ABOUT AUTHOR:  Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. She is the author of the popular Daughters of Amana and Home to Amana series, which explore the closed communities of Iowa's Amana Colonies. Judy makes her home in Topeka, Kansas. Learn more at

You have mentioned to me that you love traveling. What was your most memorable trip? What made it special for you?
Amana Heritage Society Germany
A trip to Europe in 2011 to tour areas of Europe with a tour group from the Amana Heritage Society. This was a particularly special trip for me because I traveled with descendants of the original immigrants who settled the Amana Colonies. Having set two series in the Colonies, being able to visit the places where the original settlers had taken refuge to escape persecution prior to migrating, was especially meaningful to me. I was present when the unofficial dedication of the narrow road leading from the village of Altweidermuss up the hill to the Ronneburg Castle was renamed, “Amanaer Strasse.” A church service was followed by a large reception. What an honor and thrill to be present for such an event!

Out of all the places you've been is there a town or city you went to and thought, “This location is definitely going into one of my books – I can’t wait to share this with my readers.”
Judith spoke at Book Club in Pullman
Because setting is usually what draws me into the creation of my stories, that’s a difficult question for me to answer. Almost every book I've written has evolved through visits to unique places that I wanted to share with readers—even the ones co-written with Tracie Peterson have evolved out of particular settings. I would probably say Pullman, Illinois (Postcards from Pullman series) and the Amana Colonies (Daughters of Amana and Home to Amana series).

What do you like best about traveling? What do you look forward to when you start a road trip?

West Virginia
Discovering something unexpected. I love it when I've done some reading and have some idea about a place I’m going to visit and then when I get there, I make an unexpected discovery that will provide a new twist or turn in my plot.

Is there something you do on your travels? Example my mom liked to go to restaurants she heard about on the Food Network channel. What do you look for when you travel?

Hotel Florence

When I’m going on a road trip, I check out the AAA Guidebooks for the areas I’ll be passing through. I don’t want to miss any historic sites along the way. Being open to exploring is part of the fun and where you can learn new and exciting things about our past. Even if it isn't something that makes it into one of my books, it’s fun to take time for side trips. One of my favorites was a side trip to the early home of George Washington Carver. That history has never made it into one of my books, but the visit is a fond memory.

What fascinates you about a time period that makes you want to set on of your stories there? How does that process work for you?

Book Club meeting Chicago
I’m drawn to writing stories set between the mid-1850’s to the early 1900’s. While I might deviate from that at some time, that period has become my favorite. I have a love of history and find that period particularly fascinating. There were so many changes going on in the country—huge numbers of immigrants, the American industrial revolution which produced the “robber baron” period, epidemics, scientific inventions—all of it lends itself to wonderful stories that both teach and enrich while providing (I hope) a good story.

Can you give us a peek into what book you’re working on now? When will it be out?

I’m currently completing second book in the Refined by Love series, The Potter’s Lady. Rose McKay, Ewan’s oldest sister, take the lead in this second book of the series, and the McKays will begin another business venture—this time a pottery located in Grafton, West Virginia, where they’ll experience some unexpected difficulties and some hope for the future.

 Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?

 A baby’s laughter.

There are so many types of weather – which are your favorite? Which do you try to avoid?

I love days like today that are sunny about seventy degrees—especially in the Fall when the leaves are changing.

Name two jobs that you've had that might surprise people? 

I don’t know if they’d surprise people, but in high school I held a job as a salesgirl in a dress shop. I also worked in a real estate office helping the owner’s wife organize files and paperwork.

What is your favorite holiday? Why?  

Christmas. Because it draws friends and family together and gives us the opportunity to celebrate Christ’s birth.

What has been your favorite book club experience? What made it so much fun?
Book Club Meeting in Pullman Illinois

I was invited to speak to a group in Pullman, Illinois. It was particularly special because it was held at the Hotel Florence and the group opened it to the residents of the town. Most had read the first two books and were eager to participate in the question and answer session. The session was followed by a tea and the women had even used one of the recipes in the book to make scones. We scheduled it for a time when I was going to be there to conduct research for the third book.

THANKS for dropping by and sharing with us Judith - I really enjoyed all your pictures.
I'm Thrilled that Bethany House Publishers is giving away 10 copies of your new book The Brickmaker's Bride. The Contest is underway.

ANYONE Can participate. They just need to go to THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK SITE JOIN - It's FREE and EASY!! Then CLICK on the LINK that is located on the top of the Book Cover. It will take you to the Giveaway page at Bethany House Publishers page. JOIN the page. Just Click JOIN and then Answer ONE of the questions listed. It will take not time at all.

See you at BOOK FUN!!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun BEgins
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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