Author Interviews

Interview with Kate Lloyd

Today I am happy to have Kate Lloyd stopping by for an interview! Kate’s newest book, Leaving Lancaster, is currently number ten on the CBA bestseller list for May. Congratulations, Kate!

Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself?

I’ve mentioned to friends and family they’ll never know the real me unless they read one of my books. On the surface, I’m a happily married mother of two sons, live in the northwest, and am the author of Leaving Lancaster. I’m an optimistic extrovert who longs for stretches of solitude, so I can ruminate, ponder ideas, and pray. I adore people of all ages, listening to their stories, and even browsing through their old photo albums, but I accomplish my best thinking when I’m alone, digging in my yard or walking. I’m not a worrier, but I do fret about my writing, enough to urge me to edit and re-read more times than you can imagine. Each day, I strive to improve my skills and research the Amish. Never boring!

Why did you choose to write about the Amish?

Is there a more fascinating and intriguing group than the Amish? Never-the-less, I prayed fervently before writing Leaving Lancaster. I realized a great deal of research would be required to capture their world and the ambience of magnificent Lancaster County. My opinion: An author needs to have his or her facts accurate or the whole premise of the book collapses.

What is the inspiration behind your newest novel?

I love reading a good book, especially a great Amish novel! I can’t credit my storyline, splintered family, or my unpredictable characters to anything other than my active imagination, which is always on the prowl. I grew up in a conventional two-parent family the opposite of Holly’s. My mother, a sculptress, didn’t resemble secretive Esther in the slightest, except my mother did wear her hair in a bun. But she didn’t knit, let alone own a business, or conspire to keep her children from their true identity.

Which character can you identify the most with?

I identify with all my characters, even at their worst: Holly, who is shocked and furious to find her mother has lied to her and deprived her of family, Esther, terrified to return to her Old Order Amish mother and siblings that she deserted, and Mommy Anna, clinging to life. These women are completely fictional, but a small bit of me resides in each, even the men. I enjoy my male characters as much as my female.
My characters seem to spring to life on their own. They quickly become close friends, in all their splendid beauty or ragged bitterness. Let’s face it, we all harbor a dark side or some secret, because we’re imperfect humans. I enjoy delving into my characters’ imperfections and foibles, especially when they discover they are not alone; God loves each hair on their heads.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

When a reader tells me they can’t put Leaving Lancaster down—the story and characters have taken hold of them—I’m delighted! We are all so different; I assume each individual will glean a slightly different message. But I hope they come to understand God gives us second chances. Family relationships can be mended.
While writing about the Amish have you learned anything about their customs that has surprised you?
I could list a hundred facts about the Amish—from no central heating to silent prayer to the intricacies of growing alfalfa—that once surprised me but now seem completely normal. The Ordnung, their unwritten code of conduct that changes from District to District, continues to intrigue me. Years ago, our pastor mentioned that in his house when his children misbehaved, the pastor would say, “We don’t act that way in our house.” No long lectures, no preaching—an unwritten code of conduct I’ve quoted many times.

While writing about the Amish have you learned anything about their customs that has surprised you?

I could list a hundred facts about the Amish—from no central heating to silent prayer to the intricacies of growing alfalfa—that once surprised me but now seem completely normal. The Ordnung, their unwritten code of conduct that changes from District to District, continues to intrigue me. Years ago, our pastor mentioned that in his house when his children misbehaved, the pastor would say, “We don’t act that way in our house.” No long lectures, no preaching—an unwritten code of conduct I’ve quoted many times.

How do you do your research for your books? Do you have Amish friends?

I do have Amish friends who read my manuscript before I turned it into my publisher. My husband and I visit and keep in touch with them, and are blessed with relatives in Lancaster County. I study about the Amish every day. Alas, I lost my mentor and friend Steve Scott: http://www.katelloyd.net/reflections6.html

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

For me, writing fiction is akin to play and exploration. But finishing and polishing a novel takes passion, commitment, and persistence. Not for the faint at heart!


Kate Lloyd
kate@katelloyd.net
www.katelloyd.net
Leaving Lancaster
A Portrait of Marguerite
David C. Cook, Publisher

Leaving Lancaster can be purchased through Amazon here  or can be purchased through the Destination Amish Store.

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