From Book to Screen: Author Annalisa Daughety on 'Love Finds You in Charm'

Author Annalisa Daughety shares what fans can expect from UPtv's upcoming movie based off her popular Amish fiction novel, Love Finds You in Charm

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Posted in , Jun 5, 2015

Trevor Donovan and Danielle Chuchran in UPtv's Love Finds You In Charm

UPtv is adding another installment into their popular Love Finds You In series this summer with their newest film, Love Finds You in Charm.

The story follows a young Amish woman named Emma who longs for adventure and to escape the constraints of her small-town life. Her journey leads her to a small town in Charm, Ohio, where she meets new friends, new loves and is forced to make a difficult decision about her future. It’s a coming-of-age tale, one that author Annalisa Daughety – who wrote the book off which the film is based – says every woman can relate to.

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“We’ve all been at a crossroads where you’ve had this really important decision to make that’s going to impact your life,” Daughety tells Guideposts.org. “Emma is like so many young women. She wants to experience things herself and make her own informed decisions and I think that’s a good way to be. The easy thing would be for her to go along with what was expected and instead she goes outside the comfort zone to make sure of what she wanted for the future and make sure that was God’s plan for her. I think that watching her go through that can only help young girls also going through it.”

Daughety admits when she first came up with the concept of Emma’s story, putting it to paper was a bit of challenge, mainly because it forced her to think of the Amish in a way she hadn’t done before.

“I had been really encouraged by one of my editors to think about using the voice I had used in my other books. It was almost like a chick-lit kind of feel; quirky and funny. I didn’t think I could do it,” Daughety says.

It wasn’t until she was able to hear a young woman from the Amish community tell her own story that she was convinced she could add something new to a topic that’s been gracing quite a few Christian bookshelves lately.

“I listened to a podcast with an Amish girl from Indiana and she was so funny and we had so much in common. She liked to sleep late and she loved food and she likes to go to Target, and I listened to that and I was like, ‘We could be friends,’ even though we’re from two totally different worlds. So I decided I could definitely write a story about an Amish girl like that, one that I identified with. It was me feeling like I could connect with the character and tell her story.”

It also served to help push one of the main relationships of the book and, consequently, the new film.

“That was part of the reason that I put the friendship between Emma and the Englischer Kelly into the book," Daughety explains. "I wanted to point out that, overall, we all share a similar experience. We all crave love and we want friendship and community. I think there are things about us that are similar if we would just get past some of the other things.”

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Of course, this wouldn’t be true chick-lit without a love story and Daughety admits the film’s leading man, Noah (played by Texas Rising’s Trevor Donovan) was crafted to be every reader’s dream guy – something she initially got a bit of push-back on.

“I got a lot of flak because people would say ‘[Noah’s] too perfect.’ I’ve even heard people say, when they’ve seen the movie, ‘Noah, he was just so perfect’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, he was. I just couldn’t help myself.’ Because I wanted [to show that] Emma has the perfect guy, but she’s still going to search -- she’s still going to make sure.”

The author – who admits to being a bit of a history buff – says the thing she thinks audiences love most about these stories that focus on the Amish community is the fact that they highlight an old way of life.

“We’re drawn to a simple way of life,” Daughety said. “Everything is always so fast-paced. We’re always glued to our phones, glued to social media. And don’t get me wrong, I love it. It’s great, but to go to a place where they’re not glued to their screens, where they’re talking to each other, after school they’re playing basketball or working in the garden; they’re all together as a community and a family, I think that’s the way we all used to live. It’s like nostalgia almost, that way of life.”

She’s also hoping that the film will give a push to a genre of entertainment that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

“I’m really hopeful that people, in their own homes watching it, will come away wanting more movies like that, more family-friendly movies. There’s not enough of that, so hopefully this will help open more doors for that.” 

Love Finds You In Charm premieres on UPtv Sunday, June 7th at 7 p.m. EDT. 

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