New York Times Bestselling Author
Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country---Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.
"My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years," Beverly says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She shall Have Music," penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. "Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things," she says.
Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Here first book followed in 1993--Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans---presently retitled Bid Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books--see list of Bev's children's books)...here
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful sage of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn into the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College Student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster Country Forklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life." ...
To read my interview with Beverly continue read more link below...
I asked, "Beverly did your Grandmother Ada teach you the ways of the Mennonites?"
Beverly said: "Growing up, I was surrounded by Plain family members at reunions and church gatherings. I remember going to water baptisms and all of us singing without any musical instruments---the rich four-part harmony of voices---happily watching relatives and friends being completely immersed in the Susquehanna River, just as I was baptized later at the age of 12.
I asked, " Beverly, What would you say were the most important things your parents taught you?"
Beverly said, "My parents taught me by example the importance of building my life on a firm foundation: the solid Rock of Ages. You see, the Lord stopped my father, a fifteen-year-old Kansas plowboy in his tracks, and called him to a life of ministry. My father answered that call---"Here I am, send me"---and attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, where he met my mother, Jane. They dated six short weeks before graduation. A year later, my dad married his Pennsylvania Dutch sweetheart and they became ministerial partners with three church-plants in the states, thirty years on short wave radio, and world outreaches in several countries, including mainland China. My parents' hearts truly beat for missions and that was important in shaping my life."
Your faith is so important to you anyone can see that. Would you like to talk about that? I am a believer also.
Beverly said, "What is most important is to trust in the Lord---and not in ourselves. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to "grow up" in the ways of the Lord---and for parents who encouraged me in my jubilant, even zealous childlike faith in Christ. The Lord is our only true refuge. He is our "good thing"---the greatest treasure in my life, and in yours."
I asked, "You began writing and playing music at a very young age you really are very talented. Do you still play?"
Beverly said, "Love of music has been a major part of my life since I was just four-years-old, when I started taking piano lessons. Making music and writing stories have been my life's passions from early on. It's interesting that an astute editor once told me that the perfect paragraph incorporates musical rhythm, as well as a lyrical quality. Undoubtedly, you've noticed the poetic aspect of many of your favorite authors' writings, as well, and yes, I still play piano. Sometimes I take a break from writing deadlines to give a "praise offering" to God through music."
I asked, " Do your children share this desire to write and play music?"
Beverly said, "My family tree "sways" with enthusiasm for Christmas music. Our granddaughter Ariel plays the piano/keyboard, violin and clarinet, and she especially likes to perform four-hands duets with Papa Dave. Our niece, Amy inspires us with her original piano compositions each year at Christmas."
I asked, " Can you tell me which of all your Amish Books is your favorite?"
Beverly said, "I don't know about a favorite book, but as far as characters, I admire Leah Ebersol from the ABRAM'S DAUGHTERS series. She is the quiet, gentle epitome of a godly young woman. Thousands of readers have remarked to me that she is their inspirational yardstick."
Beverly you are going on a book tour for your new book "The Last Bride" I know you are thrilled, we certainly are. "Would you please say something about this new book that is to be released April 1st?"
Beverly said, " At nineteen, Tessie Ann Miller is the youngest of her Old Order parents' five daughters---and the only one yet to marry. She has her heart set on Marcus King, but their plan to wed is dashed when Tessie's father disapproves of the match. Tessie can't understand how her father can be so unreasonable, and she has no intention of following in her more passive older sister's Mandy's footsteps by marrying the man her father seems to have handpicked for her.
Tessie and Marcus impetuously take matters into their own hands, eloping to exchange their vows in the English world, hoping that, in time they will be able to convince Tessie's father to accept their love. But that plan goes terribly awry, and Tessie is placed in a situation she never imagined...one that is going to take a lot of grace to get through."
"This is one book I could not tear myself away from while writing. I laughed out loud, I cried, and I even applauded when certain twists just seemed to happen."
I asked, "Your books are so inspirational, did you think at the time that they would have such an impact on others' lives?"
Beverly said, "Only God could have foreseen it! I surely never imagined such an enthusiastic reception from readers after my first Amish Novel, The Shunning, was released in 1997. My Plain relatives and friends have been surprised and delighted as well. It is such a gift to be able to use story to share the truth of God's amazing love for us. Many of my readers have confided in me their desire for a simpler, less chaotic way of life---much about the Plain culture really resonates with them. Thousands have also written to say my novels seem to speak directly to their hearts. Only God's hand of blessing on my writing journey could make that possible, and I am ever grateful."
I'd like to express my sincere heartfelt thanks to Beverly for such a wonderful story.
You are such an inspiration to us all!
Everyone for a chance to win a copy of Beverly's new book to be given away on her Facebook Page--- 25 Winners will be announced March 31st Enter today here
Beverly has graciously given me a signed copy to be given away. In fact I think Hibiscus House will give away 2 copies. So what do you say after reading this great article---make a comment about what you enjoyed best about Beverly and if you'd like to win a copy of her new book. Please leave me your email address and go like Beverly's Facebook Page. I'd love it if you'd tell her Dolly sent you. Come back and let me know for another chance to win a book.
I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I!
Please watch the videos on the right sidebar you'll find them a great addition to her story and put a face on Beverly Lewis. To see other Hibiscus House Posts on Beverly Lewis
** UPDATE: WINNERS WERE: KATHY USHER AND CONNIE SAUNDERS**
Beverly Lewis on Lancaster County, PA here
to watch the movie Netflix or
Beverly Lewis' The Shunning here
to watch the movie Netflix or
Beverly Lewis' The Shunning here
born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print.
Her Amazon Page
New Book Coming April 1st
"The Last Bride"
Book Tour here
I'd like to add a special thanks to:
Amy Green | Fiction Publicist
Bethany House Publishers
From Beverly Lewis
The Spring 2014 Book Tour was wonderful...all because of so many of you, reader friends!
I just landed in MN...for meetings with my publisher, Bethany House.
Thanks to everyone who purchased The Last Bride. It is #5 on the NYTimes bestseller list tomorrow!
So very exciting...and I am grateful to God for such wonderful readers!!