Q&A: Kelly Long
The author shares about her Amish romance Lilly's Wedding Quilt, the second volume in her Patch of Heaven series:
She isn't looking for love. He's mending a broken heart. It will take divine intervention for these two to get together.
Q: COULD YOU SHARE WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE LILLY'S WEDDING QUILT?
I like issue-driven writing. In the case of Lilly's Wedding Quilt, I wanted to explore
clinical depression among women, illiteracy and how a person can disguise
this, and the reality that love is a choice, not an equalizing emotion. All
three of these issues worked to inspire the writing of the novel. And, while
these may sound like weighty subjects to explore, the novel moves at a fast
pace with a lot of heart and passion.
Q: YOUR SERIES 'PATCH OF HEAVEN' FEATURES DIFFERENT CHARACTERS -- WHAT THREADS
TIE THE DIFFERENT TITLES TOGETHER?
I'm writing this series based on
childhood reflections of the North Central Pennsylvania Amish...those of
Centre and Clinton counties, where I was born and raised. "Pine Creek" is
the main fictional Amish district that encompasses these remembrances, which
largely center around quilting or the images of quilts drying on
clotheslines. When I was at university, I wrote an honor's project on
"Quilting as...Memory, Healing, Reflection." To a large extent, each title
represents a larger quilt block of memory...Sarah's Garden is thinking about
the Kitchen Garden as Quilt--with its colors and rows and patterns. Lilly's
Wedding Quilt is based on the fabric of marriage, the everyday in and outs
that build an ongoing sense of perpetual wedding. And Threads of Grace will
be about the actual act and history of quilting and how pieces become a
whole...how people become whole.
Q: WHAT GOT YOU STARTED AS A WRITER?
I started as a non-fiction writer and
experimented with alchemizing genres a bit in college. But, to put it
simply, God got me started by linking my past with the potential of a
proposal for a series. I wrote the proposal in a week, had it bought in a
week by Thomas Nelson, and here I write...because of Him.
Q: HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
As the mom of two special
needs children at home, I cannot write without my faith in Christ. I simply
cannot do the physical act. He keeps me going, literally. I've learned,
through Him, that work can be done in ten minute, meaningful snatches; much
the same way that our interactions with others for His Glory are done. We do
not typically have a lot of time to analyze when we express what we know to
be true to someone about Christ--it's the same with writing for me--I'm
writing from Him working through me. And that is very humbling and
exhilarating at the same time.
Q: WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
hope that this truth comes across with the most resonance: Never make a life
decision based on fear. Characters who do operate from a vantage point of
fear either face consequences or lose out on a blessing. It holds true for
real life. Christ is not about fear; He's about abundant life--and fear
holds no place in that equation.