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Friday, October 19, 2012

Guest Post from Charlotte Hubbard - Author of Autumn Winds


 Goats by Charlotte Hubbard

You wouldn’t think inspiration for an Amish novel would come from a trip to Lowe’s, but that’s exactly where the idea for the four little goats—and then the two maidel aunts—in AUTUMN WINDS came from!

You see, I was hanging around Lowe’s waiting for my husband to find his home improvement stuff, just gawking at the book and magazine rack to kill time. I was partway into writing this book about Miriam Lantz and her wonderful new love, Ben Hooley . . . wondering how on earth they were going to get Bishop Hiram Knepp off Miriam’s case, when voila! I spotted a book about raising goats! I didn’t know a thing about goats, and didn’t know how they would play into the story, but instinct told me that if I took that book home I wouldn’t be sorry.

From out of nowhere (which usually means it’s a direct lightning strike from God) I got the idea that goats would be just the diversionary tactic I needed to waylay Hiram’s unwanted attentions—and along with the goats came two old maid school teacher aunts. We all know how you can’t tell those women what to do! And, as it turned out, Hiram Knepp was no match for Jerusalem Hooley and the four little goats she brought him as a gift when she and her sister Nazareth came to Missouri with their nephews, the Hooley brothers.

What followed was sheer magic, and more fun than I’ve ever had with creating characters. From the first moment they appeared on my page, Jerusalem and Nazareth were so alive and so funny—and so outspoken—I knew AUTUMN WINDS wouldn’t be the last story they appeared in. Hiram, too, was more smitten with Jerusalem than he cared to admit . . . enough that he sort of makes a fool of himself. But then, everyone around Miriam is just grateful that the bishop has backed off, while Hiram’s oldest daughters are glad for the way the Hooley aunts take charge of their four youngest sibs as only old schoolteachers can do.

But because Bishop Knepp has been a villain my readers, my editor, and I love to hate, I certainly couldn’t let his attraction to Jerusalem run the easy, satisfying course. Nope. The arrogant bishop of Willow Ridge will dig himself deeper into trouble in WINTER OF WISHES (comes out 9/13) just as Jerusalem and Nazareth have inspired sweet romances with far more worthy men in AN AMISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (comes out 10/13).  

So, see? Who knew, when I entered Lowe’s on that ordinary evening about a year ago, that I would be taking home such extraordinary inspiration for many Willow Ridge story lines to come?  I hope you’ll enjoy the Hooley sisters as well as the fine, fun story Ben Hooley creates with Miriam Lantz in AUTUMN WINDS. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when a spirited, forty-year-old widow finds love with an attractive (and rather mysterious) younger man? 

Thanks to Charlotte Hubbard for taking the time out to share with us readers just how Autumn Winds was conceived and giving us insight into what it takes to breath life into a novel!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your wonderful review and for putting up my guest post! ~Charlotte


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