Does Amish fiction have to be realistic?
When I began writing, at first with my teen daughters, the stories were pretty typical Amish-type books. We had in mind to write an ‘American Girl’ type Amish series for teens. They didn’t exactly turn out that way, but we had a blast writing them and I hope they continue to fulfill the purpose God has for them.
Since the inception of the Amish Girls Series, God has given me many more stories (and continues to!) that I feel compelled to write.
I describe my writing as Different Amish Fiction. I can’t claim to have been the originator of the term, though. That distinction belongs to my readers. After reading several reviews, one word readers used to describe my writing kept jumping out at me. And that was the word ‘different,’ which I thought was the perfect way to describe my stories.
Can realism and speculation meet in the realm of Amish storytelling? I like to think that they can.
At least, they do in my stories. I like to ask the ‘what if’ questions. What if an Amish girl and an Englisch girl were doppelgangers and they unknowingly switched places? What if a California surfer girl’s parents passed away and her next-of-kin relatives were Amish? What if a young Amish man became homeless?
I also like to include stories that reach down into the soul and cause a reader to ponder something they may have not previously considered. How much would you sacrifice for the one you love? Would you be willing to give up all that you love for the sake of what’s right? Would you offer your very life, knowing that you might be required to give it?
Sometimes, to say life is unpredictable is a huge understatement. We never know what might be just around the corner. But we can know that God is there with us at every turn. As a matter of fact, He not only knows what is coming but He sees the whole picture. I want to portray that in my books. I want my stories to draw readers closer to the God Who’s got the whole world in His hands.
I call them my stories, but I really desire them to be God’s stories. Or, stories in which God gets the glory.