Suzanne Woods Fisher is back with us again! In October 2018, she spoke about strong Quaker women, and today we’re talking about the Amish. Suzanne’s interest in the Amish comes partly through her grandfather, who was raised Plain. There is an appeal to simplifying your life, but there’s more to our fascination than that.
To capture the real essence of her characters, Suzanne tries to reflect the real people she’s met. That’s one reason she doesn’t write the combination of Penn Dutch and English dialogue. She personally doesn’t know any real people who talk like that. She also writes some of the same characters in more than one series. So, for instance, the main character of her new book, Mending Fences, book one of The Deacon’s Family series, is an older but not really grown up Luke Schrock. People who read The Bishop’s Family series will have already had some experience with Luke and his shenanigans as a boy, but you won’t need to have read those books to enjoy what’s happening in the new series.
Suzanne writes about Luke going to rehab and then agreeing to come back to his community and make amends for the things he did. She based some of his experiences on real facilities that have been built for/by the Amish and Mennonite communities. We have a really interesting conversation about how all these things come together in a serious way, but also with the humor you get when the hero is as charming as Luke. 😀
One of my favorite pieces of advice was Suzanne’s suggestion to think of piano scales rather than whether you are wasting time or pages writing words that will never actually be in the book. It’s not a waste, she says, it’s like doing piano scales, keeping your writing mind nimble. Don’t you just love that?! 😀
To learn more about Suzanne and her books, visit her website and/or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.