Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

Spotlight on Amish Fiction, Featuring Author Molly Jebber

The Amish and their simple lifestyle interested me from the moment I learned as a child of their existence. One day I’d like to visit an Amish community, I told myself.

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Image courtesy of Morguefile free photos

When I noticed that a number of friends read Amish fiction, I wondered how many interesting plots could be developed about such a simple way of living. I gave the genre a try and became a fan because the stories are varied and surprising. So far, I’ve read several contemporary novels by authors Laura V. Hilton and Lynette Sowell. The young-adult/teen series Amish Girls by J.E.B. Spredemann is on my to-read list.

Molly Jebber’s debut novel, Change of Heart, is historical and a genre I’ve always loved. In 1899 a young Amish woman’s fiancé jilts her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home but moves to the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio. Sounds like a pretty exciting premise, doesn’t it?

Change-of-Heart cover with extra quilt

Let’s welcome Molly to the blog. If you have any questions of your own to ask her, please leave them in the comments.

Molly, what inspired you to write Amish fiction?

I’m fascinated with their way of life and talents. I love their dedication to serve God. I visited Amish Country in Ohio many times. They work hard and have such a close-knit friendship with each other. It’s heartwarming and uplifting. At the same time, they face hardships and difficult problems just like we do.

Why do you think non-Amish readers should consider reading Amish fiction or why so many already enjoy reading it?

It’s fun to learn about the Amish, their lifestyle, talents and ways of doing things.

I agree!

What is special about your particular novel’s story?

Becca Carrington, a midwife, leaves the Amish community, but she doesn’t abandon her faith and trust in God. She falls in love with Dr. Matthew Carrington, but his wealthy mother will stop at nothing to keep them from getting married. Her plan is for her son to marry a society woman. Becca doesn’t think God would want her to marry Mark against his mother’s will and ends their relationship. She’s miserable and asks God for a miracle.

Did writing your book require any research? If so, what kind and did you travel for it?

I research the Amish continuously and everything about them. Their way of life, laws, rules, toys, work, farming, harvest, weddings, funerals, etc. “Crank cars” were just coming into being. I researched them, the type of dress, the rural area of the town in 1899 and President and Senate history. My story takes place in Massillon, Ohio where William McKinley, President, had lived. I wanted to mention him.

Not all Amish belong to the same type of order or follow the exact same practices. Can you describe the type(s) of Amish portrayed in your novel?

My story starts out in Berlin, Ohio, an Old Order Amish community in 1899. They follow strict rules for no electricity, phones, cars, etc.

Did you include a glossary of Amish words inside your book?

Yes. A sampling is: boppli – baby; kinder – children; mamm – mother; daughter – dochder and I have other Amish words in the book.

Is Change of Heart the first in a series?

Yes, the Keepsake Pocket Quilt series. “Change of Heart” is released June 30th in print and ebook across the web and throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada stores.The second book in the series is “Grace’s Forgiveness” which will release February 29th, 2016. I also have a story in an anthology, “The Amish Christmas Sleigh,” along with Amy Lillard and Kelly Long that releases October 29, 2015.

160 x 338_pp

About Molly, in her own words: 

I said to my loving husband, Ed, “I’ve always wanted to write a book. A story that readers would get lost in for a while.” He said, “Do it!” My daughter, Misty, brother, Mitch, and Mom, Sue said, “Take Ed’s advice, do it!” So I did.

The road wasn’t easy, but the education, Amish research, and ride along the way to getting published taught me to take my favorite verse to heart: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV

I enjoy church activities, time with my husband and family, swimming, reading, and golf (I’m terrible at this, but I try!) Summer is my favorite season, and walking on the beach hand-in-hand with my soul mate is one of my favorite pastimes.

Learn more about Molly Jebber and her writing at

http://www.mollyjebber.com where you can sign up for her newsletter sent out only a few times a year.

You can also find her on Facebook:

http://facebook.com/mollyjebber

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Decorating the Real and Fictional Worlds

Maybe it’s because I spent a number of years working as a decorator, but description of settings in a novel is important to me. I like to read enough detail about the location for any scene to get a clear mental image.

I would rather see too much description and skim over some details than receive too little information. When I can’t picture the setting from the author’s description or from my personal experience (as in contemporary realism), I feel like a blindfolded captive.

Where am I???

Image courtesy of Morguefile free photos

If a reader is more into action than ambiance, he may not appreciate the way I use home furnishing descriptions in my scenes. That’s okay. But I use them to help the reader understand not only the physical setting but also the scene’s tone and the characters’ personalities or emotional state. My decorating experience taught me to understand a client’s needs, desires, and fears when it came to creating an interior environment for him or her. That understanding is reflected in my writing, I hope.

If a character sits in a chair, he interacts with it. How does it look and feel to him? Does the color remind him of something pleasant or unpleasant? A writer can go overboard, but some outward detail can offer the reader inward details about the character.

Whether the fictional environment is a home, a public building, or the wild outdoors, the setting description is an opportunity for the writer to reveal more.

So why not decorate the space and make the most of it.

Do you enjoy reading many setting details or can you do without them? Does it make a difference whether the setting is historical, contemporary, and/or fantasy or science fiction?

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Fascination with the Dead

For followers who are nature lovers, poets, photographers, environmentalists, archaeologists, or anyone who has a sensitive side, this reblog from my group blog site is for you.

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