Anne: Our interview this morning is with Amy Clipston, author of Amish Christmas Collection (see yesterday's review) as well as many, many other books. I hope you enjoy getting to know Amy a little better; I certainly have.
Amy, would you please tell us the inspiration for the two stories?
Amy: A Plain and Simple Christmas was inspired by a trip to Lancaster County, PA. My editor, Sue Brower, and I spent a couple of days touring the area. We also visited one of my Amish friends. Sue and I were talking one night while staying at a bed & breakfast in Paradise, PA, and Sue came up with the idea of having a shunned character come home to Lancaster to see her family at Christmas. The story grew from there!
My dear friend Lauran inspired Naomi’s Gift. Naomi was a character featured in A Place of Peace, which is the third book in the Kauffman series, and she had her heart broken in that book. Lauran really liked Naomi and insisted she needed her own story. Lauran’s suggestion led to the book.
Anne: I like the way the two stories are interwoven with family members. Have you written other books about the Kauffmans?
Amy: Yes, there are five books in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, including: A Gift of Grace, A Promise of Hope, A Place of Peace, A Life of Joy and A Season of Love. Each book focuses on different member of the Kauffman family. I also wrote a young adult book, Reckless Heart, which features another Kauffman granddaughter, Lydia Bontrager.
Anne: Do you have a favorite character in the books?
Amy: Yes. My favorite is Lindsay Bedford. Readers first meet Lindsay in Book 1, A Gift of Grace. Lindsay’s mother left the Amish community when she was young. When Lindsay’s parents are killed in a car accident, she and her sister, Jessica, come to live with their Amish aunt Rebecca Kauffman. Readers will see Lindsay mature throughout the series. She’s featured in Books 1, 4, and 5. I really enjoyed seeing Lindsay grow up.
Anne: Do you think any of the characters resemble you?
Amy: Hm, that’s a tough question. No, I don’t think so.
Anne: What was the hardest part of each book to write?
Amy: I think the hardest part is getting into the story and letting the words flow. Sometimes I worry so much about how good the story is that I don’t enjoy the process. Getting the first draft done can be grueling at times.
Anne: I can relate to that. What is the easiest part for you?
Amy: Nothing about writing is easy, but I enjoy polishing my work after the first draft is complete. It’s fun to reread what I wrote and add the details.
Anne: I'm sure you are working on another novel. Would you like to tell us about your next book?
Amy: I’m working on a brand new series called the Heart of the Lancaster Grand Hotel, and the first book will debut in the spring of 2013. Here’s a blurb for the first book, A Hopeful Heart:
In Hopeful Heart, Hannah Glick, a recently widowed Old Order Amish woman, struggles to support her three children after unexpectedly losing her husband. When she meets a nice Englisher (non-Amish man) at the luxury hotel where she works, her world is turned upside down while she tries to decipher God's plan for her.
Anne: Thanks for coming by for a visit today, Amy. I really loved what you had to say about your books. Folks, if you would like to go to the book review on yesterday's blog http://pewperspective.blogspot.com/2012/12/book-review-amish-christmas-collection.html, you will see links to where you can purchase that book and others Amy has written.
I'm sure Amy would be willing to answer any questions if any of you have some. Have you read any of Amy's books? What did you think?
PS: AMY SAYS SHE WILL GIVE A FREE BOOK TO ONE COMMENTER ON THIS INTERVIEW! This contest runs only through this Saturday, 5 pm Pacific time and is available only to US residents.