Author Spotlight: Stephanie Reed

 

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 Mary Ellis is Keith Butts! Please email info@suzannewoodsfisher.com with your mailing address!

This week we are featuring Stephanie Reed!  To win a copy of her new book, The Bargain (Kregel Publications, 2013) 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?

My husband and I have two kids, one married, one at home. I ‘retired’ from my Latchkey job when both our kids finished college.

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

My first two books were YA novels about the Underground Railroad. My new novel The Bargain is what I call Amish/Historical Fiction for women. I’d love to write a cozy mystery, and I have another genre or two I’d like to explore.

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

I got started writing because I thought the proceeds would put the kids through college. I’ve always loved reading and wanted to write from a young age.

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

Four years.

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?

Coffee and I are not friends. I like tea. Crossword puzzles get me going. And am I the only one who gets good ideas in the shower?

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

Mark 9:23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” This verse keeps me going.

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

No. Just when I think I have a realistic view, I get a reality check, like extensive edits or being turned down for a book festival. The writer’s life can be humbling.

What are your biggest distractions?

Daydreaming.

What is the role and importance of an agent?

An agent is your ally in a world where you may not know all the rules. A good agent knows the rules.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Don’t edit while you write your first draft. I’m still working on this one myself.

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.

What’s The Bargain about? An Amish girl helps an English boy, a shattered survivor of the Kent State Massacre, find real peace in the summer of 1971. Bonus: recipes for Potato Doughnuts and Banana Cream Pie included.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

Books two and three of the Plain City Peace series.

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

Readers can like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, read my Plain and Simple Blog posts, check Goodreads, or visit my website, which will be undergoing some changes.

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or Instagram.

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.

Comments

  1. Kathleen Berman says:

    My town in NY State has a tiny bit of history with the underground railroad with the families at the Friends Meeting House participating in the railroad. I would enjoy being entered in your drawing for a copy of your book.

    • Kathleen, I love Underground Railroad stories because people from different backgrounds secretly helped each other and in many cases gave God all the glory. Amen, right? Good luck!

  2. Julie Smith says:

    I would greatly appreciate the chance to get acquainted with your writing gifts through this giveaway…thanks for offering it!

  3. felecia says:

    I love books that include recipes.

    • So do I, Felicia! The banana cream pie recipe is from my lovely sister-in-law Myra, and does she ever have what I call ‘the pie gift.’ My publisher tested the recipe and gave it rave reviews. Mmmm. Good luck!

  4. Barbara Corbitt says:

    I would love to read this book! babscorbitt@gmail.com

  5. Wilani Wahl says:

    This whole interview was so interesting. I would so love to win this book.

  6. Judy B says:

    Oh this book sounds so good. I would love to win a copy of The Bargain. And it has a couple of recipes! What more could I ask for?

    Blessings!
    Judy B

    • Judy, good luck! I once ate an Amish doughnut that was the size of my head (almost). I bit into it and said, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.” It was that good. 🙂

      • Judy B says:

        Thanks Stephanie!

        Making me drool here! An Amish doughnut sounds wonderful! I’ve been dieting for 2 months now and just thinking of this doughnut makes me want one! 🙂

  7. sonja says:

    This sounds wonderful, recipes, Amish, history all rolled into one great read.

  8. Donna says:

    I would love to get acquainted with your work. Will have to add you to my “to read” shelf. Always love finding new authors!

  9. So glad to “meet” Stephanie Reed! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of THE BARGAIN!

  10. Patty Tolliver says:

    I loved your interview and would love to win a copy of your new book the bargain.

  11. MS Barb says:

    I would enjoy reading your young adult books and this one re: the Amish & a survivor of the Kent State shootings…I live in OH & have a daughter who attends church in Kent, so this sounds like it would be close to home! Thanks for your candidness re: becoming an author!

    • Hey Barb, we’re OH neighbors! During research for this book, my husband and I visited the Kent State campus. We were in junior high near Dayton during that era, so we remembered the shocking events, but we were deeply moved by our visit. Also, there’s a huge Amish community near Middlefield and Burton. Good luck!

  12. June Shirey says:

    This book sounds so good. I would love to win it,because I’m sure I’d enjoy reading it.

  13. Jackie McNutt says:

    Thanks for the interview. I live in Ohio and am old enough to remember the shootings at Kent State. I was a teenager then and remember the press coverage and fear that event invoked. Such a tragic time for all.
    I am looking forward to reading your book , it offers a different prospective of this event. I love Amish fiction and will add to my to read list. Thank you for chance to win and also for chance to get to know you and look forward to your series.

    • Oh, Jackie, ‘tragic time’ is so true. Sounds like reading the stories about the Kent State massacre had a similar effect on you. Thanks for your nice comments and pleased to meet you. Good luck!

  14. angela chesnut says:

    would love to win.

  15. Sandi Ansell says:

    I would love to win this book and meet this new author through her writings. Have a great day!

  16. Loretta says:

    Recipes? 🙂
    Thanks for this opportunity

  17. This is a new Author to me.
    Would like to win and read The Bargain.
    Thanks for a chance.

  18. Debra Smith says:

    I would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway. Have a great day!

  19. Wendy Clark says:

    Please enter me! This sounds really good and I love new recipes 🙂

  20. Karen Schulz says:

    Locally we have 2 stops on the Underground Railroad, so I have significant interest in this subject. I would really enjoy your book, and would love to win a copy!!

  21. Suzanne, thank you for sharing your sweet readers with me. Fan for life!

  22. Sara Johns says:

    Loved the interview! I love to learn about authors. I think it helps you understand their writing a little better. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  23. Debbie Carney says:

    I love books about the Amish, I’d love to win this

  24. Kim Garton says:

    I love when you highlight Authors. It gives the chance to get to know them and the books that they write. I love to read all of everyones books. It gives me a chance to go into my own little world. Keep the great books coming.

  25. Pat mcconnell says:

    I would love to win your book!

  26. debbie says:

    I have so enjoyed your books. You are a wonderful writer. I get so ingrossed I have a hard time putting my book down. I would love more anything to win your book. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading more of your novels.

  27. Jennifer Logan says:

    This book sounds like a great read. I know I will realy enjoy it. And I will share this page to my friends and they will enjoy your books as well. Thats so cool your giving one of your book away.

  28. Jean Smith says:

    Your interview was very nice, and I would love to win this book, thanks.

  29. I’ve never read one of your books, but it’s about the Amish and that’s all it takes for me to be interested!! I love the cover – it looks very interesting to me. Thank you for giving us a chance to win this book. Judy F

    • Haha, Judy, you made me smile! Thanks for commenting about the cover. My publisher Kregel worked very hard to make The Bargain inviting, and I was blown away when I saw it. Good luck!

  30. I haven’t read any of your books. This one sounds like a good read. Hope to win!

  31. Kristie D. says:

    Amish fiction is my favorite! I got my MLIS from Kent State in 2001 so I think this book would interesting to me for that reason (among many others). I always like to discover a ‘new’ author. Take care. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  32. LeAnn Mooneyham says:

    Thanks Suzanne. A new author and recipes. Yay!!! Would love to read a new book that sounds wonderfully written.

  33. mary ellen ashenfelder says:

    Lovely interview. It is always nice to meet a new author. Would love to win a copy of the book. Please accept my entry. Thank you.

  34. hope moyer says:

    i can not wait to read this book!

  35. Jackie Tessnair says:

    This book sounds great.I would love to win and read it.Thanks for the chance.I love this post.I am always looking for new authors.Thanks

  36. Pat Moore says:

    I love Amish books & I’ve never read anything that you have written. Would love to read your book & be able to add you to my “favorites” list at the bookstore. That list is what thy order for me by authors’ name. I’ve never been disappointed in any book or author that Suzanne has recommended. She is one of my top 5 authors. I’ve read almost all of her books. Wishing you both a truly blessed week.

    • I hope I join the list, Pat! Suzanne is incredibly generous to share her space with new authors. I like that she teamed up with Mary Ann Kinsinger for the Lily Lapp books. Thanks and good luck.

  37. Lisa Stifler says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book to read and would love a chance to win. I love the Amish fiction books and even better is history mixed in! May God Bless you as you continue in your writing!

  38. Michelle Rhoden says:

    Wow! You are a new author to me and I can’t wait to read your book. I enjoy reading about the Amish especially when there are recipes included 🙂
    ~Thanks for the chance to win~

  39. Tammy Courts says:

    It is always interesting to read about the authors! Sounds like another great Amish author. Thanks for the chance to win one of her first books!

  40. Johnda Scott says:

    Nice interview. I like reading books that incorporate historical facts into the story. Would love to win The Bargain.

    • Thanks, Johnda, and what a cool name! I love history, too. My dad once pointed out that all the pictures on my walls are of old things. Luckily none of the pictures are of me!

  41. Pen Mettert says:

    I remember Kent State. I like Amish themed books. Sounds like a winner to me. 🙂

  42. Tammy Cordell Hudson says:

    I love reading new Amish fiction.This is a great interview.

  43. Connie Roberts says:

    I would love to win a copy of your book. I love reading Amish fiction & am always eager to read something from a new author. May God bless you in your work.

  44. Linda Dietz says:

    Very interesting! My mother-in-law lives in a town that butts up against Kent where Kent St is located…and we have a lady who goes to our church who was teaching in Kent (elementary teacher) at the time of the shooting. Your book is now on my “must read” list!

    • Wow, Linda! That gave me chills. You should talk with that lady and find out what it was like to live in that town on that day. Thanks for putting me on your list! Good luck.

  45. Valerie Monschien Laux says:

    I would love to read your book

  46. Nat Homgren says:

    Ohhhh your book sounds wonderful good!
    Love recipes in books, simple life, Godly content and a good excuse to sit down, put my feet up and enjoy the simple pleasure of a book worth reading!

  47. Gayle Rhodes says:

    Love reading Amish books and to win one would be great!

  48. donna durnell says:

    Stephanie, So nice to meet you today. I remember the Kent State shooting – we were living in California, but the idea of something like that happening was just so frightening. 40 years later, and so many more shooting in schools — it’s still frightening, but maybe not such a surprise anymore. And that’s a sorry state of affairs for our country.
    I like Amish stories, and I will be looking forward to reading this one.

  49. Brenda Wheeler says:

    I would love to get to know this author better though this book please enter my name for the drawing please, Thank you Brenda

  50. Christine Jason says:

    I’m glad to see there is another member of the crossword puzzle club! 😉 I would really love to win a copy of this book. Regardless, I will be reading it! I also ordered a copy for the library that I work at’s collection. My fellow Amish fiction fans will love to find a new author!

    • Christine! One across: Way to convey gratitude. 8 letters (two words).

      I worked in the Dayton Metro Library (Ohio) for many years and I have to say LIBRARIANS ROCK! Good luck!

  51. Barbara Thompson says:

    Stephanie, you are a new author to me, but I enjoyed your interview. Your book sounds fantastic. I love Amish fiction. Looking f to reading your book. Thank you for the opportunity to enter a giveaway. Please enter my name.

  52. Terri Clark says:

    I would love to win a copy of your book! Loved the interview!

  53. Brittany Walker says:

    If I was judging a book by it’s cover, I’d say this one should be my friend! 🙂

  54. Debbie Sadorf says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book!

  55. Becky Pound says:

    I would love to win your new book, it looks good. Thank you for putting out good clean books to read with a God-filled love story.

  56. Hi ,I would just like to say ,I am not a writer but I love to read.I love Amish love stories the best.I like to read about the Amish because I truly believe they are genuine in their walk with the Lord.I don’t believe I’ve read any of your books but I have read mostly Amish ,I am a Christian and would not anything that wasn’t Christian based.I hope I get the chance to win your book,and I hope you do well with your sells as well. blessings to you.

  57. Jan Hall says:

    I like that you have a different story that I have not read so far. I am intrigued and would love to read The Bargain. I will be following you on Facebook and goodreads.

    • Hello, Jan and thanks for the follows; I’ll look for you! There are so many different stories to tell and so many ways to tell them. I like using my God-given and sanctified imagination. Good luck!

  58. I so love Amish fiction, and I love to read. Thank-you so much for a chance to win this book.

  59. Angie Carroll says:

    My daughter loves anything about the underground railroad and she is not ten yet! This book sounds good also, I am not familiar with this author but I liked the verse that she picked to share in her interview!

    • Angie, my UGRR books were written for kids like your daughter! They are based on the Reverend John Rankin and his family and you can visit his house in Ripley, Ohio. I’m glad you like the Bible verse. Before deciding to write my first book, I fasted, prayed, and then randomly opened the Bible to that verse. I was overwhelmed. 🙂 When I sign books, that verse is included.

  60. Cindy Thurman says:

    I am an empty nester with time on my hands. I would love to read your book! Thank you for the chance and good luck to all! 🙂

    • Hi, Cindy, it’s a different kind of life, isn’t it? Hope your fledglings fly home to visit. I enjoyed working in an after-school Latchkey program during the college years because I took the separations quite hard and it was good to be around children again. Good luck.

  61. Robin in NC says:

    The Kent State killings were horrendous!! I would love to read The Bargain! Thanks for sharing Suzanne & Stephanie!!

  62. Theresa N says:

    I’d love to read it.

  63. Katie Shope says:

    I haven’t read many Amish books before, but I think it would be cool! Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway!

  64. Karen G says:

    New author to me. I love reading Amish books and would love to read this one. Also looking forward to more of the series. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

  65. Phyllis O. says:

    I have not read any of your books, Stephanie, but would love to. I have read many books about the underground railroad and also love Amish stories. Best wishes with all of your writing.

  66. mbw says:

    Kent State was when I was a little girl, so I don’t “remember” it, nor did I learn about it in history. Looking forward to a good story and learning something!

    • Hi, MBW! I was eleven in May 1970 and I remember watching my first Kentucky Derby on TV the Saturday before the Kent State massacre. The awful pictures pf the shootings were all over the newspapers here in Ohio and it’s pretty hard to forget. Good luck.

  67. Donna Taylor says:

    I always love learning about new Amish fiction authors. Interviews are very interesting way of getting to know our new authors. Thanks for the chance to win the book!
    donnac.taylor@hotmail.com

  68. Rhonda Lovell says:

    I love reading and especially Amish stories, Victorian, Edwardian age that are clean. It’s nice to know that there are authors who write wonderful, “pull-you-in” kind of stories and don’t have to resort to “smut” to make it interesting. My mom loves to read Amish stories, in fact she is the one who got me started. If I won, I would give this book to her. She has done alot for me. Keep writing such wonderful books.
    Thank you so much for entering me into your contest.
    Rhonda Lovell.

  69. Judy D. Kramer says:

    This sounds like a great book to read ….I hope to be able to win this so I can start !!!!Thank You for writing these !!!

  70. Janet Estridge says:

    I would love to win this book for my church library.
    Thanks for the opportunity to do so.

  71. Katie Edgar says:

    This looks like a book I would love to read! I love finding new authors to follow as well! Thank you for this opportunity!

  72. michelle conti says:

    I love reading Amish and Historical books, so this one sounds great!

  73. Sounds like a very interesting story! Amish stories are my favorite. Would love to win this book. I have not read any of your books and would love to add you to my list of new authors.

  74. Andrea Woodard says:

    I would love to win “The Bargain” by Stephanie Reed. I have never read her books, but, I am looking forward to starting to read her books. I love finding new authors.

  75. Loved your comment, Stephanie: “A writer’s life can be humbling. So true!” Thanks for sharing your story with my blog readers! Warmly, Suzanne

    • Suzanne, I’m touched that you would share The Bargain with your devoted fans. They’re wonderful! May the Lord richly bless you and your generosity for years to come.

  76. Melanie Backus says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you for introducing Stephanie Reed and thank you for the chance to win The Bargain.

  77. janna says:

    Love daydreaming. Stephanie, did you ever tried to look at clouds and see what they look like. Love this game. Always play with my daughter.

    • That is so sweet, Janna, and your daughter is one lucky young lady. Yes, I daydream about cloud pictures and lots of other things. On my personal Facebook page, I posted a photo of two treetops that I thought looked like a cow and a flying pig. Then I outlined the photo to show what I saw. 🙂 Good luck!

  78. Brenda Ayers says:

    It sound like a good book. I would love to win. I enjoy reading the Amish stories.

  79. Lisa Cowell says:

    Two of my favorites, Amish and historical, in one book. I would love to win this.

  80. Can’t wait to read this book. It sounds real good.

  81. Sara Elizabeth says:

    I love amish fiction and I enjoy getting to know new authors; both through fun interviews like this and getting to know an author by reading (or in my case absorbing) the book.

  82. Marg Z says:

    This book sounds very interesting! I love finding new authors and Amish based stores are my favorite books to read.

  83. Leigh says:

    I can’t wait to read this! I love series.

    • I like series, too, Leigh. I’ve read many good ones and I always thought they would be a cinch to write, but surprise, surprise! It is much more involved that I ever dreamed. If I ever fully figure it out, I may write a book on writing a series. But don’t hold your breath! Good luck.

  84. Lucy Reynolds says:

    I enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading this book. Praying I am blessed and win. Have a wonderful day and keep writing for The Lord.

  85. Maria Kulscar says:

    Wonderful interview! This book sounds like a delightful read. I would love to win a copy!

  86. sandy zainey says:

    would luv to win :O) and read the Bargain

  87. sharon miller says:

    I would love to win and read your Amish novel, THE BARGAIN, Stephanie.
    Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres. I also like cozy mysteries. sharon, CA

  88. Melissa A. says:

    I would love to read this book! I am a stay at home mom to an eight year old boy and a three year old girl. When he is at school and she is napping, I get to indulge myself with a cup of tea and a good book! 🙂

  89. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    Your book sounds interesting to me and I love the bonus of having recipes!

  90. diane papke says:

    please enter me in your book contest. i love amish stories. it would be good to read a new authgor

  91. Kristy says:

    I love her books. Can’t wait to read this one. enter me to win, please!

  92. Amy Bateman says:

    A new author to follow, yay! I’d love to win a copy of The Bargain.

  93. Emma Marler says:

    I would absolutely love to win a copy of her book I have never read any but will be looking at the library.God Bless and thank you for the chance.

  94. Carol Evirs Quinn says:

    I have never read books by this author and would love the chance to start, i am always looking for to add to my collection. Thank you for this chance

  95. Donna says:

    I also do not drink coffee. I love my iced sweet tea!! I enjoyed reading this interview. I haven’t read any of Stephanie’s books yet but hope to soon! I too love to read Amish fiction books and to get the bonus of recipes also would be great. My two favorite things to do are read and bake!!

    • Hot tea or iced and definitely sweet! Here’s a tip– sometimes I don’t drink all of my perfectly sweetened hot tea in the morning. I put the mug in the refrigerator. At lunch or dinner, I dump the tea in a glass, fill with ice cubes, add a little water, and I have a perfect brew. Good luck!

  96. Kay from NY says:

    I would absolutely love to read this book. I’m a huge Amish fiction fan and I remember the Kent State Massacre when I was in high school. Hope one of my libraries orders this book but I would love to have my own for my Amish bookshelf. Thank you for the opportunity. Have a wunderbar day!

    • It’s a day I’ll never forget, Kay. Did you know that you can request that your library purchase The Bargain? Just give the librarian this number: 978-0825442155. Good luck on winning your own copy!

  97. Ruth Swartz says:

    Would love to read another amish artist book would love to win this book thank

  98. Kathy Jacob says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. I would love to win it!

  99. Ola Norman says:

    Great interview! This is a new author to me and the story sounds great! I will be looking for it.

  100. Nice cover! Thank you for doing this interview and for the chance to win The Bargain.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

  101. karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read this novel 😉

  102. Linda D. McFarland says:

    Love finding new-to-me authors & love Amish fiction. Suzanne is so very helpful in posting info about authors & their books. Would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity. Linda

  103. Suzanne certainly has a big heart and I appreciate her. Good luck, Linda!

  104. Pam Withrow says:

    Love hearing about new Amish fiction!

  105. Kevlin says:

    I love reading Amish books. Will be putting this on my wish list. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book. Have a blessed day.

  106. Teresa Sheroke says:

    Would love the chance to add this to my collection. I especially love series books!

  107. Rebecca Rankin says:

    I would really love to win your book. I love to read. I always enjoy finding new authors and/or books to read. I have really gotten into the Amish books after reading a couple of my friends books. 🙂

  108. Mary Ellsworth says:

    Stephanie Reed, I love discovering NEW FAVORITE authors! Your book sounds awesome! Would love to be a winner. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest. God bless you as you continue your writing.

  109. Bonnie Traher says:

    What a beautiful cover. Would very much love to win so I can read.

  110. Jean Thompson says:

    Another Book to put on my Wish List and To Read Book List… I would love to win this book in the Giveaway…New Author for me…

  111. November 22nd will be my 39th wedding anniversary with three grown children and one absolutely delightful granddaughter who is 5 years old. I LOVE BOOKS, LOVE TO READ, but there was only ever one book I clearly saw myself writing, and last Christmas, I saw all of its contents and 20 years it had taken me to put into words thrown into a garbage truck ~ talk about a humbling experience that turned out to be more therapy than for others to relate to. I was reminded in that moment, as I always believe, NOTHING HAPPENS BY COICIDENCE… and maybe winning a copy of The Bargain will prove it again 🙂 BLESSINGS!

    • Wow, Karen. First, early happy anniversary and congrats on the fine family. As for twenty years of dreams and hard work trashed, wow. You are a brave woman. Blessings to you as well.