When you are given an opportunity to interview an author you grab it. Oh the things my mind needs to know. With the holiday season on us and an opportunity to sit down with a favorite author I couldn’t pass it up. Or the fact that Kathleen is offering a giveaway as well. It’s a win-win. Win for me with the ability to get some questions off my mind and win for you as she shares her answers and her talent.
Does your family have any specific Thanksgiving traditions?
My mother-in-law’s cornbread dressing. She would make it much better than I do, though. It’s a simple southern recipe that my husband loves.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Eating! Actually, I’m serious. We don’t have any long-standing traditions in my family, other than baking and eating Christmas treats. When my kids were young, we used to bake a cake for Jesus’ birthday. That is one tradition I want to keep going.
Do you decorate all out for Christmas or keep it simple?
Very simple. I’m not a good decorator and I have eclectic taste, so I keep things to a minimum for the sake of my very conservative, contemporary-style husband. I’d be happy with sparkles and color everywhere, but that would drive him nuts. 🙂
What interested you in writing Amish fiction? Do you live near the Amish/have plain relatives?
My interest developed when we moved to Ohio from Arkansas. I was interested in the culture even before I started writing. When the opportunity to write Amish fiction became available, I decided to go for it. I don’t have any Amish or plain relatives, but I did make an Amish friend in Middlefield who helped me out with my first books. My background is actually Eastern Orthodox, although I’m Protestant now. The Anabaptist faith was something very unfamiliar to me, and I had to research and learn about it in order to get it right in my stories.
Several of your earlier Amish books were set in Middlefield, OH. Was that intentional in that you had been there and enjoyed it or a location you knew a lot about? How do you decide what community to set each story line in?
I used to live near Middlefield, which is why I set my early stories there. No one was writing about Middlefield, and it’s a unique community in that Yankee and Amish intermingle a lot more than many other Amish communities and they don’t have a lot of tourism. I started the fictional community of Birch Creek because I wanted to build a “new” Amish community that would grow along with each book. Since it’s my “own” town, I’ve had a great time developing it and the characters.
How do you celebrate after you finish writing a book?
Start on the next one. 🙂 Oh, and chocolate.
Thank you so much, Kathleen, for taking time to answer a few questions and providing the reader’s with the opportunity to have their own interview with you!
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