One day while surfing the Internet for a professional editor's group, I accidentally found a local fiction writing group, Chesapeake Romance Writers. I attended a meeting and I met writers in all stages of their careers. The group helped me realize that I did want to be an author, and it was my dream to see my name on the cover of one of my novels.
Through Chesapeake Romance Writers, I learned how to plot, write, and edit a novel, and I also learned how to pursue an agent. I signed with Mary Sue Seymour at the Seymour Agency in 2006, shortly before Joe and I moved my parents and our sons to North Carolina.
My dream came true when I sold my first book in 2007. Holding my first book, A Gift of Grace, in my hands was exhilarating and surreal.
I'm contracted for six full-length Kauffman books and two Christmas novellas. A Promise of Hope is book #2 in the series and was followed by A Place of Peace. Book #4, A Life of Joy, will debut in October 2011, followed by Books #5 and #6 in 2012 and 2013. The first Christmas novella, A Plain & Simple Christmas, hit bookshelves in 2010, and Naomi's Gift: An Amish Christmas Story will be out in August 2011.
All of the books in my Kauffman Amish Bakery series have achieved the Christian Fiction bestseller lists, including the CBA (Christian Book Association) bestseller list and the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestseller list.
I love writing about the Amish, and an Amish friend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, reads my manuscripts for accuracy. I was always fascinated with the Amish when I was a child. I remember visiting Lancaster County, and my father, who was a German immigrant, told me that the Amish speak the same dialect of German as my relatives. I was drawn to their simplicity and faith. Due to my German heritage, I feel a loose connection to the Amish and their culture.
My plots come straight from my heart and all involve family issues intertwined with faith.