Monday, 28 September 2020

I Interviews

Interview: Jan Drexler

Author of Naomi’s Hope

Naomis Hope

Can you briefly describe your new novel?

 In Naomi’s Hope, we catch up with the families of the Journey to Pleasant Prairie series a few years after they have settled in Northern Indiana and formed their community. The story focuses on Naomi, Mattie’s sister, and the son she adopted in Mattie’s Pledge.

Naomi’s Hope is book three in the Journey to Pleasant Prairie series. What makes this story different than books one and two?

 The main thing that’s different in this third book in the series is that the families have settled in their new community. The characters are establishing their permanent homes and the families are growing.

And we meet a new character, Cap Stoltzfus, who becomes very important in Naomi’s life.


 Naomi must face a hard decision when a couple shows up to claim Davey. What was it like to tap into the emotions that Naomi must have been feeling?

 The scenes involving that part of the story were difficult to write. I’ve dealt with saying goodbye to children I’ve taught or cared for, but those situations don’t come close to having to relinquish a child that I considered to be mine. But I do know the heartache of submitting to God’s will in a situation that I wish could be different, and those were the emotions I tapped into for Naomi. Needless to say, I used a lot of tissues while writing those scenes!


 All of your stories are filled with heartfelt romance. What are some elements you use that contribute to making the romance so special?

 My husband and I are celebrating thirty-five years of marriage this summer, and still feel like newlyweds. J Whether I’m writing about a budding romance or the love between a couple who have spent a lifetime together, I remember what makes my relationship with my husband so special—we are friends as well as partners, and God is at the center of our marriage. There is no one I would rather spend time with, and no one who understands me as well as he does.

So from the moment Naomi and Cap meet, their romantic journey has to begin with friendship and trust. Once those are established, love isn’t far behind.


 Your writing is full of well-thought-out research that helps make the story feel tangible. What was your favorite piece of research that went into the writing of Naomi’s Hope?

 I love visiting the locations for my stories, and Naomi’s Hope is no exception. LaGrange and Elkhart Counties in Indiana are home to me. My family has lived in that area since the 1850s and spending time there helps me establish the setting—–the sound of the rain, the slant of the early-spring sun, the rivers and wetlands, the rhythm of the midwestern voices, and even the odor of a barn being cleaned out after a long winter. Spending time in the story’s setting makes it come alive as I write.

In addition, researching the pioneer stories of the early Elkhart and LaGrange County settlers was fascinating against the backdrop of the setting I know so well. Imagining the open fields and prairies the way they saw it used up many hours when I should have been writing. 

 Drexler Jan

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family. She is the author of The Prodigal Son Returns, A Mother for His Children (winner of the 2013 TARA award), and A Home for His Family (finalist for the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award), as well as Hannah’s Choice and Mattie’s Pledge.

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