Bestselling and award-winning Amish Romance author Beth Wiseman has sold over two million books. She is the recipient of the coveted Holt Medallion, is a two-time Carol Award winner, and has won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award three times. Her books have been on various bestseller lists, including CBA, ECPA, Christianbook, and Publishers Weekly. Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying country life in south-central Texas.
In this interview, Beth talks about her latest book, Hopefully Ever After, which is the third book in her The Amish Bookstore Novels Series.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
There isn’t just one inspirational idea that inspires me when I write my books. I believe that God lays each story upon my heart and guides me along the way and that I get inspired on that journey.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Eden comes from a troubled past, but she is determined to turn her life around in a place where no one knows her. When she goes to stay with her Amish cousins, she sees the temporary move as an opportunity to be the person she wants to be. She never expected to be attracted to a young Amish man during her visit. As word of her past gets out, not only is her blossoming relationship with Samuel threatened, but those around her begin to pass judgment based on her past.
Samuel is a seemingly happy Amish young man who follows the rules, with plans to be baptized and marry a nice Amish woman someday. Then he meets Eden, the beautiful non-Amish girl visiting her cousins for a while.
From there, I could have written the story in a traditional fashion…they fall in love, struggle with Eden not being Amish, etc. But I wanted to take it a layer deeper. Samuel is struggling with his faith, and no one knows, not even his family. He does fall in love with Eden, of course. It’s a romance novel, and readers want a HEA. But the twist is that Eden helps Samuel with his faith, not the other way around. I hope readers enjoy this challenging, but heartfelt, journey as Eden and Samuel crisscross paths to find the one God intends for them—with or without each other.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Samuel surprised me the most. In the beginning, I assumed Samuel would ‘save’ Eden, but Samuel has his own challenges that come to light as the couple gets to know each other. Amish folks struggle with their faith just like the rest of us sometimes. I thought it was important to show that in the story.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
I think that, especially now, people are seeking escapism from the realities we are experiencing, and what better way to do that than with a book? Inspirational storytelling takes a reader away from the real world for a while, and they have an opportunity to see life through the characters’ lives. If you insert what you believe to be truths into an entertaining story, then I believe that rubs off…in a good way.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
Following Hopefully Ever After, my next book will release in October of this year and is titled Amish Matchmakers. I bring back two characters from the Amish Inn series—Lizzie and Esther. These elderly widows are known matchmakers for others, so the story takes on a bit of a twist when these sisters find themselves in their own love triangle late in life. And, as I always do in my books, I have new characters for readers to get to know, a young couple with a romance of their own brewing.
FF: How do you get into the right frame of mind to write for your genre/audience?
I know that some people light candles, listen to music, or have some sort of background noise going when they write. But, for me, I need silence, and I’m a creature of habit. I write in the same chair with things I need in the same place. I do my best writing in the morning, and if it’s raining, even better…I’m not tempted to play with my dogs outside or do gardening work. I need to tune out the world and listen to my characters, in addition to the above-mentioned, to be in the right frame of mind to create stories I hope readers will enjoy.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
In Hopefully Ever After, I would like for readers to see that judging a person by their past doesn’t define who they can become in the future. Eden is determined not to make the mistakes her mother did, and even though she knows who she wants to be, others still pass judgments that challenge her goals.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
There are a LOT of Amish books out there. The biggest challenges when writing an Amish story is to come up with fresh ideas that haven’t been overdone in the genre. I strive to do that with each of my stories.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
My definition of a good book is a story that makes me feel like I am standing alongside the characters either living their life or watching like a fly on the wall. I enjoy a lot of different genres, so it would be difficult to choose books that have inspired me—just too many to mention, lol. But some authors who inspire me and who keep me in the story, both for entertainment and inspiration are Kristin Hannah, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Francine Rivers…just to name a few.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
I get this question a lot, and my answer is always the same. Even though my answer is repetitive, to change it would be an untruth. So here goes…I originally set out to write stories that would entertain, inspire, and glorify God. I hope I’ve done that. But the biggest surprise in my life has been that this entire time, I’ve been ministering to myself, writing the things that sometimes I need to work through or have experienced with or without a satisfying conclusion.
Hopefully Ever After
The Amish Bookstore Novels Series #3
Genres: Amish Romance
Release Date: April 18, 2023
To become who they’re meant to be, Eden and Samuel must find the courage to defy expectations.
Sixteen-year-old Eden Hale doesn’t want to be defined by her current circumstances. With absent parents and a troubled past, Eden refuses to become what people expect. When she is sent to live with an Amish cousin she’s never met in Montgomery, Indiana, she welcomes the chance to become the person she wants to be without the burden of anyone’s judgment. Her hopes are confirmed when she meets Samuel, a young Amish man who seems to like her for who she really is.
Samuel Byler has grown up with strict Amish parents, and they aren’t happy that their only son is choosing to spend his free time with an outsider. As Eden and Samuel grow closer, disapproval swirls around the young couple. It isn’t long before Eden starts to doubt herself and wonders if she is doomed to repeat the mistakes of her own past, whether she wants to or not. Meanwhile, Samuel finds himself slipping further and further from his faith—to Eden’s dismay.
Both Eden’s and Samuel’s futures hang in the balance as they face decisions about who they are meant to be—both as individuals and together.
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