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Before we get to your talent for writing, let’s learn more about you as a person. What stage of life are you in?
I’ve been married for twenty-seven years and I’m a mom of ten (seven through adoption) and a grandmother of two, with many bonus grandkids. My youngest son and oldest grandson are only nine months apart … so I’m doing all of it at the same time!
What is your go-to research when you’re writing? A specific book? A website? An individual?
If it’s possible, I love to talk to people face to face. I love interviewing them and asking questions. I love to walk the streets of the place I’m writing about. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but often it is. I also love memoirs and personal letters. I love to go beyond what I can find on the Internet or in books. Some of the best stuff comes from people when they are just sharing honestly about their lives.
Let’s talk about studying the Amish up close. Where has book research taken you?
I’ve written about Amish in Florida, Montana, Ohio and I’m currently working on an Amish mystery set in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I’ve been blessed to have been able to visit all of these places! The Amish communities in each place are as different as the communities themselves. The thing I didn’t realize at first is how well Amish from all of these places know about each other. It’s fun to be in Florida and talk about a mutual friend who lives in Montana. Who knew?
What was the first thing you learned about the Amish? What were a few things you had to “unlearn” about them (preconceptions)?
One thing I learned right away during a visit to an Amish home is that young kids speak Pennsylvania Dutch, NOT English. I was talking with some small kids and I had no idea why they weren’t answering me!
One preconception that I had to unlearn is that all Amish live by the same standards and follow all the same rules. I’ve later discovered that each community sets their own rules. What is alright to do in one church community may be off limits to another church community a mile down the road. (For example, one community may be allowed to use a gas-powered lawn mower and the next community may only be able to use a manual, push lawnmower.)
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 think this can be true. Sometimes it’s easy to believe that Amish live perfect lives. Yet, they are human with sins and struggles like everyone else. I’ve tried to address some harder issues in my fiction. For example in my Amish novel A Promise Box my protagonist was adopted by an Amish family after she was conceived by rape. It’s a story of discovering that each of us is chosen by God. Mostly, I think that glossing over real problems issues may make for a sweet read, but lives are changed when we’re willing to dig deeper.
What are your thoughts about the growth of Amish fiction? Why do you think it is such a popular sub-genre?
I believe it’s popular because we all live such busy and hectic lives. It’s peaceful to read about people who choose to live a simpler life with a slower pace.
Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
My current work-in-progress is not Amish fiction. I’m currently writing a parenting book … one that might even help Amish parents! LOL
I’m passionate about… My family! I’m so thankful for my husband and I’ll the children God has brought into our home.
People don’t know I’m good at… Cooking. Maybe one day I’ll write a cookbook!
More about Made with Love:
A Dash of Love, a Pinch of Hope, and a Whole Lot of Good Cooking Lovina Miller should be thrilled.
Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.
A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets? Find inspiration, romance, and authentic Amish recipes for everyone’s favorite food—pie!
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published more than sixty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Learn more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com.