Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Author of: Temptation
The link to my review of Temptation is here
1) How did you come up with the idea to write about the Amish? Is any of this story related to real life events?
I was inspired to write TEMPTATION from my observations of the young Amish people of the community I moved into four and a half years ago. Immediately upon settling into the new farm, a parade of Amish teens arrived to participate in the riding activities I held on a weekly basis. Watching the interactions between the Amish teens and the non-Amish ones (the Amish call anyone not Amish, English) caused the idea of the forbidden love affair between Noah and Rose to sprout in my mind. Although, TEMPTATION is completely fictional, there have been several Amish/English relationships within the community. One in particular ended with the Amish girl leaving her culture to marry her English boyfriend. The girl was shunned by her family and community, but didn’t regret her decision.
2) What was your inspiration for this book?
The Amish community I live in was the inspiration for TEMPTATION, along with an adult Amish mystery I’m currently working on. I quickly learned upon moving into the community that the Amish culture is intriguing on many levels. It’s not always the cute and cozy world that people dream about. They deal with many of the same issues that non-Amish people do. Marital and family problems, financial stress, rebellious children and clashes between families in the community are commonplace. I wanted to write my Amish fictional stories with the realness that I’ve witnessed myself.
3) Do you have a certain time of the day where you like to write, and any special rituals that go with your writing?
Much of the time I was writing TEMPTATION, I was sitting in my car waiting for my Amish neighbors to finish their shopping or other activities. I drove the Amish for a couple of years to make extra income and further immerse myself in the culture. Being so close to the people I was writing about definitely added to the flow of ideas. Otherwise, my favorite time to write is early afternoon, before the kids arrive home from school.
4) If it was possible would you ever be able to turn Amish and leave your old life and technology behind?
That’s an easy one—no way! The parts about the Amish culture I admire most are living on a farm and the simplicity of the lifestyle. Those are things that can be accomplished without joining a regimented group of people, living within the guidelines of strict rules. I love music and driving my car way too much to ever make the transition.
5) What was your most enjoyable memory researching for this book?
There have been many moments that stick in my mind, but one day in particular was extra special. I drove a large Amish family to a property that the oldest son had purchased. The young man had been crippled in a buggy/semi-truck accident that killed one of his sisters and her boyfriend. The property was mostly wooded, with some pretty meadows dotting the landscape. I joined the parents and siblings in cleaning out the small trailer house that sat on the property and clearing brush from around the building. When the work was completed, we sat around a bonfire, enjoying some excellent Amish food and singing hymns (the Amish can sing hymns without the accompaniment of instruments, but they can’t listen to any music themselves). The love that each family member had for each other was very evident that night.
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