Interviewer: Mary Ellis
Amish Romance still continues to sell well in the world of Inspirational fiction. If you still haven't tried one, now is a good time to do so. Susan Lantz Simpson combines the Amish, romance, and mystery, along with the faith element. It's my privilege to interview Susan on her debut novel. Please leave a comment for Susan for a chance to win a signed copy of Plain Haven.
ME) If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
(SS) I am a mother, a writer, a teacher, and a nurse whose desire is to serve God and to bring hope and happiness to my readers.
(ME) What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
(SS) When I am not writing or thinking about writing or listening to the characters talking in my head, I enjoy reading, walking, needlework, and hanging out with my daughters.
(ME) What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
(SS) As a child, I loved the Little House books and Nancy Drew mysteries. As a teenager, I discovered and was inspired by Catherine Marshall’s Christy.
(ME) Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
(SS) I write my first drafts in longhand.
I have a cat who has spent her entire life (ever since I adopted her as a kitten) running from me, no matter how many treats I offer. It’s a good thing she likes my daughter!
I can be at the beach or the mountains within a few hours of leaving my home and never step foot outside of Maryland where I have lived my whole life.
(ME) What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
(SS) My first published book was a middle-grade children’s novel, but I always wrote adult stories as well. My love of romance and suspense and my long-term interest in the Amish led me to write in my current genre.
(ME) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
(SS) Thankfully, the criticism I’ve received so far has been constructive—things I can use to make my writing better. The best compliment came from a writer I greatly respect and admire who said my characters were well-crafted and she couldn't believe my book was a debut novel.
(ME) Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
(SS) I think it might be fun to try a cozy mystery series. I like the amateur sleuth idea—maybe from my Nancy Drew years!
(ME) If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
(SS) I would probably obtain an agent sooner. Agents know the ins and outs of publishing that I can’t pretend to comprehend. I’m so thankful my wonderful agent took me on.
(ME) What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
(SS) My advice to unpublished authors would be to keep writing. Don’t ever give up on your dream. Write at least a little every day, and read as many books as you can in your chosen genre.
Here's a little bit about Plain Haven: Lilly Brandt was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she is running for her life—straight into a small, obscure Amish community in Southern Maryland. Now as Hannah Kurtz, she vows to remain aloof since she doesn’t expect to be in Cherry Hill long enough to form any attachments. But her head has neglected to inform her heart of this plan. She hadn’t counted on meeting and being attracted to the kind, young man with the amazing blue eyes.
Jacob Beiler, a skilled young furniture maker, has made a vow of his own. After being jilted by the girl he trusted right before he was about to propose, he decides to focus strictly on honing his craft and guarding his heart from any future injury. When Hannah Kurtz drops into his world, she drops into his mending heart as well, thawing the wall of ice he has meticulously erected. Against his better judgment, he allows himself to care again and to trust another woman. When the Amish community discovers Hannah is not really Amish and that she is not even Hannah Kurtz, Jacob feels betrayed yet again. Will he be able to forgive Hannah’s necessary deception, or will he walk away from love forever?
Here's a little bit about Susan: Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully). She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. She is a member of ACFW and Maryland Christian Writers Group. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework.
Leave a comment for Susan for a chance to win a signed copy of Plain Haven. You must leave an email address with your comment in order to win. Drawing will be in one week.