Have you heard? The Amish are all the rage. Flip through the TV listings and you’ll find Breaking Amish, Amish Mafia, and Amish in the City. Click on the Wall Street Journal online and read the article, “Why Amish Romance Novels are Hot.” All good news considering my latest release from Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit, is set in Amish country.
Coincidence? Not at all.
Two years ago, I was at the RWA national conference when I heard a Harlequin editor say she’d love to see more Amish romantic suspense. I had long been fascinated with the Amish and I had been trying to sell a book to Harlequin. This was my chance. I just knew it. Before I even checked out of the hotel in NYC, I had an idea: What if a plane crashed in Amish country? The idea of Plain Pursuit was born.
As soon as I arrived home, I started my research. I read Amish fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction books from authorities on the subject. One of the authorities is a professor who kindly answered many of my questions via email. I visited an Amish community about sixty miles south of my home outside of Buffalo, New York. I weaved my story ideas with my growing knowledge of the Amish and their way of life.
One of my biggest concerns regarding writing about the Amish—the research—turned out to be one of the best parts about writing the book. I learned so much about the Plain people who live “in this world, but not of it.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the Amish, I’d recommend:
· A Pocket Guide to Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark
· Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler
· Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher
· Amish Society by John A. Hostetler
· New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State by Karen M. Johnson-Weiner
I've never watched the TV shows I mentioned above because I believe they distort what the Amish are really about. However, since I haven’t watched more than the promos, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe.
Amish fiction, on the other hand, tries to capture the appeal of the Amish. Country living.No car pool. A simpler time.
The reality of Amish life is not exactly the same as the romanticized version in popular fiction. However, romance readers can’t seem to get enough of the quaint life of the Amish.
I just ordered a new book, The Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels by Valerie Weaver-Zercher, a scholarly book about the popularity of Amish fiction. I can’t wait to read it. Should be very interesting.
Have you ever read Amish fiction? What do you think the appeal is? I will give one random person who comments an ebook copy of Plain Pursuit (from Amazon or Barnes and Noble/US).
And thank you, Susanne Dietze, for inviting me to stop by.
Alison Stone left snowy Buffalo, New York and headed a thousand miles south to earn an industrial engineering degree at Georgia Tech in Hotlanta. Go Yellow Jackets! She loved the South, but true love brought her back North.
After the birth of her second child, Alison left Corporate America for full-time motherhood. She credits an advertisement for writing children's books for sparking her interest in writing. She never did complete a children's book, but she did have success writing articles for local publications before finding her true calling, writing romantic suspense.
Alison lives in Western New York with her husband of twenty years and their four children where the summers are absolutely gorgeous and the winters are perfect for curling up with a good book--or writing one.
Random Acts and Too Close to Home were released by Samhain Publishing in 2012. Plain Pursuit, a Harlequin Love inspired Suspense, is available now.
Besides writing, Alison keeps busy volunteering at her children's schools, driving her girls to dance, and watching her boys race motocross.
She’s always at the following locations:
*** Plain Pursuit:
Danger in Amish Country
When her brother is killed in a small Amish town, Anna Quinn discovers she's an unwelcome outsider. But the FBI agent investigating the case is right at home—because Eli Miller was born and raised in Apple Creek's Plain community. Eli left his Amish faith behind long ago, but his heart is rooted in a local cold case he can't forget—a mystery with strange connections to Anna's loss. Desperate to uncover the truth, Anna and Eli are faced with stony silences and secrets…secrets that someone wants to keep buried in the past.
Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Click here to buy for PlainPursuit!
Thanks for sharing with us today, Alison!
And to our guests: don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing to win an e-copy of Plain Pursuit! Be sure to leave your email addy in the comment! We'll draw for a winner Friday at 11:59 pm PDT.