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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

It's Beginning to Read a Lot Like Christmas: Featuring Writing Duo Debra Torres and Tracy Fredrychowski

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book?

Tracy: Debra and I met the summer before we wrote this, and I had already written my “Love Blooms at the Apple Blossom Inn” book. I wanted to write a Christmas book that dealt with the inn and was a continuation of my 2021Christmas novella, “An Amish Christmas Gift Worth Waiting For.” When I decided I wanted another author to join me. I picked Debra!

Debra: I loved the idea of helping Tracy continue the story of Amanda Beiler and her seven siblings from “An Amish Christmas Gift Worth Waiting For.” After a pretty intense creative session, Tracy and I chose to portray a tragic incident, the death of a parent, from the perspective of Sadie and Katie Beiler–two Amish sisters with two very different personalities.

Could you give a short synopsis of the book for my readers?

Here’s a general synopsis, and then Debra and Tracy will both share each sister’s story: Orphaned just weeks before Christmas, the Beiler sisters suddenly discover they could lose their home and, what’s worse—each other. To make ends meet, sisters Sadie and Katie are plunged into working at the Willow Spring’s Apple Blossom Inn.

But will their efforts be enough?

Debra: (who wrote Sadie’s perspective) Struggling with pride, Sadie yearns to bake scrumptious treats in the inn’s kitchen instead of cleaning floors and toilets. But when she makes the mistake of her life, can Sadie and the inn’s handsome maintenance worker Jubal King create a plan to help save her family and maybe even the Apple Blossom Inn?

Tracy: (who wrote Katie’s perspective) On the cusp of a family tragedy, Katie must put her trust in the Lord and step into a mostly English world. When Jeremiah Hershberger returns to Willow Springs looking for answers, Katie sets out on a journey to help him discover secrets of his past.

Can these young women find a way to bring the joy of Christmas back to their family and to Willow Springs?

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Tracy: I love to make and frost Christmas cutouts using my grandmother’s favorite recipe. Filling the house with their warm vanilla and brown sugar scents and then sharing the cookies with family and friends makes me happy.

Debra: Gift giving has to be my favorite tradition. We have a large family, and we make everyone open their gifts one at a time to make the moment last!

What’s next? 

Tracy: I’ve been busy finishing up Anna’s Amish Fears Revealed and am even starting to outline my next book, Barbara’s Amish Truth Exposed.

Debra: I’m hard at work writing the third novel in my Willow Brook: Secrets of the Pen series. After that, I’m excited to start Book One of my new Amish Kitchen Garden series.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?

Tracy: Don’t underestimate yourself! With God’s help, you can do this, the writing and the marketing - all of it. And book marketing can be fun, especially when you let yourself learn from your mistakes and take things one step at a time.

Debra: Be consistent and commit to writing at least a half hour every day except Sunday! And what Tracy said. There is so much information out there, don’t be afraid to learn new things and take the steps you need for success.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?

Tracy: The same advice I gave you. I wish I had started off trusting myself to self-publish and market my books! But I have learned a lot along the way, and this season has been invaluable to me.

Debra: Learning to trust myself has also been a big thing for me. I’ve also had to grow in patience with my schedule for the pacing of it all.  

Any last words or tips?

Tracy: When it comes to book marketing, know your strengths and capitalize on them. Out of the gate, you can’t do everything. So, find the type of marketing you enjoy, and that’s effective and concentrate on that until you’ve got it down. Then, move on to something new!

Debra: A wise woman once told me to “just do the one thing,” and when that’s done – move on to the next “one thing.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed when doing the writing and the marketing. But it can be done successfully – one thing at a time.

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?

Tracy: I think your readers would enjoy learning what their other favorite Amish fiction authors are up to in my The Buggy Talk Podcast.

Debra: Tracy’s podcast is great! And on my Amish Book Reviews YouTube channel, Amish fiction lovers can watch as I review Amish novels and highlight different aspects of Amish life.

That's all for today's interview... but wait there's more. Go to Tracy's website and see how you can get a FREE book of Amish stories. Go to Debra's website and see how you can get a FREE book of Amish recipes.


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