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Content to be unmarried and plain-spoken, Kathryn “Kappy” King is an odd-woman-out in the Amish community of Blue Sky, Pennsylvania. But she’s skilled at making the special kapps local women need to cover their hair. And she might be the only one who can unearth the danger hiding in this peaceful valley . . .
When Kappy’s neighbor, Ruth Peachey, turns up dead in her yard, everyone in Blue Sky believes it’s a tragic accident. Until the Englisch police find the gentle dog breeder was deliberately struck down—and arrest her mentally-challenged son, Jimmy, for the crime . . .
Jimmy’s sister, Edie, returns to Blue Sky clear his name, yet no one will speak to a shunned former Amish woman, much less give her information. Determined to help, Kappy starts digging for the truth among her seemingly-innocent neighbors. But suddenly a series of suspicious “accidents” threatens Edie and the Peachey farm—property Edie is determined to protect for her brother’s future.
Now, as danger looms large in the small community, Kappy must bait a trap for a killer snapping hard at her heels. And Edie must decide whether to make a home once more in the town she thought she’d left behind . . .
Amy, welcome to Island Confidential! You have a really unique protagonist in Kappy King. Can you tell us about her?
Kappy is a little different from the normal protagonist in an Amish mystery. First she’s still Amish with no plans to leave her church. She’s a little on the quirky side. Her family was killed when she was younger, and she went to live with her spinster aunt who made the prayer kapps for their district. Kappy inherited that business from her along with some of that odd, on-the-fringes style of living.
How much do you have in common with Kappy?
I adore Kappy. There’s some of me in Kappy of course. She’s a little bit of a rebel, by Amish standards of course. She doesn’t want to do business through the front of her house so she makes everyone go around to the basement. She may fudge it a bit and help Edie clean out the barn on a Sunday when she’s not supposed to work. She loves Jimmy, her special needs neighbor. All in all, I think she’s a good person, even if she doesn’t think she fits in, and she has a heart of gold. If I met her on the street, I would want to buy her a cup of coffee and chat all afternoon.
Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?
They do. Kappy may be in line for a new love interest. Or she might end up with her ex-fiancé, Hiram. Since Hiram was married to Kappy’s best friend, Kappy has a few issues with those past relationships. Only time will tell if they can work it out. Edie is faced with the tough consequences of her return to Blue Sky. She has to figure out if she really belongs with the English or back with the Amish and if she can ever truly call Blue Sky home again. Then there’s her little crush on Detective Jack Jones. Jimmy, Edie’s brother with Downs Syndrome, will make a play for a little more responsibility and freedom. It’s going to be tough for Edie, but I’m sure their sibling bond will carry them through.
Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?
No. Of course not! That would be horrible. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)
Right, no, me neither. Next question, how realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?
Blue Sky, Pennsylvania, itself is a fictional town. But the area where Blue Sky is set is real, Kishacoquillas Valley. Also called, Kish Valley and Big Valley. Once I visited there I knew immediately that I wanted to set a series in the valley. It’s one of the most beautiful Amish communities I’ve ever seen. A great many of the details of the story hold true for Kish Valley—three different types of Amish there and three different color buggies. There is an Amish-Mennonite shared cemetery, a dry goods store, and other places that will show up in later books.
When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?
Allison Miller should play Kappy King with Sara Paxton as Edie Peachey. Tommy Jessop, a talented actor with Downs, should play Jimmy Peachey. And for Jack Jones…Brad Pitt. Sorry, sometimes I can’t help myself. Here’s where I ignore my Brad Pitt crush and admit that I can’t keep up with all the actors these days. (The truth is I never really did.) So I googled to find someone to play Jack and every one I came up with was either on Indian or Turkish television. I guess that says something about Jack’s looks. LOL The closest I can come up with is Kit Harrington, aka John Snow. He’s not quite as dark or as tall as Jack, but he’ll do just fine. 😉
What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?
My former agent, the late Mary Sue Seymour, gave me the best writing advice of my career. When I told her about it years later she didn’t remember the conversation that changed my life. One afternoon years ago, she suggested I try my hand at writing books about the Amish. When I sputtered she told me, “you’re a writer. Write it.” Those words gave me the confidence to not only write about the Amish but write mysteries as well. It’s mindboggling that the words which were so important to me, she didn’t remember saying. Always keep in mind that what you say can affect people in ways you’ve never dreamed. Because of this, I always try to be positive. I want to spread a little of that Mary Sue Seymour confidence around.
The worst…I can’t really think of anything. I either let it go a long time ago, or made the best of whatever it was. All advice is essentially good if you learn from it.
Amy, thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for having me today and letting me introduce everyone to Kappy King!
About The Author
Amy Lillard is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels, including the Wells Landing series, The Quilting Circle novels, the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries and the Kappy King Mysteries. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at www.AmyWritesRomance.com.
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