Hi everyone! It’s nice to meet you, and I’m excited to be part of this blog. I hope we’ll meet here often as you come back to read my posts.
My writing career is fairly new. I started writing for publication in 2011, almost seven years ago. I say, “writing for publication” because I’ve done a lot of writing in my life – pretty much ever since I could form letters with my super-thick pencil back in kindergarten. But even though I’ve always wanted to write fiction, for years God gave me the message, “not yet.” He had other things for me to do.
So, I homeschooled our four children through high school and I was a leader in Bible Study Fellowship for ten years. I’ve taught Sunday School, worked in a library, and we’ve moved an average of once every five years since my husband and I were married more than thirty-five years ago, living all over the Midwest.
But then came the day when God said “now.”
Now that the door was open, I knew exactly what stories I wanted to write.
I had become interested in genealogy as an extension of my passion for history. I had always heard that my great-greats somewhere back in the generations had been Amish, and I went on a search to discover why I grew up Church of the Brethren instead of Amish.
That search led me to my Amish ancestors who were among the first to settle in Pennsylvania in the 1740’s. One of my great-great-greats lived in the Northkill settlement, the first Amish community in America. They moved from there to Lancaster County, then went west in later generations to Somerset County in western Pennsylvania and Holmes County in Ohio. They finally settled in northern Indiana, about the time of the Great Schism in the 1860’s – when the Amish had their first major split, and where the term “Old Order Amish” comes from.
As I researched, stories formed in my mind, filling in the details that genealogy leaves out. Those stories have become my novels.
My Amish books from Love Inspired Historical are set in LaGrange County, Indiana in the 1930’s. I have mined my dad’s memories of growing up in northern Indiana during that time, and the stories are inspired by my family’s history.
My books from Revell, the “Journey to Pleasant Prairie” series, tell the story of what might have happened as my ancestors moved west from Lancaster County to northern Indiana in the 1840’s. A second series from Revell is in the works, and takes place in a fictional Holmes County, Ohio Amish community during the American Civil War. The series is called “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek,” and the first book, The Sound of Distant Thunder, will be released in November 2018.
Today, my husband and I hope we’ve made our last move. We live in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, close to famous places like Mt. Rushmore and Badlands National Park. We are almost empty nesters – we have one son living at home while he finishes his college degree. We spend our free time in the Hills as much as possible, hiking and enjoying the scenery. When I’m not writing, I refill my creative well by reading and indulging in my one addiction, counted cross stitch.
I hope we learn to know each other well through this blog! Blessings to all!
Connect with Jan:
Fun blog: yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com
Facebook: Jan Drexler, Author