Welcome, Suzanne! Tell us a little about yourself.
How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I was a freelance writer for magazines during the years when my kids were small. Later, I took a deep breath and gave books a try. I had a novel, Copper Star, published with a small royalty press. It won three literary awards and caught the eye of an agent, who introduced me to Revell. Now I have two books published with Revell and eight more contracts!
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
I would be honored to be compared to Lynn Austin or W. Dale Cramer…I think they are both excellent writers with a fresh, distinct style. And as far as rating the romance in my books…well, these are Amish novels! There is such subtleness in romance…not easy to do from an author’s point of view. Creating magic between two characters takes good writing.
In your own words tell us a little about The Choice.
The Choice is the first in the “Lancaster County Secrets” series. 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.
A tender story of love, forgiveness, and looking below the surface, The Choice uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world--and shows that it's never too late to find your way back to God.
What made you want to write this story?
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 of a trip I took to Lancaster County. I was researching Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World. I drove past 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.
What research did you have to do for this book?
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. My first trip was to research information for Amish Peace. 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 are you working on now or going to write next?
How can readers get in contact with you?
A bunch of ways! I love hearing from readers! Facebook and Twitter or e-mail me:
Suzanne@suzannewoodsfisher.com And I post often, if not daily, on my blog: http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.blogspot.com/
What are you currently reading?
About five books at one time!
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
Starting March 11th, I will be hosting a weekly radio program called “Amish Wisdom.” Thursday afternoons, 4-5 CST, http://toginet.com/shows/amishwisdom
Tune in! It will be a live show! Afterwards, free podcasts can be downloaded on Itunes.
Another surprising thing…it is a great cosmic joke on me that my last name is Fisher and I just can not abide fish or seafood. It’s embarrassing!
What is your favorite birthday memory?
Sharing a “gaudy” birthday cake with my grandmother when I was five. Our birthdays were just a few days apart and we decorated a cake that looked wild!
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
What is/was this book’s release date?
The Choice released on January 1st and has been on three bestseller lists ever since!
Here is an excerpt from The Choice:
Carrie Weaver tucked a loose curl into her cap as she glanced up at the bell tower in Lancaster’s Central Market. The clock had struck two p.m. more than ten minutes ago, and an English couple was haggling with her stepsister, Emma, over the price of a crate of strawberries. After all, the man was saying, the market was closing for the weekend. “Certainly, you Plain folks wouldn’t want this fruit to go to waste now, would you? Tomorrow being Sunday and all?” He rested his hands on his round belly and fixed his gaze on Emma, a satisfied look on his red face—as red and ripe as a late summer tomato—as he waited for her to buckle.
But this red-faced English man didn’t know Emma.
Carrie saw Emma purse her lips and hook her hands on her hips in that determined way and knew where this stand-off was headed. Emma wouldn’t drop the price of her strawberries to anyone, much less an Englisher whom, she was convinced, had a lost and corrupted soul. Her sister would plant her big feet and squabble over the price of strawberries until the sun set and the moon rose. Carrie picked up the crate and handed it to the man. “Abgschlagge!” Sold!
The man and his wife, surprised and delighted, hurried off with the strawberries as Emma spun to face Carrie. She lifted her hands, palms out. “Have you lost your mind? My strawberries are worth twice that price! What were you thinking?”
“I’m thinking that it’s past two and the market has closed and the van is waiting.” Carrie pushed the leftover crates of red ripe strawberries into the back of the van of the hired driver and slammed the door shut, pinching her thumbnail. Wincing from the pain, she knew she didn’t dare stop to get ice. There wasn’t a moment to waste.
“Dummel dich net!” Emma muttered as Carrie opened the passenger seat door for her. Don’t be in such a hurry! “You’ve been as jumpy as a jackrabbit all morning.”
Carrie reached out an arm to clasp her younger brother on the shoulder, pulling him back as he started to climb in the van behind Emma. “I need to run an errand and take the bus home later today. Andy’s coming with me.”
Andy’s eyes went round as shoe buttons, but he followed Carrie’s lead and hopped back out of the van.
Emma twisted around on the seat. “What errand?” she asked, eyes narrowed with suspicion. “You know your dad wants you home to visit with Daniel Miller.”
Carrie blew out a big sigh. Silent, solemn Daniel Miller. He and his father, Eli, were staying with the Jacob Weavers this summer. Eli Miller and Jacob Weaver made no secret of the fact that they had a hope for her and Daniel. Well, they could hope all they liked but Carrie’s heart was already spoken for. Spoken for and claimed, and the thought warmed her.
“Daniel’s mighty fine looking, Carrie,” Emma said. “Your dad is hoping you’ll think so too.”
“If you think Daniel is such a looker, why don’t you visit with him?” Carrie stepped back from the van to close the door. That had been mean, what she said to Emma, and she reached out to give her sister’s arm a gentle squeeze in apology before she swung the door closed and the driver pulled away. Dear Emma, nearly twenty-seven and terrified that she would end up an old maid. Carrie felt a smile pull at her mouth and fought it back, as an unbidden image of a large celery patch popped into her mind. Emma and her mother, Esther, grew celery in the family garden in hopes that this would be Emma’s year.
Carrie shook off her musing and grabbed Andy’s hand and hurried to the bus stop. She wanted to reach the Lancaster Barnstormers’ stadium before Solomon Riehl would start pitching. Last night, Sol told her he might be a closing pitcher in today’s scrimmage, so she should be in the stands by the last few innings.
“What kind of errand?” Andy asked Carrie.
She shaded her eyes from the sun to watch for the bus. “It’s a surprise for your birthday.”
“I won’t turn nine ’til October.”
Carrie looked at him and tousled his hair. “Consider it an early birthday present.” She knew she wouldn’t be here on his birthday.
As Carrie and Andy climbed on the bus and sat amongst the English, she felt the happiness of her secret spill over her. She didn’t even mind the pain radiating from her throbbing thumb. She was entirely preoccupied with the conversations she had been having with Sol lately. Last week, he called her at midnight, as planned, from the phone shanty across the road from his father’s farm. During that call, he had talked to her about leaving the community and trying to make a living as a baseball player. And he told her he wanted her by his side, as his wife.
**USA residents only, please**
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*The contest will run from today (March 5) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (March 11). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 12th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
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