Thursday, September 1, 2011

A View From Beverly Lewis' Window!

I tried to schedule and interview with Beverly Lewis when I attended the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, but alas, my schedule would not allow us to meet. Once again, God was at work behind the scenes, and I was able to schedule an interview for late August just before the release of her latest novel, The Mercy!

What a wonderful blessing this interview was to me! Beverly was kind and gracious, and she ministered to me in many unexpected ways! It was a real encouragement to me, and it is my hope that you will also be blessed!

Please welcome Beverly Lewis to my Window!

Can you tell us about your most recent project?

The Mercy will release on September 6th. This is the last book in The Rose Trilogy and it is set deep in Lancaster County. Rose Kaufman is a very devout Amish young lady. Her sister married an Englisher and wants to raise their child Amish. The husband disagrees. However, he eventually tells her to return to her Amish family and get it “out of her system”.

The thread of the Amish caring for children in foster care, despite the usually large number of biological children, is also vital in this story and readers will enjoy the part that this theme plays in the story line.

The Shunning will also be releasing on DVD on September 13th, and readers are very excited about that!

What other project are you working on “behind the scenes” as it were?

Thursday is the deadline for the final draft of the first novel in the Home to Hickory Hollow trilogy entitled The Fiddler. The location is one that readers of The Shunning will recognize. This trilogy is really a series of stand alone novels that are loosely tied together by cameo appearances of characters from a previous story. This book is scheduled to release on April 10th, 2012.

Can you tell us briefly about how you became a writer?

I began writing at the age of eight, and by the time I was in sixth grade I had completed a 77-page novella. I had parents who recognized and encouraged my gift. I published my first novel in 1994. It was the first novel in the Summerhill Secrets series for young adults. When The Shunning released in 1997 it really touched a chord in people’s lives. Many people had been shunned because of their sins, and even though they repented, they were not accepted in the community of believers. Readers really related to this story and I received many, many letters in response to that novel.

Can you tell us if you feel like you pioneered the Amish genre?

I’ve been told that, but I believe I just wrote the stories that God laid on my heart. When I write I become my characters. This creates a very intimate way to connect with my readers. God has developed this in my writing over many years, and I’ve been asked to teach the technique, and I’ve tried, but I’m not sure it can be taught. I think that if any writer will write the story they are passionate about then it will resonate with readers.

I grew up as the daughter of a pastor, and our family literally lived by faith. It was because of my parent’s example that I gave my writing to the Lord early on. My heart’s cry is to touch people with my stories. God has been vey faithful to answer my prayers in this area of my life.

What is God doing in your life that excites you?

I’m really excited that the Lord is moving in a mighty way among the Amish. There are people who are sharing the gospel with the Amish and there great revivals going on among the people. Many are seeking a personal relationship with Christ. There are only 20% of the Old Order that claim salvation through Christ, so there is a wide mission field in the Amish community.

I remember when my parents conducted tent revivals that there would be Amish couples and individuals come and stand on the outer edge of the tent in order to hear God’s Word. They are hungry to understand, and they are seeking light and truth. It is just a huge mission field.

Do you have words of encouragement that you would like to share with your readers?

Zephaniah 3:17 has been a verse that the Lord impressed upon my heart to encourage women right now especially. God’s Word says: “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” If we are willing to give all to Christ He will transform our lives.

I also want readers to know I am available. I am on Facebook several times a day, and I can be reached through my website. I see this as a vital part of the ministry that God has called me to. I try to answer my readers directly. I am not any different from other believers. I want to obey God in what He has called me to do. There are times when I’m drawn to my knees, tears streaming down my face as I try to write the story God has given me.

I want encourage others to give themselves totally to God.

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