When I first thought of writing a book, that’s all it was. A thought. An idea I kept forcing out of my mind, making thousands of excuses as to the ridiculousness of such a notion. Then, finally, one day I convinced myself to try and write the first chapter. And boy am I glad I did!
When I look back on draft one of the first eight or ten chapters of Shadows We Remain, I cringe at the writing. Things pop out at me that I would not have noticed back then. Misspellings, run-on sentences, way too wordy, and even the misuse of then versus than. But in the end, none of that really mattered. What mattered is that I started, and had I never started, I would have never discovered a journey that became a life-changer.
For four years, I drove my big rig for eleven hours a day, parked and took a nap to rest my brain, then got up and wrote until midnight. For four years I heard other truckers around me listening to movies, doing whatever people do on TikTok, and all the other non-productive social media so readily accessible on a cell phone. I blocked it all out and kept writing. For four years I struggled with the self-confidence that plagues many writers. I tried to block out the negative voices inside my head that whispered things like who the heck do you think you are to try and write a book? And You have nothing to say that anyone will ever want to read, and You’re too old to try and fulfil your dreams now. It’s too late. Just give up and keep trucking.
Writing became therapeutic, euphoric, a release from the drama of politics and division that dominates today’s society. In writing, I found an escape into a fantasy world where all was well and all was love, except, of course, for the fictitious Amish community in my narrative, and some of the characters. They, need it be said, were allowed to bicker and quarrel, and I let them do it, encouraged them, even.
It needs to be said that early proofreaders of book one demanded fluffy Amish romance novels. Novels with smiley Amish teenage girls dancing in sunny meadows, in flowery dresses, their bonnets floating from their necks by strings, and always with some darkly-tanned, muscular, Amish lad in a straw hat in the background. The Caroline Creek Series is not a fluffy romance series. Rather, it is a Crime/Murder/Mystery series, with an Amish setting.
And then one day I finished the first draft of Shadows We Remain. Then the second draft. And nine drafts later, I had my first completed manuscript. And the longer I wrote, the quieter the negative voices became. When I finally published Shadows We Remain, the first in the Caroline Creek Series, I knew with absolute certainty that I would never stop writing. The rush that came with creating an entire work of fiction left me with no choice but to keep writing.
Book One was released in 2021, with Caroline Creek Chaos following in 2022. With a little luck, and with many new and untraveled highways and unvisited truck stops along the way, I hope to publish one book per year, and I hope you come along with me on my journey. You can purchase Shadows We Remain by clicking the following link.
Following is a detailed review by one of the readers of Shadows We Remain. I tried to find an unbiased review that I thought best encompasses what I hope to accomplish with my writing.
Shadows We Remain is an exciting crime drama by Mose J. Gingerich. As a former member of the Amish religion, the author brought to life the intricate details of the Caroline Creek community. I learned an enormous amount about the dynamics between the married and unmarried people within the community, the activities enjoyed by the people, and how the leaders functioned within the church. I also loved how Maria’s fiery personality brought to light some negative aspects of the religion and how her character arc brought about a positive resolution to the conflict within this portion of the book.
I also appreciated how well the author developed the relationships between the characters. Ruth Reader was a loving but flawed mother to Maria, and I loved how she supported and encouraged her daughter despite the painful situation the family was forced to deal with. My favorite relationship had to be the father-daughter-like relationship that formed between Maria and Bruce. Some of the conversations they had were quite touching, and while the conclusion did not turn out how I expected, I was delighted with the emotions that played out in the final scenes.
While the book did have a few minor proofreading errors, they did not take away from my reading enjoyment. I loved the suspense and the mystery woven into the story and had a blast trying to put together the pieces before the characters did. I was a little skeptical about how much crime-solving knowledge Maria had as an Amish woman; however, the naïve mistakes that she made balanced out her thoughts and actions, making her a more realistic character.
I disliked nothing about the story, and I would highly recommend this well-written book to those who enjoy Amish fiction and crime novels. There was mild swearing throughout the book and a few instances of severe swearing near the end, but no erotic content. I eagerly look forward to future books from this author!
*I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club. The above is my honest opinion of the book and I was not required to write a positive review.
*Note: All minor proofreading errors mentioned in the review above have been corrected.