He’s 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. Then in 2011, he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. The books are historical Amish fiction. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book in the series is The Amish Heiress, just released on August 10th. He and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.
Patricia: Patrick, when and why did you begin writing?
Patrick: I published my first article in the grade school paper when I was seven years old. I got such positive feedback from my teachers, family, and friends, that I decided then and there that writing was something I could do well. I’ve been writing ever since.
Patricia: Wow! I didn’t start writing until I was 35. What does your writing journey look like?
I was editor of the school paper at every school I attended and I worked for the local paper writing a column when I was in high school. At a certain point, I became more interested in following a musical career but I never gave up my love of writing. In fact, even when I was playing in successful bands, my favorite part was song writing. When I met the Lord in 1984, I put my professional music aside and began writing non-fiction: teaching books on the role of music in the church. But in 2003, I retired from ministry and started doing what I had always wanted to do‑write stories with deep plots and memorable characters
Patricia: You’ve certainly done that! And had an interesting career to boot. Playing with bands and song writing–that would have been hard for me to leave. Have you ever considered Indie-publishing? What do you like or not like about it?
Patrick: My latest book, The Amish Heiress, is Indie published. I was fortunate to have The Apple Creek Dreams series published by Harvest House as that gave me a solid fan base. That was why I felt confident enough to venture out on my own. When you Indie Publish there’s a lot more day-to-day work involved. I work my mailing list, buy Facebook ads, and publish excerpts from the book on my blog. I like being in control, but I have to be careful to make time to write.
Patricia: I discovered just how hard Indie publishing is this year when I was part of an anthology. I think I prefer traditional publishing. 🙂 What is the name of your latest book, and how would you summarize it in less than 20 words?
Rachel Hershberger’s life in Paradise, Pennsylvania is far from happy. Her papa struggles with a terrible event from the past, and his emotional instability has created an irreparable breach between them. Rachel’s one desire is to leave the Amish way of life and Paradise forever. Then her prayers are answered. Rachel discovers that the strange, key-shaped birthmark above her heart identifies her as the heir to a vast fortune left by her Englischer grandfather, Robert St. Clair. If Rachel will marry a suitable descendent of the St. Clair family, she will inherit an enormous sum of money. But Rachel does not know that behind the scenes is her long-dead grandfather’s sister-in-law, Augusta St. Clair, a vicious woman who will do anything to keep the fortune in her own hands. As the deceptions and intrigues of the St. Clair family bind her in their web, Rachel realizes that she has made a terrible mistake. But has her change of heart come too late?
The Amish Heiress is definitely not your light-hearted Amish Romance where everything turns out just because the heroine is Amish. It’s a real thriller and has been in the top twenty-five on the Amazon best seller list under Christian Mystery Suspense for over six weeks.
Patricia: This sounds like a book I’d love to read.
I may sneak in and leave a comment! Do you have another project in the works?
Patrick: I’m working on The Amish Princess. It’s book two of my current series, The Paradise Chronicles, and it’s the story of an Indian Princess, White Deer, whose tribe massacres an Amish settler family and brings two twin brothers to the village as captives. One of the brothers keeps his faith and eventually leads White Deer to Christ, and the other brother eventually escapes and becomes the implacable foe of all the tribes on the Ohio border. Of course that is the brother that White Deer loves. Should be out next June.
Patricia: How can people contact you?
Where readers can purchase Patrick’s books:
You can also find The Amish Heiress on my website at http://www.patrickecraig.com/my-book-store/
Patrick has graciously agreed to give away a print copy of The Amish Heiress to US residents and a digital copy for those living beyond our borders.
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