What does Liz Taylor have to do with an Amish novel?

What does Liz Taylor have to do with an Amish novel?

Choosing to retell “The Taming of the Shrew” first in my The Courtships of Lancaster County series was a given. Who doesn’t love that story? I first saw the play in elementary school and loved it. But I’ve always wanted more of the story, namely from Katharina’s point of view. I finally had the chance! I thought of a young Elizabeth Taylor as I began to write Courting Cate, a younger one than she actually was when she played Kate in the 1967 movie of “The Taming of the Shrew” at age 33. But once I saw the cover Bethany House designed for the novel, the model became my “Cate.” She’s Amish, plus a little sassy and very smart—an all around intriguing character. Courting Cate comes out in October, but preorders are available through Barnes and...

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Huh?

Huh?

“Huh?” is the expression I got when I pitched my “retelling of Shakespeare stories using Amish characters and settings” idea to an editor a few years ago, but then her face shifted and she broke into a big smile. She loved it! She didn’t end up being interested in it—but she loved it. That was enough to encourage me to pursue the idea. A little background before I go on. When I was getting my MFA I took a Shakespeare class from Tony Wolk, a legend at Portland State University (and also an author). An ongoing assignment in the class was to retell Shakespeare’s plays as short stories. I loved it! So when I started writing Amish fiction I had one of those ah-hah moments and thought, “Why not?” That led to me pitching the idea just to see the...

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Why would someone who lives in Oregon write Amish fiction?

Why would someone who lives in Oregon write Amish fiction?

“What’s the story behind the story” is a question I hear now and then. The story of how I ended up writing Amish fiction when I live in Oregon, where there hasn’t been an Amish settlement since the 1930s, is actually pretty short. When my agent, Chip MacGregor, asked if I’d be interested in writing Amish fiction, I didn’t think I was. But when he asked if I’d be interested in co-writing with Mindy Starns Clark, who had already published Amish novels and lives in Pennsylvania, I said I’d think about it. I’m so glad I did. Like so many others I’d been fascinated with the Amish for years, plus I’d visited Lancaster County decades before, so I wasn’t surprised that my interest in the culture grew and grew the more research I did. What was...

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