When people ask me about the Amish one of the questions ends up being about the Amish reality shows on TV. Are they real? Do I watch them? And although I do my best not to answer about their validity, I have to admit that I do watch them.
Yep. That’s my dirty little secret. Amish reality television. But allow me explain. I live in Oklahoma, hundreds of miles from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yes, there are two Amish communities here in the Sooner State, but a visit to either Chouteau or Clarita doesn’t have the same feel to it. They are just so much smaller than other settlements.
So I watch Amish reality television to spark my muse. Sometimes I analyze their stories for potential plot lines and details. Sometimes I simply jot down ‘facts’ to go back and talk to my Amish friends about. And sometimes I simply study the characters.
That’s what happened when I started Lorie’s Heart. I have a file on my computer where I store those “what ifs” that come to me while I am working on another project. At the beginning of one of these reality shows, they featured a shirtless man with plenty of tattoos. Tattoos? He was a Plain man. How did he get these tattoos?
And the “what if” was born. What if an Amish man dies and his daughter discovers that he has a tattoo? What if she realizes that he got it well past his rumspringa? What is she to do when she finds out that her step-mother knew about it all along?
Lorie’s Heart is the product of these “what ifs.” Lorie Kauffman’s world is turned upside down when her father dies unexpectedly. In identifying his body, she discovers his tattoo and the doubts and questions creep in. Lorie’s quest to find out the truth could easily tear her family apart and so soon after their father’s death. Add in her drive to paint and her continued trips to Tulsa, and the secrets Lorie is keeping far outnumber the secrets she’s trying to uncover.
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