I love these novella collections that come out periodically from some of my favorite Amish fiction authors. Here is a treat from the newest collection -- a special blog post from one of the authors. Kathleen Fuller shares about her inspiration for the novella she contributed, A Quiet Love.
What inspired you to write a particular story? I’m often asked this question, and the answer varies. I find inspiration in a lot of things, but when it came to writing A Quiet Love, my novella in An Amish Harvest, my inspiration was fairly close to home.
First, a little background on Amos, the main character in A Quiet Love. We first meet Amos in my young adult book, Hide and Secret. He’s a burly, sweet fourteen-year-old who is clearly “different”. He’s loved by his family, especially his younger brother Jeremiah and their best friend, Anna Mae. Anna Mae and Jeremiah’s story is continued in my novel A Faith of Her Own, with Amos as a secondary character. By this time, I wanted him to have his own book. More importantly, he needed his own happy ending.
In a Faith of her Own we find out that Amos is autistic. As a special education teacher I’ve worked with a variety of kids on the autism spectrum, and they all have a special place in my heart. I’m positive they have taught me more than I taught them. While Amos’s autism isn’t clearly defined and he didn’t get the education and therapy he needed when he was younger, he still has hopes and dreams, just like everyone else. He loves God, he wants to be happy, and he has a lot of love to give.
My hope in writing this story is to show that we all need to look beyond the surface. Amos and his love interest, Dinah, both have their own issues and challenges (honestly, don’t we all!). But God loves them, just as he loves us all. We are each an individual with a purpose. We make our own unique stamp on the world and on those we encounter. We have love to give and we are worthy love, regardless of the labels society gives us.
Open minds and open hearts bring Amos and Dinah together. The bigger question is: What can an open mind and an open heart do for you?