Q&A: Mary Ellis (A Little Bit of Charm)
Can you tell us about Rachel, your main character in A Little Bit of Charm?
Rachel is a young woman who is "testing the waters" before committing to the Amish faith (called rumschpringe). She loves her family's culture and heritage, enjoys her new job as a tour guide on a horse farm, but falls in love with her English boss. Obviously she has some major choices to make since the Amish don't work outside the home after marriage and must marry within their faith. Rachel stands at a crossroads. Although she won't be shunned because she hasn't officially joined the church, nothing in her life will remain the same. Despite what you might see on reality TV, most Amish youths are happy with their current lives.
Why do you enjoy writing Amish novels?
Mainly because I'm a "Little House on the Prairie" kind of woman. Although I'm forced to use the internet, Facebook, and my smart-phone to survive in this business, I'm really very un-techy. I still write the first drafts of my novels longhand.
Researching and then crafting stories set in the various Amish communities allows me to step into their simpler worlds at least for a short while. But I must be honest: I wouldn't want to give up my coffeemaker, DVR, or my convertible!
What's on the horizon for you? More in your New Beginnings series?
Right now I'm working on a three-book historical romance series set during the Civil War. Book one--The Quaker and the Rebel releases on January 1st and involves an Underground Railroad conductor who falls in love with her adversary. My next full-length Amish fiction will be A Plain Man coming in April of 2014. It is a sequel to Sarah's Christmas Miracle. Regarding book four in the New Beginnings series? Only time will tell.