On official release day of The Amish Bride, let’s celebrate with some memories!
In May of 2011 I visited Indiana to do research for The Amish Bride. Co-author Mindy Starns Clark and I knew that Ella, our leading lady, was going to follow handsome Ezra Gundy there, so I needed to “tag” along and see what she found.
Hubby was commanding a combat hospital in Afghanistan at the time so I had to fit the trip in between soccer tournaments and our youngest daughter’s school events. The only time I could make work was over my birthday. So off I went to Indiana, via Chicago, where I found out my flight to South Bend had been canceled. On to a bus I climbed for a road trip with many, many stops, which used up a half a day of precious research time.
Yes, it seemed it was going to be one of those kinds of trips.
I was wrong. It wasn’t. It turned out to be an amazing experience, all because of the Amish family I visited. Of course, I don’t have any photos of them or their farm. But, the clearest memories of that trip are of the time time I spent with them, probably because my face wasn’t stuck behind a camera. The mom in the family and I connected over home birth and, most importantly, God. The youngest son and I connected because he was fun, fun, fun. One of the oldest girls worked at a bakery–just like Ella in our story! (I visited the bakery next day.) Everyone in the family was a big reader, and we talked about books and authors. One of the girls had even read one of my earlier novels. It was blessed time, for me. One I’ll never forget.
Besides spending time with the Amish family I explored Nappanee, Goshen, and Shipshewana, and spent time at Amish Acres (outside of Nappanee) and Menno-Hoff, the Amish-Mennonite Interpretative Center (in Shipshewana).
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what character we can send to Indiana next… I’d love to go back!