Can you give us a blurb or excerpt from your book?
A Harvest of Hearts Book 2 of the Amish of Seymour series, September 2011
Matthew Yoder volunteered to be part of the swap of Amish men from his Old Order Pennsylvania Amish Community, to the Amish community in Seymour, Missouri. There is nothing for him in Pennsylvania, as the youngest of twelve children, and the lack of farmland around Lancaster County, he felt he could make a better future in another district. Shanna Stoltzfus has been raised Amish, and couldn’t wait for her rumspringa so she could pursue her education. She hated having to quit school in the 8th grade to stay home and learn everything that makes a home run smoothly. But now she has earned her GED and is taking college courses, but her family is begging her to come home; her little sisters miss her. And there’s something about newcomer, Matthew Yoder that draws her attention. But is it enough to give up her dreams of education and join the Amish church?
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I started writing when I was very little – it all started with a short story I was assigned in 3rd grade that didn’t end all that short. But I didn’t get serious about pursuing publication until much later. Then I joined ACFW (back then, it was ACRW) and started learning the trade! Writing isn’t as easy as a newbie thinks – there are so many things to learn!
What inspired A Harvest of Hearts?
Nothing really inspired it. When I pitched my first book – Patchwork Dreams – to my agent, she told me I should have ideas for a series of three. So I took a moment to think about them and came up with a couple more ideas. I was excited to get a chance to write the story. I can’t remember ever reading a book similar to this one.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a proposal for another Amish series for my agent to pitch.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Hello, Hollywood by Janice Thompson. Nonfiction book is 40 Days to Better Living: Optimal Health. Next in my pile to read is Diary of a Teenage Girl: Becoming Me by Melody Carlson
Where do you do most of your writing?
I would love to have an office! I do most of my writing in the living room of my home, with five children of various sizes and a Siberian Husky taking of space around me. I’d say I do all my writing there, but I have been known to write in the front seat of the van, sitting at the receptionist desk of a diving store (while waiting on my son to take life guarding class) and at the Ozark Folk Center (while waiting on children to take classes there).
What is your favorite character trait to write about?
Acceptance, I think, of who and what God made you.
What is your favorite time of the year?
Hands down, winter. I love snow. And now, living in Arkansas I don’t get nearly enough of it. We can go years without a snowflake. We do get ice though, and while pretty, it just isn’t the same. Anyone want to trade locations for a season?
If you could tell your readers anything, what would it be?
If God has given you a passion for something, He’s given you permission for it.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
The writing part. I don’t plot my stories out, I just write and see where the story goes. It’s a discovery for me as I find out things about my characters – and I love it when I get to the end and the theme comes out and I realize that my characters knew it all along.
What is your favorite Scripture?
Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for good and not for evil. Plans to give you a future and a hope.
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Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are home school graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her publishing credits include Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past from Treble Heart Books; a devotional in a compilation from Zondervan; and the first book “Patchwork Dreams” in her Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House released in April 2011, the second book, “A Harvest of Hearts” in September 2011, and Promised to Another in April 2012. Laura has her business degree from Ozarka and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.
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