Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vannetta Chapman's "A Simple Amish Christmas"

We're happy to have Vannetta Chapman with us today talking about her book, A Simple Amish ChristmasTo learn more about Vannetta and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I wanted an original storyline (doesn't every one), and it seemed to me that Amish women must struggle with some of the same problems that women everywhere do. I live in a small town now, but even when I lived in the Dallas area, I would see people move away, pursue their dreams, and then move back and try to find ways to fit in, to find their place in the community. That's Annie's story, but in the process she finds God's plan for her life.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I was writing contemporary romances, and my agent was shopping them around, but the market was very tight. My agent had had quite a bit of luck with Amish romances (she represents Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman and Mary Ellis among others--all excellent writers). She suggested I try my hand at an Amish romance. I didn't know anything about the Amish, but I'm a great researcher! Once I started researching a little bell went off in my mind, and I went in search of an old box of family photos from the late 1800s. They were of my father's family, who lived in northern Pennsylvania. My father passed away 13 years ago, and there's no one I can ask about those photos, so I'm still running down that thread, but it's exciting to know I might have Amish relatives in my background.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I play the piano fairly well. I work a full time job plus some--I teach high school English and I teach as an adjunct professor at the local university. And my husband and I have four children between us and just finished paying fourteen years of college tuition, to which I always shout, "Praise the Lord" and dance a little jig.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm working on book 2 of my Shipshewana Amish Mystery series for Zondervan--book one is due out next fall. This is a cozy series set in Indiana and it is fun, fun, fun. The great Sue Brower is my editor (ACFW's editor of the year - go, Sue!). I'll also hear in the next few weeks about the future of Annie's family, as Abingdon will be making a decision on a follow-up for A Simple Amish Christmas. Watch my website and blog for announcements.

5) Parting comments?
As a brand new author I've been completely blown away by the reception A Simple Amish Christmas has received. It's consistently had excellent rankings on Amazon, even before it released - so I'd like to thank readers of Amish fiction, who can't possibly know me. Readers who don't traditionally read Amish fiction, who were willing to give this book a try. Bloggers like yourself, who helped to introduce a newbie such as me to readers. And then of course the fine people at Abingdon who put together such a lovely book, including my editor, Barbara Scott.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
See above links, and I'm on FB and MySpace.


  1. OH, I would love to win this book!! It sounds absolutely wonderful!!

  2. I love good Christmas books.

  3. I love Christmas stories and this one sounds great. Nice to see one done from another angle

  4. I also love Christmas books and collect them.

    Jodie Wolfe

  5. Sounds like a good book!


  6. Christmas books. Please enter me.


  7. I really enjoy reading Christmas stories. Please add me in.


  8. A Simple Amish Christmas sounds like a good read!!!

  9. How exciting to find out you might have Amish relatives, it's to bad your Dad isn't around to tell you about the pictures.
    Would love to read this book, I read a lot of Amish books. Thank you for including me!


  10. Looks like an awesome book!


  11. Cool book!
    Sign me up!


  12. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Please enter me!


  13. I'm in the midst of previewing Christmas books for my book clubs. I'll have to add this one to my list! Thanks for doing the interview...I'll be looking for more of your books.

    Amazed by Grace,

  14. I am thrilled to hear that so many of you love CHRISTMAS stories. The Amish celebrate Christmas in a different, but refreshing way, and I adored writing this book. I can't wait to hear how you like reading it!

  15. I really like stories about the Amish and Christmas stories , hope to win this book.


  16. I am reading "An Amish Christmas" just now and would love to read "A Simple Christmas"! Love the Amish books!!! Keep them coming, please.
    Sherry at sherryhill@cableone.net

  17. Great combination, Christmas and anything Amish. Please add me.



  18. Maureen, it is exciting to learn that I might have Amish relatives. And I do hate that I can't ask anyone in my dad's family . . . as the line has effectively died out. But my dad kept a lot of correspondence and I'm busy going through that now, as time allows. : )

  19. Vanetta, I'm so awed over this book being your first and congratulate you. Christmas is coming sooner than we think. I too enjoy Amish stories and especially love the Christmas season..not the commercial side..the delight of celebrating the birth of Christ. I know reading your book would put me in the mood for the holiday. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. I hope I do!

    Sharing Christ's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  20. One of my favorite type of books that I enjoy
    reading is Amish fiction!
    Merci, Cindi

  21. Looks like a great book! Please enter me!


  22. Awesome! Please enter me!


  23. A Simple Amish Christmas sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.I enjoy reading Christmas and Amish stories .Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. augustlily06(AT)aim(DOT)com.

  24. This book sounds wonderful. I love Christmas Stories. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Thank you for the chance.

  25. Love amish books and christmas. thanks for the chance to win

    I'm a subscriber

    ABreading4fun [at] gmai [dot] com

  26. Vannetta,
    I also have Amish relatives and I live in PA.MY great great grandparents were Amish and when they moved they were seperated from the rest of the family and never returned. I'm still trying to get more information. I really enjoy looking up my family...
    I would love to read your book...My mother has your other books so I'm going to get them to read.
    Good luck with your search...


  27. Would love to be enter to win...Thank you...:D

    Linda Ortiz, strgth4yu@hotmail.com

  28. I love Christmas stories and Amish stories so this will be a great book for me to read.
    Pls enter me in the giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  29. Please enter me, I love to read any connected to the Amish or Christmas.


  30. I agree with the ladies....Amish and Christmas, you can't go wrong! This book sounds really good. Please enter me in the drawing.
    And Congrats on your success! God's blessings to you!

  31. please count me in ... thanks :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  32. I absolutely love Christmas and would enjoy winning this book.


  33. I love Amish stories! Please enter me!

    dancealert at aol dot com

  34. Vannetta is a new author to me and I love Christmas-themed books, so I am very eager to read A Simple Amish Christmas.

    I have a retired friend who loves to travel, and she has made several trips to Shipshewana, but I never knew what she was talking about - in fact, this is the first time I've seen the word in print! I am eager to read this series and wish you the best in writing it, Vannetta.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  35. Thanks to everyone who entered! I'm thrilled to see so much interest in Christmas, in the real true meaning of the holiday, and in simplifying and slowing down. Of course I'm super happy to see readers who love to read about the Amish. Thank you very much for commenting, and the winner of the free book (chosen by my Random Number Generator) is commentor #6 - Steph.