Monday, November 01, 2010
A bit! Of course it varies by manuscript, but for me there's always a kernel of myself in the main character. For example, in A Simple Amish Christmas the main character, Annie, loves to read and has a passion for learning. She has a God-given hunger to learn more, and she doesn't know how to satisfy that. Definitely I could relate to this part of Annie's personality. I didn't go straight into a 4 year college after high school, though I have a BA and a MA now. I had a hard time identifying and satisfying that hunger and need to learn more, just as Annie does.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My twenty-two year old son just walked into the study and read this question over my shoulder. Hmph. His snicker and response is not worth attempting to translate. I'm considered somewhat eccentric in my family, so it's hard to choose one thing. But we were talking about bicycles and helmets earlier today, and I admitted to wearing my bicycle helmet while I was driving my car on Loop 12 in Dallas a few years back. I had witnessed a horrible car accident on my way to work, and I just felt better wearing my purple bike helmet while driving my car. My family tolerated this for about a week before they insisted I stop wearing it or seek counseling.
Since I'm familiar with Dallas Traffic, I can completely understand what you did. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have always written in a journal - since I was a young girl, but I had no desire to write professionally until I was in the last year of my master's degree. That was when I first realized I had a talent for writing and that God might want to use that talent for encouraging others.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I actually read almost everything, and most often read outside my genre. I read secular as well as Christian authors and every subgenre, including science fiction, historicals, contemporary, and nonfiction.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I play the piano. I take a walk with my husband or we also ride our bikes. I pet my cats. My son and I will still go to the movies together. You know I think it's the everyday things we do that give meaning to life and that help us to stay grounded.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children, though I know they're not MY accomplishment, they belong entirely to the Lord. Bob had 3 children when I married him, and I had one. Together God has knit a family that I am so proud of . . . and I wouldn't trade a single one of them for a thousand best sellers.
Oh, I know what you mean about that. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I'm going to choose porpoise. They seem like they're having a lot of fun, and you know . . . they have good hair days.
What is your favorite food?
Chocolate! True story - I was allergic to chocolate (along with hundreds of other things), since I was a child. My mother knew I would be confronted with chocolate at every birthday party, etc., so she proceeded to feed me just a tiny bit every day. I outgrew the allergy, but you know . . . now I still want that tiny bit every day.
Sounds good to me. Now where is my chocolate stash? What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Learning to be quiet, and just listen to God when he said "Trust me." His timing is perfect, and it isn't always the same as my timing.
That's a hard one to learn, but such a valuable lesson. Tell us about the featured book.
A Simple Amish Christmas released October 1 and is now #21 on the CBD fiction bestseller lsit. It’s the story of a young Amish girl who becomes a nurse before she joins the church. Then she’s called home and she must find a way to integrate her skills into her community. In the process she falls in love with the man her community uses for their minor medical needs. Annie has to trust that God has a plan for her life, has a future for her that will include her passions, her skills, and the man she has grown to love. I came at this story with the idea that not all Amish women would be happy with an 8th grade education, but that didn’t mean that they would want to leave their church or community either. Annie is the woman who has a foot in each world, and her heart is split in two. Only God can help her find a way home.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
Annie Weaver sat in the back seat of her aenti’s car, determined to hold in her tears. She was a woman after all—sixteen this past January. Within four months she would turn seventeen.
Which was why her dat and mamm had finally decided to send her with her aunt.
Nearly seventeen and she’d refused every boy who had wanted to court her.
Nearly seventeen and she had managed to lose three jobs.
Nearly seventeen and she was still sneaking into the barn and reading books by lamplight.
Watching the fields of her dat’s farm slip away, she put her hand to her stomach and attempted to calm the butterflies swirling there. They had met as a family and all agreed this was for the best.
A little time with the English.
A few months with her cousins.
A chance to clear her head and indulge her rumschpringe.
But what if this wasn’t merely a time of rebellion?
What if she was actually different from her family and friends?
Annie brushed away the tear, which slipped down her cheek, watched the last of Mifflin County fly past her window, and prayed God would settle her restless spirit and bring her safely home.
Sounds very interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
and blog http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com/
and Facebook and MySpace also.
Thank you so much for having me, Lena!
My pleasure, Vannetta.
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