Saturday, November 15, 2014

Author Interview – Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton
I have the privilege of welcoming multi-published Christian author Laura V. Hilton to discuss her writing career and latest holiday book releases, “White Christmas in Webster County” in September and “A Snow Globe” this month.

Thanks for joining us, Laura. Would you share a brief overview of your books including your inspiration for them?   
A White Christmas in Webster County
Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in town and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place?
***The inspiration behind A White Christmas is I was asked to write a Christmas novella with another Amish Author. But it didn’t work out – she was going with a publisher my agent refused to work with. And my publisher wanted to see it. I based it around Abram’s (in Awakened Love) twin brother who’d gone to Montana and an article I read about Amish going fishing on Lake Michigan. 
The Snow Globe
Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?  
***The inspiration behind this one is when I had breast cancer, I was going through chemo treatments. One of the other people fighting cancer worked on the river as a cook.  It intrigued me and I started asking questions.  She took the time and answered them, and the question came to me, what if an Amish man worked on the river?  Why would he? The story came from there. 
What led you to write Amish fiction?  

I always loved Amish fiction.  It was mentioned once on ACFW to look at your bookcase to see what kind of books you collect and write that genre.  That didn’t work so well with me. I have contemporary, suspense, romance, Amish, historical… you name it.  But I do have Amish relatives on my maternal side. And it interested me. Always. So I decided to give it a try. And to my surprise it was bought – immediately. On proposal. 
What are you currently working on? Do you have plans for any non-Amish books?
I am currently writing book three in the Amish of Jamesport series – coming out in September 2015 and it is due to the publisher this month!  So I need to wrap it up and get it polished. 
I do have proposals out for contemporary romance, romantic suspense,  and historical romance.  So Yes, maybe, someday, if God wills one of those will be published.  There are some that I *really* want to write.
Many struggling writers wonder how long it takes to get a book published. Obviously, the process is probably more streamlined as you publish more books. How long did it take from the time you started writing your first book until it was published?
Well, most people say that the first book you write will never be published. They say the average is the third book that gets published.  That is the average. Some people’s first books are published. 
I started writing when I was in third grade. I didn’t get published until 2004 with a small press, (I was not impressed with this small press) then it was several years later before a traditional publisher picked me up. 
So, write for yourself. Write for God. Don’t write to be published. That will come in God’s time. And He will guide, whether traditional publishers, small press, or self-publishing.
What encouragement do you have for other Christian writers struggling to get published, especially when rejection letters keep coming?

Learn from the rejections. If an editor takes the time to comment with what’s wrong they see potential in your writing. Learn from it. Rewrite. Redo. Study the craft, whether by studying nonfiction or fiction. Take online (or in person) courses. Join a critique group.

Thanks for sharing, Laura.
Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also  has two adult children. 

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.
Visit Laura's blogs: Lighthouse-Academy and Laura V. Hilton

Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Purchase Laura's books:


  1. Both books sound wonderful. I always enjoy Amish Fiction too.

  2. Thank you, Laura, for what you do.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  3. Thank you for sharing this great interview! I enjoy Amish fiction and look forward to adding Laura's books to my TBR list.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com