Friday, June 17, 2016

Interview With Author Vannetta Chapman

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.





52 comments:

  1. I must say that Dystopian stories do fascinate me. A great opportunity thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. They fascinate me too, Mary. That whole "what would I do if..." idea. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I've read and enjoyed several of Vanetta Chapman's books and the idea of this one facinates me.
    The only dystopian I've read previously is by Rachelle Dekker.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I've heard that Rachelle's books are awesome. Thanks for stopping by Gail!

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  3. I am reading Deep Shadows and it is fascinating. ahenderson312(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Deep Shadows sounds awesome, I have read a number of your books and loved them all I would love to win this contest

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  5. Deep Shadows sounds awesome, I have read a number of your books and loved them all I would love to win this contest

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  6. Thank you for the interview with Vannetta Chapman. Deep Shadows is a must be read book for me. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn. I hope you enjoy Shelby's story!

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  7. This particular subject has been put on my mind several times lately. It is a scary thought, but The Word tell us in Joshua to prepare for the journey. What ever journey that maybe at any given time. We are to be wise and not afraid. We are to trust and obey. It sound like this book is right along those lines. I'm anxious to read this, hopefully I'll be a winner. Thank you for the opportunity.

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    1. I love that verse. "Be wise and not afraid." Exactly!

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  9. The book looks FASCINATING and I'm getting ready to devour it.

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    1. Hahaha. That's how I read too, Sharee. In great big satisfying gulps. :)

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  10. Sounds like a great read! Thanks, Kristie
    tklovenestataoldotcom

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  11. Great interview, Vannetta! I'm impressed by your daily discipline in your writing/marketing schedule. I love to hear that you got to write a book in the genre of your choice after writing many others in one genre. I, too, have in mind a dystopian novel I'd like to publish someday, but first I'll put in my time in romantic suspense (which I do also enjoy). :) jerushad(at)SDGwords(dot)com

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    1. Hi Jerusha. Congratulations on your writing! It's a difficult path, but a very rewarding one. As far as genres, I actually enjoy writing in any genre. The important thing for me is to have compelling characters.

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  12. Deep Shadows is a thought provoking novel! I am only halfway through the book but it has prompted me to learn more about the Carrington Event and the different stages of solar storms. I love when a book challenges me to delve deeper into a particular subject and adds to my life skills, especially disaster preparation!

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    1. Hi Patti! Thanks so much for your kind words. I love, love, love when a book I'm reading sends me to Google to look something up. I know that at that point...I'm quite invested in what is going on. Blessings!

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  13. First I love all of Vanetta's books! I have read Terri Blackstock's Restoration Series, and Joleen Petersheim's new book The Alliance.

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    1. Hi Maureen. Thanks so much for reading my books! I love Terri Blackstock. She's the sweetest person, and I've been watching Joleen's new book though I haven't read it yet. I've heard it's great!

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  14. Enjoyed the interview! I love Vannetta Chapman's Amish Mysteries!

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    1. Hi Bev. Thanks for stopping by. If you enjoyed my mysteries, I think you'll like Deep Shadows. It's a mystery of sorts! :)

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  15. I'd love to read this, I love mysteries!!
    Rosalyn
    ervro2000atgmaildotcom

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    1. Awesome. Thanks for stopping by, Rosalyn.

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  16. I love mysteries and this sounds like a good one.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  17. Vannetta is a great author! I can't wait to read this one!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. HI Melanie. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  18. Deep Shadows sounds great, I would love to read this book. Thank you
    isisthe12th@gmail.com

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  19. I've read all of Vannetta's books, and every one of them has been impressive. I'm looking forward to her new genre, knowing that with her gifts for creating original stories Deep Shadows will be another winner in my "book!"
    Nancee
    quiltcat26(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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    1. Ahhh...thanks, Nancee! I appreciate your confidence in me. :)

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  20. Deep Shadows sounds fascinatng and I really appreciate Vanetta's advice to be prepared. The world that I grew up in has drastically changed and there are many crisis scenarios where we would need an emergency radio and basic staples in our pantries!
    Thanks for a great post!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Connie. I agree with you. My generation, and especially my son's generation, has really grown used to having whatever we need at the store. For many, it's hard to imagine even 48 hours without that.

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing, Vanetta. I agree we should be prepared, but most of us are not. This book sounds wonderful - thanks for the giveaway.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Betty. Thanks for stopping by. I think we get a little overwhelmed when we think of "preparing," but little steps could make a big difference, even in a minor emergency,

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  22. I always wondered how I might handle such a situation. It would be great to read how a Christian could or should handle it.

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    1. Hi Jan. Yeah, that was my thought too. There have been a lot of "disaster" movies and books, but I can't think of any with Christian characters.

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  23. oops fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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  24. Sounds really exciting!
    Martha T.
    CRPrairie1@imonmail(dot)com

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  25. I have enjoyed Vannetta's Amish fiction and this new genre sounds like a book I would enjoy for summer reading. Thanks for the chance to win. I do enjoy when writers try a different style. I think it shows their creativity.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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    1. Well thank you, Mary Ann. It's fun to write in different genres. I think it allows my brain to rest in one area while it's working in another. lol

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  26. Looks Great I RT'ed The Tweet https://twitter.com/LindaMoffitt02/status/744034049161895936 and would LOVE to win a copy My Email is iamabho (@) gmail.com

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    1. Thank you so much for the RT, Linda. Have an awesome weekend.

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  27. Wow, Vannetta, I never realized how much I have in common with you! I am a pianist, church secretary and have a degree in English. The only thing you listed that I haven't really done is teach, although I did fill a maternity leave for six months once. Scariest thing I ever did!
    While I love your Amish fiction, your suspense books are right up there with the greats! Hidden kept me burning up the pages on my Kindle and Protected is purchased and waiting for the time to read it.
    Would love to win a copy of Deep Shadows. It sounds like a bit of a departure from your usual fare and yet.... My email is pgraber60[at]gmail[dot]com.

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