Sunday, February 10, 2013

Amish and Inspirational Cozy (plus giveaway) from Guest Author Amanda Flower

Posted by Leann

What is an Inspirational Cozy?

When I wrote the original proposal for my Appleseed Creek Mystery Series, I had two versions: one tailored for the general market and one tailored to the Christian fiction market. My agent sent it out to both, and I was offered contracts from publishers from both markets. Appleseed Creek finally ended up with the Christian publishing house, B&H Publishing, and I accepted a second contract to write Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries for NAL/Penguin, which I write as Isabella Alan. Both are Amish cozy series set in Ohio.

So how are the Amish cozies I write for the inspirational market different than those I write for the general market? The differences are subtle, and this is how I distinguish between my two cozy series. Other authors may distinguish them in another way.

How are they different?

Faith is a central element. In my Appleseed Creek Series, two of my central characters, Becky Troyer and her brother Timothy Troyer, leave the Amish because of disagreements with some of the Amish beliefs. This leads to conflict with their Amish families and districts. I don’t go that deep into Amish doctrine in the books I write as Isabella Alan.

In Appleseed Creek, my non-Amish main character, Chloe Humphrey has a darker past than Angie Braddock from my Amish Quilt Shop Series does.

The romance is more in the forefront of the story in Appleseed Creek. This is because computer geek Chloe Humphrey is romantically involved with Timothy Troyer. His Amish family and district do not approve because they want him to return to the Amish faith.

In Appleseed Creek, I tone down the sarcasm a tad… not all the way because Christians can be very sarcastic too. I’m proof of that.

How are they alike?

The mystery drives the plot.

Quirky characters abound. The zanier the better. Amish can be quirky too!

Animals are among the supporting cast. I have the most adorable French bulldog named Oliver in my Amish Quilt Shop Series.

You can still recognize my voice as an author. I can’t change who I am as a writer. My voice retains a quirky, humorous sound.

No matter the likes or differences, writing for both markets is a dream come true for me. It’s what I always wanted to do. However, the best part is the feedback from readers. So many Amish Fiction readers have told me they’ve never read mysteries before and now are reading them because of my Appleseed Creek Series. In my opinion, anything that brings readers to cozies is a good thing.

Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid ofMurder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan. The first Isabella Alan novel, Murder, Plain and Simple releases September 2013. In 2014, she will debut a middle grade mysteries series published by Zondervan/HarperCollins.

Find Amanda online: Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest

The Cozy Chicks want to thank Amanda for blogging with us today. To be included in a random drawing for a signed bookplate as well as a copy of A Plain Scandal, leave a comment below and make sure we can contact you should your name be drawn

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