Kelly Mortimer

Kelly Mortimer of Mortimer Literary Agency represents clients in both the ABA and the CBA. Kelly gives each client personal attention, including editing. She’s in the top 10 of the Publisher’s Marketplace Top 100 Dealmakers - Romance Category, a two-time nominee and the American Christian Fiction Writers awarded her their “Agent of the Year” award for 2008.  Her agency is Romance Writers of America recognized. In addition to her column here, Kelly also writes the "Ask An Agent" column for  Romance Writers United newsletter

Amish Ya!

Sorry, couldn’t help it. Seemed appropriate for the romance genre. . . .

The flavor of the month seems to be the Amish fiction. So, what exactly is an “Amish”? What every editor is madly trying to acquire. For now. (Did anyone read last month’s column on Chick Lit?)

Amish: of or pertaining to any of the strict Mennonite groups, chiefly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada, descended from the followers of Jakob Ammann, a Swiss Mennonite bishop of the 17th century (

Well, that explains it. I get it now. No need for this column. That’s one of those “grrr” definitions such as: Apology: to apologize. Okay, so most of us have an idea what an Amish story is. Good thing, ’cause I might not be the best person to write about the subject (my editor made me). Truthfully (as always), I’ve never read one, and wasn’t going to read one in order to write this column. No, I have nothing against Amish people. I don’t know any Amish people. Even if I did know an Amish person, a nice Amish person, I still wouldn’t wanna read a manuscript pertaining to them.

Why don’t I wanna read one? No specific reason. But I already have a stack of books waiting for me, their clean-cut pages crying out from a mod wire basket in my fuchsia/orange/I Love Lucy–decorated closet. Those books beg me to pick them up; dust their covers off on my plush, round throw rug; and sink into their juicy chapters. Always room for one more, right? No can do.

Personally, I tend to like fast-paced, plot-driven stories. You couldn’t drag me to see The English Patient, but if Bruce Willis is blowin’ somethin’ up—I’m there. Since the Amish shun electricity and motor vehicles (Must be liberals. Sorry.), I assume they frown on explosives as well. Don’t know where the spark would come from for me.

I can see where the plot would have built-in conflict, as in the movie Witness, which I did see. Woman is Amish. Woman loves Man. Man isn’t Amish. Woman has to choose between Man and the only way of life she’s ever known. If it’s a Romance, Woman chooses Man; if it’s Women’s Fiction, Woman opts for horse and buggy. (I know a lot of horses I like better than a lot of men, so mayhap I should try the Women’s Fiction.)

Or . . .

Man is Amish. Man loves Big City Woman. (In this scenario, you can substitute “loves” for “lusts.”) Man has to choose between horse-faced Amish Woman who’s never seen a blow dryer, flat-iron, or curling iron—then again, she’s probably never seen her hair either—(Don’t they wear those little white caps like the nurses from the ’50s?); and wicked Big City Woman sporting cherry-red lip gloss, blond highlights, and Spanx. In any genre, Man lunges for Big City Woman. (C’mon, you know he does.)

Okay, so I’m havin’ fun at the expense of some nice Amish people. Well, I think they’re nice. Supposed to be nice. Anyway, I realize all Amish women don’t have horse faces. (Kelly McGinnis was hot.) I realize there has to be more to the story. (What? I dunno.)

If I were a bettin’ woman (Sigh. I miss my old poker playin’ days. Dudes, ha! Get ’em every time. They don’t think women know how to bluff. Oh . . . I guess the Amish ones don’t.), I’d bet there are some tear-jerking, emotional, heart-wrenching Amish stories out there, full of interesting plot twists and colorful characters. (I meant personality-wise. Don’t the Amish wear black and white?) I’ll leave y’all the job of checkin’ that out for me.

Sorry, I can’t elaborate more on this subject. I’m as clueless as an Amish man with a titanium Taurus .38 caliber revolver. Besides, my time’s up. Gotta go finish my dark paranormal where the seven Princes of Darkness are schemin’ to steal Satan’s throne. . . .

Kelly Mortimer