A couple of months back I interviewed author Sarah Price and had a good response so I thought it would be fun to chat with her about An Amish Buggy Ride. Enjoy!
Hi Sarah! Thanks for letting me interview you again. Let’s chat about An Amish Buggy Ride. Can you share with us your inspiration for the book?
This book has an interesting story behind the story that I wanted to share with you. To begin with, it started as a writing exercise at the Women Who Write Writers’ Group in Madison, New Jersey. The leader of the group gave us three words, “The snow fell…” and we had to start writing a story. Five minutes later, we read our stories to the rest of the group. I liked what I wrote, the idea intrigued me and I went home to continue writing it. When a publisher approached me, asking to publish some of my work, I mentioned An Amish Buggy Ride. They loved the idea and, a year later, those three little words are now a published novel.
I personally loved this book and I adored your Plain Fame Trilogy. I am curious…what is your favorite book you have written?
I have two favorites. The first is the Plain Fame Trilogy (no surprises there, I reckon). From a literary perspective, each book is different. The first book uses flashbacks, the second is a straight novel from Amanda’s perspective, and the third book switches back and forth between Amanda and Alejandro’s point of view. I like challenging myself when I write, so trying new different approaches to the stories is fun.
How about your favorite character? Your fans are all screaming Alejandro right about now (grin)!
I would say it’s a toss up between Alejandro and Jake (from Hills of Wheat). Jake was such a neat character with a dark past that he wanted to forget. His emotional and spiritual growth was amazing in the book. I also fell in love with how he treated Sylvia. She was so innocent; he could have ruined her. But his intentions were honorable, even if they conflicted with the Amish way of life.
Now, about Alejandro…
I suppose most readers are aware that he is the fictional version of an international singer that I had a fan-crush on. Well, he is definitely my favorite character on several different levels. First, he becomes a real person when I write about him. I can see him, hear him, even feel his presence behind me. I appreciate his manners, intelligence, and hard work ethic. But he’s also street savvy—there’s an element of appreciation in him for what he has because he remembers where he came from. Secondly, on a minor level, I can relate to him in regard to “fame.” There is no down time in the entertainment industry. As soon as a new song is released, he has to be ready to promote it while already working on the next song. There’s a demanding balance between interacting with fans about existing material while anticipating and producing future products. That’s very similar to writing. I have several new books coming out in February, March, and April. I wrote them almost a year ago and I’m working on books now for 2016! There is no down time in the world of writing…not if you are truly passionate about it…and I am.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Right now, I’m writing a young adult book in collaboration with another person. His character’s name keeps changing. I simply can’t write scenes with that character anymore until his team finalizes the name. Names shape everything. We have a naughty character in the book …we went through several names and finally landed on Dennis. The name alone conjures images of naughtiness! Another character is Cat and is similar in personality to my own daughter, Cat. She’s so easy to write (and fun). Names definitely take on personality before I even start writing about the characters.
Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others?
Not really. When I write a novel, I see it in my head … like a movie. That makes it easy for me to write about it. I can see the characters and the setting. I can hear them talking. If, however, that movie doesn’t play in my head, I have a hard time writing about that scene.
On the other hand, I really love, love, love building up suspense in my books to surprise the reader or developing emotions between two characters. One of the things that I like so much about the Amish Christian genre is that readers don’t want yucky love scenes because I would never ever be able to write them (nor would I want to!). Instead, the emotional build-up is more discrete and subtle which, to me, is much more exciting and romantic.
Do you have any strange writing habits? (Perhaps taking a “buggy” ride to get your creative juices flowing?)
I imagine I do! ha ha.
Let’s see … thinking …
OK, I write in chairs, not at a desk or counter. And I have to have a dog next to me (usually Tobi or Peekaboo). I also have to have water bottles nearby. I like VOSS bottles because they are glass. I refill them with Poland Spring water and keep the upstairs in a small refrigerator in my room. It’s like my security blanket, I guess: water and a dog.
I also have a habit of pacing. When I’m thinking about an idea, I pace in the kitchen around the center island. My family knows to leave me alone when I do this. I can pace for an hour, mulling over an idea or working out a scene. Sometimes the dogs follow me so it’s like a little parade.
When the writing “bug” hits me, I can literally write for 10-12 hours straight. I usually write every day so that’s upwards of 70 hours a week writing. I even forget to eat until my husband reminds me. I call it my “zone.”
If there is one thing that you want readers to know about An Amish Buggy Ride, what would it be?
More and more, I noticed two things in our society. First, people tend to place the blame for their failures on others rather than take responsibility for themselves. Secondly, other people tend to allow that to happen and walk around with shoulders burdened with wrongly placed guilt. This results in lowered self-esteem and that creates tons of problems, for the individual and the community. It’s also just not fair.
We need more people like Samuel to point out what is so obvious but often overlooked. My readers will be hearing more about self-esteem in some future novels. It’s an important issue in our society and the lack of it, especially in our youth, is troublesome.
Thanks a million for this interview, Sarah! Readers, I hope you take the time to pick up a copy of An Amish Buggy Ride because you will love it. Check out the book trailer…it’s like you are in an actual buggy!