Author Spotlight: Vannetta Chapman

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Sibella Giorello is Mike Duran! My assistant Amy will be in touch for your mailing address.

This week we welcome Vannetta Chapman. To win a copy of the Vanetta’s A Simple Amish Christmas, leave a comment on this post!

If you missed Vannetta’s interview on Amish Wisdom – listen here.

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

Bob and I share 4 children together, and yes they are all grown. I recently was held back from DANCING across the collegiate stage as our last graduated, ending 14 years of college tuition. You can see why I would want to dance. I’m always happy to answer questions about family though, because family is integral to everything we do, right Suzanne? Our oldest daughter, Jordyn is a pharmacist. Next is Yale who is a veterinarian. His twin sister Kylie is a special needs girl – we’re so proud of her. She recently moved into a new group home, which was a big step for the entire family. Then our youngest is Cody, and he recently graduated with a BS in Business and is on the job hunt. (Contact me if you know of an open position anywhere in the continental US).

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…           

All four of my contracted books are Amish, and I have adored researching and writing about this special group in our society. I write Amish romance for Abingdon Press and Amish cozies for Zondervan. However, I’ve also written Christian romantic suspense and even Christian historicals which we’re still shopping around!

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

I started writing for publication after receiving my MA in English. At that time I was a single mom in my 30s teaching full time, and I didn’t see a lot in Christian magazines that spoke to what single moms were going through. I had a wise professor who said if you wanted to be published, listen to the “conversation,” listen for what isn’t being said, and then jump in – so that’s what I tried to do. I ended up publishing over 100 articles for magazines such as Homeschool Today, Christian Family Life, Single Parent Family, Evangel, etc. Some of those can still be found on my website at After 5 years of writing articles though, the novel bug hit. That was six years ago, and A Simple Amish Christian is my first inspirational book.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I’m a big fan of Margie Lawson and have taken many of her courses. She started me in the habit of writing a gratitude journal first thing each morning. It’s very short-just 5 things I’m grateful for, then my goals for the morning. So my routine is up at 5 a.m., start the coffee (brew it strong), do a little yoga to work the kinks out, then write in my journal. By 5:20 I’m at the keyboard,and I write until 7:00 when I head for the shower. I can be ready for work in 25 minutes. So I manage almost 2 hours in the morning, and then I try for another 2-3 in the evenings.

What is the role and importance of an agent?

It would be hard for me to describe how much of a help and a supporter my agent has been. She’s a wonderful Christian woman, so I trust her advice on many levels. She also represents many of the most successful writers in Christian fiction, which helps me to know that she’s been down this road with others. I think an agent is first and foremost your advocate. I might go 6 or 8 weeks without talking to mine, but then we might correspond 3 or 4 times in one day if necessary. At contract time she thinks to negotiate things that it would never occur to me to ask for – like extra author copies or a change in what exclusivity a publisher has. I really cannot say enough how much my agent has helped me. I will say that during our first two years together she didn’t make any money at all from our association, but she kept me as a client nonetheless.

What advice would you give to new writers?

To do those periodic gut checks at the first of every month. Take your journal, go to a quiet place, and reflect. Assess what you’ve done and what you need to do. Have you made the progress you wanted to make? Do you feel like you’re moving in the direction God would have you go? Writing success occurs in incremental steps, but six months can slip away before we’re aware of it. Also, I think it’s important to let a manuscript go at some point and move on to the next idea. A Simple Amish Christmas was my 9th completed manuscript.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

It’s Christmas, and Annie Weaver misses her family after leaving her Amish community to work at a distant hospital. But when she hears that her father has been gravely injured in a buggy accident, she rushes home to care for him. Her passion for healing catches widower Samuel Yoder’s attention. Will she also capture his heart?

What’s on the book horizon for you?

A 3 book Amish mystery series set in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Two women, a quilt, and a dead body. Will Shipshewana ever be the same?

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Facebook and myspace

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

Thank you, Suzanne! By the way, your book The Waiting arrived yesterday from the little UPS man, and I can’t wait to read it!

Yes! Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed A Simple Amish Christmas, Vanetta!

Listen to Vanetta’s October 7th interview on “Amish Wisdom!” She’s as warm and funny in person as she is on the written page! 

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Joann King says:

    would love to include Vannetts's book to my collection. I'm gathering "christmas" books to read. Love all the Amish/Mennonite stories.

  2. Cindy says:

    Unfortunately I didn't get to hear this interview on Amish Wisdom that week, so will have to go back to hear it. I usually don't miss a week.

    Would love to read this book, as I have read all the other Amish Christmas ones.

  3. LoveMy2Dogs says:

    I would love to read Vannetta's book. I love to read books about Christmas, and my favorite books are about Amish so what could be better.


  4. Amy says:

    I would love a copy of Vannett's book. It sounds like a nice Christmas story.

    avennett AT verizon DOT net

  5. Emily says:

    I love the Amish, and reading about them make them seem so much closer.
    Please enter me!

  6. Debbie says:

    Great interview, Suzanne! I've been following all the pics of your grandson, and he's just too cute to be true! =)
    Sign me up!

  7. John says:

    Looks like a good read!
    Please enter me!

  8. diana says:

    I tried to win this book before,but alas no luck. I would love to read this book. I also love all of Suzanne's books.

  9. lgm52 says:

    Sounds great…would love to win it!

  10. Sandra says:

    I haven't read any of Vannetta's books yet, but this one sounds like one I would certainly enjoy. I'm looking forward to the new series set in Shipshewana, IN. I live about two hours from there and have visited it before. It would be interesting to read a story set there.

  11. Papa Rabbit & Mama Rabbit says:

    Kathy said I am reading this book now as we speak and it is hard to put down my husband asked me last night if I was going to bed it was 2 am and I vould resume the book tomarrow you need to get some rest. I love it It is FANTASTIC!!!!

  12. Papa Rabbit & Mama Rabbit says:

    Kathy said I am reading this book now as we speak and it is hard to put down my husband asked me last night if I was going to bed it was 2 am and I vould resume the book tomarrow you need to get some rest. I love it It is FANTASTIC!!!!

  13. Papa Rabbit & Mama Rabbit says:

    Kathy said I am reading this book now as we speak and it is hard to put down my husband asked me last night if I was going to bed it was 2 am and I vould resume the book tomarrow you need to get some rest. I love it It is FANTASTIC!!!!

  14. diana says:

    I also wanted to know when the drawing is going to be 'cause when I enter a contest I check every day to see if I have won. I'm like a crazy woman when it comes to contests. lol

  15. collettakay says:

    Thanks for the interview! Your next series sounds very interesting!


  16. Thou Art Jules says:

    I hope Vannetta enjoys The Waiting as much as I did! I can't wait to read about Amish Christmas traditions 🙂

    I'd love to read this book and I appreciated the advice about doing a gut check each month because writing as with everything you can lose 6 months with any project!

    Thanks for the chance! julia(at)thouartjules(dot)com

  17. Kristie says:

    I would love a copy of the book. It's interesting that you talk about a gratitude journal. I received one as a gift. I need to start that. Thanks for the reminder.

  18. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I'm looking forward to reading this book….the cover is just so beautiful.I love amish and christmas books.Thank you…

  19. Karen Gervais says:

    Another author to add to my "Amish fiction" collection. Would love to win Vannetta Chapman's book and add to my growing collection to read.

  20. Karen Gervais says:

    forgot email address:

  21. Barbara says:

    Oh my! All these different fiction Amish books to read! 🙂 I love em & I would be delighted to win one!

    ibittybarbara at gmail dot com

  22. LeAnn Mooneyham says:

    Suzanne, I would like to add Vanetta's book to
    my other books. Love reading and learning about
    the Amish.

  23. Some Lucky Dog says:

    I love how the Amish culture is woven through the stories. I'm looking forward to reading a Christmas story.
    someluckydog at gmail dot cm

  24. Anonymous says:

    Would love to win her book. Looks really good. Love all the Amish books.

  25. amerchantheart says:

    I will be including her book in my collection to be read!

  26. hounddg says:

    I understand all it takes to care for those with Special Needs. I am a host home provider for two adult men. I pray daily that I'm as much a blessing to them as they are to me. Your daughter is very lucky to have you.

  27. diana says:

    I love Amish Christmas books! I save them for those cold Dec days here in S.C. where you don't want to even go outside,let alone go Christmas shopping. These books help put me in the Christmas spirit.

  28. Vannetta Chapman says:

    Hounddg, thanks for being a house-mom. It's a tough job! Jules, I am enjoying Suzanne's book. It really did arrive via UPS the day of my radio interview with her. Isn't that funny? As far as the gratitude journal, I just use a small spiral and start a new page each day. : )

    Thanks everyone for posting. I'm not sure when Suzanne is pulling a name, but certainly within the week b4 they post another interview.

  29. Lois Klobucher says:

    I would love to win a copy of "A Simple Amish Christmas' it sounds wonderful, I just love all of the Amish Fiction, and I think this one is going to be great being a mystery

  30. Maureen says:

    I love reading Amish stories…the Waiting is next on my dresser!
    Thank You Vannetta!


  31. robynl says:

    I love Christmas stories and find the Amish lifestyle intriquing. Please enter me.


  32. Nancy says:

    I would really like to win this book. I love all things Amish and would like to have an Amish style Christmas this year. This is also a book I would like to review for my blog.

  33. Laurie says:

    Would love to win the book! Love reading anything about the Amish.

  34. Linda says:

    These are some of my favorite things: A cool Autumn day with the sound of gently falling rain, a steaming cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee,
    a comfy reading spot and…a wonderful Amish fiction such as "The Waiting" or "A Simple Amish Christmas."

  35. diana says:

    I was so disappointed because the last time this book was offered as a giveaway I kept trying to leave a comment and it wouldn't accept any of them. I would love to win!

  36. Patsy says:

    This book sounds great. My favorite reading is Amish books. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for giving a copy away.

  37. diana says:

    Do you have a facebook account,Vannetta? I was searching and couldn't find you…