot cup of tea or coffee, grab a book, and curl up in a chair. I can disappear there for hours on end. Sometimes it takes a good friend to tug on my arm and remind me Continue reading
Some of you may have seen my announcement on Facebook that I’ve signed a contract with Harlequin/Love Inspired for 6 additional books in my Indiana Amish Brides series. I’m beyond excited and grateful. So today, I thought I’d share with you a peek into what’s Coming Soon … Continue reading
I’m so happy to announce that A Widow’s Hope is now available in stores! (The ebook will release next Wednesday, August 1st). This is my first Harlequin/Love Inspired book, so I thought I’d tell you Continue reading
I‘m so happy to share with you the cover of my first Harlequin/Love Inspired book. Isn’t it beautiful?
And here’s the back cover blurb:
His scars are visible.
Hers are hidden…
An Indiana Amish Brides match
After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart?
This week I wanted to share with you pictures from the Amish community in Monte Vista, Colorado. If you’re receiving this blog in your email box, you might need to click on the link in order for the photographs to show. Who the Bishop Knows, the last of my novels set in Monte Vista, officially released on March 6, and I’m so pleased at the response. Thank you to everyone who Continue reading
Who the Bishop Knows will officially release on March 6, so today I thought I’d share with you what happens when a book releases. There was a time when a book release meant a flurry of signings at bookstores and possibly a book tour. Times have changed though, and in our virtually oriented world, book releases look Continue reading