Okay, we’re going to roll this one out on a trial basis.  But who knows, could be interesting.

I frequently get Amish-related questions in my email inbox.  I do my best to answer but sometimes come up short.

So:  if you have an Amish-related question you’d like answered, and would prefer a response from an actual Amish person rather than hearing me yap on about it, send it on in.  You’ll find the email link in the upper left-hand corner of the blog or under the ‘about’ link.

Ask an Amishman

No guarantees on getting an answer, but the best ones I’ll pass along to ‘Mr. X’, our Lancaster County Amish correspondent, and if he can work it into his very busy schedule (these days he’s working harder than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest), we’ll try to get responses straight from the Amishman’s mouth right here on the blog.

To kick it off, here’s one that came in the other day:

Do you know whether the Amish read or have any views on the Amish novels by Beverly Lewis or Wanda Brunstetter? I asked a teen girl last trip and I don’t think she was familiar with them, yet they are sold throughout the area at shops where Amish work. Those authors have probably done more to expose the general population to the Amish lifestyle than anything I can think of.

And the response:

“There is a small percentage of Amish readers that read the Beverly and Wanda books, mostly young females.  For the most part they are taken for exactly what they are–storybook novels.  Therefore most Amish people really don’t have anytime to read them, let alone ponder their meaning.  More popular with the Old Order Amish and Mennonites are the Carrie Bender books, which is a pseudonym for a daughter of an O.O. Mennonite bishop.  Also the Buggy Spoke series, written by an Amish woman named Byler from Central Pa. I personally have not read any of these books but have sisters and nieces that do.”

I have to admit that I have little experience with Amish-themed fiction.  Marta Perry was kind enough to send me a couple of her Amish romance-suspense novels last fall, even despite the fact that as a 30-year old single male, I’m probably not the ideal demographic for the genre.

With all the research and writing work that has been going into my own two books, I have not had a chance to finish them, but I did find the few chapters I read entertaining.

Interest in Amish-themed fiction seems to be booming (like interest in most things Amish these days).  Besides the perennially popular Wanda and Beverly, other authors have made the scene as the subcategory has grown.  Beth Wiseman, for example, has sold 40,000 copies of her debut novel Plain Perfect since last September.

Whoops, this was supposed to be ‘Ask an Amishman’, and looks like I’m yapping again.  Anyway, thanks to our inquisitive reader and to our AAP (Anonymous Amish Person), and hope we’ll be getting some interesting questions.  If you can get them past me I’m pretty confident this is no holds barred, so feel free to get into cultural, spiritual, pop, or whatever topics you’re curious about.

Ah yes, it’s not required, but have a glance here if you want to avoid asking something that’s already been covered, or maybe to inspire an idea.

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