Patricia Davids here to tell you a little bit about my first foray into writing a story with Amish characters.
I had written about ten inspirational romance novels for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line a few years into my career. My previous three books had been about military characters and the amazing Commanding Generals Mounted Color Guard at Fort Riley, Kansas. They are active duty military men and women who keep alive the US Army’s tradition of horse mounted cavalry. I share this because I enjoyed the research it took to produce accuracy in my stories about the men and about the horses.
It wasn’t long after I completed the last book in the series when I was contacted by my editor at Love Inspired. Emily Rodmell asked me if I would be interested in creating an Amish series for them. Knowing next to nothing about the Amish except that I loved Harrison Ford in the movie Witness, I told her I would have to do some research and get back to her. I know she didn’t ask me because I lived near large Amish communities, because I don’t. I live in Kansas. However, I was determined to dive into research about the Amish way of life and their beliefs. Mind you, this was before the Internet has become saturated with information about the Amish. But I do love research.
I contacted a friend, another Kansas writer named Kim Vogel Sawyer. Kim had written several “bonnet books” about Old Order Mennonites. Kim was able to steer me toward reliable and factual research books. I read a novel by Beverly Lewis and another one by Wanda Brunstetter. While these proved useful, I knew I couldn’t write like Beverly, Kim, or Wanda. If I was going to write a novel with Amish characters, it would have to be a Patricia Davids novel. I tend to like stories about redemption and returning home. I also love tossing a baby into the mix.
The story I came up with many years ago was called Katie’s Redemption, about a very pregnant unwed mother returning to her Amish home only to discover her family had moved away. She is forced to rely upon Amish strangers when her baby is born. It was the first book in a three-book series called The Brides of Amish Country.
Well, it started out as the three-book series. The characters and the town of Hope Springs, Ohio became so popular with my readers that they begged for more stories. The Brides of Amish Country series ended up being thirteen books in all. The only way I was able to end the series was to introduce a bachelor from Bowmans Crossing, Ohio who had four unmarried brothers and two unmarried cousins at home. The last book in the Brides series introduced my readers to the Amish Bachelors series.
USA Today Bestselling author Patricia Davids grew up on a Kansas farm with four brothers. After college she began a wonderful career as a nurse. In 1973 Pat wrote a letter to a lonely sailor. Little did she know her talent with words would bring her love, marriage and motherhood.
An avid reader, Pat longed to write a book, but put her dream on hold as she raised a family and worked in an NICU. It wasn’t until 1996 that she began writing seriously. Today, Pat enjoys crafting emotionally satisfying romances where love and faith bring two people together forever.