Romance Author Sarah Price discusses how her writing is inspired by her experiences growing up in the Amish and Mennonite communities. Her latest book, An Amish Buggy Ride, is now available for preorder.
Since I first learned how to write, I have always been creating stories. At first, I wrote with a pencil in little bound books, an eraser at the ready in my left hand. Later I graduated to an old Selectric typewriter, a present from my parents who encouraged my passion for writing. When I turned seventeen, I went to college and had access to my first real computer. The stage was set for the passion to pour out.
We live in a fast paced world, a world with plenty of highs and lows. While relationships seem to be easier to make, they can also prove harder to keep. There is a heavy emphasis on individual rights vs. individual duty--I believe the media is calling this the "me generation". As I watch the younger generation, I worry about their future as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.
That's one of the reasons I am so drawn to writing about the Amish. Having been born into a Mennonite family, I never had that "ah-ha" moment about the Amish and Mennonite culture or religion. They were just people that have always been a part of my life. However, with the increasing reliance of the world on technology, I find it amazing how the Amish culture, centered so staunchly on their religion, continues to survive with very little change.
Over the years, I have spent countless days and weeks living among several Amish communities. I’ve lived over mules sheds, stayed in Amish homes, attended worship service, and even held an elderly woman as she passed from our arms into God’s. For thirty years, this culture and religion have been a deep part of who I am. My acceptance within the different communities has come after many years and by demonstrating respect (and sometimes awe) for these amazing people.
In watching the children grow up, get married, and start their own families, I realized something very important: Romance doesn't have to be boy meets girl, they fall in love, have a conflict, and then resolve it. Romance can be dealing with inner struggles, overcoming personal affliction, and helping others deal with their own problems. Romance can be questioning life or dwelling on life-changing events. The key thing is that the people I write about -my characters- apply God's Word to help others as well as themselves. If they are able to represent, willingly or not, a righteous affection for the outside world while balancing the challenges of the Amish world, to me, that is inspirational and romantic.
My goal is to share my personal experiences with other readers, readers who most likely may never make cheese with an Amish woman or chase a kitten with an Amish girl. Yet, I want my readers to taste the horsehair that flies through the open buggy window and smell the amazing scent of freshly baked bread in an Amish kitchen. And, even more, I want my readers to fall in love, not just with my characters but also with the culture and the religion of the Amish, as an antidote for our overly fast paced world.
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