Saturday, August 25, 2012

Interview with Vanetta Chapman / giveaway / review of Material Witness

Answer Vanetta's question to be entered into the giveaway - be sure to leave contact information. Extra points for liking Vanetta's author page, or following this blog.
Leave an email to let me know what you did.


What kind of research did you do for Material Witness?

I visited Shipshewana again, which is very helpful to me when I'm writing a series about one particular place. I also research on-line and keep a binder with all my notes. For MW the research topics included--quilt restoration, story quilts, John Wayne, tranquilizer guns, handicapped children, Chicago cubs, and 1971 Buick GSX ... among other things.

How did you come up with the plot for Material Witness?

All I knew when I started the book was who my Material Witness would be. I don't "plot" ... Every day I write the number of pages I need to finish in order to meet my deadline. Pretty much I let my characters lead the way.



Share a brief blurb about the book.

Tragedy strikes on the opening night of the Fall Crafters Fair when a woman is killed in the parking lot of Daisy's Quilt Shop, and the only material witness is one of Melinda Byer's boys. The investigation takes a more bizarre turn when detective Shane Black becomes convinced the killer was actually after Callie.
This time it's a madman loose in the largest crowd of the year, and he's looking for something or someone. If they can't figure out what, one of Deborah and Callie's close circle of friends may be next. Masked identities, antique quilts with hidden messages, an Amish boy whose handicap makes him stronger, one brave dog, and a possible hidden treasure ... this time it's nonstop action, danger, and a dash of romance.


What role have your life experiences played in the characters and/or the situations you develop in your books?

We have a special needs daughter, and I was a teacher for 15 years--so I have a lot of experience with special needs children and their parents. I wanted to show the strength these kids have and what life is like for the family of a special needs child.

I do quilt, though I'm a beginner. Callie's friendship with Deborah, Melinda and Esther is also a central theme to all the Shipshewana mysteries. I've been blessed to have friends like these ladies, and I think it helps me to write about friendship and the gift it is in our lives. (Rumors that I've shot anyone with a tranq gun are completely false though--I only RESEARCHED that.)

And I am constantly researching and learning more about the Amish culture. A big thank you to my friends in Shipshe who help me with those details.

Do you see parallels or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?

Yes, there are parallels--with special needs children as I mentioned above, and also with the friendship angle. I've had times in my life when I felt terribly alone, times when I wasn't sure what God wanted for my future, but ultimately God's grace has seen me through every trial--and I write that into my characters' lives.

What are your own favorite authors? Genres?

I read a lot! I'll read anything that catches my eye, and I also read a lot of New York Times bestsellers. There's a reason those writers are at the top, and I enjoy studying their craft.

How has your passion for reading impacted your writing?

I adore a good book and poor ones disappoint me terribly. Readers deserve a good story. When they turn the last page, they should walk away with SOMETHING they can take into their world. Life is hard and we often read to escape, but that escape needs to leave us with a feeling of hope.

Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time?

I'm now writing full time, and I spend 8-10 hours a day doing that along with my marketing commitments. I usually take an hour break to exercise, and I try to always be done by 6:00 so I can focus on my family.

What provides your inspirations during that time – i.e. do you go out in nature, do you seek to be in a busy place with people or in a quiet library, etc.?

Music-definitely. I'm also inspired by the people around me. It could be family members or it could be complete strangers.

Do you find the internet to be a helpful or harmful resource in research, advertising, reviewing, etc. your books?

Since I'm a fairly new writer (first book was A Simple Amish Christmas, 2010), the computer intrusion isn't a big problem for me. It's been there since I started! I think overall the internet is very helpful, but like everything else I have to manage my time or I won't finish my work by the end of the day.

Do you use these tools such as facebook as a means of observing the behavior of others which could be the basis of a character, or are you of the ‘old school’ that relies more on personal relationships and “human” touches?

I find inspiration EVERYWHERE, so it would include blogging, facebook friends, and even news stories. I have a prayer time on my facebook page each Wednesday morning, and it's humbling to see people's needs and the way they care for one another.




Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, is a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist. A Promise for Miriam earned a spot on the June 2012 Christian Retailing Top Ten Fiction list. Chapman writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

webpage -- www.VannettaChapman.com
blog -- http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com
facebook -- www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks, and
pinterest -- http://pinterest.com/vannettachapman


Ask a question for the readers to answer to be entered into the giveaway

Do you have a favorite fall festival?

Link to buy:
http://www.amazon.com/Material-Witness-Shipshewana-Amish-Mystery/dp/0310330459/ref=la_B003TCO9N0_1_4_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1344347739&sr=1-4

***

Title: MATERIAL WITNESS
Author: Vannetta Chapman
Publisher: Zondervan
September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-310-33045-5
Genre: Amish/ mystery

It is the Fall Crafters Fair in Shipshewana, and Callie is running a thriving business at Daisy’s Quilt Shop, the business she inherited when she came up from Texas to attend her aunt’s funeral. But it isn’t even dark when an elderly woman is murdered in her front parking lot, the only clear witness a seven year old Amish boy, and a shop full of customers.

Detective Shane Black doesn’t like that Callie is once again in a killer’s sites, and the madman roamed loose in the largest crowd of the year. Something about the fabric shops seem to have what the killer is after, and either Callie or one of her friends may be the next target.

Masked identities, antique quilts with hidden messages, and a possible hidden treasure. It’s all included in MATERIAL WITNESS.

MATERIAL WITNESS is book three in Ms. Chapman’s A Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, but it easily stands alone. I have read book one, Falling to Pieces. I missed book two, A Perfect Square, but I wasn’t at all lost in MATERIAL WITNESS.

Callie is the main character and she is not Amish. There are Amish point of view characters in the story, and it is set in the backdrop of the real life town of Shipshewana, Indiana, and a fabric store that could be real.

I enjoyed reading this story, though some of the things didn’t appear entirely realistic, but I had an advance reader copy and they might have been corrected in the final printed version. Fans of cozy mysteries and Amish fiction will enjoy this book. $12.99. 320 pages.

27 comments:

Wendy Newcomb said...

Not a festival but I do like to attend the Southern Women's Show.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I like Vanetta's author page on FB (Wendy Newcomb)

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Wendy Newcomb said...

I follow this blog

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

pol said...

Hello from Ga, I have seen lot about this book Material Witness Vannetta and am anxious to read it.
As a kid I loved the fall festival they would have in the community. lots of decorations and many neighbors having a good time together.
my question for the readers is:
what are some of the games you played as a kid that were not tech type ones?

pol said...

I have shared the post on FB page and am already a follower of blog.
thanks for sharing today.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Debbie in KY said...

My favorite fall festival is an arts & crafts festival just west of Colorado Springs. Perfect timing for gift shopping and great weather.

Debbie in KY said...

I liked Vannetta's author page on FB, too.

loretta said...

As I'm reading Falling to Pieces now, you can imagine that I would love to have Material Witness! One way or another I will read it. I enjoyed this interview; I did not know that Vannetta had a special needs daughter. I think she is one of the best authors that I have read.

Jackie Tessnair said...

It isn't really a fall festival,but I love going to mountains and enjoying the fall colors.Thanks...

Amy Campbell said...

My town reminds me of Shipshewana. We have a smalll population. Every year the streets of downtown close to traffic for a crafters festival. There's music, large book sale at tge library, a car show, and find any type of craft possible. About 30,000 people come to it.

Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Amy Campbell said...

I'm a blog follower.

Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Amy Campbell said...

I'm an author page follower.

Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

Every Oct, we go to a fall festival called Kelsey's Dream in honor of a young cancer victim who lost her fight with this horrible disease. It is a celebration of her life and a fundraiser to help other childhood cancer patients.

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

Every Oct we go to a festival called Kelsey's Dream which is in honor of a young cancer victim who lost her fight with this horrible disease. It is a celebration of her life and a fundraise for other childhood cancer patients.

Carol Carman said...

My all time favorite was Falling To Pieces, so I'm excited that Material Witness is coming out.
I'm fairly new here and don't know of any Fall Festivals, but Hot Springs is famous for its Quilt Festivals. I sure enjoy those.
cicicarman@gmail.com
Carol

Carol Carman said...

My all time favorite was "Falling To Pieces" so I'm really excited about "Material Witness" coming out.
I'm fairly new to this area so I'm not aware of any fall festivals...but I'm close to Hot Springs, which is famous for its Quilt Festivals. I sure enjoy those.
Carol
cicicarman@gmail.com

Judy said...

Yes I have a favorite Fall Festival! It is called "Apple Festival." It takes place the first week-end in October. I can't wait. All the good food, fellowship, and fun. Our church has a booth to raise money for "In His Name." This fund helps those who can't pay utility bills, those who need food, etc. We usually raise around $11,000 each year!

I would love to win a copy of Material Witness! Thanks for this giveaway. I have read all of Vannetta's books.

Blessings!
Judy
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Judy said...

I "liked" Vannetta's author page.

Blessings!
Judy
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

karenk said...

there are no fall festivals in my area...

i'm a follower, too :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Judy said...

I follow this blog!

Blessings!
Judy
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

cjajsmommy said...

I really don't like crowds so I avoid all the Fall Festivals in my area -- ColorFest in Thurmont, MD, and the Apple Harvest Fest at the South Mountain Fairgrounds near Arndtsville and Biglerville, PA. The one festival I do like is harder to get to -- the annual Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. I went to that in 2007 and 2010. I "liked" the author's Facebook page. djragno [at] hotmail [dot] com

LadyDi said...

there are no fall festivals in my area of Florida - I miss that, because in upstate NY there were always pumpkin farms and apple orchards and making cider!
I love Vannetta's books and would love to win this contest!!!!!

Thank you!!!!

Dianna Bupp
dibupp@yahoo.com

LadyDi said...

I love Vannetta's site on FB and will share this contest on FB!!!!

Dianna Bupp
dibupp@yahoo.com

MsRubyKat said...

There are no Fall Festivals in my area but I do like to ride to Vermont to do leaf peeping.
Karen
kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

MsRubyKat said...

I already like Vannetta's author page on Facebook.
Karen
kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

Lane Hill House said...

I worked with special needs children for 12 years in the public schools and a sense of humor went a long way! I learned so much on what is really important. To be listened to and loved; then learning can be next. Now that I am retired I have finished my first quilt from start to finish. I was teased because I only worked on it at our Tuesday quilting and it took me 1-1/2 years to finish. California King size, stars all over!, and I did it from beginning to end, cutting to binding and in between! I am working on a second quilt and enjoy checking on other ladies' treasures throughout the day ~ friendship is a big part of it! So far, I have gone to two quilt shows that were part of a larger festival. Midsummer was an "Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival" and I enjoyed especially seeing sunbonnets at the quilt show, and the fiddlers! Looking forward to what's new for Fall! Kathleen ~ Missouri
lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net
Like the title: Material (Fabric) Witness

Vannetta Chapman said...

Thank you all for commenting. I appreciate your interest in Amish fiction and your willingness to give a new author a chance! Blessings~