It was 2010. I had just returned from the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s conference where I had been told that the genre I was writing in was not something that editors or agents were currently looking for.
So I was casting about for a new direction when I happened upon a blog by Nick Harrison, senior editor at Harvest House Publishers. His blog was giving tips for unpublished writers on how to get published. At the end of the blog he invited anyone who read the blog to send him a one-sheet between January 1 and January 31 of 2011. And then he gave us a hint. He said, “I like Amish stories and I like quilting stories.”
I had learned that Amish romance was the largest selling Christian genre. However, I knew absolutely nothing about the Amish, nor did I have the faintest idea how to make a quilt. So I Googled “Amish” and “quilting.” My search led me to a village in Ohio named Apple Creek. It was a perfect setting. I discovered that in 1950 a huge storm had dumped 30 feet of snow on the village. An idea for a story came—an Amish woman who is a master quilter is making a quilt for the big quilting fair held in Dalton. Her little girl has died. She is embittered and is going to use the quilt as her ticket out of the Amish lifestyle. On the way to the fair she gets trapped in the storm and for three days The Lord deals with her heart.
And so the idea for A Quilt For Jenna was born. I sent the idea to Nick and he asked for sample chapters. I wrote the chapters and sent them back and I also sent them to Steve Laube, an agent, for critique. Steve contacted me and asked me if I could make the story into a series. I sent the series idea to Nick and he submitted it to his committee. Two weeks later I had a contract, an agent and an editor.
The point is, if the Lord has a book for you to write, keep your heart open because you may end up on the most fascinating journey you have ever been on—with the coming release of my latest Amish book, The Amish Heiress, it very clear that I did.
Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor. In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series.
His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book, The Amish Heiress, will be out in August, 2015. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren. Click here to enter his book giveaway: A signed copy of one of his books! And find him online at www.patrickecraig.com .