I've had my nose in a book, for as long as I remember. When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own stories. By sixth grade, I'd hand-written a 66-page semi-autobiographical book titled, "She Shall Have Music."
After I was married and our three children were in middle school, I began submitting articles and short fiction to various magazines.
My first book (Holly's First Love) was published in May 1993, the start of a 14-book series for pre-teen girls. Soon after, my first chapter book was published for 7-10-year-old readers ("Big Bad Beans") which later became part of my 24-book series, The Cul-de-Sac Kids. I wrote another long-running series for girls, titled "SummerHill Secrets," which was set very close to Neffsville, PA, where I grew up--near the heart of Amish country.
But it was the story of my grandmother Ada Buchwalter's shunning by her ultra-strict father and subsequently her old order Mennonite community that nudged me toward writing adult fiction. THE SHUNNING was published in 1997 by Bethany House Publishers, and along with its sequels, has touched a nerve in millions of readers intrigued by the Plain tradition of Lancaster County, PA. Many readers have enjoyed the Hallmark Channel's adaptation of this book and the other books in the Heritage of Lancaster County series.
My passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night, and I've written over three dozen novels for adults set in Lancaster County.
When I'm between writing deadlines, I enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. Cooking from scratch, playing Mozart at the piano, and making family memory albums, as well as traveling to meet my devoted readers during book tours, are some of my very favorite things. I also adore reading biographies and memoirs, as well as classic literature.