I’m excited to share Sarah Price’s latest release, The Matchmaker! And a PERFECT day for it since today happens to be my wedding anniversary (not to be mistaken for my marriage anniversary. hee hee)! I just finished the book and I really think she did a fabulous job of combining Austen’s Emma with the Amish. To read my review, click HERE. Sarah graciously wrote a guest post for us today, so without further ado… Sarah Price ! (who, by the way, is one of the most interesting and engaging people I’ve ever met!)
Hi Chautona, my Writing Sister! Thank you so much for inviting me to share a little bit about myself on your blog.
There is something that has been on my mind for the past few days…weeks…months. As some of your readers will know, I write Amish fiction. What they may not know is the depth of my experience with the Amish and Mennonites and my commitment to writing as a craft, not just a profession or even a hobby.
You see, there is often a misconception by non-Amish fiction readers and reviewers that Amish fiction books are poorly written and strictly formula romance. And then there is often a problem concerning many authors’ accuracy of the portrayal of Amish. Many authors do not have first-hand experience with the Amish or readers are basing what they know on “reality” shows. I’ve read some of these books and it concerns me how a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. With so many great authors in the genre, it’s sad that many people dismiss Amish fiction as simply being “bonnet books.”
My books, however, do bring authentic experiences to the readers as I’ve been directly involved for my entire life with Mennonites (my father’s side of the family) and the Amish (I even lived on a farm!). In regard to my writing style, I focus on methods of absorbing the reader into the story to make them feel as if they are actually there. And character development is my favorite part of the writing process.
That is one of the main reasons that I continue to challenge myself as both a writer and an author. Retelling the Jane Austen classics raised the bar for me as well as for my readers. So far, most of my readers have responded positively to the gentle shift, an elevation of storytelling technique.
Earlier this month, The Matchmaker, the second book in my Amish Classics series, was released. It is the retelling of Jane Austen’s classic book, Emma. Based in an Amish setting, my Emma follows the same trials and tribulations of Jane Austen’s Emma. She thinks a little too highly of herself and those around her. She is quite happy to express her opinions, often when she shouldn’t. Personally, I love Emma as a character because she is so real. Let’s face it…she’s flawed. Aren’t we all? But her flaws get her into a few situations that will make the reader chuckle. That’s the best part of retelling Jane Austen’s novels: She had the greatest characters!
Many of my regular readers tend to stick to just the Amish genre. I often hear that it’s because these books are clean and godly. However, so are the classics. By combining the Amish genre with classic storylines, I’m hoping to enlighten readers so that they might consider other genres, such as the classics, for their TBR pile! I want to reassure them that it’s all right to explore Christian books, too. There are so many great books outside of the Amish genre that will open up an entire world to readers, and also might help them differentiate between well-written books and those that are not.
I know that reading classic literature—such as Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, Charles Dickens, and Victor Hugo, to name a few—can be a daunting task. Many of us were forced to read one of these authors’ books in English class during our high school years. As adults, many of us prefer lighter reads to balance our stressful lives as we juggle home, family, and work. Picking up a classic book might not be at the top of our TBR pile.
Yet, there is something intellectually stimulating about the classics that is missing in many of these lighter reads. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. Her writing style is brilliant, her attention to detail is amazing, and her character development is second to none. So I decided to challenge myself and retell Jane Austin’s book in an Amish setting, combining the Amish culture and religion with a Jane Austen style of writing and story-telling.
A lot of people loved First Impressions, the first book in this series. I suspect that they will also love Emma since she is not the quintessential female character in an Amish book. But she is real…perfect only in the fact that she is flawed and, most likely, quite similar to people we encounter in our daily lives. Perhaps even a little bit like ourselves.
If you would like to learn more about The Matchmaker and visit other tour stops here is the link to take you to the Blog Tour List.
The Preiss family emigrated from Europe in 1705, settling in Pennsylvania as the area’s first wave of Mennonite families. Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through exploration and research about her family history and their religion. At nineteen, she befriended an Amish family and lived on their farm throughout the years.
As a masterful storyteller, Sarah Price prides herself on presenting an authentic Amish experience for her readers. Many of her stories are based on actual people she has met and her own experiences living among the Amish over the years. Sarah now resides in Morris County, New Jersey with her family.
While she started out as an Indie author, she signed on with Realms, an imprint of Charisma House and Waterfall Press, an imprint of Brilliance Publishing. Her first book, First Impressions: An Amish Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was released in May 2014.
Get the latest news about Sarah Price on Facebook, Twitter, and sarahpriceauthor.com.
The Matchmaker is available on:
Barnes and Noble
as well as other retailers.
I’m giving away three Kindle copies of “The Matchmaker.” Please leave a comment below and tell me which is your favorite Amish OR Austen book… or both! I’ll try to draw on Sunday night.