My guest today is Olivia Newport, another Colorado author. She's here to discuss her newest release, Meek and Mild, and give us a peek into her writing world.
Meek and Mild by Olivia Newport
The leadership in an Old Order Amish community requires shunning friends and family whose only offense is to embrace the new Protestant practice of Sunday school among the Mennonites, but teaching Bible stories to children is one of Clara Kuhns’s great joys. Clara's on the verge of saying yes to Andrew Raber’s marriage proposal, but now he flagrantly refuses to submit to the bishop's authority by owning a car. When the lot falls to Moses Beachy to become the new bishop, the community waits for him to take bold steps toward change. Clara and Andrew step together into a more progressive Amish faith as the Beachy Amish take form.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I always loved telling stories. I can remember being four years old and using flannelgraph pieces in the preschool Sunday school room to tell a story about a little girl looking for Jesus. In fifth grade, a weekly assignment was to write a story using all the spelling words. I did really well at it. I’m thankful that my teacher told me so. But growing into that identity can take decades. Though I had several jobs where organizational-based writing was a big chunk of the position, I was 35 before I transitioned from “I like to write” to “I am a writer.”
What other books have you written?
Thanks for asking! The Avenue of Dreams series, set in 1890s Chicago, includes The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, and The Invention of Sarah Cummings. The Valley of Choice series, set in contemporary Colorado, includes Accidentally Amish, In Plain View, and Taken for English. Hidden Falls is a 13-episode digital-only contemporary small-town series available in e-book and audible formats. Wonderful Lonesome, which came out last year, is the first in the Amish Turns of Time set of historical Amish novels. Meek and Mild, the new book, is the second in that set.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I often think I am not doing a very good job of that! I am a creature of habit, and that helps. I don’t resist doing what I need to do when I need to do it, and never have. But in recent years I have become more attuned to listening to both body and spirit. I try to pay attention both to what is abundant and what is needful. I believe a healthy life doesn’t come down to just what I eat or what health condition I might or might not have. It comes down to a balance of the major dimensions of my life. When I feel them swinging out of balance, I know it’s time to make some adjustments.
The task I took on with the Amish Turns of Time stories is exploring some true historical episodes in Amish history and looking at how Amish history took a turn because of what happened. In Meek and Mild, I look at the circumstances that led to break-off of the Beachy Amish, who eventually became more progressive than the Old Order. Because the district that experienced this break spanned the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, family members on both sides were caught up in divisive opinions and consequences. My characters are fictional, but they face the struggles we know real people faced in the historical circumstances.
How can readers find your book on the Internet?
Meek and Mild is available at all the major Internet retailers, in print, audio, and e-book formats. Here are some quick links.
You can find Olivia at www.olivianewport.com, @OliviaNewport and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OliviaNewport?ref=hl