I’m thrilled to host Wendy Rich Stetson on the blog. A fellow Wild Rose Press author, her debut novel is Hometown.
When Tessa’s big-city plans take the A Train to disaster, she lands in her sleepy hometown, smack in the middle of the most unlikely love triangle ever to hit Pennsylvania’s Amish Country
Hot-shot Dr. Richard Bruce is bound to Green Ridge by loyalty that runs deep. Deeper still is Jonas Rishel’s tie to the land and his family’s Amish community. Behind the wheel of a 1979 camper van, Tessa idles at a fork in the road.
Will she cruise the superhighway to the future? Or take a slow trot to the past and a mysterious society she never dreamed she’d glimpse from the inside?
- Tell us three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? How about the hero’s?
If you peered under Tessa’s bed, you’d likely find a travel guide to New York City, a pair of denim cut offs for gardening, and dust bunnies comprised mostly of long, curly, red hair.
Jonas is Amish and lives with his sister who is a meticulous housekeeper. Under his bed is nothing but wooden floorboards clean enough to eat from! Maybe now and then a pencil used for sketching carpentry plans might escape her dust mop. Hidden in his nightstand drawer, on the other hand, are a few items that might surprise you…
- What is the theme of this book? If it’s part of a series, how does this book fit into the series?
Through Tessa’s journey in Hometown, the reader grapples with how two people from vastly different backgrounds can possibly create a life together. In today’s increasingly disconnected, digital world, how does a person find purpose and a true home?
The Hearts of the Ridge series is set in a small town in central Pennsylvania where the Amish and the “English” have lived side by side, fairly independently, for years. However, with the rapid growth of the Amish population, interactions are on the rise. Each book is a love story between an Amish and a non-Amish character, exploring what happens when differing cultures mingle, clash, and ultimately merge.
Themes of forgiveness, self-acceptance, and the healing power of love run through all three stories.
- Why do you write this genre? What inspired this story? Do you write any other genres?
Not gonna lie…an episode of Oprah some years back gave me the spark I needed to try my hand at writing romance. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania near a fairly large Amish and Mennonite community, but I never set out to write “Amish Romance.” The story sprang from the inspiration to write a sweet and funny book in which the heroine comes home to her little town in PA and falls in love with an Amish guy.
I like to get my characters into trouble. For a twenty-first century girl to fall in love with a guy who doesn’t have a cell phone and drives around in a horse and buggy all day seems pretty complicated. Throw in a love triangle with a handsome, tech-savvy doctor and Tessa has a juicy dilemma on her hands.
As a writer, I’m interested in exploring a lot of different genres. I’ve also written a couple of screenplays, and I’m in the midst of a middle reader ghost story…in addition to book two of The Hearts of the Ridge. I’ve got enough projects to keep me busy for the foreseeable future!
- Any tips to share with fellow authors/aspiring authors? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
Write the story you want to read. Don’t set out to please some ideal reader you’ve imagined in your head. Tell a tale that thrills and delights and amuses you, and you’ll find no end of inspiration.