Interview with Laura Hilton

Harvest of Hearts...

Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to do this interview for my blog
I loved the second book in your series The Amish of Seymour. Shanna Stoltzfus is a young woman who has a mischevious streak, did you model her after someone you know or a combination of people? No, not intentionally. One of my sons has a mischevious streak (and my mom and my uncle) so it might have been unintentional, but that is just the way Shanna came to life in the book. She was a real fun character to write, I never knew what exactly to expect from her.
Your Amish books have a bit of a different twist to them than the standard Amish story, what gave you the idea for this book? I had to come up with an idea for a second and third Amish book when I pitched the first to my agent. I thought about it awhile and this idea came to me, undeveloped, and I never really dreamed I'd have a chance to write it. It was exciting watching this story come to life! But I met an Amish woman who told me that she left the Amish to attend school, but she did eventually return - after she got her education - to be with her family, join the church, and marry Amish. She wasn't a nurse, I don't believe, she never mentioned what degree she earned (probably due to the pride sin) but I considered midwife for Shanna, when I was talking to my midwife and she mentioned being asked to train an Amish woman to deliver babies.
I have enjoyed the man swap scenario in your books, is this a common Amish practice? I don't know how common it is. I first read about it in one of Beverly Lewis' books (I don't remember which one) and the idea piqued my interest. In Ms. Lewis' book, the hero went home and married his girl back home, he didn't marry in the new community. I do know that Amish change communities, usually sending boys (or girls) to live with relatives in different districts or even states for courting and marriage purposes. Some Amish communities have rules that you can't court anyone in your own district. And Amish youth go all over the place during their rumspringe -- really, you'd be surprised. I know man swaps have happened, and I heard that some have even had a girl swap - but I haven't been able to verify this yet.
Your boys are near the same age as Shanna is in this book, do you draw from your experiences with them for research for your books? My oldest son is really strong willed (I hear that this is common with the first born) and Shanna is a first born child. But none of my children have ever run away from home to pursue their own agenda (yet--and I hope they don't!) But I guess being with children (men) that age, I know pretty much how they behave and think...
Share a bit about your family for any of our readers who may be new to Laura V. Hilton books. I am going to be celebrating my 25th anniversary with my husband this year - and we have five children. I homeschool - my oldest two boys are homeschool graduates and in college. My oldest daughter is soon to be sixteen, and my "baby" is six.
I know there is a book three in this series, when can we expect it to come out? Promised to Another is scheduled for release in April of 2012. It is the story of Becky's (Patchwork Dreams) best friend, Annie--and another man from Pennsylvania, Joshua Esh. Shanna will make an appearance in this last book too. I think she's still just as mischevious.
If you have a question you would like to have Laura answer please leave a comment and she will check back in with the answers..
Be sure to check the Sunday (September 11th) post for a giveaway of this book... 
Thanks to Whitaker House, and Cathy Hickling for making this giveaway possible.
Laura's books are available on Amazon.com or through Whitaker House and also ask for it by publisher and author name at your local Christian bookstore!!

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