Author Spotlight: Jan Drexler


       Today’s spotlight: Jan Drexler

[Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Jan’s newest book, “Mattie’s Pledge.” Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Betty, the winner of Mike Nappa’s “Raven.” Betty, please email suzanne {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.]

Welcome, Jan! Thanks for dropping in so close to your book’s release day! Let’s start with the basics: What part of the country do you live in? Who fills up your household?


My husband and I live in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, Wind Cave National Park…these are our neighbors! We live where other people take their vacation.

And our household is shrinking quickly. Up until June, all four of our adult children were living at home. But then our youngest son found a house to share with friends, our daughter married the love of her life a week later, and in February our oldest son is marrying our daughter-to-be. It’s been a whirlwind, and we’re not done yet. The son left at home is finishing up his undergraduate work in another semester or so, then he’ll be off to grad school.

 In a way, we’re looking forward to an empty nest…but we’re glad that so far they’re all staying in the area. And then, of course, we still have the dogs at home…including the one who is actually a cat (but don’t tell her!)


Fill us in on “Mattie’s Pledge.” It’s part of a series, right? What inspired this particular story?


Mattie's Pledge-Book Cover“Mattie’s Pledge” continues the story that started in “Hannah’s Choice,” as the families from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania meet up with their friends in Somerset County to head west to Indiana together.

The story was inspired by the research I’ve been doing, trying to learn about my Amish ancestors. I knew that my ancestors had gone west from Lancaster County, to Somerset, to Holmes and Wayne Counties in Ohio, finally settling in northern Indiana. Research can answer the questions of what happened, who was involved, and when they did things, but writing fiction is the way I explore why my ancestors made the move to Indiana in the 1800’s.


So, Jan, if you weren’t able to write, what would you do?


I love teaching, and the day I retired from homeschooling (also known as my youngest son’s high school graduation) was a hard day. So if I wasn’t able to write, I would probably either work as a consultant in the homeschooling community or teach in a Christian school. Neither one of those options sounds as much fun as writing is, though!


What book is on the top of your TBR pile?


My TBR “pile” is a bookshelf…or two. But the book on the top right now is “The Silmarillion” by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read voraciously, and in several different genres. Next after Tolkien is “As the Crow Flies” by Craig Johnson, and then “Her Unexpected Family” by Ruth Logan Herne.


If you could write any book–on any topic–and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be? (Or genre?)


I’ve had this idea that’s been at the back of my mind for a while now. I’ve always loved family sagas, even though they aren’t popular these days. But I’ve gotten to know a family who are fourth generation ranchers, and their story is fascinating. Cowboys, Native Americans, the Badlands…. I’d love to write their story as historical fiction.


Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?


Every author gets bad reviews, and they happen for a lot of different reasons. If something in my writing has offended someone or they don’t like something I’ve said, I want to know. If they have a legitimate reason for giving the bad review, I consider their points. But most of the time, the reviewer is just having a bad day. I tend to forget about those reviews.


What’s one thing you learned about the publishing industry in last five years? Last year? Last six months?


I started writing fairly recently (2011), so everything I’ve learned about the publishing industry has been in the last five years. It’s been a steep learning curve!


But the one thing that has really stood out to me is that no one knows what will be the next big seller. Authors, agents and publishers try to guess, but we don’t know what the readers will want in twelve to eighteen months. So the main thing is to stay flexible!


How do you solve a grammar dilemma?


I do what I told my children to do when we were homeschooling: Write the sentence the way you think it should be written, then look at it. Does it look right? Then it probably is.


If I can’t solve the problem that way, I have fabulous editors I can rely on to give me the right answer.


Best indulgence:


A fire in the woodstove, a fine old movie on television, and a needlework project in my hands.


Anything new for you on the book horizon?


“Naomi’s Hope,” the sequel to “Mattie’s Pledge,” is coming out in June 2017! Watch for it!


So how can readers connect with you?

Several ways!



And on Mondays at the Yankee-Belle Café:

Thanks again for dropping in to share your story, Jan. And readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Mattie’s Pledge! And don’t forget to stop in next week to see if you’ve won!

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. Carolyn R says:

    A must add to my reading list. I want to know how Mattie and all travels go to Kentucky and on to Indiana from Pennsylvania. Thanks for the blog. Always enjoy what you share, Suzanne. Blessings.

  2. Katrina says:

    Enjoy all the interviews. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! Can’t wait to read Mattie’s Pledge!

  3. Kristi says:

    Great interview. This book sounds interesting and I would love to win it. Thank you for the chance!

  4. Pamela Smith says:

    I haven’t met a book about Amish life that I don’t like. I cant do much anymore because of my myathensia gravis and ptosis, so on days when my vision is clear I read . I have started a library of Amish and Mennonite books ,I would love to add Mattie’s Pledge to my library .

  5. Christa says:

    Thanks for the fun interview and the chance to win! I love vacationing where you live Jan 🙂

  6. Mary Ellen Ashenfelder says:

    Would be thrilled to add this book to my collection. Thank you.

  7. Brenda says:

    I enjoy learning about life through fiction, be it an Amish romance, historical fiction, etc. I can tell which authors put time into research about their subject.

  8. Deana Dick says:

    Oh I would love to read this book. I enjoyed the interview . I homeschool my sixteen year old and love every minute of it. It will be bittersweet will graduation comes though. I lived your take on reviewers. I review and hate when reviewers give bad reviews because they thought there were too many grammatical errors or they didn’t like the genre . Thank you for the chance to read your book.

  9. Susan Fryman says:

    The book sounds amazing. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Blessings, Susan Fry,an

  10. KAREN says:

    It would be so nice to read a book written by a new author. thank you for this chance.

  11. Jean Smith says:

    Sounds like a great book, hoping to win.

  12. Diane Wallace says:

    I would enjoy winning a copy of “Mattie’s Pledge”. I’ve already added it to my “wish list” as I feel I must read it to find out how this story ends 😊

  13. Cindy Flynn says:

    Would love to win

  14. Carol Alscheff says:

    Just saw “Mattie’s Pledge” on the shelf of my local bookstore. I would love to win it. Thanks for the chance.

  15. Cherese Akhavein says:

    Thanks Suzanne for the great interview, I’m heading over to get Hannah’s Choice and I look forward to Mattie’s Pledge then Noami’s Hope. I’m sure I’ll enjoy these books as I do all the books you recommend.

  16. Thank you for the chance to win.

  17. Angela Chesnut says:

    I would love to win.

  18. Maryann says:

    I would love to read Mattie’s Pledge. Amish fiction is my favorite genre to read. I am most familiar with the Amish of Lancaster, Pennsylvania since we have visited there. Jan, I long for an empty next!!

  19. Lucy Reynolds says:

    Thank you for the interview and the chance to win. I would love to read this.

  20. Linda Boyd says:

    I Love Amish Books!

  21. Before I go over to Yankee-Belle, I found it interesting that communities move and merge ~ a good way to meet a mate or renew old acquaintances. Also, sounds like being a consultant to new homeschoolers or those stuck, would be interesting. Sharing encouragement of “you’re doing a fine job” needed now and then! In a few years your next generation coming around to add laughter and knees to kiss boo-boos. Happy times with two new weddings; more to love. Thank you for sharing. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  22. Connie Lee says:

    I would love to win a copy of “Mattie’s Pledge”, thank you for the giveaway!

  23. Marilyn says:

    I appreciate learning more about Jan Drexler through this interview, Suzanne. Mattie’s Pledge is a must be read book to continue with the characters from Hannah’s Choice. I would be blessed to add this one to my personal library. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. God bless.

  24. Cathy Atchison says:

    I really like to find new authors to read. I have Hannah’s Choice on reserve at the library.

  25. Terressa T. says:

    I would love to read your idea for a historical fiction; history is so facinating to me and I love when it gets mixed with fiction!

  26. Sharon Henning says:

    YES!!! More books for me to read!!! 🙂

  27. Carol Kelley says:

    Would love to check out a new author to me!

  28. Melissa Wallace says:

    Reading the first one in this series right now! Can’t wait to get the next one!

  29. Melissa Ellison says:

    Hi, glad to meet another Amish author!!
    Mattie’s pledge sounds like a good book, I really like the cover.
    Hope to get a chance to read it.


  30. Denise Smith says:

    I love anything Amish. I can’t wait to read Mattie’s Pledge. Hannah’s Choice was excellent and I’m sure that Mattie’s Pledge will be also.

  31. Linda Horin says:

    Jan, it sounds like you live in an amazing part of the country. Visiting that area is definitely on my bucket list! Your new book sounds very interesting also. I will put it on my TBR list!

  32. Emma says:

    I am looking forward to reading “Mattie’s Pledge.” Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

  33. Connie R. says:

    Thanks for sharing about your new book, and for the giveaway!

  34. Tania S. says:

    Love the “Author Spotlight”, thanks for introducing another new to me author. I look forward to reading her books.

  35. This sounds like such a great story, I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you for the chance.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  36. Mary B. says:

    Enjoyed reading about you. I hope to read one of your books soon. Thank you for opportunity to win.

  37. Linda D. McFarland says:

    Mattie’s Pledge has piqued my interest. Would love to win…thanks for the opportunity!

  38. I have read other books written by Jan, and I am looking forward to reading “Matties Pledge” It was nice to find out that this story was inspired by research you were doing on your own family. Will be reading “Matties Pledge” really soon Thanks for a great interview with, Jan Susanne and thank you for a chance to win a copy of her book

  39. Robyn L says:

    you are new to me and I would love to read your genre; find it interesting. thanks.

  40. Connie Saunders says:

    I am looking forward to Jan’s new book. Thanks for this Author Spotlight and giveaway.

  41. Trixi says:

    Sounds like a great book, thank you for the giveaway! Loved reading the author spotlight 🙂

  42. Karen G. says:

    Looking forward to reading another book by Jan Drexler.

  43. I would love to win this book. Love her stories.

  44. Loretta M. says:

    I was intrigued by Jan Drexler’s comment: “writing fiction is the way I explore why.” It was good to read that Craig Johnson, who is one of my favorites, is on Jan’s list of authors to read. Her thoughts on family sagas and historical fiction are high on my list. My interest is peaked. I have to read Hannah’s Choice and will follow with Mattie’s Pledge. Thanks for sharing this interview.

  45. This sounds like a really engaging book. Great author! Great looking book!

  46. Deb Bentley says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your newest book.
    I also read that you were thinking of writing a fsmily saga set in the Badlands area.
    I love family sagas and I’m looking forward to visiting the Badlands area. My sister lives close to that area and I live in Georgia.
    I hope you decide to write this series!

  47. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I love all your books and I am looking forward to reading this one.I enjoyed this post,it is great to learn about authors that I love to read their books.I think just because reviewers doesn’t like a book they should never give a bad review.Everyone has their own likes and dislikes and their own opinion,just as this is mine.Thanks for sharing.

  48. Suzanne says:

    Jan–Thanks for taking time for this interview! Hoping your book is off to a great start. I enjoyed learning more about you. Warmly, Suzanne

  49. KayLee from NY says:

    New author to me. I looked for Hannah’s Choice at the library today and they had it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Mattie’s Pledge.

  50. Trixi says:

    Suzanne, I just found out I won a copy of this on another contest, so go ahead and take my name out of the drawing. Thanks so much!! 🙂

  51. Connie Roberts says:

    I would love to win a copy of your book, I’ve never read your books before, I always enjoy reading by a new author, especially if it’s Amish fiction, my favorite thing to read. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  52. Carol evirs-quinn says:

    Jan would be a new author for me si I appreciate this chance to read her work

  53. KC Frantzen says:

    Jan, super interview.

    FEW seem to know about Silmarillion so I’m thrilled to find something else in common. 🙂

    And the dog who’s really a cat. HA!

    Excited for your success. Keep up the great work and thanks to Suzanne for hostessing.

  54. Carla Moore says:

    Sounds like a wonderful read. I pledge to read and enjoy your novel! I will now need to get started on the first novel! Thank your for the opportunity and the cover is beautiful.

  55. Jan Drexler says:

    I wish I could answer all of these wonderful comments personally, but there are so many!

    Thank you, everyone, for your interest in “Mattie’s Pledge,” and thank you, Suzanne, for hosting me!

    Blessings to all,

    Jan Drexler