Saturday, August 20, 2016
Interview with Patrick Craig and #giveaway
Welcome Patrick! We're so glad you could visit us today. What made you decide to become a writer?
I've actually been writing since I was in the second grade–that would be 1954. I published my first article in the school paper. It was titled, "What we did this summer." I got such a good response from my family and friends that I decided this was something I could do well. After that I worked on the school paper in grade, middle, and high school and was the editor of each paper. I won awards with my writing including several short story and poetry contests. After highs school I pursued a career in music and turned my efforts to song writing. I had many songs published and recorded. Then I came back to Christ in 1984 and began studying the bible and writing non-fiction teaching books. Finally in 2007, I succumbed to my lifelong desire to write fiction and wrote my first book, The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch, a kid's mystery in the style of the hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, which, by the way, I just re-released in a second edition. Then I got a contract with Harvest House Publishing and wrote three Amish books for them. Last year I published my first Indie book, The Amish Heiress, and now here I am, trying to finish up my second Indie, The Amish Princess.
Where did the inspiration for your latest book come from?
In my first Amish book, A Quilt For Jenna, Jerusha Hershberger hears the story of her great-great-great-grandfather, Joshua Hershberger from her grandmother, Hannah.
Hannah handed the second book to Jerusha. It was small with a plain leather cover.
"What's this, Grandmother?" she asked.
"This is the story of Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger," said Hannah. "It tells of the choices the twin brothers made after Indians massacred their family near Fort Henry on the Ohio, and what effect those decisions had on generations of Hershbergers. One brother, Jonathan, forsook the Amish church and he and all his descendants went out into the world. The other brother, Joshua, stayed in the church and remained faithful, even under the most difficult conditions. Joshua was your great-great-great grandfather. It was his grandson, my father, who came to Apple Creek in 1860 as a boy. It is because Joshua stayed true, that you are here today."
In my second book, The Road Home, Jerusha's adopted daughter, Jenny Springer, meets Jonathan Hershberger who she discovers is the great-great-great-great-grandson of Jonathan Hershberger, the twin who married an Indian princess and left the Amish faith. So I thought this book would be a great opportunity to tell the story of both brothers and the Indian Princess and tie it into the family that is the centerpiece of both the Apple Creek Dreams series and The Paradise Chronicles series.
How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
As a writer, I have two imperatives–to share the gospel of Jesus Christ as clearly and understandably as I can without preaching, and to preserve our incredible language. I put the gospel message somewhere in all my books, and I try to spell everything correctly.
I see you are also a musician. Can you tell us about your music?
I started playing music at the same time I started writing. I started with piano, learned violin, trombone, string bass, guitar and baritone bugle. In the 60s I moved to San Francisco where I had a modicum of success in the music industry–two albums on Warner Brothers Records and several published and recorded songs. Then in 1984 I switched my focus to worship music in the church and was a worship pastor for the next twenty-five years. In 2003 my wife and I started a ministry to small churches that did not have any music. We would go for two weeks or two months or two years and help train people in the church to lead worship. It was very satisfying. Now, with my focus on writing, the sum of my musical expression is teaching my grandkids to play the piano. But who knows?
Wow, that's amazing. What are you working on next?
My next book is the third and final book in The Paradise Chronicles series, The Mennonite Queen. It will be the last book in the story of the Hershberger women, which I started in A Quilt For Jenna, my first book for Harvest House. It is set in the 1500s in Europe. In it I tell the story of Princess Isabella of Hungary who is destined to be a queen but falls in love with her Anabaptist stable boy and runs away to become a Mennonite. She ends up in Meünster, Germany during the Anabaptist rebellion of 1534. Her father and the prince that she was to marry pursue her. Finally she has to make a choice that changes the history of Europe but not before she has a son show is the founder of the Hershberger line that finds its fulfillment in Apple Creek, Ohio and Paradise, Pennsylvania. After that I have some proposals for some historical Romance, a mystery thriller, and even a fantasy series. I will also be putting out more of my kid's mystery stories.
Here's the blurb for my latest book, The Amish Princess:
Opahtuhwe, The White Deer, is the beautiful daughter of Wingenund, the most powerful chief of the Delaware tribe. She is revered by her people–a true Indian princess. Everything changes when the murderous Shawnee renegade known as Scar brings three Amish prisoners to the Delaware camp. Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger are twin brothers that Scar is determined to adopt and teach the Indian way. The third prisoner is Jonas Hershberger, who has been made a slave because he would not defend his family against the Indians because of his stand against violence. White Deer is drawn to Jonathan but his hatred of the Indians who murdered his family makes him push her away. Joshua's gentle heart and steadfast refusal to abandon the Amish faith lead White Deer to a life-changing decision and rejection by her people. In the end, White Deer must choose between the ways of her people and her new-found faith. And complicating it all is her undying love for the man who can only hate her.