Hi friends 🙂
I’m excited to welcome a new-to-me author to the blog today!
National bestselling author Sarah Price has always respected and honored her ancestors through the exploration and research about her family’s Anabaptist history and their religion. For over twenty-five years, she has been actively involved in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. The author of over thirty novels, Sarah is finally doing what she always wanted to do: write about the religion and culture that she loves so dearly.
If you haven’t followed her on Facebook before today, you really must. Her live Morning Coffee updates are really fun and personal and authentic and full of encouragement.
Her new book, Mount Hope, releases on September 6th in her Amish Classics series and is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
When her father can no longer provide for his large family, Fanny Price is sent away from her small Amish community in Colorado to live with her aunt’s family in Mount Hope, Ohio. Fanny immediately feels out of place at the Bontrager farm but finds a friend in her aunt’s stepson, Elijah Bontrager.
As time passes, Fanny begins to long for their friendship to blossom into something more, but her hopes are dashed when Elijah starts to court someone else. With her uncle pressuring her to marry a man who can take her off his hands, Fanny must learn to rely on God for her future.
Welcome to the blog, Sarah! I start everyone out with a fast four –
Sarah: APPLES because my parrots like them and oranges are too hard to peel so no one eats them and I eventually throw them out for the birds to eat…which they, too, never do so I avoid the entire situation by sticking to apples.
Sarah: I love winter when it’s summer and summer when it’s winter. Actually, I basically hate winter all the time. But this summer has been BRUTAL in New Jersey so winter is starting to look mighty good.
Carrie: I think summer has been particularly brutal all over this year. Ugh. So ready for cooler temps!!
Sarah: If it has fur and four legs, I love it. I don’t discriminate. We currently have six dogs, three cats, three rats, one guinea pig, four guinea hens (yes, I know…two legs), three donkeys, two goats, one pig who used to live in our house, one sheep, twenty ponies, and about eighty horses. Oh and two parrots with a baby umbrella cockatoo on the way. Maybe I should change that to “if it has fur or feathers, I love it.”
Catching my drift??
Carrie: My blog mascot Zuzu is overwhelmed at your answer 😉 On the one paw – six dogs. On the other paw – three cats… which might negate the six dogs. She’s undecided. BUT she sees that you are a friend to the furred and feathered so she likes you. Despite the c-a-t-s.
Sarah: Coffee but only if my husband makes it and uses my cool whirlie frothy thing that makes the GRRRR noises and makes my coffee look fluffy.
Carrie: hahaha! “Fluffy coffee” … i love it!
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Sarah: I have this amazing ability to make each day 25 hours. It’s true. People are always asking me “How do you do it all?” Even when I was battling breast cancer and was hospitalized over and over again, I kept writing. My days are usually busy from the moment that I get up until I fall asleep, always with a book in my hand. I’m also trying to complete my dissertation for my PhD and I’ve been taking ballroom dancing lessons for over two years. I’ll be competing in December in New York City.
So my superpower is definitely Creating More Hours in a Day!!!
Carrie: You could market that one! I think we could all use more hours in our days!
Where is your favorite place on earth, and why do you love it?
Sarah: Well…I really loved Burell Boom in Belize. We stayed at a cute treehouse on the river with little howler monkeys that visited every day (and screamed like velociraptors at night). However, my husband and children hated that place so I’ll probably never see it again. Boo hoo. I really wanted a monkey.
So I guess my next favorite place is our farm in Archer, Florida. My husband and I are going there this week to investigate the damage after six years of tenants. My husband finally agreed to keep it as our vacation get-a-way. While there are no monkeys there, I LOVE little Archer, Florida. Only 1141 residents, dirt roads, and wild boars in the wilderness. What more could a person want in life?
Carrie: I just saw your facebook live post about the damage left behind by the tenants – oh. my. goodness. Yuck.
Speaking of, you are a master of Facebook live! Why did you decide to start doing daily Morning Coffee talks, and do you have a favorite/most memorable one so far?
Sarah: Last year, I began doing live stream videos in the mornings while I was in Los Angeles on vacation with my daughter. People loved watching them so I kept doing them. Now it is part of my daily routine. My family sometimes asks if I shouldn’t cut back a bit. But my mornings do not start off right if I’m not having coffee with my 1000+ daily viewers.
My favorite one? Hmmm….
I think when I play games with Marc, that’s always fun. But he’s a little camera shy and it’s hard for me to get him to agree to do the live streams. When Marc wore the wig after our painting class, that was funny.
Another memorable one was doing the Daddy Dance at Fred Astaire. We had such a blast and almost 20,000 people watched that video.
When I live streamed my buggy ride with Susan Conceicao, that was priceless. We had so much fun driving my Amish buggy around Morristown, wearing Amish hats.
And any morning coffee that I get to do with Lisa Bull (affectionately known as my Little Red Wagon Friend) are my favorites. She’s crazy. I throw out ideas and she always is game for it. Like when we dressed up like Jane Austen and pretended to have a tea party or when we did our lip sync battles. My impression of Carrie Ingalls running through the prairie and falling, showing bloomers and all, was a classic, recorded by my dear LRWF right on the Kansas prairie where Laura Ingalls lived.
Finally, I love when my parrot, Bandit (or Banjo as some of my viewers call him) sits on my shoulder and tries to eat my sunglasses.
Carrie: The Carrie Ingalls fall reenactment is hilarious. Y’all have to go look that one up on her page. And then you can come back here and thank me. Remember – strawberry Starburst and chocolate. 🙂
In your Amish Classics series, you combine two genres of a sort – Amish fiction and Jane Austen classics. Are there any other genre-combos that you’ve considered?
Sarah: YES! Fairy tales and the Amish. I will be adapting several of the classic fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) as Amish romances. There are valuable lessons in those sweet tales that, like Jane Austen’s classics, transcend time and location. Right now, I’m working on Belle, my adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a lot of fun and I’m enjoying falling in love with my two main characters.
Carrie: You had me at fairy tales!! Looking forward to those!
Mount Hope, your latest novel, is an Amish retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Which retelling has been your favorite to write so far?
Sarah: How about I answer with which one was my least favorite. Persuasion. I just did not care for Anne and Frederick. Writing Second Chances, my adaptation of that novel, was torture. LRWF and my Vadar buddy, Donut Girl, had to literally push me through that book word-by-word.
And, strangely enough, that’s the one book that everyone loves the most!
First Impressions was fun because…well, who doesn’t like Mr. Darcy? He might be Amish but he’s still Darcy! The Matchmaker was fun to write because Emma is so naughty in an innocent way. If there is trouble, she knows how to create it. Sense and Sensibility was the easiest to write because the story was so diverse and the characters interesting.
Mount Hope and Newbury Acres, the adaptation of Northanger Abby, were truly the most interesting to write because they were so different from the other four Jane Austen books. I suppose that those two were my favorite adaptions to tackle.
Carrie: I know this has nothing to do with your lovely answer but your nicknames for your friends crack me up!
What do you most want readers to take away from Mount Hope?
Sarah: You mean besides thinking it is the greatest Amish fiction that they have ever read? Ha ha
Carrie: Yes, besides that 😉 Lol.
Sarah: Seriously, I want readers to realize that the Amish are people just like the rest of us. Many of the Amish fiction books that are published portray the Amish as if their lives are full of warm sunshine and gardens that have no weeds. They have problems just like the rest of us. I do my best to be as accurate as possible when writing about the Amish. I’ve been heavily involved with the Amish since I was 19 when I lived on an Amish farm. I get really irritated when I read Amish books that have major inaccuracies…such as Amish women wearing earrings (say wha’????) or tombstones with endearments carved on them (don’t ask…it just bothers me because…It. Is. Not. Accurate). I respect the Amish religion and culture. When other books are inaccurate or just plain stupid (i.e. Mail Order Amish Bride with a Vampire Baby type books), I can’t help but wonder if people know that they are reading pure fiction…or, in the case of mail order Amish Brides, pure rubbish. Of course, we have the right to read whatever we want. I think my readers are more sensible than to read such silliness.
Sarah – again, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Sarah: I’m moving into Women’s Issues! That’s right. I’ve just completed my first manuscript for my one publisher that is not Amish. The working title is A Faded Photo. It’s about Frances who, when she learns she has breast cancer, and has a hard time telling her dysfunctional family. She starts treatment without them knowing and soon she realizes that no one notices she is sick. It’s a journey that transforms Frances from a meek pushover wife and mother into a strong, take charge woman. My publisher cried when she read it. That’s always a good sign. I like making people cry. 😉
Sarah has graciously offered to give an ebook copy of First Impressions (Amish retelling of Pride and Prejudice) to one of my readers! Enter via the Rafflecopter below.
Winner will be notified by email and will have a week to respond before I choose another winner.
What about you? What classic or fairy tale would you like to see retold as Amish fiction?