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What led a writer to the Amish

Ashley Emma moved in with an Amish family in Unity, Maine. Why? For research.

UNITY, Maine — Unless you're into romance novels, you may not have known that there is a huge market for stories about the Amish. It's a market Ashley Emma tapped into at a young age, writing a series of crime fiction from "Undercover Amish" to "Amish Alias."

You might expect someone writing about the Amish to be Amish, or have some connection to the culture, but Emma isn't and does not. What she did have was a love for history and writing; and a desire to learn. 

At 20-years-old, Emma made a phone call to a general store she found in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She wanted to live with an Amish family for a little while and do some research for an idea she had for her first novel in the series. The man on the other line replied, "Why don't you live with a family there in Maine?" The reason: she had no idea there were communities of Amish in Maine. 

Credit: NCM

Emma and her mother found a family willing, and moved in for a few weeks. They bought long dresses and were prepared to leave their cellphones behind, but Emma says the family didn't mind what they wore - they were just happy to have someone put the time in to learn more. 

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Ashley Emma sells her novels through Amazon, along with e-books. To learn more, click here