Author Erin Biller Tells a Modern Story of God’s Redemptive Love | Local
It takes nine months to give birth to a baby and four years to graduate from college. In Erin Biller’s case, it took 12 years to publish his first novel “Ammi”.
The book was released on August 1. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 9, people can stop by Olita Gifts & Goods in downtown Hutchinson to meet with Biller and get a signed copy of the book.
“Ammi” is the story of redemption, healing, and the power of God’s redeeming love. The protagonist is Ammi, a young woman fighting for a life of independence in Los Angeles. The loneliness fades as she develops a friendship with Joel Hayes, an architect she meets during a lunch in a park. Then she meets Nathem, a gripping club owner who knocks her out, ushering her into a world where passions reign and boundaries are blurred. Will her choices lead to the freedom she seeks or to slavery beyond imagination?
The genesis of Biller’s novel dates back to when she worked as a paraprofessional at an elementary school in Sherburn, Minnesota. She noticed that the children were reading the hit series “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer. This implies that only vampires will love you forever. While Biller was cleaning up, she thought, there is actually a love that works forever and it is not a dream and it is not a vampire.
“Honestly, I enjoyed the story (‘Twilight’),” she said. “I got into it. I felt 10 year olds shouldn’t read this. This led to this strange image of love.
Biller set out to write an unconditional love analogy novel. She was inspired by the Bible and some of its analogies.
“My imagination has gone to dark places,” she said. “I shared it with my mentor, Ruth. I thought there was something wrong with me.
At the time, Ruth was also a mentor to Danielle Freitag, a young woman recently released from the sex industry. She worked at a strip club in Twin Cities and also suffered from drug addiction. She eventually enrolled in an outpatient treatment program, gave her life to the Lord, and began working with Ruth.
Ruth put the two women in touch by inviting them to her home for supper. They were cooking together when Ruth asked Erin to share the story from her book with Danielle. After listening, she told Erin that she had just told her life story.
“I was a bit blown away,” Biller said. “I was very naive. People are really going through these things.
The two women clicked and Danielle opened up and shared her experiences. Biller wondered if this was a sign that the Lord was encouraging him.
“I started to research human exploitation and trafficking,” she said. “There wasn’t a lot of information available at the time. Knowledge of human trafficking in the United States was not as widespread at this time. I’ve spent all these years rewriting, researching, rewriting learning how it actually works. The sensational images that we sometimes get now – of women in handcuffs with their mouths covered. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in fact, only 3% of child trafficking cases are kidnapping cases. The rest of them are usually family members or friends of the family – people you know – especially if we’re talking about child trafficking. “
Biller said it can happen when someone establishes a relationship in a chat room, responds to social media, or responds to a model advertisement.
“This is usually how someone ends up being exploited,” she said. “My character experiences it. She enters into a relationship that turns into exploitation.
Biller said his book was intended for adults or young adults because of its content.
“It covers child abuse and the commercial sex industry,” she said. “It’s not great graphics. It’s a view of the sex industry, how it all happens, suicide attempts. It covers a lot of heavy topics. It is a story of redemption and hope is attached to it.
Biller thanked her Hutchinson friend Molly Daggett for giving her the final push she needed to move forward with her book project.
“We’ve been friends for four years,” Biller said. “She became one of my best friends from our first conversation we ever had.”
Last fall, after the birth of Biller’s fourth child, Kenna, Biller and Daggett spent an afternoon together.
“I asked her in the middle of 2020, the year we all gave up so much, ‘Erin, what are you dreaming about?’” Daggett said. “His response was instantaneous: publish his novel. She graciously let me read her draft, and together she and I read it like a “book club” discussing each chapter along the way with objectivity and curiosity. I knew immediately that his story had to be released to the world. Her storytelling and writing style is comparable to that of Francine Rivers (an American fiction writer with Christian themes). I was captivated and read for hours without being able to let go.
“She was the final push,” admitted Biller. “I had read my book so many times. I made a lot of people watch. I had incredible feedback, but Molly was the final blow.
Biller had connected with an editor and an editor when she lived in Redding, California. When she was ready to move forward, she found that her contacts had moved on to new challenges.
“I could do it on my own,” she said. “I did my research and asked questions – it all came together and I had help from many people.”
The book is available in paperback and EPub e-book format on Biller’s website: authorerinbiller.com. It is not available for Kindle.
The next step for the first-time author? She and her husband Ryan and their children Rowan, Noble, Zion and Kenna are ready for their next adventure.
“That’s what we did when we moved to Redding, (Calif.),” She said. “It was exciting and fulfilling and we had to start over. We are moving at the end of October to the Fort Worth area in Texas.
Looking back, Biller said she made “some really amazing friends” during the four years she lived in the Hutchinson / Glencoe area.
“They all have children,” she said. “While our kids are at play dates, we are talking. My friendships have been so important.
Is there another book in his future? We’ll just have to wait and see.