I’m pleased today to interview author Vannetta Chapman. She’s known to many of you for her Amish mysteries, but her next book is different. I’ll let her tell you about it, and you can comment for a chance to win a copy of Deep Shadows.
SS: Vannetta, you have an interesting background that includes pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. You hold two degrees in English and have been an adjunct professor at a respected university. How have all these things influenced your writing?
VC: Teaching certainly provided me with an abundance of characters to use in my novels! Honestly I think that everything I’ve done in my life has prepared me for this job of writing fiction about real people who have real struggles and longings and hopes and fears.
SS: How do you plan your writing day? Do you write every day, have a word quota?
VC: I write every weekday. Currently I have a full-length book due every 3 months, which is a bit of a push. If I write 2000 words a day, I can finish in 2 months and that allows me a month to edit. As far as my daily schedule, I start out by editing the previous day’s pages, then write my daily word count, take a break to go to the gym or run errands, and come back and spend a few hours on promotion, marketing, social media, etc.
SS: In addition to your novels, you’ve written many articles for Christian publications. What do you find is the major difference between writing these shorter pieces and crafting a novel?
VC: My nonfiction pieces were written with a specific need in mind--how to help a child struggling in school, what to do about sibling rivalry, how to show grace to your neighbor, etc. For my novels, I don’t start out with a particular theme in mind. Usually all I know at the beginning is an inciting incident and a specific character. I follow those threads and soon a theme emerges. I will say that writing nonfiction pieces helped me write a specific word count and turn it in on deadline--both of which have been very helpful to me in writing novels.
SS: Many of your books have an Amish theme, including a number of Amish cozy mysteries. Your forthcoming book is a departure from that genre. Can you explain why you changed?
VC: I’m still writing Amish books, but when my publisher (Harvest House) asked me “If you could write absolutely anything, what would it be” I jumped at the chance to write a dystopian novel. It’s a genre that has always fascinated me. I love a good survival story! As a reader, I put myself in the character’s place and wonder if I’d be smart enough, brave enough, faithful enough to survive. I wanted to write that story, that scenario, from the perspective of someone with a Christian faith.
SS: And can you give us a peak at Deep Shadows?
VC: Here’s the blurb:
All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness
Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe—until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.
Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn't changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.
Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority—to keep Shelby and her son safe—could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.
As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby's faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.
SS: And are there any final thoughts you’d like to pass on to our readers?
VC: This is a story that is first and foremost about the grace and provision of God. He’s trustworthy even in the direst of situations. My hope is that when you finish reading it, you’ll buy an emergency radio, make sure you have basic staples in your pantry, and then sleep well--knowing that God can and will provide.
Thanks, Vannetta. Please leave a comment (and don’t forget to include your email address) for a chance to win a copy of Deep Shadows.
Tweet with a single click: “Author Vannetta Chapman gives a sneak peak at her latest novel, with a chance to win a copy.” Click here to tweet.