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Amish Fiction and Evangelization

By Dana R. Lynn

“You’re an author? How exciting! What’s your new book called?”

“Deadly Amish Reunion.”

When people ask me what I write, I used to feel odd telling them that I wrote Amish fiction, mostly Amish suspense. Sometimes their faces would light up. Other times, it was obvious they were trying not to roll their eyes. People are rarely lukewarm about Amish fiction. Nine times out of ten, they either love it or hate it.

I hadn’t planned on writing Amish fiction, or Amish adjacent, as my editor calls it. In Amish adjacent, the main characters aren’t always Amish, but the story has vital Amish secondary characters or an Amish setting. In fact, when I started writing, I wrote inspirational romantic suspense.

One day, my editor approached me about trying to write Amish. I won’t lie. I wasn’t sold on the idea. In fact, I initially refused. I knew some Amish people and had some Amish friends. But that didn’t mean I wanted to write about them. The more I thought about the idea, however, the stronger my conviction grew that I should try it.

I found I enjoyed writing it, but I still wasn’t sure if this was the direction God wanted me to take. I didn’t want to write something just to sell books. I wanted to write the message He wanted me to write. Was writing Amish suspense staying true to His plan?

I took my doubts to prayer. As I prayed, I became convicted that Amish fiction was in fact a great way to evangelize. While I write romantic suspense, there is always a faith journey. I work hard to make sure it’s organic to the plot and not preachy. Most of my stories have a theme of redemption and trusting that God’s love is stronger than any situation we can find ourselves in. I have also talked with many people who are not fans of inspirational fiction but will pick up an Amish book. Some of my readers aren’t even Christians.

A friend explained it to me this way: For most of us, our lives are fast-paced and we depend to some extent on technology.  The Amish culture, in contrast, appears to be a simpler way of life, uncluttered by the business and stress of our world. It’s almost a different reality. Readers can pick up an Amish fiction book for a true escape.

It may be the only time in their busy lives they hear about God or read a Scripture verse. God can use that to plant a seed of faith.  As an author, I will never know all the people who are touched by the small glimpse of God in my books. I’m fine with that. He has asked me to be faithful to His plan.

I will do that and allow Him to do the rest.

Mathew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Amish fiction is a useful evangelization tool @DanaRLynn #ACFWBlogs #ChristianFiction #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Dana R. Lynn is an award-winning author who believes in the power of God to touch people through stories. She lives with her family in rural Pennsylvania and is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by day and writes stories of romance and danger at night. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

 

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