Amish Authors Break Their Silence

Okay, most of us Amish authors aren’t all that silent, but that title did spark your interest, didn’t it? Once a month on my blog, seven Amish authors are going to answer questions for our readers. This month, I made up the questions. Next month, I will probably still make up the questions. But if you have a question you would like to ask our distinguished panel, please use the contact form here on my site and send me your questions. We’d love to hear from you.

First, introductions. I am privileged to have some great friends who also happen to write Amish. The authors participating in our monthly blog are Vannetta Chapman, Amanda Flower, Amy Clipston, Mary Ellis, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kelly Irvin. And me. Thanks, ladies. This is going to be fun.

First question: What is the first Amish book you ever read?

Vannetta: The first Amish book I read was not fiction! It was Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Amish Peace.

Amanda: Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray

Amy: The Storekeeper’s Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter

Mary: When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall back in 2006. She got me hooked on Amish fiction with her Sisters of the Quilt series.

Shelley: Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult

Kelly: When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

Jennifer (me): Forgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray

If you could give yourself an Amish name, what would it be?

Vannetta: Oh, possibly Rachel. My name is difficult to say and spell, so I’d go with something simple!

Amanda: This is hard because I really like my real name and already have a pen name “Isabella Alan.” I guess it would be Becky Troyer… it sounds like an strong Ohio Amish name, and yes, it is the name of character from Appleseed Creek.

Amy: Definitely Katie!  I’ve always loved that name.

Mary:  Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth is my mother’s name, and I love it! And Miller because I live close to Millersburg, Ohio. Then I can go from having only a handful of relatives to having hundreds and hundreds!!

Shelley: I think it would probably be the name of the heroine in my current work in progress. So that would be Ruth.

Kelly: Elizabeth, because I admire John the Baptist’s mother.

Jennifer: I love the name Kate. My first book is titled Kate’s Song. I have a daughter named Kate. And Kate Hepburn isn’t Amish, but she rocks!

How many Amish books have you written?

Vannetta: I have 8 Amish books published, and 3 more completed and in the editing process, plus another 5 contracted to be published in the next few years.

Amanda: 5 published, 7 written. Two are coming out in 2014: Murder, Simply Stitched and A Plain Malice.

Amy: I’m currently working on #12.

Mary: To date I have written 12 Amish books.

Shelley: Just finished number 22!

Kelly: Seven.

Jennifer: Four published, three more finished. (I feel like a newbie amongst these prolific writers!)

What is your latest book about?

Vannetta: My latest book, The Christmas Quilt, is about how a family and a community pull together to help a young couple going through a difficult time.

Amanda: My very latest book is Andi Unexpected, which is a mystery for children. They live in rural Ohio but are not Amish. My latest Amish book is Murder, Plain and Simple written under my pen name Isabella Alan. When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio. With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart. With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems….

Amy: A Mother’s Secret will debut in June, and it’s book #2 in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.  In A Mother’s Secret, Carolyn Lapp hopes to find true love despite her brother’s insistence that happiness can come from a marriage of convenience.

Mary: My latest Amish book, A Plain Man, picks up the story from Sarah’s Christmas Miracle. It answers the question: What happens when a man returns to the Amish culture after being an Englischer for five years? It will release in April from Harvest House Publishers.

Shelley: My next book will be released on February 4. It’s titled Hopeful and it’s the first book in my Return to Sugarcreek trilogy. My heroine’s name is Miriam and she’s a cook and waitress at the Sugarcreek Inn. She has a crush on the very handsome Junior Beiler, he’s in love with the new school teacher-oh, and there’s a stranger in town, stalking the teacher. All I can say is that everything turns out just fine in the end.

Kelly: Love Redeemed, which releases March 1, is the story of a young Amish woman who makes an innocent mistake with tragic consequences. She and the man she loves are forgiven by their small community, but they have to learn to forgive themselves before they can share a life together.

Jennifer: Huckleberry Hill features a pair of Amish grandparents who try to find suitable mates for all their grandchildren. Their grandson, Moses, resists their meddling, but he can’t resist pretty Lia Shetler.

You can learn more about these great authors on their websites. We would all love it if you would like our Facebook pages too!

Vannetta Chapman:

 Amanda Flower:

Amy Clipston:

Mary Ellis:!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

Shelley Shepard Gray:

Kelly Irvin:

Jennifer Beckstrand:







January 15, 2014  |  Amish, Romance, Writing


  1. Oh I love this, can’t wait to learn more.
    Love you girls !
    Linda Finn

  2. Thanks for sharing. It’s always fun to learn more about authors I know and those who are new to me. And I’m always glad to hear about the books yet to come!

  3. Jennifer, this is so fun! One of my favorite things about our genre is that all the other authors I’ve met are so supportive of each other. Thank you for including me!


  4. I really enjoyed reading this. I love all of the authors
    and am familiar with their work.
    It’s really great to see the friendship
    and support you ladies have with each

    Cathy Cermele

  5. This was great, I loved learning more about these authors, whom are among my favorite authors!!! Can’t wait to read their new books when they are released.

  6. I loved reading this interview, of these 7 ladies! I’d only heard of acouple of you, but NOW I can’t
    wait to read ALL OF YOU!
    Thanks to all for this interesting way to get to know you, either better; or for the 1st time.

    I hope our local libraries will be carrying all of your books; I know they have all of Shelley’s, and I will be looking for the others today!

  7. Wow! this was a really great idea. We get to learn about each other, besides interacting with your readers. thanks so much for including me, Jennifer!

  8. Thank you ladies for sharing. I read all things Amish and much more. Authors are very talented people. A special gift to be able to bring words to life in a book.

    May you all continue to be blessed.

  9. I have really enjoyed reading all about the Authors on here. It is such a good way to get to know all of you better. Love reading about the Amish and getting to more about them too. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  10. How fun! Some authors I knew & have read their books, others I’ve heard of but have not read a book they’ve written. I guess I will need to get busy! It’s wonderful how these ladies support each other. I love Amish fiction! Looking forward to future posts….Linda

  11. Love to hear from Amish writers. I find new ones to read. I would like to know if any of you have Amish roots. Also what made you want to write about the Amish.
    Looking forward to all the new releases. Also saw a couple books I’ve added to my “to read” list.

  12. Wasn’t this super fun?! I loved reading all the answers to the questions. Some were very interesting. And…there is a bonus to all of this. We get to hear about their WIP and when their next book is coming out and what the story is about. I say, SUPER COOL!

    Judy B

  13. Hoping to win! Thanks for the opportunity!

  14. I love Amish books. I would love to receive some new ones to read! :-)

  15. I love all Amish books, read every one I can get a hold of !

  16. You all are so inspiring!:) Wish I could meet you all. I remember I talked to you Jennifer in email about if you ever been to Kansas. I believe you mentioned you had driven through when younger and saw a thunder storm?

  17. I am so excited that there are Christian book out there I feel comfortable reading Keep up the good work

  18. I’m leaving this comment in connection with the contest for today (1/29/14) My very favorite genre to read is an Amish novel. It can take me away from the everyday problems, take me to a place I love and cannot afford to visit, and it lifts my spirits and feeds my soul. And I am very, very grateful that you have chosen to use the gift that God gave you!

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