Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interview with Author, Samantha J. Bayarr

Interview with Amish fiction Author, Samantha J. Bayarr 
and Kindle/Nook Book Giveaway
Winner of giveaway will be able to choose one of the above: Jacob's Daughter, Little Wild Flower, book one, or The Quilter's Son (if you choose The Quilter's Son, it won't be available until July 2012)
I'm thrilled to feature an interview with Amish fiction author, Samantha J. Bayarr, today.  Samantha is also graciously offering a kindle or nook book of your choice from the three titles featured above.   Leave a comment on this post to enter the contest.  I will draw a winner on Friday, June 21, 2012.  For extra entries (up to 3), follow my blog, share on facebook or twitter, and leave a comment telling me how you shared to enter.   Thanks!  
What prompted you to write Amish fiction, Samantha?  Do you have any family in the Amish faith?  When I lived in Goshen, Indiana, for almost ten years, I came to enjoy mingling with the Amish.  I would often stop at their roadside stands where they sold bread, baked goods, and vegetables.  They were so kind and had a genuine "happiness" about them that intrigued me.   After my second year in Indiana, I joined a women's Bible study group where there were a couple of Mennonite women in the group.  As I got to know these women, their gentle spirits made me want to be a better person.  We cooked together (they introduced me to fried frog legs {tastes like chicken!!}) and canned vegetables for the winter, etc.  I learned a lot about their Amish ancestors and the culture in general.
One of the women even took me to her mother's home for lunch one afternoon (her mother drove a horse and buggy), and I was amazed at the humble nature of this group of people. I never did get the buggy ride I wanted though!   
When I wrote my first Amish series, Little Wild Flower, I wanted to write the story from the perspective of having an outsider become Amish.....and so my main character, Jane, is a hippie from the 1970's who falls in love with the Amish guy next door after her family moves to the country.
You deal with some heavy issues, such as child abuse, alcoholism, and others in your books, do you ever receive criticism for that?   By the way, I personally find it refreshing that you portray the Amish as "human", for that they are.   Also, I feel it brings needed attention to issues of great importance.   
In my series, Little Wild Flower, most of the story is based on part of my true-life story.   I was the daughter of an alcoholic mother who was very abusive.   She came to know Jesus later in life and we had a wonderful life full of forgiveness in her later years.  I wanted to incorporate those issues into the story to make it more "real" to the readers.  I wrote that story to reach out to others who may have had similar experiences to let them know that forgiveness can happen in their lives too.  
There has been some criticism for the story, where people claimed it was too far-fetched to believe.  However, the portion in "Unto Others" was a VERY watered-down version of just how brutal my childhood rally was.  I think that if those naysayers really knew what I actually went through as a child, they might wonder how I managed to survive at all.  But I would tell them it was by the grace of God
What is your favorite book of all time and why?  
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book because it is a timeless classic.  The love story in that book can be compared to the Amish love stories I write because the sense of values and propriety was the same then as it is today for the Amish.
If you were going to become Amish, what would be most difficult for you to give up and why?
I would NOT be able to part with my phone!!!    I would miss my computer, and would not like losing it either, but if I could only choose one item, I would choose the phone.   My phone is my lifeline to the outside world.  As you know, most writers live a recluse life, and talking to others (or texting, as I prefer) is a way to remind us that the world is still out there!  Honestly, I could not part with the computer either because writing is my life.   If I couldn't have my computer, I would write in the dirt or on cave walls or wherever was available!!
Where did you go to school and how did your schooling compare to the one-room schools of the Amish?
I attended private school all my life.  It was strict "old-school" Catholic.   I would say it compared because we were treated very strictly in the classroom, and we were taught values and religion that the public school students didn't get.  The small classroom sizes also compared, and we would often combine several grade levels in most activities, such as art and religion classes. 
Samantha, thank you so much for sharing so honestly with us from your heart today.  Your interview has certainly touched my heart, as your books have also.   
Now don't forget to enter to win one of these great books of Samantha's, blog readers!     


33 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this interview. Have the books waiting to be read, on my kindle. Now, I REALLY want to get to them.

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    1. thanks, Karla! You have earned one chance to win!

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    2. Karla, I saw that you shared on facebook so 2 entries for you! thanks!

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  2. Very interesting interview. I love Samantha J. Bayarr and her books. I am looking forward to The Quilter's Son

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    1. thanks, Jane! I love Samantha and her books too! I am ready for The Quilter's Son too! You have earned a chance to win!

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  3. Nice interview. I really enjoy reading Samantha's books.
    jlscott49 at roadrunner dot com

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    1. thanks, Johnda! her books are awesome! good luck! You've earned a chance to win!

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  4. My library doesn't carry Samantha's books, and I can't buy them, but its almost as good to read interviews and reviews.
    Thanks for feeding my addiction!!

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Karen, does your library have the interloan program? many libraries will get it for you from one of those. Good luck! You've earned a chance to win!

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  5. Great interview.Sarah's books are great.I can't wait to read The Quilter's Son.Thank you so very much.jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Samantha's books are great, aren't they? I'm anxious to read The Quilter's Son too!You've earned a chance to win!

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  6. Rhonda, I NEED to win a copy of "The Quilter's Son!" That's the only book of Samantha's that I don't have. I love her books. I truly enjoyed your interview with Samantha. She's a very special girl, and I have a great deal of respect for her. Thanks for offering your giveaway!I'm a follower of your blog, and I just shared this review on FB!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Nancee, with your current winning streak, you may well be the winner! thanks! I love Samantha too, and such a heartfelt, honest interview! you have 3 entries!

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  7. OK, I would love to win 'Jacob's Daughter', as I to am Jacob's (my dad) daughter. Thanks for this offer!

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    1. Linda, daughter of Jacob, you have 2 entries earned as I think you are a follower too. :)

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  8. Lorraine AlexanderJune 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Great interview. I have read & love all of Jacob's Daughters series. Would love to win The Quilter's Son. Thank you for the opportunity!

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    1. Great, Lorraine! would love to enter you in the drawing! Good luck!

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  9. Interesting interview. I have read Jacob's Daughter and have the rest of the series to be read. Would love to win The Quilter's Son.
    I follow your blog and also posted the giveaway on Facebook.

    I want Let's Go Fishing for my screen saver. lol.

    Karen Gervais
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. karen, I think you can get Let's Go FIshing for your screen saver....google it! it is fun! my little grandson loves to fish!

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  10. You just never know what one goes through growing up. And I think of the word "overcome" or "overcomer". Even as adults we don't know sometimes what they have to overcome as adults. May we all persevere.

    Sharing on FB

    Loretta

    eveningstar888(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. thanks for entering...that's 3 entries for you. You are right about the things we all overcome !

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  11. Well how did I miss this opportunity to enter and win a book? I would love to enter an win this book. I have so been wanting to read her books.

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  12. Now Rhonda, you know I read your blog, love it by the way. I will be sharing this on my face book wall as well.

    debbispaulding@gmail.com
    Deborah Spaulding

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    1. Deborah, you have not missed the drawing....I will draw a winner on Friday of this week. You have earned 3 chances for commenting, following, and sharing on fb. Good luck! Her books are amazing! you will LOVE them!

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  13. I hope that I win. I will be sharing on facebook. Sharma Darby rdarby@roadrunner.com

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  14. Sharma, thanks for entering. YOu have 3 chances to win...for following, commenting, and sharing! :)

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  15. I would like a chance to win this. I now follow your blog and I tweeted the blog link on twitter. I would share on facebook but I just joined and have not been on to friend anyone yet. Thank you.

    prettyinpurplerose@aol.com

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  16. Hi Kevlin, you have earned 4 chances to win for commenting, following, sharing on facebook and twitter. you can add me as a friend on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhonda.gaylenashhall

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  17. Loved the interview with Samantha. I would love to win one of her books. She is one of my favorite authors! Thanks for the opportunity to enter this contest. Following and sharing on facebook. Thanks again.
    Mary Ellsworth
    mdegram218@centurylink.net

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  18. Mary, thanks for entering! you have earned 3 chances to win for commenting, following, and sharing on fb. Good luck!

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  19. Would love to win any of them. I love Amish books an there way of life. Keep up the great Job & God Bless You. Gizmosandi@hotmail.com

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  20. Gizmosandi, I did catch this before the drawing and your name was entered. Be sure to try next time! thanks for stopping by!

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  21. Is there a little wild flowers book five coming out or already out??

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