Thank you, Cheryl, for featuring me on your blog today!
1. Who or what inspired you to write?
My plunge into fiction writing began when my daughter, Brandi, an avid reader, questioned the dearth of Amish Christian teen fiction. My response was, “Why don’t we write some?” Soon, ideas for books came flying from every direction. And the rest, as they say, is history! 🙂
2. Did it take long before you had your first book published?
We decided to release Amish by Accident (as opposed to the Amish Girls Series books) as our debut release because of its unique appeal. We (my teen daughters Emily, Brandi, and I) began writing the Amish Girls Series in January of 2012, and my first book released in late November 2012. (To clarify, the eight books in the Amish Girls Series for teens and A Christmas of Mercy were co-authored by my daughters. The other books, i.e. Amish by Accident, the Amish Secrets series, and Amish Fairly Tales were penned solely by myself – with the help of God, of course!)
3. Who is your biggest supporter when it comes to your writing?
My biggest supporter is my husband. He reads everything I write, even though it’s romance. 🙂
4. On average how many books do you write a year?
My goal is at least four titles per year. So far, I haven’t had a problem meeting that goal. I aspire to write more, however, with six children still at home, writing often takes a backseat to family priorities.
5. Have you ever traveled for research for any of your books?
Yes. In An Unforgivable Secret, some of my characters visit a few places along the California coast. In Amish by Accident, characters visit the Statue of Liberty. And, of course, most of my books are set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We have visited all of these places. One of the reasons our family moved from California to Indiana is to be amongst Amish communities, which is where we now reside. So, yes, I have traveled for research. In fact, it’s one of the highlights of a writing career.
6. Do you do an outline for your books or do you simply sit down and write?
Oh, no. Outlining, for me, is a big no-no. It stifles my creativity. When I sit down to write, I have somewhat of a basic idea or theme, but that’s it. I open my laptop, set my fingers to the keyboard, and pray for inspiration. I’m usually surprised by my characters as much as my readers are, and I never know how a story will transpire at the onset. This is one of the things I love about writing.
7. Do you have a favorite writing spot?
When we were in California, I had a writing room separate from the house. I absolutely loved that. After we moved, however, I’ve ambled from room to room searching for the perfect place, but I still have yet to find it. Construction of my new writing room is in the plans for this year and I’m really looking forward to it.
8. What is your favorite snack or beverage when writing?
I love distilled water and also coffee to drink. For snacks, I usually like something sweet (like fruit, a granola bar, or lemon biscotti) and something salty (like veggie chips or sunflower seeds). Occasionally, I’ll indulge in a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate or a Lindt truffle. 🙂
9. Do you have a favorite character from all of your books that you have written? Why?
I love Jonathan Fisher! We’ve even had stickers made that declare this. (For anybody that would like one, email your mailing address to me at email@example.com) Jonathan is in every Amish story we’ve written so far. (He’s seven years old in Joanna’s Struggle – Amish Girls Series, Book 1) He is cute, funny, and mischievous in his younger years, and wise (but still mischievous!) in his later years. He is a combination of my youngest son, my husband, and our imaginations.
10. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Amish fiction is my favorite genre to read and, while I think there are many excellent authors in this genre, my favorites include Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepard Gray, Beverly Lewis, and Wanda E. Brunstetter. I prefer stories with deep spiritual significance, which is sometimes difficult to find. This is yet another reason I write.
11. Can you tell us why you chose to write in the genre that you did?
Since I enjoy reading Amish fiction, I knew I’d love writing it just as much. Both of my husband’s parents came from a Mennonite background, and before I began reading and researching, I did not know the Mennonites and the Amish were related. As I learned more about their common link and the uniqueness of these similar, yet equally diverse communities, I became fascinated by their intriguing culture. In our fast-paced, sometimes-hectic modern world, the simplistic, old fashioned Amish lifestyle is like a breath of fresh air. It’s almost like stepping onto the set of a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ episode. I believe many who read this genre feel the same way. Another reason is the locale. When I was around twelve or thirteen, my family traveled across the country in an RV, and Pennsylvania was one place we visited. Of the many states we traveled through, Pennsylvania was the one that stole my heart. I remember the greenery and trees galore – it was love at first sight! And, this was the first time I’d ever seen an Amish person or horse and buggy.
12. What do you like to do to celebrate the completion of one of your books?
Breathe, say a prayer of thanksgiving, and enjoy a meal out. 🙂
Be sure to check out the the following:
Audiobooks available: http://adbl.co/1IY1gal
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1LPQyso
For those of you that haven’t tried any of JEB Spredemann’s books I highly recommend them. I have read them and loved them.
Thank you for the opportunity to interview JEB Spredemann. I so enjoyed having you on my blog. I love to learn more about the authors that I love. I am so looking forward to reading more of your wonderful books in the future.
Be sure to leave a comment with your name and email for a chance to win a copy of Rosabella’s Story. Winner will have one week to contact me after the end of the contest.