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Interview With Kathleen Fuller

Kathleen, your website says you’ve only been writing for 10 yrs and yet you have almost a dozen published books in two genres and a variety of historical sub-genres which include Irish history, Regency, Old West and Amish stories.

Back in 2000 when you started, did you envision writing in all these genres or did they evolve as you wrote.
This is a great question. I actually did envision writing across subgenres since I enjoy reading a mix of romance subgenres. When I first started I didn’t know about branding or streamlining my focus. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to write both historical and contemporary, along with the children’s series. It’s been wonderful to immerse myself in the research of all the different times, topics, and themes that go into each book.

Your current release, An Honest Love, is book two in A Hearts of Middlefield Novel series. You seem to like writing books in a series of 3. Is there a reason for it and will this series follow suit? I love reading series, and three seems to be the magic number, not only for writers but for readers. Once you’ve written that third book you’ve spent a lot of time with those characters and in that time period and setting. After book number three it’s nice to move on to a new project, with fresh ideas and characters to work with. Having said that, some of my favorite series have gone on longer than three books: Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and Brock and Bodie Thoene’s Zion novels come to mind.

You also have a Children’s release, A Summer Secret, targeted at the 9-12 age group which is the first book in The Mysteries of Middlefield series. Is it related to the adult Hearts of Middlefield series and whose idea was it? Tommy Nelson (the children’s publishing arm of Thomas Nelson) wanted to do a children’s series about the Amish. They came up with this great idea to have crossover characters from an adult series show up in a children’s series, and they asked if I would be interested in writing the books. I jumped at the chance! Characters from the Hearts of Middlefield series have cameos in the Mysteries of Middlefield books. One of the goals is to have grandmothers, mothers, and daughters reading the books and discussing the characters, themes, and how the Amish live their lives and their faith.

Does being a resident of Ohio inspire your Amish stories? Yes, definitely! Ohio is home to the largest (Holmes County) and fourth-largest (Middlefield) Amish settlements in North America. I live close to Middlefield, and have the opportunity to visit there often. It’s great to be able to experience Amish country first hand as I write the books.

What’s your biggest writing challenge? (Your family? Your job? The craft itself? Something else? My biggest challenge is being disciplined and not procrastinating. I’m a notorious procrastinator. Fortunately I also work well under pressure, but it can be stressful. I’m learning to schedule my time better, but old habits die hard.

How much of your faith and spiritual life do you put in your stories? Each book I write takes me on a spiritual journey through my characters. I usually choose themes and concepts that I either want to explore and learn more about, or that I’m struggling with personally. As I’m writing the book I want to draw closer to God, to understand the message He’s trying to give me through story. I’ve found that fiction is a wonderful conduit for me to learn those lessons, whether I’m the writer or the reader.

Is there one defining moment of your writing/publishing career? I’d have to say my first sale, which was a novella to Tyndale back in 2001. I don’t think anyone ever forgets “the call”, and when I received mine I think I floated on air for at least a week. At that point I felt I could call myself an author.

The publishing industry seems to want writers to stick with one genre. Why do you think you’ve had such success with your stories both with publishers and readers? I like to think it’s because I write about universal themes that especially relate to women, such as body image, losing and finding faith, and struggling with forgiveness and anger. I also think my books appeal to readers who enjoy a good, sweet romance.

Finish this sentence: I want to be known as… the author who writes an enjoyable, worthwhile read.

Any parting words? I’d love to do a giveaway! If you’d like a chance to win my latest book, An Honest Love (Book Two in the Hearts of Middlefield series) visit the contact page on my website ( and send me an email with the word ACFW Contest in the subject line. I’ll notify the winner by email at the end of March.

I’m pretty active on the web with my blog (cowritten with Beth Wiseman, Barbara Cameron, and Amy Clipston) and at Amish Living is a great community where you can meet other fans of Amish fiction and Amish country. Also, I send out a quarterly newsletter which always has a contest for a free book, Amish recipes, and more. Visit my website and fill out the contact form to get on my list.

Thanks, Anita, for the terrific interview!

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