Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A View from Vannetta Chapman's Window - Murder Simply Brewed!

I am pleased to welcome Vannetta Chapman to my Window today!  Vannetta is a prolific writer, and her stories encompass everything from romance, to mystery, and her stories are set among the Amish community.

Murder Simply Brewed  is the first in the the Village trilogy, and introduces readers to a fantastic set of characters that you will want to spend more time with!  So come, join me as I discuss Murder Simply Brewed with Vannetta!

The Village – a place of business, community and where the Englisch and Amish intersect.  This was fascinating to me!  Do such places exist?  What was your inspiration for The Village?

Yes, they do exist! My inspiration for this story was the Essenhaus in Middlebury, IN
I thought it was awesome that the Amish faith challenged something in Amber, and Ambers confidences and self-sufficiency challenged something within Hannahs heart.  How likely or unlikely are such friendships? Why does this one seem to draw one character to another?

I think these types of friendships are very possible. One of the first Amish women I met was a lovely woman in Shipshewana, IN who worked at a bed and breakfast. Her and the owner, an Englisch woman, were fast friends. It was obvious that over the years they had shared many special experiences. This was probably much of my inspiration for my Amish stories, as they often features friendships between Amish and Englisch.

Murder among the Amish is almost an oxymoron, but I know the Amish are merely human and susceptible to temptation of every variety.  How difficult was it to construct a believable scenario of murder and investigation?  What research did it require?

It wasn't that difficult! Every community has problems--jealousies, old disputes, and misunderstandings. The beautiful think about a murder mystery is that it allows me to show God's grace in the worst of situations. As far as research, I'm rather a news addict, so it's easy enough to find the information I need in today's headlines for the most part.

Do the Englisch law enforcement have much to do with the Amish people?  Is their role in any way limited by their faith?  Please share insight into this relationship.

Amish are slow to turn to Englisch authorities, as I described in my Shisphewana mysteries. However, they do so when necessary. For instance, a man was robbing Amish women on "pay day" as they made their way home. This happened on a regular basis for a few weeks, and the bishop determined it was very important to go to local officials, who then did catch and convict the man. I don't think they'd go to the police for minor matters, but if someone is in danger then they will.

Tate Bowman is, by far, one of my favorite characters!  He begins as a pretty tragic character but evolves into one of the strongest characters by the end of the story. Who was your inspiration for this character?

I love writing a reluctant hero - someone who does not want to be in the spotlight but rises to the occasion when he's needed. My inspiration for Tate was my husband. He's a very quiet unassuming guy, but he's always there when someone needs his help.

How often, that anyone is able to take notice, do Englisch convert to being Amish?  Will that be an issue that Amber will walk through in subsequent stories?

I don't believe many people convert to the Amish faith, but I do believe that many people choose to simply their life and to make their faith more central in their day-to-day living as a result of their interactions with the Amish.

Does Murder Simply Brewed begin a series?  If so, how many stories from the Village will readers enjoy?

Yes! There will be 3 books in all. Book 2, Murder Tightly Knit, will release and December. We'll have all of the same characters but a new set of problems!

Can you give readers a sneak peek at your next project?

I can tell you that we'll find out whether Jesse and Hanna's relationship can endure hardship. We'll also take a peek into the "survivalist culture" and see what those folks have in common with the Amish community. I very much enjoyed writing this book, and I love, love, love the ending.

What has God been up to in your writing life that youd like to share with your readers?

I've been amazed at the letters and emails I receive from readers telling me how much these stories have touched their hearts. Strange for a murder mystery? Maybe, but maybe not. AT their heart, I try to write stories of God's grace.

What closing words of encouragement would you like to leave with us?

That God does have a plan for each of us. We might not always understand it, and there might be times when we scratch our heads and say "What?" But we can trust the Lord our God, and we can rest in that assurance.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

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