image: header
image: gownflare

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Spotlight on Vannetta Chapman and A Simple Amish Christmas

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


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, her debut novel, released on October 1st. It is now in its 3rd printing and is a CBD bestseller. Chapman 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.

by Vannetta Chapman
Published by Abingdon Press


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.

Readers, buy your copy of A Simple Amish Christmas today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

My agent specifically asked me to write an Amish story, which I hadn't done before A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS. But the inspiration for this particular story came from two places--my grandparents, who I've discovered lived in Pennsylvania during the early 1900s and then the conviction that many Amish women must struggle with the same problems that you and I do.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I always bring something of myself to a story, at least in its inception. Although Annie loves her community as well as her Amish faith, she has an insatiable desire to learn. This becomes a bit of a problem when her schooling ends after the 8th grade. She's a bit adrift and dissatisfied with her employment prospects. I didn't attend college full time after high school, and I definitely was not satisfied with the secretarial work I was doing. Like Annie I've always had a desire to learn more that is never quite satisfied.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

I think Annie would be Neapolitan--homemade vanilla because she has that basic goodness about her, rich chocolate to represent the more daring side of her personality that is willing to take risks, and then of course strawberry to represent the fun teasing side of her that does tend to land her in trouble occasionally.

4. Are there any themes in A Simple Amish Christmas that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I suppose every book has multiple themes, but the one theme that I consciously tried to develop was a focus on God's grace. Annie is young and hasn't learned to fully accept that yet. Samuel, on the other hand, knows God's grace intellectually - but part of his heart has suffered so that he no longer can embrace it. Which is why God has brought them together.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult part for me was probably the home birthing scene, since that's something I've never seen personally. However, I was present for the birth of my dear friend's daughter in a hospital room, and that was one of the most precious, blessed events I've ever witnessed. So maybe this was my most difficult and most favorite scene rolled into one.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I have a 3 book series from Zondervan which will begin releasing next year. Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series is set in Indiana and involves two women (one Amish, one English), a quilt and a dead body. I'm currently working on book two and love, love, love these ladies. Watch for the cover on my webpage and blog.

* * * * *

Thank you, Vannetta, for being in the spotlight with us.

ENTRY RULES Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of A Simple Amish Christmas. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: I was surprised to learn my grandparents were born and raised in Albion, Pennsylvania. Where were your grandparents raised?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Elaine Marie Cooper said...

I like the comparison to Neopolitan ice cream! Vannetta, can't wait to read this Christmas story. My grandparents on my Mom's side were raised in New York City and on my Dad's side, in Wisconsin. Sort of the city mouse meets the country mouse story! :-)

Elaine Cooper

Vannetta Chapman said...

Hi Elaine, thanks for stopping by! Would you believe there's a mouse in this story too? : ) Have a wonderful week! said...

This sounds like a very sweet story. And I can't wait for the Shippsewana series to come out! I love "Shippsie"! My grandparents grew up in Hartford, Michigan--not too far of a drive from Shippsewana!

squiresj said...

I have no clue where my grandparents grew up. I know my Mom talked about my Grandma living in Colorado for awhile as a girl and having a friend who was an Indian. She gave my Grandma a necklace I have to this day. I know nothing about where that Grandpa grew up. I know my Grandma Jane and Grandpa who died when my Dad was young lived in Moweaqua, Il. so assume they grew up there. Didn't know this Grandma ran moonshine until she went into a comma before she died.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Vannetta Chapman said...

Barbara, that's very cool that you've been to Shipshe! It's such a sweet place. : )

Squires, isn't it interesting what we don't know about our families? My grandpa on my mom's side grew up on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. I tried to find out where exactly, and never could - and I'm a pretty good researcher! Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. My grandparents on both sides were born and raised in Puerto Rico. My parents came to the United States when they were kids and were raised here.


apple blossom said...

Thanks for the post. Would love to be included in this book giveaway. However, I don't really know where my grandparents were born and raised. Both my parents were raised in Northern IN, but I can't say my grandparents were born and raised there.


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Vannetta Chapman said...

Cherie, I would love to visit Puerto Rico. You have a lovely heritage. Apple Blossom, Northern IN is the setting for my next 3 books -- so you'll have to read them and tell me if I made any mistakes. : )

Vannetta Chapman said...

Just a note ... my publisher put the Kindle version on sale at Amazon for FREE this week. You can read it on your Kindle, iPad or PCs ... so check it out! : )

Martha A. said...

My one set of grandparents were raised in Chicago, IL. They were grandmother had to hide when the mafia would come to their house when she was younger.
The other set was raised in Southern CA. My grandfather was born in Germany and came to CA when he was grandmother always lived there.