When I set out to write my first Amish romance, I wanted it to be out of the ordinary…one that would stand out in the crowd of Amish romance novels.
What I got was a re-write of my own history with a lot of imaginative twists!
Being my first Amish romance novel, I wanted to do what all the “experts” advised and write what I know…I came from a big family, and had spent a lot of time on my uncle’s farm as a young child, and I lived in Goshen, Indiana for several years and interacted with the Amish and observed their way of life, so I already had half the battle played out in my head.
Next came the romance portion…I always wondered what it would be like to be Amish, but never figured you could just walk into their group and say “Hi, I’m here. I want to join and become Amish”. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s where Jane, my main character, came into play. She had to be at just the right age to meet, and fall in love with “the Amish boy next door”.
Knowing that the chances of becoming Amish by marriage was a close impossibility as well, I decided to set the backdrop in the 1970’s, in a time of flower-power, hippies, and love, when that was the backdrop of America…so my end result is a story of a teenage hippie-chick falling in love with the teenage Amish boy next door.
The entire series started out as my own story, and how my life would have been if I’d married an Amish man, had a large family, and lived a great life doing so….but my life just wasn’t like that…so I threw in a bit of reality from my own life and mixed it with Jane’s to bring my readers the story of Little Wild Flower.
Book Four in this series deals with the reality that I lived through as a child of an alcoholic mother, but offers a happy ending filled with forgiveness and strong family bonds in the book (unfortunately not the true ending for me as a child), but I know that readers like a conclusion, where my conclusion and healing didn’t come until years later than it did for Jane, the imaginary me.
In the end, this series goes the direction I imagine my life would have gone if I’d married into an Amish family and experienced the strong bonds of love, faith, and loyalty that the Amish people represent as a whole.
My biggest hope for this series is that my readers enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.