Before we get to your talent for writing, let’s learn more about you as a person. What stage of life are you in? (Married? Single? Children? Grandchildren?)
I’m married to my best encourager and supporter, Ed. He named my first book, Change of Heart, and he’s good at brainstorming ideas with me. My daughter, Misty, and my brother, Mitch, also do this and have the knack to make me laugh at any given moment. Something I love them dearly for, especially on those days when I’m ready to pull my hair out over a difficult scene!
My favorite part of writing and speaking is meeting such kind and thoughtful readers and other authors. Readers and friends emails and notes mean so much to me.
I also speak for Women’s Christian Connection – more personal about me and my faith in God at luncheons throughout the U.S., and I learn so much from people who attend about what they are doing to help people around the globe. It’s been so inspiring.
I manage to work in lunch/dinner/shopping/swimming/a little golf/plays and walks on the beach with family and friends when I’m not writing or speaking.
What is your go-to research when you’re writing? A specific book? A website? An individual?
I visit Amish communities and talk with the Amish and Mennonite women. I have found a large number of websites and books on Amish history, traditions, and faith giving me a wide variety to use to write my stories.
Let’s talk about studying the Amish up close. Where has book research taken you?
I’ve visited Berlin, Mt. Hope, Middlebury, Charm, and Sugarcreek in Ohio many times throughout my life and really enjoy each one. I enjoy Pinecraft near Sarasota, Florida, and I’ve been to Shipshewana, Indiana. I’d like to go to other communities in other states. I always find the tours very helpful.
What was the first thing you learned about the Amish? What were a few things you had to “unlearn” about them (preconceptions)?
First thing – That they believed in God much like I do, as far as their faith being based on John 3:16 in the Bible, even though their lifestyle, traditions, clothes, laws, and other things are different from the way I live. I do like my makeup and cute shoes!
First thing I had to “unlearn” about the Old Order Amish: I thought they could wear any solid color plain dress. I’ve learned they are limited to certain colors for their dresses according to what has been decided on for their particular community.
Amish fiction authors are accused of romanticizing the Amish, of glossing over real problems. Some feel very vitriolic about it. How do you respond to that concern?
I am sorry they feel that way. I enjoy all types of books, including other Amish author’s books. In the ones I’ve read, I didn’t feel they romanticized the Amish. In my books, I like to show my main characters face some very tough situations to remind us they can face danger, hardship, prejudice, disobedience to their laws, etc. As an example In Two Suitors for Anna, Anna’s sister, Leah, gets into some trouble with an Englischer. She comes to Anna for help. Anna’s integrity and loyalty to her mother are challenged. I’ve heard many stories through my life where siblings have asked for help and put the other in a difficult position. My goal is to do my best to provide a good story to please the readers.
What are your thoughts about the growth of Amish fiction? Why do you think it is such a popular sub-genre?
They are different in their dress, lifestyle, and traditions from us. They are a “quiet” and nonthreatening group of people. We love new and different. It’s interesting to learn about their ways even if we don’t agree with some of their laws.
Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
Two Suitors for Anna releases January 31 in stores and in e-book. It’s the third book in my keepsake pocket quilt series.
Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two sisters, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.
Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share . . . .
Things about me . . .
I swam with dolphins in another country where the instructor got out to answer her cell phone and left me with them alone. Crazy – but it was fun. Would I do it again without an instructor, probably not! I parasailed and loved it. I love all things seafood, and yes, even frog legs. I break out in embarrassing red blotches when I cry. I’m allergic to garlic – and I love spaghetti!
I’m passionate about . . .
My faith in God, family, and friends. I’m also passionate about providing good books to entertain you!
Enter to win a copy of Two Suitors for Anna below or click here!
Molly Jebber is the author of Change of Heart, and the novella, The Amish Christmas Sleigh. Fascinated by the Amish history, culture, Molly perused her passion to write about the Amish people. She also has three more titles debuting with Kensington Publishers in 2015 and 2016. Publisher’s Weekly listed Change of Heart as number three in their best ten review list for 2015. Romantic Times gave Change of Heart 4.5 stars. Molly enjoys time with her family, friends, traveling, swimming and golf.
Molly’s latest release, Two Suitors for Anna, releases January 31!