Q. 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 have been married for 25 years, and my husband and I have two children, or I should say young adults! My son is 21 and my daughter is 23.
Q. What is your go-to research when you’re writing? A specific book? A website? An individual?
All of the above! I became fascinated with learning about the Amish life because it reminded me a lot of the way my dad grew up on a farm with his nine siblings and my mom’s experience growing up on a ranch. I could relate to the Amish lifestyle and appreciated their ways.
Q. Let’s talk about studying the Amish up close. Where has book research taken you?
My research has really taken me back to my roots. I spent a lot of time at the Federal Center and the Mormon Library and learned a lot about my ancestors on my mother’s side of the family, who fought in the Civil War. With the help of my great uncle, who works for the government, I also learned about our Amish ancestors. He actually spent some time with an Amish family we’re related to and related to me his experiences there.
Q. What was the first thing you learned about the Amish? What were a few things you had to “unlearn” about them?
The first thing I learned about was their traditional way of life that I admire so much. I spent some time talking with an Amish Bishop and his wife and enjoyed the few times I spent with them at their dinner table so much. They were strict in some ways and not in others. From what I’ve noticed in general about the Amish people, each group is different. When outsiders observe the way they live, and how different it can be from the way we live, some appreciate it while others don’t. I think it depends on each individual and where they are in their own lives – their family life, their faith and their feelings about following rules. We all have obligations and convictions in life – it’s how we express those values that makes us different from one another.
Q. What are your thoughts about the growth of Amish fiction? Why do you think it is such a popular sub-genre?
I feel people yearn for a time that has passed – when life was more simple and you helped your fellow man/woman. There was less technology and more time spent together with family and friends. People shared time together cooking and talking rather than watching movies or TV. People made things instead of buying them at the store.
Q. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
My latest book Clara’s Wish, tells the story of Lizzy Ryder, who wishes for the perfect man: an upstanding, hardworking, God-fearing gentleman who will fulfill her every need. But the man her friend, Clara, introduces her to is nothing of the sort. But Clara’s dying wish is for them to be together.
Zack Shrock wants more than anything to redeem his shady past, but can’t trust himself to stay on the right side of the Amish ways, and even more so, on the right side of God.
When Clara promises to bring Lizzy the man she’s always hoped for Lizzy starts making big plans for his arrival. But the entire situation might not be what Lizzy expected.
Beth Shriver wrote her first novel in 2002 and a year later it was published. Prior to becoming an author, she was a social worker, but became interested in writing about the Amish when researching her family history when she learned she was related to the Glick families in Europe. She also freelances for local papers in her area, writes columns, devotionals, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Beth visits Amish communities in her area, Ohio, Lancaster and Pennsylvania. When not spending time with her family or friends she helps feed the homeless in South Dallas.
Purchase Beth’s books here.
Sign up here to be the first to get exclusive news delivered to your inbox monthly. New books, cover reveals, coupon codes, first-look excerpts and much more.