Beverly Lewis: True Confessions
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of FamilyFiction digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!
Even after publishing more than 80 books, winning numerous awards, and watching several of her novels turned into hugely popular television films, Beverly Lewis is one of the most humble ladies you’ll ever meet. As Christian fiction’s leading writer of Amish tales, she calls herself driven, motivated, passionate, and earnest about creating stellar stories that touch hearts and make a difference in readers’ lives. “I can’t really not write, or I get sick,” she admits. “I’ve been creating stories and characters that seem to live and breathe since I was a little girl. I guess it’s just who I am. It’s similar to the way I feel when I don’t play the piano for a few days, as well. So, while it’s hard to explain, this is my strange reality. This urge to express myself with captivating characters and dilemmas is something very strong in me, and I have to pay attention. As long as my muse shows up, I write for God’s glory.”In 2011, one of Beverly’s most beloved novels, The Shunning (Bethany House) was adapted into a Hallmark Channel original movie by Michael Landon, Jr. and Brian Bird. The moment it aired, viewers clamored for the novel’s sequel to follow.
Thankfully, our wait is almost over: The Hallmark Channel will broadcast The Confession in May, with a arrival on DVD and streaming in June.
“There is nothing quite like this continuing story,” Beverly says.
The author, along with her husband, oldest daughter and granddaughter, were able to spend two full days on set during the filming process. Look for them in the background as “extras” during the scene where Laura Mayfield-Bennett introduces her long-lost daughter (the imposter Katie Lapp).
“Hollywood is known for mixing things up in a movie, you know,” Beverly says, perhaps recalling how her own novel The Redemption of Sarah Cain (Bethany House) saw major plot changes when it was adapted to the screen. “But after reading the screenplay, I knew Michael and Brian had made every effort to be true to the core of my story. I really appreciate that. We’re truly a team in that way. Their mission matches mine. Providing wholesome and faith-based films for family viewing is their calling. They are respectful to the heart of my stories and receptive to my input. What author typically gets invited to edit the screenplay? That’s a rarity in Hollywood, let me tell you.”
The actress who played Katie in The Shunning wasn’t able to reprise her role in the sequel, but actress Katie Leclerc (Switched at Birth) has picked up the reins and taken off with the role. “Katie Leclerc has an amazing vulnerability she brings to the character of Katie Lapp,” Beverly says. “When you see the movie you’ll notice it immediately. All of us have fallen in love with her work and her brilliant acting ability. She is every bit, if not more so, my Katie Lapp. She is the perfect choice for this movie— and the next.
“Viewers will be helpless to feel anything but connectivity and intimacy with the leading actors in the movie,” Beverly says. “I can assure readers who love this series that they will adore The Confession movie as well. It is compelling, heartbreaking, heartwarming, inspiring, and so thoughtfully, if not tenderly, portrayed in every way. And, yes, The Reckoning movie is in the works!”
Glimpses of Lancaster County with Beverly Lewis
Join Beverly Lewis on site in her childhood home of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania as she shares some of her earliest memories of writing and of her mother, the inspiration for her bestselling novel The Shunning (Bethany House). Click Here.
Beverly Lewis’ The Confession
Sherry Stringfield (ER) and Katie Leclerc (Switched at Birth) star in the Beverly Lewis’ The Confession, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie on Saturday, May 11. The dramatic sequel to 2011’s Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning, the sequel is based on the second novel of The Heritage of Lancaster County Books from author Beverly Lewis.
The series is based on some of the heartbreaking experiences of Lewis’ maternal grandmother, who was born into the Old Order Mennonite Church, which became the genesis of Lewis’ fascination with her Plain heritage. Katie Lapp (Leclerc) is an innocent young Amish woman who has ventured out of her small Lancaster community for the first time after a painful incident led to her “shunning” from the very township that raised her. As she takes on the unfamiliar outside world, she is desperate to track down her birth mother, a wealthy and generous woman named Laura Mayfield-Bennett (Stringfield) who is sadly dying of cancer. With only a few months to live, Laura and her husband Dylan (Adrian Paul, Highlander) prepare Laura’s estate and will. When Dylan, a greedy gambling addict, finds out he will inherit close to nothing from his wife, he hires an out-of-work actress, Alyson (Julia Whelan, Once and Again), to feign as Laura’s long-lost Amish daughter—hoping Laura will take the bait and leave her entire estate to her only child.