Welcome back, Beth. Do you have a favorite genre to write? If so, what is it?
I’m blessed to be able to “genre hop” between Amish Fiction and Contemporary Fiction. I got my big writing break with an Amish series, at a time when no one in the industry really knew if Amish stories were going to stick. But after two Amish series and numerous Amish novellas, it’s still a hot genre eight years later. I enjoy writing about the Plain people, but I’ve also penned several non-Amish books—Need You Now, The House that Love Built, and The Promise. I’m grateful to my publisher, HarperCollins Christian Fiction, for allowing me to try new things. I think that by alternating between Amish and Non-Amish stories, it keeps me from getting bored with one genre or the other. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite genre, but all of my stories are relationship driven. I can’t imagine writing a book that didn’t delve deep into a character’s psyche.
If you didn’t live in the part of the country where you do, where would you live?
This is a question my husband and I continue to ponder. We love to travel, and there are still a lot of places we hope to visit. Hubby Patrick says we will know when we see that perfect place we were meant to live, but I’m wondering if I could ever leave my home state—
Texas. You know what they say … it’s great
to go on a trip, but it’s even better to arrive back home.
What foreign country would you like to visit and why?
That would be wonderful. Describe what you think would be the most romantic vacation you could take.
I’m pretty sure we’ve had the most romantic vacation we could take. I can’t imagine anything being more romantic than a recent trip to the Mexican Riviera. My husband’s employer gifted us with an “over the top” trip in 2014. We stayed in the Presidential Suite at Riviera Maya, complete with private butlers, our own pool, indoor/outdoor bathtubs, exquisite meals, private beach cabanas, and a host of other amenities that made it beyond romantic. Following a wonderful meal prepared by chefs in our suite, we followed a trail of rose petals to a bubble bath where rose petals floated atop luxurious bubbles, lit candles, and champagne. They were speaking my language, lol.
Sounds wonderful. James and I have spent time in Manzanilla, which is near the Mexican
. It’s a lovely
place. We had some romantic times on the beach right outside our hotel. We
liked to walk the beach after midnight and sit in the beach lounges and listen
to the waves while we talked. Where would you like to set a story that you
haven’t done yet? Riviera
I have one book set in
is the main theme of this novel? Montana
There are four short stories in An Amish Year. Two of the novellas have been published before, and we added two new tales to the mix. While these short stories are romantic in nature, there are also strong secondary characters sharing the stage with the main players. These subplots not only enhance the romance, but also add aspects of interest to readers who don’t want just a straight romance. All of my books are reflective of my own life and always include themes of forgiveness, faith, hope, and love.
Tell us about the story.
My favorite story in the collection is A Love for Irma Rose. In 2008, I released my first book—Plain Perfect. It was Book #1 in the Daughters of the Promise series, and it included my most beloved characters—Jonas and Irma Rose. This elderly couple stole the hearts of readers, and for the past eight years readers have asked me to write their love story when they were teenagers. I was finally able to do that in this novella collection. The year is 1957, Burger King had just released the Whopper, “Jail House Rock” was playing at the movie theater, and Amish boys raced buggies for sport, much like they still do now. It was fun to write about that time period, incorporating the Amish ways into a story that revived my two most popular characters, and finally being able to give readers a story they’d asked for.
Sounds like a fun read. Please give us the first page of the book.
A Love For Irma Rose by Beth Wiseman
1957, FIFTY-THREE YEARS EARLIER
Jonas clutched the reins with sweaty hands, his fingers twitching as he waited for Amos Hostetler to blow the whistle, signaling the start of the race. He glanced to his right and scanned the crowd, at least fifteen onlookers—including Irma Rose Kauffman. This buggy race down
Blackhorse Road was
more than a friendly competition. More than just a group of Amish kids enjoying
their rumschpringe on a Saturday afternoon. He peered to his left at Isaac
Lapp’s flaring nostrils, knowing that his rival for Irma Rose’s affections
wanted to win as badly as he did. Jonas knew that pride was a sin, as Isaac
surely did, but when it came to Irma Rose, Jonas figured Isaac’s thoughts were
as jumbled as his own. Jonas had been waiting to court Irma Rose for three years,
since right after his father died. He recalled the way she lit his soul at a
time when his grief threatened to overtake him. And now that she was sixteen,
her parents were allowing her a few freedoms.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I hang out at “Fans of Beth Wiseman” on Facebook, but my website—www.bethwiseman.com —is a “one stop” for everything. There are book descriptions and trailers, a place to sign up for my newsletter, and the first chapter of all of my books are free on my website. A true “try before you buy” system, lol, with links to most retail sites. I’m also on Twitter @bethwiseman, and I have a site at Fine Art of America where I showcase my photography.
Thank you, Beth, for sharing this book with us. I know my readers will enjoy it, and I look forward to my copy arriving. I want to read about Jonas and Irma Rose.
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