Once a schoolteacher…always a schoolteacher

I often get asked where my story ideas come from and how I research my fictional novels. Considering I live a little over an hour from Ohio’s Amish Country, I relish a day or weekend trip down to attend livestock auctions, sample authentic cooking, tour farms and homes, and interview Old Amish friends and acquaintances. But the research for my latest release, A Marriage for Meghan,
was the easiest…and most enjoyable yet. Small one and two-room schoolhouses dot the beautiful countryside in Holmes and Wayne Counties. But I didn’t have to ask anyone what it was like to face a roomful of students as a first-year teacher, feeling wholly unprepared, since I had first-hand knowledge. An Amish teacher might have a gift for communication and patience with children, but her education stopped after the eighth grade. Opening day would be intimidating, considering she’s only a few years older than her students. Although I was twenty-two and had four years of college, I looked out over a sea of faces on my first day and went weak in the knees. Some pupils were sixteen and taller than me, and I’m not a small woman. But I survived my first day and persevered. I eventually became a very good teacher and mentor to beginning teachers throughout my ten-year career. The lesson I hope readers will take away from A Marriage for Meghan is that you must have faith in yourself, besides faith in God, in order to succeed. Set your sights on your dream, work hard, and never give up on yourself. Like my fictional Meghan Yost, you will be surprised by what you can accomplish.

Also, for one more chance to win a copy of A Marriage for Meghan, drop by Margaret Daley’s blog and leave a comment after my interview and book blurb. One winner will be drawn from those comments in one week. Here’s the link:http://www.margaretdaley.com/2011/11/this-week-vickie-mcdonough-mary-ellis-and-janelle-mowery/

Everyone have a lovely, get-ready-for-Thanksgiving week! Blessings…Mary