Amish Credentials

Amish credentials? There are many authors writing books about the Amish, but how many have the experience needed to really take you there? I believe you have the right to know my credentials.

When I was nineteen years old I moved to a community in Iowa with a large Amish population. It so happened that the first friends I made were Amish. I was fascinated by their lifestyle and asked a ton of questions. I asked one of the girls about courting and Singings, her answer was, "Come along with us and see for yourself." I spent that summer going along with her family to volleyball games, catching chickens, making hay and other adventures that ended up in the Amish Horses Series.

Thirty-five years later, I'm still living in the same area. I married a local Mennonite girl and we live on her family farm. I was born a horse fanatic, and that is one reason Amish life has such a strong draw for me. Being in an area with Amish farms, I always saw huge draft horses working out in the fields. One day I got an idea, I'm going to buy a team of draft horses and learn how to work with horses in harness. That was about twenty-five years ago and I'm still learning from my Amish neighbors. Years of adventures with horses and Amish friends sparked another idea. I decided to put my own experiences together into a set of novels, and the Amish Horses Series came to life.

The characters in my novels are based on actual Amish folks I've been blessed to know. I purchased horses from three Amish families, and they all took the time to explain many things about working with horses. In the springtime, they have used my horses to hitch with their teams, for plowing and other fieldwork. One family invited me to come and try my hand at plowing with a six-horse hitch. On another occasion I was asked if I wanted to help make hay, using my own horses to bring in wagons. That was only one of many opportunities I've had to make hay with Amish friends and neighbors. These experiences all end up in the pages of my books.

Another great connection I've had over the years has been with harness-makers. Many countless hours were spent in their shops, while they made or repaired my horse's harness. One of my favorite harness makers went through grade-school with my wife's grandpa. These men also seemed to enjoy sharing horse wisdom with me, as well as their ideas on life and religion. My Amish friends also love to tell stories and I find a way to incorporate what they tell me into my books.

I can take you on an adventure where you will see, feel, smell, and hear everything... just as if you stepped onto an Amish farm this afternoon.

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