Many of the leading authors in Amish fiction have a personal connection to the Plain People—and Cindy Woodsmall is no exception.
In fact, the New York Times best-selling author’s connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. “Staying in the homes of my Plain friends definitely impacts the emotive journey of my characters,” Cindy shares, “and I think my experiences add an authentic feel to the story. After earning the trust of some—perhaps many—in the Plain community, I’m honored to say that whenever I’m staying with my Plain friends, their friends and relatives stop by and share various events from their lives with me as an author.”
In August, Cindy takes readers back to Dry Lake, Penn., with The Harvest of Grace (WaterBrook Press), the finale of her Ada’s House series. In the novel, Sylvia Fisher and Aaron Blank are two broken people grasping for a new beginning. Will their conflicting efforts on the future of the farm mask the path to forgiveness, grace, and the promise of love?
“This series grew from a conversation I had with an elderly Old Order Amish man while visiting in his son’s home,” Cindy says. “We talked for a long time, and he shared things that are a part of each novel in this series.”
Not that everything she hears goes in a book: “I’m in and out of the Plain community pretty frequently now, and those who know me have learned I protect their right to privacy like a guard dog. I know so much more than I’m allowed to share. Wherever I’m staying, Plain people will stop by with food in hand and a story they want to tell me. I make sure they understand how different the story will look once in print. I often discuss the various ways that event might look after I’ve written it. If they still want me to use their story, I try to do so.”