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There is something magical about telling novels that immerse the readers in the characters and the stories. All of my novels, both the Amish romance and the women’s fiction, have pieces of me in them, some more than others. However, all of my novels are written with one major purpose in mind: to take the reader on a journey. A personal journey.
Unlike many other authors of the Amish fiction genre, I try to dig deeper into the Amish culture as well as the individualism of the characters. I think people have a tendency to stereotype the Amish, to make them as if God cut them from the same fabric. But they are people, just like everyone else in the world. Individuals with feelings, dreams, hopes, and disappointments. My experience living among the Amish (and growing up with a Mennonite family) helps to add authenticity and accuracy to the setting, but my deep-rooted awareness about the psychology of people adds a layer of depth to the characters that are not seen in many other novels.
As for the women’s fiction such as The Faded Photo, Heavenly Blues, and Shattered Mirror, I dive into the emotional awareness and growth of the main characters as they deal with breast cancer, drug addiction, and other real life situations. Fortunately–or unfortunately, some might think– I’ve lived many different lifetimes—some good, many not so good. I’m able to pull from those experiences when I’m developing characters, regardless of their situation: breast cancer, depression, isolation, drug addiction, sexual abuse, divorce, domestic violence, etc. I believe that many of my readers either know someone who have experienced these situations or have experienced it themselves so, when they read my women’s fiction, they recognize that I know what I’m talking about.
Today, I live on a 30-acre horse ranch in northern Florida. Besides writing, I run a wild mustang rescue and sanctuary. We have 35 horses and burros in our care. When I can, I travel around the country with my nineteen-year-old daughter, Cat Zimmerman, a nationally renown mustang trainer with over ten championships so far. The good news is that I can write anywhere. So, I bring my laptop and I’m all set to work! 🙂