Thursday, January 06, 2011
I tend to write about forgiveness the most. We all seem to know it’s the right thing to do, to forgive, but it doesn’t come easy sometimes. I also write characters who are on the fence so to speak. They sort of believe in God, but they don’t really have a relationship with Him, and it’s life-changing when they discover the friendship, that God isn’t just an idea or something we’ve been taught in church or Sunday School. He’s our best friend.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My next release will be book #5 in the Daughters of the Promise series—Plain Proposal. And in Oct. 2011, book #2 in the Land of Canaan series will release—The Wonder of Your Love. An Amish Wedding will release Dec. 2011, a collection of novellas by me, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long. From there, I will be releasing my first women’s fiction book (non-Amish) tentatively titled Let Me Love You.
A lot is going on in your writing life. I'd love to feature all those books, too. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
This is always a tough question for me, and I’m sure I should pick someone else, but the same name always comes to mind. Donny Osmond. I guess I fell in love with him all over again on Dancing With the Stars, but it’s not just the dancing, the music, etc. He reminds me of simpler times—fresh cut grass in the 60s, helping my dad wash the car, playing baseball in the cul-de-sac, posters on the wall, friends, and let’s face it—he’s aged well! My husband took me to Las Vegas recently to see "Donny and Marie," and he kept his hand on mine the entire time. I’m pretty sure he was afraid I would storm the stage.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I believe that anyone can get published if they don’t give up. I was 45-years-old when I sold my first series to Thomas Nelson, and I have enough rejections to paper my walls. The turning point for me was when I realized that being a good storyteller is not enough. You have to master the craft of writing. And, the right manuscript has to land on the right editor’s desk…at exactly the right time. And on God’s timeframe, not ours.
Seek Me With All Your Heart follows a real-life trend—Amish making the trek to Colorado for cheaper land, more room for future generations, and in some cases…to flee strict bishops with long memories. My characters are both running from their past, hoping the distance will help erase their painful memories. What they find is a new beginning in the Land of Canaan filled with hope; that God longs to give them the desire of their hearts if only they will seek Him first. This first installment in the Land of Canaan series is the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year.
This sounds different from the other Amish novels I've read. Please give us the first page of the book.
Emily stood behind the counter of her family’s country store, watching as the tall man walked down each aisle, the top of his black felt hat visible above the gray metal shelving. First thing that morning, he’d strolled in and shot her a slow easy smile, white teeth dazzling against bronzed skin. He moved slowly, sometimes glimpsing in her direction.
Emily twisted the strings on her apron with both hands and tried to slow down her breathing. Her heart pulsed against her chest as she glanced out of the window toward her family’s farmhouse in the distance. Where is Jacob? Her brother knew she didn’t like to be left alone in the store, and he’d promised to be right back.
Their community was small, and all the members in the district knew each other, which was the only reason Emily agreed to work in the shop. But this Amish man was a stranger. And Amish or not, he was still a man.
Emily jumped when the man rounded the bread aisle toting a box of noodles in one hand and a can in the other. With the back of one hand, he tipped back his hat so that sapphire blue eyes blazed down on her. As he approached the counter, Emily clung to her apron strings and took a step backward.
“How come everything in this store is messed up?” Tiny lines creased his forehead as he held up a can of green beans with a large dent in one side. Then he held up the box of noodles. “And this looks like it’s been stepped on. It’s mashed on one side.” He dropped them on the counter, then folded his arms across his chest and waited for her to answer.
He towered over her. Emily stared straight ahead, not looking him in the eye. The outline of his shoulders strained against a black jacket that was too small. Her bottom lip trembled as she turned her head to look out the window again. When she didn’t see any sign of Jacob, she turned back to face the stranger, who looked to be about her age—maybe nineteen or twenty—which didn’t make him any less threatening. His handsome looks could be a convenient cover up for what lies beneath. She knew he was not a married man since he didn’t have a beard covering his square jaw, and his dark hair was in need of a trim.
I'm liking this already. How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.bethwiseman.com/, http://www.amishhearts.com/, http://blog.bethwiseman.net/, and on Facebook.
Thank you, Beth, for this wonderful interview. I look forward to seeing you at conference again.
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