Rumspringa’s Hope was released in May of this year. I was pleased with how the story unfolded and have had only positive responses. The main characters in the story go to the city to evangelize and learn a lot about finding where you fit into God’s plan. I’m a “seat-of-the pants” writer, and I love the surprises I find in the plot along the way. One of the characters initially appears caring and considerate, but he ended up showing his true selfish nature.
Q. How does your experience with the Plain People play into your novels?
A friend and I flew to Pennsylvania la few years ago to do some research for my books. It was a glimpse of what daily life is like for the Lancaster Amish and great writing material for my books. We were both surprised at how much we enjoyed the trip. It was like going back in time as we saw the sprawling farms, and enjoyed the absence of noise, business and stress.
Q. Which aspect of Amish culture are you drawn to the most?
Their strong family values, which many in our culture have lost hold, along with their much more limited use of technology. Electronics have really taken over our lives in both good and bad ways. One of the things I admired so much in my grandmothers was their art of conversation. I’d sit for hours with them talking the time away and found it much more rewarding than any electronic device could ever be.
Q. Ever had any unusual or embarrassing moments while doing research?
At Amish weddings, there is a tradition that women go through the receiving line with the men behind them. When I went to an Amish wedding with a friend, my friend didn’t know the custom and mingled with the men’s line. She didn’t notice until I tugged on her arm and I told her she was with the men. Her usually pink cheeks went bright red!
Q. What are your readers saying about Rumspringa’s Hope?
The consistent response is that the book is unique and not like other Amish stories. I’ve also heard from readers who don’t usually read Amish fiction but are glad they picked up Rumspringa’s Hope. The comment I’ve heard that I appreciate the most is that the book has helped them learn more about forgiveness. To be honest, it’s very difficult for me to forgive as well.
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.