Friday, September 18, 2009

Interview with Joyce's client Suzanne Fisher

I’m pleased to present author Suzanne Fisher. Suzanne is writing about the Amish way of life, both in fiction and non-fiction. I’m excited about how the Lord is using Suzanne and her books.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a wife and mom of four, I live in the San Francisco Bay area and am a raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The thing about puppies is…you just can’t take life too seriously with a puppy in your life.

What led you to the career choice of becoming an author?

I’ve always loved to write, probably because I wasn’t any good at anything else. Especially math. After college, I wrote for a variety of magazines and became a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine. A few years ago, I took the plunge into book writing. I started with a small press and, eventually, with Joyce Hart’s help, I received contracts with Revell.

What are you currently working on?

Well, since you asked, I’m doing quite a bit to help promote the recent release of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World. Speaking to groups, giving radio interviews, a blog tour, and a Facebook launch party, to name a few. At the same time, I’m finishing up final edits with the project editor for The Choice, the first in a 3 book series. And I’m also polishing the third book in that same series, to send it to the Acquisitions Editor.

How did you do the research for your Amish books?

Writing Amish Peace was an amazing experience and became a great foundation for the novels that follow it. I started with a handful of contacts within the Amish community. One led to another, to another, to another. And many relationships that developed were accidental…stops I made as I drove through the Pennsylvania and Ohio areas. I’m a believer in “full disclosure,” so whenever I met with the Amish, I was upfront about wanting to write a story about them. Afterwards, I sent them the completed essay and asked for permission plus corrections. There were times when I was asked to change the names or identifying details about the subject, but everyone gave permission. I also interviewed experts-in-the-field, so that I felt sure I understood theological issues correctly. All in all, I have developed some lovely friendships with many Amish families, of whom I feel very protective.

What has been the hardest part of writing your books?

This is an industry where no one is looking for you. Rejection is part of this writing gig. So is discouragement. Oddly enough, that learning curve—taking constructive criticism and applying it, persevering, striving to improve your craft, not taking things too personally—is vitally important. I’m a better writer because of that struggle. And oh…I am so very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to write! I don’t take any of it for granted.

What do you hope people will take away from your books?

My goal is to have a reader feel closer to God after reading a book I wrote. I don’t ever want to whack readers on the back of the head with an evangelically motivated 2x4…but I hope and pray that they have a desire to know Him in a deeper way.

What is the best writing advice you ever got?

“Hangeth Thou In There.”

The worst?
I can’t think of any…probably because I’ve dismissed it as useless!

What new projects are you working on?

Soon to follow Amish Peace are three novels about the Amish, starting with The Choice on January 1, 2010. In August of 2010, Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom for a Simple Life.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you’re on Facebook, consider yourself invited to my Facebook Launch Party to celebrate Amish Peace on Monday, September 28th from 5-7 pm. Revell is offering terrific prizes and giveaways during the party, culminating with a giant Amish basket filled with Amish-made products that relate to Amish Peace.

Find me on-line at and you’ll see a button for the invite.
Hope to see you there!


Jeanette Levellie said...

Suzanne: Puppies and Amish-- a great combination for a fun life!
May the Lord honor your writing career and reveal Himself to many through your words,
P.S. I love it that you can't remember the poor advice, having dismissed it as worthless.

Suzanne said...

Thanks, Jeanette!