Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Meet Vannetta Chapman . . . 

Don't forget, readers, to leave your comment and email address for a chance to win her book!

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

Actually I've always loved READING, but I didn't know that God intended for me to write until I was deep into my graduate degree at the age of 34. That was a very difficult time in my life, but I clearly recognized that there was something I was supposed to do ... though it would be another 14 years before I sold my first book!

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

My first book, A Simple Amish Christmas is Amish fiction. It is an Amish romance, but more often it isn't shelved under "romance" as much as it is under "Amish fiction." I also write "Amish mysteries" which have less romance in them, but I manage to sneak in a tiny bit because I personally love a little romance.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

I have a full time teaching job, so I write each morning before I go to work from 5-7 am. (No - I'm not a morning person either, but we do what we must.) Then I come home and try to fit in another hour or two in the evening. Generally it takes me 3-4 months to finish a book, though I have taken longer, and the shortest amount of time I've written a book is a little over one month (A Simple Amish Christmas) - but I don't recommend that. I had a bad case of tennis elbow when I was done!

Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?

A Simple Amish Christmas released October 1 and is now #17 on the CBD fiction bestseller list. 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.

The spiritual message is one of God's grace, a reminder of Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

A Simple Amish Christmas is available in most bookstores and nearly all Christian bookstores. It's also available online at Amazon, CBD, and B&N.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?

I haven't ever been tempted to give up, but I have wondered if maybe I was mis-interpreting what God wanted me to do. Maybe he meant for me to be a famous bowler instead. Or perhaps I was supposed to write greeting cards! Okay, I'm kidding, but only a little. I never once doubted God -- he's able to accomplish anything. And I had no problem with his timetable, but there were times I had to spend praying, asking if I was still on the right path. The answer was always the same. "Trust me."

Would you roughly explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

Big grin. My son (who was 12 when I first started writing freelance), used to ask if he should go and check for rejection letters. He's a cute one, especially now that he's 22. I'll compare my stack of rejection letters to anyone! Actually I do have an agent, and I've had her for several years. (It is possible to acquire an agent--don't listen to anyone who says otherwise.) She was contacted by Abingdon Press. They were looking for a Christmas Amish book. My agent contacted me and asked how soon I could have mine done, or something like that. We submitted it, Abingdon bought and sent a contract in December of 09, and the book was published 10 months later - a very fast acquisition. At the same time Zondervan was looking at the book and decided they'd rather have an Amish mystery series.

No, I don't think you can sit back and relax. I've scheduled 25 book signings over 3 months because I want to publicize this book. I'm a new author! Writing a book is only part of the work. I'm also submitting another Amish romance series and trying to sell a contemporary inspirational series that I wrote two years ago. It's a bit hard to do all of this while I'm working full time, but I believe God has a plan.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

I love travelling, though my husband doesn't. (Grin from Vannetta at that understatement.) We do love hiking and camping together. A few years ago we moved from a large metropolitan area to a very small town, and we're happy as clams.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

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 Englisch), 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

Thanks so much, Vannetta, for visiting. Readers, don't forget those email addresses and your comments!

Blessings to all!

24 comments:

Arlene said...

I would love to read this book. Her writtings are so good and interesting. Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones to win.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Michelle V said...

I've really been wanting this one. I would love a chance to win! Please enter me!

Blessings
Michelle V
lifeinreviewblog[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jo said...

I loved the interview and the book sounds great. I would love to read it. Please enter me in the drawing.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Kathryn Page Camp said...

There's no way I could get my brain to work at 5 o'clock in the morning. Give me evening writing hours any time!

misskallie2000 said...

Great interview and I love Amish stories. They are such a laid back people yet their families are very important to them as well as their community.
Please add my name to the drawing.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

kellie said...

this book sounds like such a wonderful read.i love Amish stories.We have 6 amish families that live around us.If this giveaway includes Canadians i would love a chance to win

kellielovesanthony@gmail.com

Anne Payne said...

I love Amish stories, and especially ones at Christmas :) Enter me!

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Charity said...

Please enter me. I had an interview/giveaway with her on my blog but didn't get to read the book. Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

I really enjoy Amish fiction and would love to be added to the list for a chance to win this book. Thank you for the entry. It looks like a really good read.

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Teresa Slack said...

Thanks Carole for reminding me how to post. The post comment icon is so faint on my browser I can barely see it.

Anyhoo, I loved meeting Vannetta at ACFW and look forward to reading her books.

by Pegg Thomas said...

Please include me in the drawing, I enjoy Amish fiction!

Pegg
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

Amish and Christmas I love reading both. please include me in this giveaway. thanks


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lisa Lawmaster Hess said...

What a fun interview! I so enjoy reading interviews by authors who are down-to-earth - it makes me want to read their books. Thanks!

Renee G said...

Loved the interview. I'm amazed at how quickly she wrote this one.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Molly said...

Please enter me! I love the cover of this book.
Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Charlotte Kay said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!
I LOVE having the chance to win a free book:)

Kait said...

I would enjoy reading this book! Thanks!

Kait
momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

Marjorie said...

This would be a wonderful Christmas book to win and read.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

The lovely Carmen sent me.

Maureen said...

I enjoy reading about the Amish. Please include me.

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I love books set during Christmas and also books about the Amish so this book is perfect. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

jacque said...

What an exciting premise for a book! Love to win!

jacque
twinmomx5@gmaildotcom

Patsy said...

Oh, I love to read Amish books, probably my favorite to read. And this one being at Christmas will be a great read. Would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Vannetta Chapman said...

Ladies, it's wonderfult to see everyone so excited about this book, and about Amish books in general. BTW, ASAC is available for free download this week at Amazon and B&N. You don't need an e-reader either, you can put it on your PC or phone. Some people are doing thing until they purchase an ereader, then it will load up when they do. Thanks again for stopping by!