Monday, August 6, 2012
I'm delighted to have author, Amanda Flower, with us today!! She is also generously offering a copy of A Plain Death to a lucky winner!!!! Thanks, Amanda! I love your books!!!
How did you come to write about the Amish? When I was twenty-four, the same age as my protagonist Chloe in the novel, my first job out of graduate school was for a small college library in Knox County in the middle of Ohio's Amish Country. I moved there without knowing anyone, and it really was the first time I lived on my own. While I was there, it was common for me to be stuck behind an Amish buggy when I drove home from work or to see Amish shopping at Wal-Mart. Since I'm from Ohio, Amish aren't that unique to me, and I didn't think much of it at the time. Even now, living in a city, I still see Amish on occasion; usually they are working on a building. However now, older and wiser, I realized what a unique experience I had at a young age and knew it could be the basis for an excellent mystery series.
How did you research for the crimes in your books? Do you interview police officers, lawyers, etc.? I've attended several workshops through my Sisters in Crime chapter. The chapter brings in guest speakers like police officers, coroners, lawyers, and state troopers. I encourage any aspiring mystery author to join Sisters in Crime. It's a great organization. It's goal is to support and promote women crime fiction writers.
What prompted you to start writing? and when did you start? I've always written stories and had the dream of being an author since I was a young child. I became serious about getting published as a college student. I started writing my first novel that would become my debut Maid of Murder when I was a junior.
What are your favorite books to read? Mysteries. I love a good whodunit.
Do you think you could live as the Amish do? And give up my iPad? Like Chloe I'm a techie geek, so it would be very hard for me to go without gadgets or electricity. In addition, although I admire some aspects about Amish life like their dedication to family, hard work, and community, I would be uncomfortable in a community with so many rules like the clothes you must wear, etc. I'm not a rule breaker by any means, I'm sure my friends would laugh at the very thought of that, but I strongly believe in making your own decisions about how you are going to live your Christian life. With that said, for some Amish, the structure works well for them in their Christian walk. I think one of the great things about Christianity is that there are so many denominations, so more people can be reached.
What would your dream vacation be? My dream vacation is to backpack through Australia with my niece when she's in college. At present, she's only three, but she's one of my favorite people in the entire world. She and I have discussed our plans many times. In fact, I first told her about it the day she was born. She blinked at me when I said it. I am pretty sure that's a binding agreement for a newborn.
Have you ever visited an Amish home? I have toured an Amish home, but I have never stayed overnight. I think that would be a great experience if I ever have the opportunity.
Will there be a third book after A Plain Scandal? There will be. The third book in the series is called A Plain Disappearance and is about an Amish girl who goes missing close to Christmas. I just finished writing it a few weeks ago.
What is something most people don't know about you? I'm a vegetarian. I've been one since I was eighteen. I remember people telling me that it couldn't last, but it has well over ten years now. I'm a pretty stubborn person. When I decide I'm going to do something, I do it. This has served me well in my early writing career when the dozens of rejection letters were rolling in. Although I don't eat meat, the characters in my Appleseed Creek series do. It would be very peculiar to have a vegetarian Amish person.
Thank you so much, Amanda! This has been such fun and so informative! I want to visit Australia someday with my husband and camp in the outback! I, too, appreciate my electricity and my "gadgets". Don't forget to comment below to enter to win a copy of A Plain Death from Amanda! I can't wait for A Plain Disappearance!!!!!