Getting Into Character

The Home to Heather Creek series editor reflects on how the characters in books affect her daily life.

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It’s funny how the books I edit work their way into (take over?) my life. When I work on a book, I want to provide the reader with a quality story, something they’re going to love and savor and enjoy. I do my best to really get into the subject matter and the characters, and I do a ton of research. For Home to Heather Creek, for instance, I spent days on end researching the state of Nebraska, figuring where our little family farm should go and what it would be like. I learned about the history of the region and studied its industry, I researched farming techniques and practices and really tried to immerse myself in the fictional world I was helping create.

Recently, I’ve been working on developing a series of books that take place in Amish country, and I have spent the past few weeks reading everything I can get my hands on about these peaceful, faithful people and the structures that govern their lives. Sometimes I’ll look up and be surprised to find myself in my cramped little office, staring at a computer screen. In my mind, I was riding down a country lane listening to the clip-clop of horses’ hooves, listening to the lilting tones of the Amish dialect. I find myself dreaming what it would be like to be there and know these people.

I’m also reading a hilarious manuscript about pregnancy and childbirth by Dawn Meehan, whose first book Because I Said So will be published in April. Dawn is known for her laugh-out-loud take on life with her six kids, and this book is in the same vein, but it explores the weird things that happen during pregnancy and childbirth. It’s outrageous and pitch-perfect, but as someone who’s never had children, I’m officially frightened by all the weird things she says happen along the way. I’m not sure I’ll ever really want to have children now—talk about my work making its way into my life! (I’m just kidding—Dawn’s new book is great, and you should make sure to check out her first book. Plus, look out for Dawn’s upcoming video series on her life with six kids right here on!)

I know how lucky I am to have a job where I get to imagine myself in all kinds of interesting situations and where I enjoy thinking about the projects I work on. Every day is a new adventure in my world, and one I hope you’ll join in on.

Beth Adams is the creator and editor of GUIDEPOSTS' Home to Heather Creek fiction series.

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