Interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher...
Amish books are hot right now, what makes your Amish books different than other authors?
I write both non-fiction and fiction. My first book about the Amish was the non-fiction Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World. I visited Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish communities a number of times, stayed in Old Order Amish homes, and interviewed many families, as well as experts about the Amish. That book has become a foundation for my fiction series about the Amish. I wrote from what I observed and learned; many story lines come from the families I met. Because of that, I hope my books are very credible.
What would you say is the most common misconception about the Amish?
Oh...there are so many! Even though the Amish are Americans, they have a very different culture. Even a different language! Yet most people look at them through the "lens" of their own set of values. I hear quite a bit of criticism that the Amish don't allow higher education, that women don't have choices, that their faith is all about works. And rumspringa! Lots of opinions but very little real knowledge of rumspringa. I think the most important thing is to look at their culture and discover what they value, and what their expression of faith emphasizes, rather than critique it.
Tell us a bit about The Choice and how you came to write it?
I was researching Amish Peace back in Pennsylvania when the story line for The Choice started to take shape.
There are some true to life threads in The Choice. As I was writing the story, there were some tragic events of contaminated kerosene tanks blowing up and killing some Amish individuals. Also, the reason I chose baseball was because I drove by many Amish schoolhouses in Pennsylvania and saw Amish boys playing softball. During the same trip, I kept bumping into signage for the Lancaster Barnstormers. That’s how the story begins…as a baseball scout spots an Amish young man who throws a mean fast pitch.
Here's a quick promo...
Sol Reich wants to play baseball, Carrie Weaver wants to be with the man she loves but she also wants to protect her younger brother, and Daniel Miller just wants to find a way to move beyond a very painful past. What none of them ever dream possible is that the truth brought into their lives by an innocent man serving time in prison would forever change their future.
Your blog is gaining a “buzz.” You write about everything--Christianity, parenthood and family; writing, slowing down, books, the Amish, funny stories, ideas, life--even stories about your dad's journey with Alzheimer's disease. Tell us about the community you’re building through your blog.
Meeting others through social media (Facebook, Twitter, my blog) has been a surprisingly delightful experience! There are so many kind, generous, interesting people out there. I pray for many people, and I know others are praying for me. A few people have written who have a loved one with Alzheimers’, and we’re able to support each other. I used to view a blog as “piano scales”…exercises for daily writing. Now, I feel as if I’m keeping up with my friends.
What other writing projects are you working on right now?
I just signed contracts with Revell for another three-book Amish fiction series. Very excited about those stories! They’re based on three sisters. Each sister will take a turn as the main character.
Anything else you’d like to share?
1) In every book I write, I hope the reader ends the story feeling closer to God than she began. I never want to whack someone on the head with faith. I just want to encourage a reader to trust God a little more, rely on Him a little deeper, to get to know Him in a fresh way.
2) I have to end with a heartfelt thank you to each and every reader. Your time is valuable and I’m grateful you choose to read one of my books.
Where can readers find your books?
Amazon, CBD, and your favorite bookstore.
You can find me on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/ or Facebook or Twitter (suzannewfisher). I love to hear from readers and tries to get back to each one.