Your Amish Charm Bakery series is set among in the Amish in 1912 Ohio. What inspired you to set a series in this particular time and place?
I mention the Titanic in Liza’s Second Chance, and I like to pull out tidbits of news readers might find interesting by having Dr. Harrison and Sheriff Williams visit the bakery each morning and split the newspaper and discuss the latest happenings. It’s fun to mention the president, sports, accidents, and more during 1912.
The Amish aren’t supposed to read the newspaper. They are to shut out the outside world’s news of inventions, competitions, and politics. Ellie, Hannah, and her friends who work in the bakery are curious, and they listen to the men talk about events. They express their opinions from an Amish point of view. I like to show my characters are human, curious, and bend the rules.
What kind of research did you do for this book? Did anything during your research surprise you?
I’ve visited Ohio and Indiana Amish communities numerous times, talked to wonderful Amish women who have helped me, and done a lot of research to write Amish stories. It’s an ongoing process.
In this story nothing surprised me, but in my first series (Change of Heart, Grace’s Forgiveness, and Two Suitors for Anna), I learned about barn-raisings, making butter, livestock care, quilting, and more. I’m a city girl. I had and still have much to learn about farming and livestock! My friends raised on farms are teaching me all kinds of things!
Do you bake? How much of the “bakery” part of the series requires some kind of research?
I used to bake, but I have a friend who puts my baking to shame. Connie bakes homemade breads, pies, cakes, cookies, and creates new dessert recipes often. We love it when she knocks on our door with anything she’s whipped up.
My grandmothers and mother were talented cooks and bakers. My favorite is leftover pie dough slathered in butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then rolled and baked in the oven. Delicious!
I visited Charm and had the best butterscotch pie of my life in a little restaurant there. I couldn’t wait to write about Charm and place my story’s bakery there! I love writing about the sugary scents and homemade bread aromas!
Click through to find out how Molly’s faith impacts her storytelling…