Friday, March 5, 2010

Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ Interview + Giveaway!

Today author Suzanne Woods Fisher is telling us about her new book, The Choice. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Suzanne! Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Suzanne Woods Fisher. I’m a wife and mother to four children, ages 18-27, plus one new son-in-law. I love my family, writing, studying the Bible, gardening and cooking, and puppies. I’ve raised seven puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. It’s like eating a potato chip. You can’t stop after one.

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.

One moment Carrie Weaver was looking forward to running away with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl--plans that included leaving the Amish community where they grew up. The next moment she was staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now, Carrie is faced with a choice. But will this opportunity be all she hoped? Or will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?

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?
The Waiting is the second book in this series. It takes place in the same town of Stoney Ridge, Pennsylvania, but in a different time period—during the 1960s. Jorie King is in love with Ben Zook—a fellow who has a tendency toward “fence jumping” and is currently serving in Vietnam as a Conscientious Objector. Everyone assumes Jorie will marry Ben when he returns, but life in Stoney Ridge takes a few unexpected twists and turns.

How can readers get in contact with you?
A bunch of ways! I love hearing from readers! Facebook and Twitter or e-mail me: And I post often, if not daily, on my blog:

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,

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!

Cake flavor/kind?
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**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of The Choice!

To enter:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).

*Please specify that you want to be included in the contest!

*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.

*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.

*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.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.


Susan Hollaway said...

Great interview! The book sounds like a great read! I would love to be entered in this book give-away contest ... and I'm already a follower.


Abi said...

I'd love to be included in this book giveaway.

I'm a follower.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot]com

Virginia said...

Great interview! This book sounds like a fantastic read and i would love to read it. Please enter me in the contest!


Joan said...

Thank you for giving us a chance to read the interview you did with Suzanne Woods Fisher. It's great that Suzanne did so much research for 'The Choice' and I hope it will be a huge success. Many of the ladies in my church like to read about the Amish.

Thank you for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be considered to receive a copy of this book. Great interview with Suzanne. I read just about every book about the Amish that I can get my hands on. Thank you. Maureen

Kathryn said...

This book has been on my to-read list. Pleae enter me in the contest for a copy :)



Edna said...

Please enter me into the contest

I am a follower on google

I have both your buttons on my blog


Anonymous said...

this book is on my 'wish list.' thanks for the opportunity to read it.


Suzanne said...

Hi Carman and friends! Just popping by to say hello and to thank Carman for posting the interview. Will check back in! ~Suzanne Fisher

Carolynn W. said...

Please enter me, these books sound great!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for entering me!!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Trinity Rose said...

Wonderful interview. Would love to be entered in your give away.
I'm a follower.
Have a beautiful day,
Trinity Rose

wandaelaine AT gmail DOT com

denise said...

Enter me. I am a follower.

Nancye said...

Please enter me

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I am a follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net