Author Amanda Midkiff shows off her newest middle grade fiction book, Harvest of Hope.

Shortly after publishing her first book, Where the Crops Never Fail, author Amanda Midkiff contacted Argyle Fox Publishing. A second book was in the works, and she couldn’t wait to share it with the world. We were thrilled! Once we got our hands on Harvest of Hope, we knew there was something special about the story.

How was she able to write her second middle grade fiction book so quickly, and what are her hopes for Harvest of Hope? Find out below!

Harvest of Hope picks up 10 years after your first book, Where the Crops Never Fail. Tell us what Harvest of Hope is about and the reason you decided to write it.

Continuing the Jefferies’ story was important to me because friends asked for it. I had not intended to write a continuation, but I’m really glad I did. Once I began writing about those precious and familiar characters I couldn’t stop! The story unfolded like it just had to be told.

I wrote Where the Crops Never Fail when my sons were the same age as Jake. With them in mind, truths and morals about growing up centered around a wholesome storyline. Now my sons are in their late teenage years and so is Jake. And just like the theme of the first book, the sequel contains wholesome messages about life and dating.

Where the Crops Never Fail is about family, and Harvest of Hope is about home. Specifically, Harriet’s love for home is put to the test. The big-hearted goose must decide if her loyalty to home will endure or if it is as fickle as Virginia’s weather. I hope all readers will glean truth from each word and read it deeply.

You wrote this book quickly. What was your writing routine, and did you map the whole story out before you started, or did you discover what was happening next along with the characters?

Yes to both! I did map out a few ideas and concepts that I wanted to thread through the storyline. And because I was writing it with my sons in mind, there were underlying truths that were a must. But as far as the story playing out, well, I was just as surprised as everyone else at what was unfolding. As a matter of fact, in the original manuscript, Milly died in the first chapter. I decided that had to change because it made me so sad.

As far as my writing routine, I wrote it over the summer while I was home from teaching. I’d wake up, grab my coffee, and take to my front porch. There I’d stay with my laptop open, birds chirping, and my precious golden retriever by my side. It was so nice being alone with the developing story. Sometimes I’d giggle at the silly things Harriet would do and cry when a precious character became ill or got hurt. Writing a book really is a magical experience, creating emotions and wonder within.

What did you learn while publishing Where the Crops Never Fail that made this publishing process different?

Publishing for the second time was much easier because I didn’t have that learning curve and knew what to expect. I had fewer computer issues and questions, insecurities over my own skills, and general uncertainties. Having experience produced trust in Argyle Fox Publishing, especially Daniel, and gave me all the peace needed in the process. I could just enjoy the ride this time!

What goals do you have for Harvest of Hope, and how do these goals for your book compare to the goals you had for your first book?

Releasing Where the Crops Never Fail was a lifelong dream come true. My only goal was to put it in the hands of my children and family. That goal broadened as friends began reading it and encouraged me to continue the tale. My goal for Harvest of Hope is that each person who reads it will feel joy and contentment as they escape the burdens of life for a little while.

How are you marketing this book? Are your marketing efforts different this time around?

I have only marketed through social media and word of mouth.

What feedback have you received so far on your new book?

Those who’ve read Harvest of Hope, especially those who asked me to write it, have requested a third story based on Jake and Cindy’s life on Riverside Farm. The encouraging words are much appreciated!

Obviously, Where the Crops Never Fail left readers wanting more. Do you plan to write a third book in this series, or do you have plans to write other books that don’t take place at the Jefferies farm? If so, can you give us a sneak preview?

I don’t plan to write a third installment, but then again, I didn’t plan to write a sequel either. I definitely want to try my hand at a picture book, though! As for a preview, I thought I’d have one of my favorite characters (Twinkie) as the star of that picture book. One friend asked me to write about him having an adventure rafting down the New River! I guess we shall see…

Is there anything else about you, your writing, or your second publishing journey you would like to share?

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to share this, but here goes…

Mama Jefferies’ journal was actually taken from excerpts from my personal journal that I kept when undergoing a devastating illness a few years ago.

As I leaned on God, read His word, and prayed, I wrote down the things I was learning. I’m so grateful He brought me through it, and I felt it might bring comforting truths to others. The journal was important to me, because I knew that it might be read by my family one day. I wanted them to know that leaning on their faith during challenging times is of utmost importance.

So, although only a small portion of my journal was in the story, I wanted to share some special parts with my readers. Writing touches the innermost parts of my heart, and I thought maybe readers could relate or be comforted by the truths I discovered during those hard times.

Thanks again, and I can’t wait for readers to find out what happens in the continuation of your wonderful story!

Thank you so much for your integrity, high standards, and outstanding quality. Argyle Fox Publishing is truly a blessing!

Meet Amanda Midkiff.