With over two million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the USA Today bestselling author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek Series, and the Amish Letters Series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield.
In this interview, she talks with us about the first book in her new Amish of Marigold Series, titled The Courtship Plan.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
The story was inspired by a character from the previous book, Love in Plain Sight, and another recurring character throughout my Birch Creek Series. It was also inspired by the title of the book—I enjoyed the challenge of writing a character who was writing a courtship plan!
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Charity Raber has burned some bridges in the past because of immature behavior. She’s trying to better herself and she also wants a husband. If she gets married, she believes her life will be complete. Jesse Bontrager is a confirmed bachelor who had an awkward run-in with her over a year ago. They meet up again when they both move to Marigold, a sister town to Birch Creek. From there, the sparks start to fly.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Jesse. He had more to learn than I thought he did when I started writing the story, mostly about being humble and admitting when he’s wrong. I think we can sometimes get into the trap of fooling ourselves that certain situations aren’t our fault when they really are. Maturity comes when we can apologize and change.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Stories and characters give us a chance to step outside ourselves and connect with ideas and themes we may be struggling with in our lives. While their main function is to entertain, stories can teach us many things through the characters’ journeys.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
My next book is releases in August, Two to Tango. It’s the fourth book in the Maple Falls Series, set in the fictional town of Maple Falls, Arkansas. The book I’m currently working on is The Proposal Plan, which is the second book in the Marigold Series and features Nelson Bontrager, Jesse’s brother.
FF: How do you get into the right frame of mind to write for your genre/audience?
I’m always focused on what my audience and Amish readers enjoy about Amish books: faith, family, and community. All three of those are important to me too, so it’s easy to get into the right mindset to write my books.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
I always say this for every book—I want them to be entertained and to feel that the time they spent reading one of my books was worth their while. There are lots of stories and books out there, and I appreciate every single reader who has taken the time to read my work.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing Amish Romance books?
While the Amish live in the modern world, they don’t use modern conveniences very often. That’s a challenge because I enjoy modern conveniences! To a point, at least. So, getting into the mindset of the Amish community and Amish living can be a challenge. They don’t just hop in a car to get from point A to point B or call up a friend on the phone and say they’ll be over in ten minutes. There’s more thought that must go into how the Amish handle daily living.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is my all-time favorite. I really enjoy Jenny B. Jones, and Brock and Bodie Thoene are huge inspirations. I’ve got such wide reading tastes and it would take a while to name all my favorites!
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
My Christian faith is such a part of who I am, I don’t really think about how it especially impacts my stories because it’s the lens that I see everything through. When I started writing over twenty years ago, I looked at it as a ministry and I still do. Even my contemporary romances have characters who go to church and pray, and it’s a seamless part of their lives. My goal has always been to write characters and stories where faith and life is so closely intertwined that you can’t separate them.
The Courtship Plan
Amish of Marigold Series #1
Genres: Amish Romance
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Finding a husband is serious business. And serious business requires serious planning.
Charity Raber is one of many single women who came to Birch Creek, Ohio, with one goal in mind: secure a husband from among the desperate bachelors a newspaper advertisement claimed inhabited the town. Even though that claim proved to be nothing more than a cruel prank, Charity is still hopeful that her happy ending might be within reach when she’s set up on a date with Jesse Bontrager. That is until Jesse not-so-gently shares that he has no interest in a relationship with anyone—and especially not with her.
One year later, Charity is working as a caretaker for a kind, elderly English woman in the nearby town of Marigold. She’s also working hard on a brand-new courtship plan. A plan that absolutely does not involve Jesse Bontrager. But when he moves next door and is made aware of her scheming, Charity vows to prove that her plan is foolproof. Meanwhile, Jesse is sure she’ll make a fool of herself. And for some reason he’s not willing to let that happen.
This stubborn bachelor and determined bachelorette will soon learn that their plans rarely work out as expected—but God’s plans always will.
Buy The Courtship Plan from the FF Store HERE!
Buy The Courtship Plan from Amazon HERE!