This is our final week with Susan. Today she is going to share behind the scenes of her story. Join us as we find out what inspired her.
I have been fascinated by the Amish for a very long time and have always wanted to write stories with Amish characters. I chose to set my story in Southern Maryland where I live. We have Amish and Mennonite communities here, but as far as I know, no novels have been set here. Our Plain communities are small and pretty obscure. We do not have the commercialism found in many other areas. St. Mary’s County, Maryland is basically rural–though we are growing. Plain farms may be located right beside English farms or houses. Plain businesses, such as feed mills, quilt shops, furniture shops, grocery, stores, and even a dairy, serve Plain and English customers alike, but our Plain neighbors rarely seek employment in English establishments.
I wanted to take an English character and plunk her in the middle of a small Amish community she had never even heard of before. The reader learns about Amish ways and Southern Maryland along with Hannah Kurtz. The fact that Hannah is really Lilly Brandt, a crime witness seeking a safe haven, adds a bit of suspense to the story.