Q: Before we get to your talent for writing, let’s learn more about you as a person. What part of the country to do live in?
I live in the Texas hill country—which is to say we’re a bit of a drive from anywhere. We love small town life!
Q: Tell us about your writing habits: how many hours a day do you devote to writing? What time of day? Where do you write? Any interesting work patterns?
I start every day at 9 am, and my goal is to be finished by 6. Occasionally I will work some in the evening, but I try to protect that time for family. I write in my office, which is my son’s old bedroom. I have a specific word count I aim for every day (2,000 words). I will occasionally work part of Saturday morning, and I do not work on Sundays.
Q: Where do you get your storylines?
Most often I start with the main character. I have a person in mind, and I add a scenario to that. How would my character react? What are the secrets of their heart? How strong are they physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Many of my plot ideas come from news stories!
Q: What Amish fiction authors do you like reading?
Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepherd Gray, Beth Wiseman, and Kelly Irvin. I could name a dozen!
The more I personally am in contact with the Amish, the more I’m struck by our similarities rather than our differences. Moms worry about their children and work from sun up to sun set. Fathers strive to provide for their family. Brothers and sisters argue, but they also care for one another. Their lifestyle is certainly simpler than mine, but much of their daily life—their time spent with family and their church—is the same.
Q: Have you been influenced by the Amish in a positive way?
Oh sure. After writing about the Amish for over 5 years, I now view many of the decisions I make through a simpler lens. Do I need that new refrigerator? No—mine can be repaired. Should I work on that last chapter on Sunday? No—it can wait until Monday. Sunday is for church and family and rest! Living simply is a decision that we make many times every day. I don’t always choose the simplest way, but my Amish friends remind me that simpler is often better.
Q: Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
Murder Freshly Baked released on June 9th. In the small community of Middlebury, Indiana Amish and English work and live together. They are neighbors and friends to one another. When people at the Amish Artisan Village are threatened by a “poison poet,” everyone joins ranks to find the killer and restore harmony to the Village. This is a story of love offered and denied, the value of friendship, and how faith can direct our steps. Above all it’s a story about God’s grace in our lives, even in the most dangerous of circumstances.
Vannetta Chapman writes fiction full of GRACE. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband. Her latest title, Murder Freshly Baked released June 9th.
Purchase Vanetta’s books here.