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09 January 2013

Interview with Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1) 

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. 

Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.


  1) How and why have you started to write? Were there something or someone that gave you an impulse?

I’ve always been scribbling, since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I didn’t believe, until recently, that other people would want to read what I wrote. It’s incredibly exciting to hear from folks who’ve enjoyed the stories I tell.

2) Tell me something about you and your book THE HALLOWED ONES.

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there…and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?

3) While you’re writing, have you discovered a character that you where developing feelings of love for? And was there a character that gave you headaches?

Katie was an interesting character to write because she's very strong in a quiet, enduring kind of way. She struggles to develop her own moral compass, independent of her parents and community. That requires a great deal of fortitude, just as much fortitude as dealing with the evil creatures in her world.

The character who gave me the most headaches were probably Katie’s community Elders. I wanted them to be sympathetic, believable…and also sometimes Katie’s adversaries.

4) How have you done your research for this novel?

I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like. As an adult, it was fun to go back there and see how my perceptions of that world changed and how they stayed the same.

In my day job, I work in a library – which also affords me many opportunities for research!
5) Is there a book that inspired your writings? 

My all-time favorite is Robin McKinley’s HERO AND THE CROWN. I read it when I was a pre-teen, and fell in love with fantasy ever after. It was the first book I’d read that had a female protagonist who slew her own dragons. I was hooked.
6) In the end, would you like say some words to your fans from Romania? 

Hello, and thank you so much for the opportunity to chat with you today! It’s very much appreciated.

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