With this, my first day as a regular on Amish Fiction Authors, I thought it appropriate to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about who I am and what I write.
My name is Laura Bradford and I’m one of those folks who knew what she wanted to do in life—career wise—since I was ten. Though, at the time, I envisioned myself a children’s writer.
Fast forward about twenty years to the birth of my second child. Enough time had passed since leaving my job as a journalist that I felt it was time to take a long hard look at my fiction writing dream and see if I could make it come true. But when I sat down and really thought about what I enjoyed reading at the time, I felt the pull toward mystery.
What I didn’t expect was that writing mysteries would lead me to the Amish, yet it made perfect sense. Hands-down, my favorite books as a child were the Little House books. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I read every one of those books (except, perhaps, Farmer Boy) a dozen times each. Easy.
Even then, I was drawn to a simpler life—not simple in terms of how hard they worked, there’s no comparison…but to the kind of life where toys were simple, wants were simple, and family looked after family.
For me, the Amish live very much like Laura Ingalls and her family did. They work hard, they live simply, and they are content with what they have. Yet the Amish do it surrounded by a modern world—a world with cars and technology and high priced toys. To me, that’s fascinating and it’s why writing a mystery series—and (as of June 26th) a women’s fiction novel—set in Amish country with Amish characters has become my preference and my passion.
I also see writing about the Amish as coming with a responsibility of sorts… To get it “right,” and to not perpetuate mistruths. Too often in life, when little is known about a group of people or a culture, the tendency is to make things up, rather than take time to learn the truth. Making sure I get the Amish ways right in my books is of utmost importance to me and I hope that I do it in a way that makes my characters and my stories come alive. If you’d like to take a peek at my Amish Mysteries series with Berkley Prime Crime, (or learn more about my upcoming Amish women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister, with Kensington Publishing as that release draws closer), please visit my website: www.laurabradford.com.
Thanks for allowing me to spend a little of your day with you today.
I’ll be back next time with a peek at some of those story gems I’ve stumbled across during my many visits to Amish country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.