Author Spotlight: Marta Perry

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 Ann Gabhart is Regina Merrick! Please email my assistant Amy with your mailing address. (

This week is Marta Perry is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Marta’s latest book, Sarah’s Gift, leave a comment on this post!

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

I’m married to my college sweetheart, and we have three grown kids who have presented us with six beautiful grandkids ranging in age from 3 to 10. I now write full time and love it, but there was a time when I worked part-time, raised kids, and wrote as well.

I’ve lived in rural Pennsylvania all my life, and my husband and I live in a century-and-a-half-old farmhouse on 25 acres in a pastoral Pennsylvania valley. When the snow flies, we escape to our second home on the South Carolina coast for a few months.

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

I currently write the Pleasant Valley Amish romance series for Berkley Books, as well as an Amish Suspense series for HQN Books and series books for Love Inspired. I enjoy both romance and romantic suspense, and bringing in the Amish element has been a natural step for me, since I’m Pennsylvania Dutch myself and have always lived around the Plain People.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

When I was eight years old, I read my first Nancy Drew book, The Secret in the Old Clock. Most little girls read that and want to be Nancy Drew. I finished it and wanted to be the person who wrote that wonderful story! It took me a long time to pursue that dream, but eventually I realized that if God was leading me in that direction, I’d better follow!

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

I started writing with short children’s stories for Sunday School Take-Home papers. My first submission came back with a form rejection slip. I summoned up my courage and sent it out again—another form rejection, but this time a real live editor had taken the time to write on it, “Nice story. Try us again.” I don’t know who that person was, but I wish I could thank him or her. That comment encouraged me to send the story out again, and this time it sold! I received a check for $15, took my husband out to dinner, and announced that I was a writer!

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 tea drinker, so I’ll have to skip the coffee part!  I get up, breakfast and do twenty minutes of exercise, dress, and go to the computer. And the next day I do that over again. When I’m constantly involved in the story that way, I find it fairly easy to get back into it and get quickly to work. With my schedule, I don’t have time to wait for inspiration—I start writing and trust that the inspiration will come. I try to do my new writing in the morning if at all possible, leaving the later hours for working on things like edits, blogs, interviews, etc.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader? 

I started writing when there was no internet, few writers’ conferences, fewer still writing groups. I didn’t know another soul who wrote fiction! My education at that time consisted of reading every copy of Writer’s Digest and The Writer, reading heavily in the genre I wanted to write, and writing every day. I love the easy access I have now to other writers, with support only a mouse-click away, but I know that it can be done without when necessary.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? 

I still love writing, but I didn’t realize that there would be so much ‘business’ to writing. In a way, those years before you sell are golden, because then you’re writing only for the joy of it. It gets much more complicated when there are contracts involved, though I wouldn’t trade it for any life I can imagine. If I won the lottery tomorrow (which is very unlikely, since I never buy a ticket!), I’d still go to the computer and start writing my pages for the day.

What are your biggest distractions?  

My husband standing behind me while I’m typing, waiting for me to stop so he can ask me something. Just ask me, already!

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst? 

I’m not sure I can choose, because it keeps changing. As we progress through our careers, our goals continue to move out ahead of us, and I think that’s how it should be.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like? 

I love creating the story—when it’s still in my mind, it’s perfect, but when I start putting it down on the page, it invariably falls short.

What is the role and importance of an agent? 

I didn’t have an agent during the years I wrote for Love Inspired, because I felt able to handle the category contracts on my own. When I was ready to market a longer series, however, I knew that I didn’t want to venture into those deep waters without an advocate. And my agent is amazing!

What advice would you give to new writers? 

Read, read, read and write, write, write. There are no shortcuts, and all of us have to write a certain amount of dreck before we get down to the real stories that only we can tell.

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. 

Sarah’s Gift: An Amish midwife faces the destruction of all that is most dear to her when an English doctor files charges against her.

What’s on the book horizon for you? 

I’m writing the third in the Amish suspense series, Judgment in Plain Sight; an e-book novella that will be on the Harlequin website in May, Lost in Plain Sight; and I’m starting work on the sixth book in the Pleasant Valley series.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books? Go to my website at; look for me at Marta Perry Books on Facebook; or write to me at If readers would like a signed bookmark and my brochure of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, they should just send me their mailing addresses.

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

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. Lenijay says:

    I have read several of Marta's books and have really enjoyed them! It would be great if I could win a copy of her latest! Thanks for the opportunity, Suzanne!

  2. Lenijay says:

    I should thank Marta too, for offering the book!

  3. Sandy says:

    I have also enjoyed reading Marta's books, and would enjoy winning one. I was wondering,…you said that if we send you our addresses, you would send us some recipes. Did you mean email adresses, or home addresses? Also, how much are they? I would be interested in some "gut" ones! 😉 Sandy

  4. Edna says:

    I would love to win one of these books, just finished reading Suzanne's lastest book last night.


  5. Edna says:

    I follow you Suzanne on google,newsletter, twitter and also on face book, I follow Marta Perry on google also, love her books


  6. Karla says:

    I absolutely love Marta's books. Have several on my Kindle and have read 3 already since Christmas! Would love to win another!

  7. Karla says:

    Whoops, forgot my email address-

  8. Tena says:

    I am excited to see Sarah's Gift! I have read the other 3 in the series and would love to have this book. I get so wrapped up in your stories that I have trouble putting the books down. I love the characters and storylines. Thanks for sharing your gift!

  9. Suess says:

    Thank you, Marta for offering the book. I believe the Nancy Drew book was the one that scared the bejeebers out of me when I was much much younger, lol. Hugs!

  10. Laurisse says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your book! How very nice of you.

  11. Karen G says:

    I really enjoy ready Marta's books. Would love to try and win Sarah's Gift. Thanks.

  12. Anonymous says:

    would love to win her book I have read several of her books. and they were very good.

  13. Barbara Abel says:

    would love to win her book She is a very good author.

  14. Kristie says:

    I LOVE Marta Perry books. 🙂 One of her books was the first one I downloaded for my nook. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  15. Patsy says:

    I love Marta's writings! I've read several of her books and they are great. Would love to read her new book. Thanks for the giveaway.


  16. Jennifer Pederson says:

    This sounds like a nice book

  17. Judy says:

    I just love Marta Perry's books. I just finished reading a book called Buried Sins. This was the last book in a series of three books in The Three Sister's Inn series. Excellent! I would love to win a copy of her book, Sarah's Gift. By the way, great interview with Marta!

  18. diana says:

    I would love the opportunity to win Sarah's Gift. I have enjoyed all of Marta's books!

  19. Patti says:

    I really enjoy reading Marta Perry's books. I am looking forward to reading Sarah's Gift.

  20. diana says:

    OOPS! I failed to leave email for above comment. I'm tired I guess.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I would love to win Marta Perry's new book. I've been reading about it. I've already been wanting it. it would be great..
    God Bless you all,
    Rosemary Travis

  22. says:

    I would really love to win this book. I have been reading Amish stories for a very long time… They intrigue me so.. I get very wrapped up in them.. I am planning to take a trip this spring or summer in Indiana. There is about 90 miles of continuous Amish trail that I think it would be so neat to see. One day, I would love to Amish country and go to Lancaster County in PA. These kind of books are so much better than all the smut that is out there. Love to read Amish over that anytime!!!! Thank you so much for letting me share. Hope I win. Thank you so much for being so Generous and offering a free copy.
    Sandy :O)

  23. Barbara says:

    Love reading books on amish fiction! Can't wait till I can get my hands on hers.

  24. minilady828 says:

    I have three of Marta's books. Leah's Choice, Rachel's Garden and Ana's Return. "Sarah's Gift" is on my wish list. I'd love to win it.

  25. Marta Perry says:

    Thanks so much for all the kind comments. If you'd like a signed bookmark and a free copy of my brochure of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, just email me at or and send me your mailing address. I'll be happy to send it out to you.

    Marta Perry

  26. Lee says:

    I so enjoy reading in general, but when there is excellant writers such as Marta Perry and you Suzanne and many others and just can't get enough and I wait to read this book as well by Marta I hope you add my name to the list to try an win this book!
    Deborah Hardt

  27. Linda says:

    I just discovered Marta Perry and I love her books. I have a couple downloaded on my Kindle ready to read. Would love to win a copy of her newest book.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I love all books written about the Amish..Now I need time to read

  29. Marianne says:

    Thankyou for showcasing another new Author – new to me…would love to win her book. i really need to make a list of authors i need to read, as i am going back to the library tomorrow. Thanks Suzanne and Marta for the chance to win this book. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

  30. Mary / Touch of Heaven says:

    Would love to win a copy of this book. I've never read any of Marta's books and would love for this to be the first one.
    Mary B.

  31. Kristin Jager says:

    Marta is an amazing author!!! I just love reading the books she has written!! One thing that Marta and I have in common is that we both discovered and grew up reading Nancy Drew books. That started my passion for reading. I hope Marta continues to write her wonderful Amish fiction books!!

  32. Kate says:

    I'd love to read this book! Someday I hope to be an Amish midwife so I'd love to read about one 🙂

  33. diana says:

    I read all the Nancy Drew books as well…weren't they the best? My favorite was also the Secret in the Old clock and The Hidden Staircase, I think it was called. Amazing after all these years how those titles still come back to you.

  34. karenk says:

    i would love to read 'sarah's story'…thanks for the chance 🙂

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  35. where’s my post? not writing the whole post out again lol you missed a typo mods