Friday, November 12, 2010

My Friend Vannetta - Interview and FREE Kindle-Books for All!

Today I'm happy to have Vannetta Chapman here to help get us in the holiday spirit (continuing last week's theme . . . ;-) She'll be chatting about her debut novel, A Simple Amish Christmas. This week we have no need to run it as a giveaway, because EVERYONE can get it free from the Kindle store until November 15!


About A Simple Amish Christmas

Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year-old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. Her time of rumschpringa is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness as the Christmas season is in full swing. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer. Her passion for healing has caught widower Samuel Yoder's attention. Will she also capture his heart? Annie has several important choices to make, all on the morning of A Simple Amish Christmas.


About Vannetta

Vannetta Chapman has published more than 100 articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a multi-award-winning member of Romance Writers of America. She currently teaches in the Texas hill country. A Simple Amish Christmas is her debut novel. She is hard at work on a three book Amish murder mystery series set in Shipshewana, Indiana. Written for Zondervan (a division of Harper Collins), these cozy mysteries will begin releasing in 2011.


What's your latest book?

A Simple Amish Christmas released from Abingdon Press in October 2010.

It sounds great! What's your favorite part of the story?

My favorite part of the story was the medical portions.

I liked describing how Samuel and Annie worked together to meet the medical needs of their community. Although the Amish do see Englisch medical practitioners for major medical needs, they still depend on lay-persons for minor problems. I enjoyed coming up with these scenarios and developing the interplay between the characters.

Oh, that would indeed be fun--and challenging. What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

A sense of God's grace. That he does have a plan for each of us. That even when we leave home and come back changed, even that can be a part of God's plan. He can use anything to his purpose.

We've been discussing this at church and Bible study this past week. So very true. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

I honestly just enjoy writing. I don't think about genres. Now that I'm published in the Amish genre, that's what my contracts are for--though I write Amish romances for Abingdon and Amish mysteries for Zondervan. But I honestly don't think about that. I think about writing stories about characters who will come alive on the page, and then later I mold it to the publisher's slot. As far as what I read, I do read practically every genre. I'm an avid reader--usually reading about 4 books a month (And yes, I read on the Kindle and paper versions too).

Three cheers for diversity! =) What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

I'm reading Amy Clipston's book, A Plain and Simple Christmas, because she sent me a lovely signed copy. I'm also reading Amish Grace, the story of the Nickel's Mine tragedy. The subheading of this book is "How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy," which is perfect. It's really the story of God's grace and mercy in the lives of this very close-knit community. Lastly I'm reading Ends of the Earth by Tim Downs. It's my first "bug-man" book. I heard Tim at ACFW this year, and I wanted to try one of his books. I'm enjoying it very much. Oh, and I'm reading Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O'Reilly.

Well goodness, you didn't specify you read them four books a month all at ONCE. ;-) Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

I do keep a stack of Amish books handy. But the thing that has helped me the most--I'm currently working on book 2 of my Amish mystery series--is a photo album. I used part of my advance to go to Shipshewana, Indiana. While there I took a lot of pictures, and I actually printed them all out. Normally I just load them on my computer. This time I put them in a photo album, and I look in that thing every single day ... checking plants, buildings, the littlest details. It's been amazing how helpful those pictures have been.

Oh, that's so awesome! Making a mental note to do that after I take a research trip here in a few weeks . . . But back to you. ;-) What writing goal have you set for yourself that would be the hardest (or unlikeliest) but most rewarding to achieve?

I suppose I have the same goals that most writers have--big goals. I plan to make writing my full time job (and yes I've read Chip McGregor's opinion on that). I plan to be at the top of the bestseller charts. I plan to publish 2-3 books per year. I sit down and write out my goals each year. But more than the specific goals I write down are the spiritual goals related to my writing. I have to continuously check my "compass" and make sure I haven't strayed off course. That would seem hard when you're not entirely sure where God is leading your career, but it seems to me that God is saying "Do what you promised me." That might be different for every person, and for every writer, but for me that means to continue to write books about God's grace.

Amen to that. If we're not writing for Him, what's the point? Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

I was teaching a class of sophomores when I received the call that I had sold my first book. I stepped outside the classroom to take the call, which I never do. And of course afterwards, I wanted to call someone and squeal, but I had to go back in and finish teaching. We learn patience in all sorts of ways.

Oh my goodness, talk about a test of patience! Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series


Thanks for visiting, Vannetta! Readers, you can check out her website at
 and her blog at You can purchase her book at Amazon or CrossPurposes . . . or wait and buy a signed copy during our fabulous post-Thanksgiving signing, as she's one of our authors. =)


  1. Just finished your books last night and really enjoyed it! Thanks for the wonderful read~