What experience or research do you bring to writing about the Amish? What do you do to make sure you get the details right?
I write about the Amish in Missouri, where I’ve spent most of my life, because I know about the lay of the land in the Missouri countryside where there are several Amish communities. I also set my books in Missouri because most other authors write about Lancaster County or other better-known Amish settlements.
I did some extensive on-site research in Jamesport, Mo., as I began writing Amish stories back in 2009, and now that I live in St. Paul MN I’ve maintained my friendships with a couple of non-Amish folks who act as my research assistants. Whenever I have a question as I write now, I can email these folks and they in turn consult with their Amish neighbors and give me the insights I need.
How does your faith impact how you approach storytelling?
As a very active choir member and Deacon in my Presbyterian congregation, I’m a big believer in being the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth—giving direct help to those who need it—which is also a value the Amish cherish. Also, I sometimes get story ideas from Sunday sermons, or I take note of scripture passages that would be relevant for the bishops and preachers in my books to use!
What do you hope readers take away after reading Light Shines on Promise Lodge?
I’m delighted when readers tell me that my books take them away from their everyday problems—or from the bad news we learn each day about national/world events. If first-time readers find this book, I hope they’ll be inspired to read the four books that preceded it, of course!
In particular, I hope readers come away from Light Shines with a sense that if characters like Gloria and Phineas can rise above their old habits and reconcile their relationships, then any of us have that same chance to make a better life for ourselves and our families.
What do you consider the best ways for readers to support their favorite authors?
Readers best support authors by not only buying their books new (so authors get royalties from those sales) but also by talking up those authors’ stories to their friends who read. Online reviews at places like Amazon, BN.com, GoodReads, etc. are also helpful, and so is recommending favorite stories in Facebook groups where readers who enjoy that genre of book will read their recommendations.
Visit Charlotte Hubbard’s Author Page
For abandoned wife Annabelle Beachey, Promise Lodge is a refuge where she’s gained confidence and self-sufficiency. But she and others are dismayed when newly arrived Bishop Clayton King claims the community is too progressive and sets out to change its ways. Worse, her husband, Phineas returns, expecting her to give up her faith as he has. And he won’t leave Promise Lodge without her…
But little by little, Annabelle’s determination and new forthrightness make Phineas realize his mistakes—and truly hear his wife for the first time. Meanwhile, Annabelle finds herself feeling compassion—and even renewed love—for her newly humble, more caring husband. And as Bishop Clayton’s attempt to control Promise Lodge threatens everything its residents have built. Phineas and Annabelle must work together with unshakeable courage to save their new home—and their opportunity for forever happiness.