Welcome back, Laura. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I have recently signed another three book contract for another Amish series, set in
. The series is
tentatively titled New Beginnings and are about Amish starting over in
Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married for 28 years (in December) to my wonderful husband, Steve. We have five children (two boys and three girls), three are adult, and two are still at home. I homeschool through highschool. My husband and my middle daughter are my first readers, editing as I write, and my youngest son offers suggestions to make it more exciting. Not that I follow them! He’s into sci-fi and fantasy—not Amish romance.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
My initial response is, not really, but yes, it has, some. I don’t read as much when I’m under deadline so it takes a bit longer to read a book start to finish. My family has taken on some review responsibilities, my two youngest reviewing children, tween, and young adult books, and my husband taking on medical thrillers, military thrillers, and other genres he’s interested in, to help keep my blog active. I also notice that when something works and a book grabs me and hangs on tight, I go back and dissect it to see what that author did that worked and how I can learn from it.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on the first book in the New Beginnings Amish series, and that is tentatively titled The Amish Firefighter I was thrilled to discover that Amish are actually quite active as EMTs and Firefighters in some districts.
What outside interests do you have?
I love lighthouses. As a
native, I grew up around the Great Lakes, the
lighthouses, and the Coast Guard. So Michigan
history is an interest. I currently live in Arkansas so we’re doing a lot of Civil War
studies and cavern studies, not to mention native crafts. We’re trying candle
making and soap making. My oldest daughter has learned basket weaving with
natural materials (grasses, reeds) and my youngest son has made several brooms.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes that is decided for me. I initially thought I would do one series in a different area, but I have readers requesting stories of secondary characters, so I’m doing at least two series in an area now. I choose
Seymour ( Webster
is about two hours away and I drive through it when we go to visit my husband’s
family. He also has an aunt (not Amish) who lives in Seymour. I choose Jamesport because I always
wanted to visit there. And recently we visited another Amish district in Missouri which piqued my
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Not sure He would be considered *historical* but God. I have a lot of questions for Him. If not them, then either Mary or Martha. I would like more details of their stories.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I think I would’ve looked into ways to keep in shape/fit as I write. It’s hard to carve time out of a busy life to go on daily walks and long periods of time in a chair tends to take it’s toll.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To give it to God. He’s got it. And stop trying to jerk it back and handle it myself.
I think we all suffer with that problem. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Put your bottom in a chair and write.
2. Join a critique group.
3. Don’t write a word without giving it to God first.
Excellent advice. Tell us about the featured book.
Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers.
Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back.
When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The hairs rose on the back of Greta Miller’s neck, and her skin prickled the way it did whenever someone stared at her. She should be used to the attention. Used to feeling like a caged circus animal, with all the tourists who came into the Amish Country Store. But this seemed different somehow. She turned away from the boxes of cereal she’d been unpacking, and her eyes met Joshua Yoder’s penetrating gaze.
He stood stock-still, not ten feet away, his hand holding his hat slightly above his head, as if he’d stopped mid-lift. His blue eyes narrowed.
Her mouth went dry. Her chest hammered.
“Greta….” He lowered his hat to his side and approached, a smile slowly forming on his lips.
Nein. She couldn’t deal with him and those emotions today. Or any day. She fled down the aisle and ducked inside the door marked “Employees Only.” She would find some work to do in back until her shift ended.
As she dashed past the employee break room, she glanced at the clock. Fifteen minutes till she got off. He should be long gone by then. She wiped away a renegade tear.
After Greta clocked out, she made a few purchases—a bottle of olive oil, a jar of yeast, a fresh pineapple, and several avocados—and surveyed the store. Nein sign of Josh. She sagged with relief.
“Bye, Greta.” Her cousin Rachel waved from the cereal aisle, where she’d taken over the task of unloading boxes.
Greta waved back on her way out the door. “See you tomorrow.”
Greta stepped outside and into strong masculine arms that swept her up against a solid chest …
I sure want to find out what happens next. I’m sure my readers do, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Here are purchase links for my books:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton
Thank you, Laura, for sharing this new book with us.
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