Author Interview: Let’s Welcome Vannetta Chapman!

If you’ve been a part of our Amish Reader community for a while, then you’re bound to be familiar with the name of Vannetta Chapman. She’s written quite a few articles for this blog, sharing about Amish fiction and her book research. Today, Vannetta is here to talk with us about her unique take on Amish fiction, what she especially loves about Amish culture, and more! So pull up a chair, grab some fresh peach muffins, and get to know Vannetta:

Vannetta ChapmanVannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas in October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan) was released in September of 2011 and received the 2012 Carol Award for best mystery. She currently lives in the Texas hill country. Visit Vannetta online at

We’re glad to have you as our guest today, Vannetta! Tell us, what got you started writing Amish fiction?

Vannetta: My agent asked me to write an Amish book. At first I told her “no,” because we have only one very small Amish community in Texas. But she convinced me that it was something I could research, learn about, and visit the communities. I sure am glad that I followed her advice!

With so many Amish-themed books out there, how do you keep your stories fresh and unique?

Vannetta: I don’t think of my stories as Amish books. I think of them as books of hope that focus on God’s grace and are placed in an Amish setting. The Amish culture helps us to look at a topic without many of the usual distractions. So for instance, my upcoming release is about miracles. Do we believe in them? Do they still happen? Why do they happen some times but not other times? By looking at this topic in an Amish setting, we’re able to peel away a lot of the things that cloud the issue and take a good look at the Scripture and our faith.

Can you share one surprising thing you’ve learned while researching the Amish culture?

Vannetta: That they’re actually very friendly to “outsiders.” I didn’t expect that at all. I’ve had so many Amish folk invite us in for a cup of coffee—their hospitality is very genuine. That was very different from what I had read in the literature.

photo-36What’s one of the things you appreciate most about the Amish lifestyle?

Vannetta: I appreciate the way they educate their children. As a 15-year teacher myself, I’m amazed that they are able to continue with a one room schoolhouse teaching-model, and that it works very well for them. I believe there is a lot our current educational system could learn from studying these basic ideas which were once prevalent in mainstream society.

How do Amish fiction and mystery genres work together?

Vannetta: I think adding the mystery genre to an Amish story helps to emphasize that the Amish have problems like everyone else. It’s how we respond to those problems—as individuals and as a group of Christians—that speaks to our faith and our witness. Plus mysteries are fun! They keep the reader guessing and add a bit of tension to the storyline.

What’s the latest in your publishing news? Any upcoming releases our Amish Readers should add to their TBR piles?

Vannetta: My second mystery in the Amish Village Mysteries will release in December, Murder Tightly Knit. This is a fun story in that it looks at the similarities and differences between Amish and survivalists. My upcoming romance is Anna’s Healing, which I spoke about earlier. It will release a year from now, and begins my Plain & Simple Miracles series. These stories are set in Oklahoma. I had a wonderful time researching this community, and I think that readers will enjoy this very different storyline.

photo-33When you’re not busy writing, which types of books do you most enjoy reading?

Vannetta: I read everything—if someone recommends it, I’ll usually give it a try. So my TBR pile contains everything from Christian fiction, to mainstream suspense, to YA books. There’s even a biography or two thrown in there. I am an avid reader and always have one close by in case I have a few free moments.


Thank you for taking the time to visit with us, Vannetta! 

Amish Readers, which of Vannetta’s books have you read, or which ones are you most excited to read? You can view her full book list HERE.

Photos from Amish country courtesy of Vannetta Chapman.


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8 Responses to “Author Interview: Let’s Welcome Vannetta Chapman!”

  1. I have read ALL of Vannetta’s great books so far! Looking forward to all her new releases coming out! This gal will not be missing a single one of them!

    Judy B


    Amber Stokes Reply:

    That’s awesome, Judy! Sounds like you’re a devoted fan. Thank you for helping us welcome Vannetta as a guest today, and happy reading!


    Vannetta Chapman Reply:

    Hi Judy.

    Thanks for stopping by, and for being such a loyal reader. :)


  2. So far I’ve read Vanetta’s Simple Amish Christmas. I hope to read it again this Christmas and want to down load the sequel to it to add to my Christmas read list. I have preordered Hidden and am looking forward to reading that. I also want to download the shipshewanna mystery complete series. On my TBR list I have Murder Simply Brewed which I want to borrow from the library.
    I became aware of Vanetta as a writer through Amish Readers as she would post there almost every month. I love to blog and enjoyed her posts. I had read her first Christmas book years ago and thought it was very good. Looking forward to getting to know Vanetta , through her writing and web site . Love to read the Amish stories.


    Amber Stokes Reply:

    Sounds like a wonderful reading plan, Shirley. I’m so glad to hear that this site introduced you to Vannetta’s books. You should be hearing from Vannetta again on the blog soon!


    Vannetta Chapman Reply:

    Hi Shirley. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Christmas stories. It’s almost that time of year again. :) Blessings!


  3. Vanetta ive heard so many great things about you. I cant wait to start reading your books. Which book do you recommend starting with?


    Vannetta Chapman Reply:

    HI Angie. That sort of depends on whether you like mystery, romance, or Christmas. Here’s a link to my booklist. And thanks for commenting!


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