Millions of romance readers have lost their hearts to the Amish way of life because of Wanda Brunstetter novels (as well as her non-fiction books). She has penned more than sixty titles—and sold more than seven million copies. Wanda bases her stories on personal research and has a passion to portray the Amish way of life accurately. Subsequently, many of her books are read and enjoyed by the Amish.

Wanda and her husband, Richard, have two grown children, six grandchildren, and a great-grandson. They live in Washington State.

Can you imagine what you would have done if you hadn’t chosen writing as a career?

No, I can’t imagine that, because I’ve wanted to write since I was a young child. Being able to write fulfills me like no job I have ever had.

How does your faith play into your work?

My faith in God has been a huge part of my life since I was a teenager, so it’s only natural that I have incorporated it into my writing. In addition to the scriptures I include in each of my stories, the characters I create deal with situations that help to strengthen their faith and make their relationships stronger. Having grown up in a dysfunctional home, I’m able to incorporate my faith and how God helps us through the challenges of life within the pages of my books.

Let’s talk about Woman of Courage (Shiloh Run, April 2014). Please tell us about it.

Amanda Pearson, a Quaker woman suffering from a broken engagement, leaves her home in New York and travels West to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. Along the way, she encounters many problems, yet she never gives up. Like a true woman of courage, Amanda trusts God to see her through, even when she fights illness, abandonment, misunderstandings, and an unexpected event.

Set in 1837, this historical novel has many twists and turns that will take readers from the rugged Rocky Mountains to Oregon Territory and the home of the Spalding Mission, where the Nez Perce Indians were first introduced to Christianity.

Amanda’s life takes many twists and turns during the course of the story—a lot like the detours we all take in life. Can you tell us about a God-sent detour in your life that that changed it for the better?

When my two children were in grade school, I was repairing and restoring dolls from the basement of our home. While it was fun and challenging, it wasn’t as fulfilling as I’d hoped it would be. Then one day, my mother informed me that she’d signed up to taking a writing course, but due to the fact that she’d recently begun a new job, she didn’t have time to take the course. She then asked if I’d be interested in taking the course, saying that it was already paid for. Having wanted to write since I was a child, I couldn’t help but say yes. When I finished with the course a year later, I felt like a butterfly that had emerged from a cocoon. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to write. So, I gave up the doll hospital and began writing, never realizing that a few years down the road I’d be writing fulltime.

God often uses our stories to teach us when we’re writing them. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?

I was reminded that when things go wrong or I’m faced with a challenge that seems impossible, I need to keep my faith through prayer and Bible reading.

A few fun questions…

You’re also the author of two Amish recipe books. What is your personal favorite comfort food and why?

My husband and I have been invited to many of our Amish homes for meals, and treated to some of the most delicious recipes. One of my favorite side dishes is pickled beets. I like them not only for their tangy/sweet taste, but because they remind me of my husband’s mother who used to make some of the best pickled beets.

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

I learned to play the piano when I was a child but didn’t take lessons long enough to become an accomplished pianist.

If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?

It would be a cheerful song that would make people laugh.

In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?

Having grown up in a dysfunctional home, I was often told by friends and relatives that I was a strong person, which I needed to be in order to survive. So, I’d have to say in the story of my life that I’m the strong, female lead.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

As a child I had a brown and white terrier, named Sharkey, who is now making an appearance as a dog named Twinkles in my recent Double Trouble children’s book series. While my terrier wasn’t quite as smart or trained to do tricks like Twinkles, he was a good dog and my faithful companion.

Thank you, Wanda! It’s an honor to have you as a guest at DivineDetour

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 For more information about Wanda, visit her website.

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