GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME,ADINA, TO MY BOOK ADDICTION AND MORE TODAY…..
MBA: What made you decide to write Amish stories/”Wounded Hearts”?
AS: I’ve learned to be sensitive to that breeze on the back of my neck that tells me a window has opened behind me while I was staring at the closed door in front. This series was a breeze like that—a shivery feeling on the back of my neck. A pitch over a salad. A sale.
I’d been writing romances and women’s fiction and YA, but had never thought to write about the Amish. And then that breeze came—the one that said, “You grew up in similar circumstances. You could do this.” The research curve was very steep, but equally rewarding. The research has mostly been external things—what it means when you tie the strings of your prayer Kapp versus when you don’t. How to pin a cape and apron. What is served at a wedding meal versus a regular Sunday meal. What hymns you sing in church. That kind of thing. The internal things—doctrine, beliefs, central behaviors—are similar to what I grew up with, so it’s not difficult to step back into that mindset and write from inside it.
My characters in the Amish Quilt series all carry a pain inside that is worked out through the course of the book. In Amelia’s case, she is a young widow struggling to run her husband’s business (not easy when you’re an Amish woman who’s been brought up to run a home and not step into public life) and raise her two small boys. Her wounded heart comes from the loss of the man she loved, and also from her determination to keep a gentle
Amish man who comes into her life at arms’ length because of the disease she’s been diagnosed with. She doesn’t want to be a burden to him.
MBA: Tell our readers a little about you and your writing?
AS: I was bitten by the writing bug when I was 8, when I turned in a short story about a ghost in a graveyard, and my teacher wrote on it that I’d scared her. Of course she was just being kind, but it opened my eyes to the fact that a writer could affect the emotions of her readers with words. That set me on a track that led to my first completed novel at the tender age of 13, a BA in Literature, an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, and over 20 published novels.
I live on the West Coast with my husband. In 1989 our house fell down in the Loma Prieta earthquake, after we’d been married just over a year. People told us that building a new house would have us divorced by the time the roof went on—and they actually started placing bets! I wish I’d taken a few of those bets, because 22 years later, we’re living happily in the house we built together, along with our flock of rescued chickens. I have 12 hens at the moment, each one a distinct personality. They’re great companion birds and are good company when I’m writing outside in the garden.
MBA: Do you have a deep connection to your characters? Why?
AS: Yes, I do. Amelia, Emma, and Carrie seem so real that when I’m in Lancaster County, I find myself looking for them on the street! As each woman works out her story, I learn more about her, feel her emotions while I’m living inside her head, and feel her pain when I create plot events that put her through the wringer.
They’re all individuals, but I think Emma is most like me because she’s a writer. One of the things that compelled me to leave the church I grew up in was that my writing would have been frowned on and I wouldn’t have been allowed to publish. Women aren’t supposed to have a public voice, unless maybe you were writing children’s books or nature books. This is also part of Emma’s struggle.
MBA: How do you feel about e-books vs print?
AS: I have the Kindle app on my iPad and I download novels, especially when I’m getting ready to go on a trip. It’s a great way to try out new authors, and the instant gratification really appeals. eReaders have changed the face of publishing, and more change is going to come. I’ve even dipped my toes in the self-publishing waters, putting up a steampunk novel and a vampire novel for Kindle and Nook as Shelley Adina, which is the name my teen readers know me by.In my view, as long as the author can make her living writing, and the reader
can step into the world she’s created and be entertained for a couple of hours, the actual format through which that occurs doesn’t really matter.
MBA: If you could change anything in our world today, what would it be and why?
AS: Well, being Canadian, I’m solidly in favor of a national healthcare system 🙂
MBA: How hard was it to be published in the U.S., being a transplant from Canada?
AS: Every author, no matter her citizenship, has to master her craft, then query agents, then submit proposals to editors. It’s the writing and the voice that will get you published, not who you know, who you are, or what you do for your day job. My MA thesis novel was my first full-length sale, but you don’t need an advanced degree to write. You just need that voice and that ability to pull someone into your story. Even if your voice
has an accent, like mine 🙂
MBA: What would you advise any would-be authors?
AS: Don’t give up. This business isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re burning to tell a story, get all the training you can and tell it. Check university extensions and community colleges for writing classes. Take classes online. Focus on your craft until it becomes instinctive and the story flows through it. And then pull out all the stops, be true to the story in your heart, and write!
Where to find Adrina: http://adinasenft.com
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THE WOUNDED HEART
Pub. Date: September 2011
Series: Amish Quilt Series
SOURCE: Received for review from the publisher
When a business offer turns into something more personal, Amelia is torn between what logic tells her is right, and the desire of her heart.
A widow with two small children, Amelia Beiler is struggling to make ends meet. She is running her late husband’s business, but it’s not what she was raised to do, which is run a home. When she gets an offer for the business from Eli Fischer, she’s only too relieved to consider it-especially when it looks like Eli’s interest might include more than just the shop. But when she begins to experience strange physical symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it’s difficult not to question God’s will. If she pursues the treatment she believes in, she risks going under the bann. But how can she allow Eli to court her when she can’t promise him a future?
Includes instructions to make the quilt block featured in the novel.
THE WOUNDED HEART by Adina Senft is a exciting inspirational Amish romance set in Whinburg,Lancaster County, PA. It is the first in the new “The Amish Quilt Trilogy”.This is the story of Amelia Beiler, a young widow with two small boys,who is also trying to run her husband’s pallet shop,and Eli Fischer, who would like to court Amelia. Amelia just learns that she has a devastating disease and does want to be a burden on anyone including Eli. She struggles with decisions that could take her from her faith and small communtiy,if not had could cost her her very life. While Amelia tries to discourged Eli due to her illness,Eli is determined to court,help her through this devastating time and help her children. This story has triumph,love,romance,faith,the Amish community,family,friend,and adversity. It is a fast paced story that the characters will steal your heart while they struggle with difficult decisions.This story is a heart warming story of struggles,adversity,faith and love. It has its sadness also,but a wonderful Amish story. A must read for any Amish readers,Christian readers(it is not preachy),and anyone who enjoys a great romance as “The Wounded Heart” characters try to move on with their lives and come to grips with the struggles.Also,has a great Amish Quilt square pattern.This book was received for review from the publisher.Details can be found at Faith Words and My Book Addiction and More.
REVIEWED BY: April Renn
Thanks to Sarah,at Faith Words,we are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of “The Wounded Heart” by Adina Senft. Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes,please. Giveaway runs from today September 26 until October 3,2011.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!