Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I have a real admiration for the Amish people--their commitment to the Christian faith, their simple lifestyle, and their strong sense of community. Also, I can relate to their lifestyle, since I live in a small town. Many of my neighbors have ranches and many of the students I taught have chores on the farm--tending to animals, helping with crops, etc. I feel a real connection with the rural lifestyle I find among Amish communities
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day my son was born.
How has being published changed your life?
I work longer hours, but I'm very grateful and happy to do it!
What are you reading right now?
Dan Walsh's Remembering Christmas
What is your current work in progress?
What would be your dream vacation?
Hiking and camping with my husband.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
My editor chose the setting for my Shipshewana murder mystery series which is set in
It's a lovely town of 600 that I've now visited twice, and I adore it--perfect
for what we wanted to do. As far as my Harvest House series, I knew I wanted to
write about a community of Amish that was less well known, so choosing Indiana was easy. I
didn't pick the Cashton area until I went to Wisconsin and spent a week travelling with
my husband and visiting the Amish communities. Wisconsin
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My husband. He's my favorite person to be with!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I'm learning to quilt, since my first series is set in a quilt shop. I've always loved needlework, crocheting and knitting. I'm trying to make more time for these things since I'm no longer teaching. I also love camping, hiking and gardening.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
There are obstacles? Ha ha ha. I'd have to say time. There are so many things to do, and they are all good things, but it's not possible to do every one of them. I keep a daily journal. (I'm a graduate of Margie Lawson's class which helped me with time management.) First thing I do each day is write down 5 things I'm grateful for and then list my top priorities for that day. It keeps me focused.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing. A Simple Amish Christmas (Abingdon, 2010) was my first inspirational book published, but my ninth manuscript completed. Don't stop with your first book. Keep writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
This is a fun story about a girl from
who is called to
to settle her aunt's estate after she has died. Callie is reeling from several
recent losses and is unsure how to cope with one more. Then she's confronted
with her aunt's things, with a quilt shop, and with Deborah Yoder. She finds
the courage to reach toward a different life, friendship and new beginnings
when murder strikes the small town of Indiana .
Guess who the prime suspect is? It's a fast moving buggy ride from there ... Shipshewana
Please give us the first page of the book.
Dead bodies had never bothered Deborah Yoder.
Discovering old Mrs. Daisy Powell face down in the aisle had been a surprise. Her friend had died there between the displays of yellow, gold bolts of cotton fabric and quilting notions. Deborah had rushed to her side and knelt there, not even thinking to go for the police, but she hadn’t been upset.
Amish considered death a natural part of the cycle of life, and Daisy Powell had lived life to its fullest.
Deborah focused on the neat row of stitches in front of her, on the slight tug of the needle as she worked it through the layers of the quilt, on the satisfaction of watching the blue, gray, white and black pieces fit perfectly together.
She focused on the quilt, but her mind went back to the morning she tripped over Daisy’s body on the floor of the quilt store.
Three weeks had passed, Daisy’s body had been properly placed in the ground according to Englisch customs, but still Deborah and her freinden had no answers to their problem.
Of course she noticed when the voices around her grew silent.
She snipped the thread, pocketed her small scissors, worked the needle through her apron for safe-keeping, and looked across the quilt frame at her two best friends.
Melinda and Esther waited expectantly.
They didn’t state the obvious.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Vanetta, for spending this time with us.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Falling to Pieces (A Shipshewana Amish Mystery)
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