Episode #5 – Molly Jebber

00:00 / 00:23:13

If you’ve not met Molly Jebber in person, this is your chance to listen to this delightful Amish Fiction Author as she introduces us to her Amish Charm Bakery Series. She takes us behind the scenes of her writing journey and the characters that hold a special place in her heart.  

The following transcript is a shortened version of the original recording.

Your listing to Buggy Talk, where some of your favorite authors, friends, and guests explore the simpler side of life. Here’s your host Amish fiction author Tracy Fredrychowski.

Tracy: Hey there. Welcome to another episode of Buggy Talk. I’m your host, Tracy Fredrychowski, and each week I bring you the story behind the stories, along with the storytellers. For this week’s episode, we have award-winning author, Molly Jebber, onboard, and she’s here to talk to us about her Amish Charm Bakery Series.

Good morning, Molly. How are you today?

Molly: I’m good. Thank you for having me here today.

Tracy: I am so excited to have you on board. You know, we met for the very first time last year in, Shipshewana and we’ve had some great conversations about being an author and the whole process. I just really look up to you and all you’ve accomplished so far.

Molly: Well, thank you very much, but I, it was a pleasure to meet you, and it was nice to make a new friend. I loved it. 

Tracy:  It is, and we are both on the East coast. I’m in South Carolina, and you are in Florida, right? Yes. Before we talk about the Charm Series, I have seen a lot of stuff going online about the Christian Authors Network that you’re part of. Can you tell us a little bit about that organization?

Molly: I love the Christian Authors Network, and I had no idea when I joined it, just how advantageous it was going to be. The president is always up on the latest and greatest in marketing publishing, screenwriting, you name it, having to do with the world of writing. So she, you know, she introduced me to, um, the international Christian voice and media conference that I went to for the first time last year. And that’s where I got to meet some of the authors in person that are on the board that works with her.  

And then what they try to do is work to collaborate and put you in front of important people. Whether you’re interested in screenwriting and publishing a book, they also have great ideas to market, but most of the members, our speakers, and I think almost all of them are speakers as well as authors. So they also give you those advantages. And then, she created a website with all our names on it for readers. They can go to ChristianAuthorsNetwork.com, click on your name, and find out where you’re going to be speaking. And especially it’s fun. You’re going to be near them or in their hometown; then, they can put it on their calendar. And sometimes we’ll do speaking events together. So you may get several authors in your location and a lot of his travel that has been a lot of fun. And I am blown away by all the things that these authors try and know much like you being very technically savvy with the podcast and, you know, film. 

And some of them want to do screenwriting and all this kind of stuff. And even it just kind of opens your world up a little bit for you to question some things are, for me, some things are not, you know, but I love learning about that. Anything that’s going to help. And of course, we’re all out for new marketing ways and also to help our readers, you know, writings then ongoing education. And they all provide that too. But I think the biggest advantage is being able to bounce off ideas to work together. And then how can we reach readers and what, how can we be better writers all the time, then not get stagnant? I love everything that they do is just amazing. And they’re just full of talent. It is for authors and also for readers, an easy way for readers to access us. 

Tracy: I did a lot of research on them last week when I was getting ready for our interview, and I am blown away as well as what they have going on out there. So I just had to hear firsthand exactly what their story was.

Are you hoping to get into the screenwriting? Are you hoping to take one of your books and get it into a movie?

Molly: I was not into screenwriting. I wanted to what they call go book to sell. So in other words, I’m a screenwriter who was interested in my book there he’s already got it. And then because of COVID and everything he’s spent sending it around to producers. So you never know, it takes a long time for the process to go from one hand to another. And so they tell you, just forget about it and if it happens, it happens, you know? 

And so, uh, the interesting thing was I knew nothing about this conference. I didn’t know Angie, except that I’d seen her on Facebook. So she contacted me and said, I think you would really enjoy the Christian Authors Network. And I think you would also enjoy this conference coming up and you meet all the criteria. We’d just really like for you to go with us. I did. And that’s where it really opened up for me because I got to meet them one on one and hear face to face what they offered about everything I’ve talked about. And then also at their conferences is where I met this screenwriter. I wanted to do book to sell. So, he was like, great. You know, that’s what I want to do? 

I don’t know where it’ll lead, but I will say that from the very beginning of my journey. And I mean, from the very day, uh, God has had his hand in my life for each and everything. And I really do owe him all the glory for each and everything that has happened to me. And some days I’m just blown away, and I feel so undeserving because when I get discouraged, I was a little bit discouraged and she called me and said, Hey, I think you’re, you know, you’re at this level. And I’d like for you to come. And I’d like for you to do all this. I was just so excited about it and went, and it was far above my expectations. 

So, it was a long-lasting gift from going to that conference moving forward. And now there’s been so many blessings that have come out of that friendship, not just about work, but friendships and really watching like how we all help each other. It’s really a heartwarming thing to be able to have them as a network. So I can’t encourage people enough or authors enough if you’re interested to really check them out.

Tracy: Well, it sounds really exciting, and I am so excited for you to be part of that. And I’ll just pray that you know, this book to sell will come through for you because that’s wonderful. And actually, I hope to get to a point where I can belong to this Christian Authors Network. I just think that it’s right up my alley. 

Molly, I think it is a great organization to belong to. And thank you so much for explaining that to us. I’m sure there are authors and readers out there who are listening to this podcast that we’ll go look them up, and they’ll be able to see where, where you’re going to be speaking next, and maybe some of their favorite authors already belong there. So thank you so much for introducing us to that.

I have a couple of great questions to ask you, first of all, tell us how many books you’ve actually written.

Molly: I will have 11 total and at the end of my contract in 2023.

Tracy: Oh, wow. Which out of all of those 11 books, which is your favorite?

Molly: I think my favorite is always going to be my first one, which is a change of heart.  I think that’s always going to be warm in my heart and probably stay number one. Although I love all my books, but I think that one, I think those first books are such a labor of love that we have to fall in love with those books because we put so much energy into that very first book.

Tracy: I know that my Secrets of Willow Springs Series, you know, I just fell in love with that character from that book. And she will always hold a, a really special part in my heart. Because she’s the person or she’s the character that helped get me going, you know? So I agree with you.

Since you’ve been writing for so many years, what’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered while writing your books?

Molly: All the readers that I have met at conferences or my speaking engagements and how much they mean to me and also how much they encourage and support me and just about everything through Facebook post or in person or talking about, I go get emails or cards or something saying, Oh, I just love that book. 

They have no idea how encouraging that is and how, when maybe have a little bit of a down day that, that yeah. Brings you right back up and keeps you writing. And it’s so important. And I just love them. So I’ve just been blessed, but I never saw it coming. I never saw that. I would make all these wonderful friends from readers.

Tell us out of all of those books, who is your favorite character? 

Molly: I would say probably Ellie, and it’s Ellie’s Redemption. And I think it’s because I’ve made her a little bit of a rebel. She goes against the grain of the Amish life and lifestyle, and she challenges it. She’s curious about the outside world, but she’s also hurting, and she’s mourning the death of her mother. And so she, it has had a hard time going into the kitchen or going into rooms in her house and seeing her mother there, or the quilt that she’s made. And she remembers cooking with her and all these things that they would laugh about. And so instead of being sad about it, she’s also very angry that her mother is gone and she doesn’t, comfortable in our own skin. She wants her, her mother’s guidance still. 

You kind of find her refreshing because she’s not; she’s not your normal Amish girl, but at the same time, you love her, but you want to say, yeah. Do you want to say, wait a minute at the same time. So she’s kind of got both sides going on and she makes for a very interesting character.

Tracy: Did you model her after anyone in particular?

Molly: No. I get asked this question a lot, and I never do have any of my books, stories, or people modeled after anyone. I truly do have this wild imagination, and I create them, and I kind of find that fun cause its kind of like they’re a new friend to me too, but that is awesome.

Tracy: That is awesome. So, where do you get your inspiration from you? 

Molly: Well, I always loved the Amish because I went to, I live in Ohio. I live in Ohio too. So I went to a part of the year. So I went to Amish country a lot when I was growing up because it’s not too far. And I was fascinated, you know, just by, and of course their food is delicious. So you go back just for that. But they would talk to me, and it would be pretty friendly. And if they were talking Pennsylvania, Dutch, they would change immediately to English when I approached them, and they were very kind, and I could ask them questions, and back then, I wasn’t even writing. I was just interested. I love going back there, and I did it often, and I just found it interesting, but I never thought about writing Amish until I met Mary Sue Seymour at a conference. 

And I was so green. I had no idea what I was doing then I’m, and I went to the conference, and the funny thing is, I thought, well, I’d like an agent meeting. I didn’t even have a book to sell. Like I was there to learn, you know, but that’s how I thought, well, that’d be fun.

Tracy: Tell us where your inspiration comes from for the Amish Charm Series.

Molly: I think everybody loves dessert and I thought what fun it would be like to have its bakery in the middle of town and have like the bread wafting out, homemade bread, wafting out the windows and send them in and sugar as they come in and then a big display of like cookies and all these things I love. And so I decided that it would be a fun place. And then people could come and talk to them, and they could have problems there. 

They could have big discussions there. Um, and then take home their big cake, or I would have Rachel learn how to make roses, you know, on top of the cake. And she’s one of the characters in my series coming out later. And, um, so I really had a lot of fun with the whole bakery thing. And then, you know, one book, I have them making a big wedding cake for one of their English or friends and how that all transpired and their ideas for that and everything. So I’ve just enjoyed that whole setting. It’s been fun.

Tracy: I’m a big Baker. I absolutely love to bake, and I work recipes into my stories all the time. So, I love that idea.

We’re going to switch gears a little bit away from your series and have some fun.

If you could choose three people to invite to a dinner party, who would they be?

Molly: Do you mean anyone? Anyone in the world, if you could choose three people to invite to a dinner party, who would you, who would they be? The producer-director and screenwriter from that movie I want.

Tracy: That is awesome. I can only imagine that that is going to happen for you, Molly. I am just going to be all over that. If that comes true. I just think God is in every little thing that you do. 

And I can’t imagine you won’t get a phone call someday saying, Hey, we’re going to take your book to the screen. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Molly: I just hope I’m not 90 in all wrinkly in my little pictures at the very end of the movie. And then they say in memoriam of Molly

Tracy: One last question, share something with our listeners that they wouldn’t know about you. One thing that they wouldn’t know about you.

Molly: I won a purple fluffy stuffed dog on the captain kangaroo TV show when I was in the fourth grade. 

Tracy: That is really cool. So yeah, people wouldn’t know that. Molly, I just want to thank you so much for spending time with us this week. And I look forward to reading all of your stories in the Amish Charm Series, along with maybe watching a movie someday.

Molly: That would be pretty cool. Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Tracy: You’re welcome. Well, that wraps up this week’s episode next week. We’ll have Dana Lynn as one of our guests to talk about Plain Refuge and her part in the Amish Christmas Miracles Collection.

 So, we’ll see you next week on the Buggy Talk Podcast.