Q&A: Amanda Flower
Amanda Flower loves books. She loves them a lot. As a librarian and an author, she'd better! Her most recent novel, A Plain Death, takes people to Appleseed Creek, Ohio where all is not well in Amish country...
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR BOOK?
Growing up in Ohio, I always was aware of the Amish. My family would take annual trips to Amish Country every spring, eat too much Amish food, and buy Amish crafts. However, I really noticed the Amish when I was in my twenties and took a job at a small university library in the middle of Ohio’s Amish Country. While there, I saw Amish on a daily basis around town, going about their business like everyone else. I lived there for three years and that time in my life inspired the novel.
ALTHOUGH YOUR BOOK IS FICTION - WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF SOME ELEMENTS IN THE BOOK THAT CAME FROM REAL LIFE?
In A Plain Death, the protagonist moves to Ohio’s rural Amish Country because it’s the only place she can find a job as an IT specialist. Although I am a librarian and not an IT person that is exactly what happened to me right out of graduate school. At twenty-four, I had a master’s degree but no practical experience. The only job offer I received was for a small college in the middle of Ohio’s Amish Country. I took it and lived there for three years. My experience was very much a city girl moves to the country tale like Chloe has in the novel.
FACT VS. FICTION - WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME EXAMPLES IN YOUR NOVEL WHERE YOU TOOK SOME LIBERTIES WITH THE FACTS?
Knox County, Ohio is a real place and the county seat, Mount Vernon, is too. However the town of Appleseed Creek is fictional. There are many towns in Knox County that are just like it, but by creating my own village, I had more liberty to include everything I wanted in the book.
WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR BOOK?
I hope readers learn in my Amish novels that the Amish aren’t that different from the rest of us. They have a sense of humor, dreams they hope will come true, and fears about what the future may hold for them and their friends and family. They can also make bad choices that may result in another person’s death.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH STORY TO WRITE?
I always have dozens of ideas for new mystery series. I let them percolate in my mind. Then when I’m ready, I write a few pages in the protagonist’s voice to see if it works. Not all do. Right now, I have five ideas in my head that I’m dying to write down, but I’m forcing myself to wait until I meet my deadlines with other projects. It’s tough. There’s nothing more fun than chasing a new idea.