A few months ago I told you that I would be visiting the Amish community in Chouteau, Oklahoma. This is the scene for my upcoming book, Anna’s Healing. Today I thought I’d share some of those photos.
One of the first things you’ll see when entering the town of Chouteau is the Amish Cheese House. They have wonderful sandwiches made on fresh bread with Amish cheese, and of course the workers are Amish and Englisch. Everyone was very friendly!
This is a common thing to see in Chouteau. The Amish use tractors in this community (due to the difficulty in farming the clay dirt). They also drive the tractors to town! Notice the canopy to shield them from the sun and the truck bed pulled behind! this is for storing your groceries or other purchases. It also provides a place to sit if your friends want to go to town with you!
This is a fairly typical Amish home in the area. Notice the absence of electrical lines, the gas tank in the front, and the tractor. I discuss the differences in this Amish community in my series!
Items found at a local store. You definitely know you’re in Amish country!
Anna’s Healing will release one year from now, and I’ll let you know as soon as the pre-order button is available. In the meantime, if this series sounds interesting, you might check out my Pebble Creek series here.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!
VC at a quilt show
Researching in Chouteau, Oklahoma
This week I head north, to Oklahoma where I’ll be doing two fun things. On Friday and Saturday, I’ll be attending Quilt Tulsa. If you haven’t been to a quilt show, and you live in the Tulsa area, I encourage you to attend. There are quilts to look at and lots of vendors. I’ll be selling my quilt shop mysteries, as well as all of my other books. And I have a few items that I’ve picked up in various Amish communities that I will also have available for purchase. I love going to quilt shows, and I adore meeting readers.
The second thing I’ll do this week is visit Chouteau, a small community 45 minutes to the east of Tulsa. This is the largest Amish community in Oklahoma (the other is in Clarita). Next year my first Oklahoma Amish book will release. It is titled Anna’s Healing. I’m half way through writing it, and I’m looking forward to walking around the area and meeting folks.
Researching A Promise for Miriam
So what do writers do when they research? I can tell you what I do, and I can also tell you that it’s something I enjoy immensely.
- Visit local Amish stores
- Buy stuff for giveaways when the books release
- Take pictures of Amish homes and schools (always remembering to be respectful and not take close-up pictures of people)
- Visit with Amish families. In the past, folks have been very friendly.
- Visit the local library and/or historical center.
- Eat lots of pie.
- Pick up any brochures/maps that will help me when I’m writing.
- Obtain addresses of area folks (librarians, etc.) who would like to receive a complimentary copy of my book.
Researching is a hoot. I really enjoy it. My characters are certainly fictional, but they live in a real place with real problems. Kids attend school. Parents shop. Families go to the local park. It’s very helpful for me to visit a place and root these things firmly in my mind as I write the story on my heart.
I hope that you have some fun plans this summer, and I hope that you have time to read some wonderful books.
Plain & Simple Miracles
Amish home. Middlebury, IN
Anna’s Healing — Plain & Simple Miracles
I am so excited to be working on my new series, Plain & Simple Miracles. These will be Amish romances, much like the Pebble Creek series. If you’ve read those books, you know there is a lot more at work than one guy, one girl and a love story. These are also stories about the Amish way, how communities pull together, and God’s grace in our lives.
This time my story is set in Oklahoma. An hour to the east of Tulsa is an Amish community. I’m going to visit next month. One of my favorites aspects of writing is visiting the people and places I write about. The Oklahoma community is a bit different than others in that they allow tractors – and you know I will be discussing that in my book.
But the main theme of this story is quite simple. Do we believe in miracles? I’m not talking about the miracle of another sunrise (although I believe that is miraculous). I’m talking about God’s healing touch like when Lazarus was raised from the dead. Do we still believe those sorts of things are possible? If so, why are some people healed but not others?
I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I think this will be an important book for me to write. I ask your prayers, that God will lead me to present such an important subject in the light of His love and grace.
We’ll still have romance, lots of Amish cooking, and problems between neighbors. I want you to have plenty to think about while you’re reading. Already I adore Anna Schwartz, and I trust that you will too. This book will release in 2015. Until then, I hope you’ll visit my webpage and pick out a book. They are all stories of the simple life and the grace of God.