Suzanne Woods Fisher is the author of “A Lancaster County Christmas” and ‘Lancaster County Secret’ series, as well as some non-fiction books about the Amish, including “Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World.” She is under contract to publish a whole bunch more books, too, through at least 2016, with her latest contract "Petticoat Row" to be set in Nantucket.
I met Suzanne Woods Fisher at ACFW in St. Louis, Missouri. She is represented through Joyce Hart, who is also my agent. I got to chat with Suzanne at the recent ACFW conference.
Thanks Suzanne for the interview!
Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
My dad is in late stages Alzheimer’s disease. I’m sure that many of you can relate to having a loved one who suffers from AD. It is a very sad, long-term and costly (emotionally and literally) experience in my family’s life. My dad was my go-to person—very practical, matter-of-fact, full of energy and enthusiasm. He was a delight! The strange thing about AD is the by the time someone is diagnosed—which is called “Early Stages AD”—years have passed. The first symptom of AD in my dad was impaired judgment. He was scammed by Canadian sweepstakes con-artists. Over $135,000! A long story and a very sad one—but as my siblings and I caught wind of what was going on, we stepped in to protect my parents, then try to figure out how Dad could have been susceptible to such evil people. (And they truly were evil people—they would call my dad and start the conversation with “God bless you!” Then proceed to scam him.) Anyway…ten years later, Dad is still quite healthy physically, but doesn’t recognize us and can’t carry on a conversation. The piece of my dad’s demise that is hardest for me is that I know he would have hated this long, dribbling end. He always wanted to drop in the harness. But as one reader told me, “As long as you’re breathin’, God has a reason.”
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
“His name will be called Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’.”( Matthew 1:22-24). It seems so simple—yet it is such a fundamental truth. So very profound!
Disability friendliness: Suzanne has seven books on audio (Here's a link to Simply Audiobooks). Listening is my preferred mode of reading. I dowloaded The Choice which I will review this week. Five downloads are available for purchase through Audible.com. She also has three large print books. All of Suzanne's books are available on Kindle.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
My hope is to write in a way that invites readers to get to know God better. To take a step toward deepening one’s faith. But I really try not to ever whack readers on the head with a 2x4—that’s not my job. Changing hearts is the work of the Holy Spirit.
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
As I have studied the Old Order Amish, I think what has touched me in a deep, unsettling way is their intentional forgiveness. We just don’t emphasize that enough in our churches! To the Amish, it’s a daily attitude of “letting things go.” The Amish place great importance on forgiving others because of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15). It really makes me gulp!
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
In “A Lancaster County Christmas,” Jaime Fitzpatrick is a young woman who keeps trying to stuff down some serious issues in her life…but they keep popping up. Her mother had recently passed away, her father has just re-appeared in her life, and her poor husband, C.J., seems to get the short end of Jaime’s trouble with trust. Jaime’s story was inspired by my close friend’s life. I watched my friend come to grips with her father’s “here today-gone tomorrow” love and separate her father’s character from God’s character. Ten years later, she is a teaching leader for Bible Study Fellowship and has an amazing ministry. God is in the business of redeeming all things—even flawed parenting.
Thank you Suzanne Woods Fisher for agreeing to answer these questions. Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you, Carrie, for inviting me to pop by! I’m easy to find on Facebook and via my website: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com Connecting with readers is the best part of this author gig!
GIVEAWAY: We are giving away an AUTOGRAPHED (generic, sorry but it is her signature!!!) copy of Suzanne’s newest book, released September, 2011, “A Lancaster County Christmas” in hardcover. Please leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy! The cover on this is awesome BTW!!