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I’d have never thought to combine the Amish and Vampires let alone outer-space, what inspired you to make this combination?
The short answer is that there was this joke title that my publisher had been talking about for years at writers’ conferences: Amish Vampires in Space.
Some people might not know this, but the Amish romance genre is extremely popular. So popular, in fact, that there are publishing houses that only want Amish fiction. And of course, everyone knows how popular the vampire genre is.
My publisher only published speculative fiction, though, so he would tell writers that he wasn’t interested in Amish fiction, unless it was something like Amish Vampires in Space. He even went so far as to design a mock cover.
Somewhere along the way I told him that someone should write that book. I didn’t think it was me, because it sounded campy, and I typically write hard science fiction. I also had other projects that I was working on. So the idea gestated for a few years.
Then a couple summers ago, I started thinking about how such a situation might actually occur—how the Amish might get to space and become vampires. I challenged myself to write a straight sci-fi story that could mash up all three genres and still have some depth.
It is a matter of opinion as to whether I succeeded or not. But I think I did. I’m proud of it, in fact.
Have you ever experienced writers block and if so what helps you?
Thankfully, I’ve never had long periods where I couldn’t think of anything to write. I always have an idea I’m intrigued by. Something that keeps me pressing forward.
I do have days, though, where the words are a real struggle. The best thing for that is to just press through it. Even if you don’t get everything you want out of the writing session, at least get something.
Usually I’ll find that the days I struggled the worst were also the days I wrote best.
What do you wish you’d known before you started writing and what is the best tip you could give a young writer.
I don’t think any writer, starting out, realizes how difficult it is to market your books. Even if it is the best thing ever written, getting someone to spend their hard-earned money on it is hard. And probably it should be! But is easy to get discouraged by the sales numbers, or the seeming lack of interest. You need to keep things in perspective. Most books don’t sell that well. Very few are bestsellers. Tell the story you want to tell and hope for the best.
The biggest tip I give young writers—and it goes along with what I’ve just said—is persevere. It took me four years of writing before my first book was published, and another six years until my first novel. It can take a long time. Hang in there.
Do you write the story all at once or in bits and pieces?
A little piece each day, with rarely any planning. I usually have a general idea of where the story is going, and some themes and characters in mind, but otherwise it is a faith walk. I start out writing with the expectation of arriving somewhere, even if it isn’t where I originally intended.
Are you working on any books right now?
I am! A sequel actually. Though Amish Vampires in Space has a definite ending (no cliffhangers) there are some characters and situations I’d like to explore more. I’m far enough in now—70,000+ words— that it is starting to seem like a real book. Not sure how it will all end up yet, but I’m excited about it.
Having fun. Persevering. J
Title: Amish Vampires in Space
~ Synopsis ~
~ About the Author ~
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