Q&A: Kelly Irvin (A Plain Love Song)
WHERE DID YOU GET THE INITIAL INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?
It actually started with the desire to use Branson, Missouri, as a setting. I knew I was setting the New Hope Amish series in Missouri. My husband and I took a research trip to Jamesport, Stockton Lake, and Branson. I thought what a contrast between the bling of the shows in Branson and the simple lives led by the folks in the Amish settlements around the state. I love the contrast and the conflict it could represent for an Amish girl who loves music. One thing simply led to another and A Plain Love Song appeared.
ADAH MUST DECIDE BETWEEN HER DREAM AND HER HOME. A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO AREN'T AMISH FEEL THIS STRUGGLE AS WELL. WAS THIS A CHOICE YOU EVER HAD TO MAKE?
Maybe not with so much at stake, but I did have some similar struggles when I left my small hometown of Abilene, Kansas, to go to college. I was the first to go away to the university in my family. This was more than 30 years ago and my parents were particularly conservative. My dad didn't want me to leave home. If I were to have a career, it should be in nursing, teaching or as a librarian. I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. He was afraid I'd never settle down and get married. As it was I married at 30. Common these days, even young, but to my parents, who married at 16, I was the proverbial old maid. They were so relieved when I finally did marry. I never moved back home, but I always have my roots in small town, Kansas.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGER THEMES IN THIS NOVEL THAT READERS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO?
Today's society encourages us to follow our dreams. No-holds-barred. Go after what you want. Adah's story suggests we might do well to stop and listen and wait for the Lord's word on what He wants for us. He has a dream for us. Sometimes we're so intent on our dream, we lose sight of the important things in our lives, such as family and faith. How much is your dream worth, in the end? If you have fame and fortune, are you happier? Or lonelier?
WHO IS ONE CHARACTER IN THE NOVEL WHO CAPTURED YOUR HEART?
I have to admit it. I love Jackson Hart. He's a cowboy; he's cute; he's a musician, and he has a brash way about him that makes you want to smack him. Such a swagger. Yet, underneath it all, he has a big heart and he wants to be loved and to love. He's a walking love song. No wonder Adah is swept off her feet by him.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR A GOOD ROMANCE?
Two hearts that are open and willing to take a chance, even knowing they might get broken. Passion. A sense of humor. A sense of adventure. That elusive thing called chemistry.