Welcome back, Shelley. How did this book come about?
A Daughter’s Dream is the second novel in the Charmed Life Amish Series. Each novel focuses on one of the Kinsinger siblings, four adult siblings who run a large lumber mill in Charm,
Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
This cover is unique to me because I was able not only to choose the models on the cover, but I was able to go to the photo shoot! When I arrived, the photographer asked me to chat with the models about the characters they were portraying. To my delight, they both seemed excited to give being “Jacob and Rebecca” a try. We walked around the fields and the photographer clicked away. Soon, I felt like I wasn’t seeing two models but the characters in my book come alive. The scene that you see on the cover was perfect for their personalities.
Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
When I developed the Charmed Amish Life series, I knew I wanted it to center the storylines around a lumber mill, because the Keim Lumber Mill is a major employer in the real Charm,
I also wanted to name some of the other spots one might visit when they come to
the area. So I did my best to focus on those realities. Besides that, though,
most of my novel is fiction. I made up all the people, made up a tragedy that
took place at the lumber mill, and of course, the storyline is all my own.
How much research did you have to do for this book?
I’ve found that visiting places where I’ve set my novels is extremely helpful. I’m able to add lots of small details that I would have known about if I hadn’t actually visited the place. Enjoying a few days in each setting also helps me set the overall tone in my novels.
I actually did quite a bit of research for this series. I toured the lumber mill and did a lot of reading about Amish-owned lumber mills. I visited all the real places that I mention in the book. I used my teaching experience to help with the scenes that took place at the school. I even spent a day researching pygmy goats for the scenes with Princess. That part of my research was a lot of fun!
What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
I’m a big believer in letting the characters drive a story. Because of that, although I have researched a place thoroughly, I often won’t write paragraphs filled with details about the scenery or history of the area. I don’t want the reader to get bogged down with information that doesn’t pertain to the book’s plot.
What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
Since I don’t plot very much before beginning a novel, I’m always surprised about what happens in a book. A Daughter’s Dream was no different! The biggest surprise was that the original goals and dreams that I had planned for them to have changed.
What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
As always, I hope that readers will be able to relate to the characters and find that they enjoyed reading it. I also hope that they’ll be interested enough in the Kinsinger family that they’ll want to read the third and fourth book in the series.
What is the next project you’re working on?
I’m currently working on several novels that will be published in 2017. I’m finishing up a novella set in Pinecraft, writing the second book in next year’s Amish of Hart County series, and revising a western historical.
What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Since I always work on more than one project at a time, I’ve found that I do take breaks from my stories. This really helps me see areas where each book could be improved.
Thursday, August 13
Keeping twenty-five schoolchildren reasonably happy and on task for a solid hour was harder than it looked.
As Rebecca Kinsinger stood at the front of the classroom and eyed the group of students staring right back at her, she realized she had seriously misjudged her ability to manage small children.
In the last hour, the twenty-five students, ranging in ages from five to fourteen, had decidedly taken the upper hand. They’d talked to one another. They’d ignored her wishes. They didn’t seem all that interested in the work their usual teacher had assigned them to do. Even the four children whom she knew well were acting up. Evan, Samuel, Maisie, and Gretel Kurtz acted as if they had forgotten that their elder sister, Darla, was married to Rebecca’s brother Lukas.
It seemed that different rules applied at school than when they visited her home.
As a former teacher, I know how that first day feels. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me on Facebook at shelley shepard gray, on Twitter @shelleySGray, and on my website, at www.shelleyshepardgray.com
Thank you, Shelley, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Daughter's Dream - Christianbook.com
A Daughter's Dream: The Charmed Amish Life, Book Two - Amazon
A Daughter's Dream: The Charmed Amish Life, Book Two - Kindle
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