Girls Write Out
Tuesday, February 03, 2009

OPINIONS NEEDED
I think I mentioned that I'm going to write a historical. The title has been chosen--The Lightkeeper's Daughter--and it's set in the northern California redwoods at the turn of the century. I'm curious about something though. Reader preferences. Do readers of Amish fiction read historicals? I'd love your feedback on the following questions:

"Yes" I'm a historical reader who also likes Amish fiction
"No" I'm a historical reader who DOES NOT enjoy reading Amish fiction
"Yes" I like reading Amish fiction and women's historicals
"No" I like reading Amish fiction BUT NOT women's historicals

Sound off and let me know what you think!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 2:56 PM  
  Comments (45)
 
 
Delicious Delicious
45 Comments:
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

Oh, I sooo do not like Amish fiction--I live in the middle of Amish, and I haven't met a single Amish person who lives the way those books are written. I don't know--maybe we have an extra- liberal order or something, but Amish are just people who use gas and generators instead of electricity and hire people to drive them around instead pay for cars and insurance! Other than that, they're just like you. And yes, they even have phones. And Ipods! Amish fiction drives me nuts!

And I have friends who have "yanked over" (that means they now live like the rest of us ("Yankees," not "English")) who just laugh. And laugh. We think someone should write a book about a REAL Amish family!

Shall I tell you about the time we were at some Amish friends' house, sitting on their porch and we kept hearing a car approach with the radio blaring, bass boosters rattling the neighborhood. Only it was coming so slowly...it was an Amish buggy, tricked out with undercarriage blue lights even. Yeah. Come to northeast Ohio for the "real Amish" HAHAHAHAHAA!

(Hope I didn't burst anyone's bubble.)

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh my gosh, that is HYSTERICAL, Rachel!

You didn't say if you read historical fiction at all. Do you?

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

And actually, you should read MY Amish book, Anathema. I have Amish friends and it's as true to them as I could make it. Not your typical story either since it involves murder and mayhem. LOL

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

I prefer contemporary. I read it if Barbour sends it my way for work or my daughter (who loves historicals) makes me! :-)

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Hmm, I wonder if that's a trend? LOL maybe only people who like historicals read Amish. It will be fun to see how our group feels.

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

I didn't realize Anathema was Amish. I will look for it if you promise me it's different. :-)

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I promise it's totally different! Starts off with her parents being murdered with strychnine. LOL It's like no Amish book you've even thought of reading!

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

Hello! Sounds different! I'll look for it!

Do your Amish friends get identified by their husbands' names? Even as ex-Amish, my friends are known as Ray-Martha, Ed-Katie, and Mike-Betty among their families and Amish friends.

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Maybe that's because so many names are the same! LOL

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

'Zackly. Now, I'm not one to go completely to the other side (where you make up your kids' names from the nearest grocery aisle), but a little variety is definitely better!

I'm gonna quit monopolizing your blog now...

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I don't know-- a made up name like Spaghetti might add variety. LOL

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

Okay. One more comment. This is fun!

My Lamaze instructor (way back in the day) told us that once we had a name we liked, we should go to the back door and yell the whole thing as loudly as we could several times. Imagine the neighbors' expressions:

Spaghetti Ruth! Spaghetti! Hey, Spaghetti Ruth Coble! Get in here, now!

It has a certain...je ne sais quoi...to it, doesn't it?

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Okay, you made me inhale my coffee! And it was hot. LOL!!

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

not the best use for that elite stuff you drink, is it? I gotta go. It's been fun--I needed to laugh today! Bye!

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

"Yes" I like reading Amish fiction and women's historicals.

but like i said before, as long as it has your name on it, i will read it! :)

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Brenda said...

I definitely do NOT like Amish fiction. I think that the whole genre is getting wayyyy overdone and I'm kind of sick of it. Used to read SOME if it was good, now I really don't read any I'm so sick of it. I LOVE historicals though so I can't wait to read one from you!
And, that being said, I DID read Anathema and really enjoyed it...but it wasn't exactly a typical amish novel!

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Tricia said...

I am a "No I'm a historical reader who DOES NOT enjoy reading Amish fiction."

I don't know why I don't like Amish Fiction. Perhaps I've just not read the right author.

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

Typically I don't read Amish fiction. The reason I read yours was that it was so different. It was nothing like most Amish books out there. Very good blend of the culture and a modern day suspense.

Anyway, I cut my teeth on Christian historicals so I love a well written historical...but no on most Amish. BTW, I just read Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller's Broadmore series. It was so good. In case anybody is looking for a good historical series. :)

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Gasp, Tricia! You haven't read MY Amish novel? It begins with murder. . . by strychnine. LOL

Thanks for all your input, friends!

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Ruth said...

I read some Amish fiction, depends on the author (I own Anathema, of course :) and read lots of historical fiction too.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger Barb said...

I got over Amish fiction a long time ago. Some books I enjoy purely for the "fluff factor" - Regency romances. Most books I read, though, I appreciate a great story line that goes beyond romance and causes me to think. I think some genres are way overdone - Amish, the settling of the West. That is just me, though. Somebody has to write those books for the people who really do enjoy them. I just won't be the person reading them.

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

FYI, from the master disliker (hater was too strong of a word) of Amish fiction, I LOVED ANATHEMA (tho I'm always afraid I'm spelling it wrong) :) SO GO OUT AND READ IT ASAP. You won't regret it.
Jaime

*disclaimer: this post was in no way coerced, endorsed, or otherwise authored, rendered, or subjected to the scrutiny or opinion of the author of Anathema

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Colleen,
I LOVE historicals, but not anything Amish. I tried to read one of the Amish series, but just couldn't get into it. I love the historicals that are deep and accurate and require research and time and effort. Liz Curtis Higgs and Deanne Gist and Gilbert Morris' historicals are more my style. I say, GO FOR IT. Write it, and then we'll judge it beyond the cover! :-)

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger Beth said...

I love historical fiction, but only occasionally pick up Amish fiction.

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger Anna said...

"Yes" I'm a historical reader who also likes Amish fiction

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

wanted to add that while i do like Amish fiction, i think it depends on the author. i prefer Beverly Lewis and Shelley Shepard Gray to say Wanda Brunstetter.

I had problems reading When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall. My issue was that there was a rape, and the girl got blamed for it, and when it led to a pregnancy, it was pretty much her fault. And the parents wouldn't press charges or even attempt to look for the guy b/c it was against their beliefs. I understanding forgiveness but it just pained me to see a girl get raped and NOTHING was done about it, plus she was blamed. I can't believe all Amish people are like that, to be so strict in their beliefs that they would blame their daughter for that heinous act? I know a LOT of people love that book though, so I'm in the minority (no stones please!!) :)

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

LOL, Jaime!

Thanks for all the help, friends!

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

First, let me say to Rachel, I think it depends on where you live as to the Amish. Here in Northern IN, all my neighbors (who are all Amish) think of us as "Englishers". It's amazing to me how Amish in one area can be so different from Amish in another area and still be in Northern IN. I know it depends on the bishop. It does make me chuckle to see them with cell phones! :)

Now to Colleen's question-I read some Amish fiction. I read some historical. Depends on who the author is and if the back of the book or inside flap catches my attention. Just like any other book I pick up! :) I'm a real help aren't I!

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Thanks so much, Andrea!

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Rachel Holliday said...

I am glad to know I am not the only one. I have tried to read Amish fiction (and even forced myself to read the whole book), but I just cannot get into it. I do enjoy a good historical, though.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Am I too late to comment? I just noticed on Twitter you had this question out here.
I will read an historical occasionally but am mostly a contemp fan.

As for Amish, I've not ever gotten into the series stories that have been out there, but I loved Cindy Woodsmall's 3-book series.
I attended a family-wedding several years back in the area of Ohio where there are many Amish and was fascinated by their way of life that so permeates the area.

But I guess I will take reading an Amish book on a case by case basis. Those stories are not an auto-buy for me.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

Rachel, I live among the PA Amish - they do have phones but out in the barn... :)

Personally, I can't stand Amish fiction and think there is WAY too much of it out right now. Every other Christian fiction book has an Amish setting lately and there's a glut.

Just my opinion...

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Not too late, Pam! Thanks,girls!

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

Hey, Colleen. We talked about this last night. Other than Kim Sawyer and Cindy Woodsmall I tend to run from books with caps on the covers. I don't know why, but they don't appeal to me -- though I have to admit when I do finally read them, I like them. Historicals (even though I write them) I'm pretty picky on time period. If it's 1800s, it has to be fresh like DeeAnne Gist or Mary Connealy. Love 1900s -- no surprise there LOL. And am open to earlier, but they have to be great.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Yes, I'm a historical reader who also likes Amish fiction. :)

OOOOO! I'm very excited that it's turn of the century. My favorite era. :)

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Seems I'm not alone in the trend here. :) I'm a "No" I'm a historical reader who DOES NOT enjoy reading Amish fiction. I grew up in Amish Country for the most part, living just 1 hour south of Lancaster and having Amish in southern Delaware.

I LOVE historicals, but I prefer it to be where I'm not. Of course, my own first 3 historicals were set in Colonial Delaware, but that was a whole different time period and setting. :)

IMHO, Amish is way overdone and quite saturated. I suppose you could say the same for prairie romances, but again, they're removed from where I grew up and for me they'll never lose their appeal.

And Colleen, if it has your name on it, I'll read it. :) Just please don't include Amish or it might take me a while. *winks*

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I have never even SEEN an Amish person. I have no idea why it's so interesting to the masses, but you know, strichnine sounds good. : )

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Technically #2 ... but - I've never read any Amish fiction (not because it doesn't look interesting, but because I feel that too often authors are trying to glamourize/romaticize the lifestyle and since I don't know who is writing authentically and who isn't, I ignore the whole "genre"), and I am very picky on the historicals I do read :)

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Hannah said...

'Tis a lover of good historical fiction, as long as the characterization is well-done and the plot keeps me turning the pages. But Amish fiction? No way! Mostly because so many people have been throwing out Amish novels lately...it's like the latest trend. And most of the plots are similar: either an Amish person dares to slip into the English world, or an Englisher converts to the Amish life. Of course, books like Anathema are the exception (murder mysteries could never get boring!), but it's rare that I'll find adrenaline laced stories in Amish fiction.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

"Yes" I'm a historical reader who also likes Amish fiction (although I don't read a ton of Amish fiction - it isn't my preference.)

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm an historical reader who likes to read Amish. Mind you, I don't read all the Amish books, just some.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger Peg said...

As usual, I'm wa-a-ay late on this. My answer is: "Yes" I'm a [sometimes] historical reader who also likes [some]Amish fiction. How's that for an ambiguous answer?

I say "sometimes" historical because I also read contemporary. As to the "some" Amish fiction, someone has already mentioned Kim Sawyer and Cindy Woodsmall. In fact, I think that's the only Amish fiction I've read. (I need to get my hands on Anathema, Colleen!) And this new book sounds different enough simply because of the location and time period.

I'll read it.

 
At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Aaron McCarver said...

Just to let you know, Colleen, and I see I'm late again, B. J. Hoff, who is one of my all-time favorite authors, (Historical lovers, run to her books!) is currently writing a historical series with Amish characters for Harvest House. The series is "The Riverhaven Years." The first book is out--"Rachel's Secret"--and was a best-seller. The second book--"Where Grace Abides"--is coming this fall. So, it looks like there is a definite market there. Go with your heart. I know it will be another winner!

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh I love BJ Hoff! I want to read her new one. This historical won't be an Amish story, by the way. I was just curious about demographics. :)

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Sally said...

I don't read historicals any more. Amish books are okay. I have Anathema but haven't read it yet. I just finished Lonestar Sanctuary and Cry in the Night. Please, please continue the Rock Harbor Mystery series. I love them. I want more Bree, Kade and Samson!

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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