Friday, July 06, 2007

Wanda Brunstetter Interview

Well, I had several great entries to the contest, some sweet, some silly, but the entry that struck me the most was from Jen from Marion, WI. Here's her entry:

Amy bought a baby goat about 2 years ago as a pet for the kids. The kids fell in love with the goat, named her Sarah, and spent tons of time playing with her. Amy came home from work one afternoon and Sarah was lying on her side in the pasture, unable to stand or move. Amy took Sarah to the vet and was told that she had tetanus and was going to die...nothing that anyone could do to prevent it. Amy, being the softy that she is, told the vet that when people get tetanus, we don't just give up on them...we give them antibiotics and care for them. The vet informed Amy that he wasn't about to waste antibiotics on a goat when he knew that the goat was going to die. Amy found a new vet who gave her the antibiotics and told her how to care for Sarah. Here's what she had to do for a full month: every two hours, she flipped Sarah from one side to the other (at the time, she was working as a hospice home health nurse, so she took Sarah with her in the car every day so she could flip her over). Twice a day, she gave Sarah an antibiotic shot. Twice a day, she fed Sarah milk replacer with an eyedropper because she couldn't swallow any more than a drip at a time. Twice a day, she did physical therapy with Sarah to keep her limbs mobile. Four times every 24 hours, she took Sarah outside (otherwise she lived in a box in her office) to go to the bathroom. When the family went on vacation, Sarah went along. My sister's youngest son, Justin, let Sarah sleep in his sleeping bag while they were on vacation (she also was often found sitting in his lap while he played video games at home). My dad built a "goat sling" to help Sarah to stand upright for a few hours every day. As a result of going over and above the call of duty in goat care, Sarah is now a happy two year old goat (who thinks she's a person). She has made an almost complete recovery, though she walks with a limp. If I ever get sick and need care, I want Amy to be my nurse, though she may not provide such excellent care for a sister as she did for a goat :)

Definitely a winner! I hope you plan on checking out A Sister's Secret. Here's an interview with the author Wanda Brunstetter.

Where did you birth the idea for A Sister's Secret? When? How did it come about?

Sometime ago, I read about some Amish people in Pennsylvania who had suffered a senseless attack, and it made me wonder how they dealt with it, and how it must have made them feel to be unjustly attacked. I decided to use that as a focus for this series and show my readers what true forgiveness is all about.

If your book was turned into a movie, who would play the main characters?

I would pray that whoever was chosen to play the main character would be a person of integrity. Also, it should be someone who respects the Amish way of life.

Which character do you most relate to, and why?

I think there are elements of all my characters that I can relate to on some level. Just like in life, it's not all that difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes and relate to what they are going through.

What sort of research was involved in writing A Sister's Secret?

I visited Holmes County, Ohio several times before the idea came to me to set a series of books there. I also have spent many hours with Amish friends who live in that area, which helped me understand them better, but also gave me a good understanding of the lay of the land.

Tell us a little more about the series of books that starts with A Sister's Secret. Why did you choose this county for the setting of this series?

I chose Holmes County because my husband and I have visited there several times and we've come to appreciate the beauty of the area, as well as come to know and love many wonderful Amish and English people who live there. I wanted to tell a story of love and forgiveness, and show the reader that despite anything in our past, God forgives and can use us to His glory.

What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from A Sister's Secret?

Secrets from the past can sometimes be painful when the truth is revealed. Harboring resentment toward someone who has wronged you can only bring anguish. True forgiveness brings peace to the soul.

How do you deal with your other obligations (family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?

I sometimes have to let everything but my writing go, and with the help of my husband, I'm able to do that whenever necessary.

What's your favorite writer's block trick?

I take a shower. Ideas always seem to flow well under running water.

What book are you reading now?

I'm reading Freedom of the Soul by Tracey Bateman. It's Book 2 in the Penbrook series, and I highly recommend it.

What's your favorite worship song, and why?

"They that Wait Upon the Lord," because I know from past experience that it's sometimes necessary to wait for God's answers, and that His timing is always best.

What do you crave (beverage or food) when you have writer's stress?

A big bowl of fresh strawberries drenched with maple-flavored yogurt.

Can you share something with our readers about what God has been teaching you lately?

After spending time with some of our Amish friends recently, I was reminded of the importance of taking time out every day to enjoy all the beauty God has made for us, and to keep my focus on God and my precious family, not the "things" of the world.

Why do you think readers have an interest in the Amish/Mennonite way of life?

In this hectic world we live in, our souls cry out for simplicity. I believe many people are searching for ways to simplify their lives and put their focus on the important things in life, not on material things. Reading about the Amish and Mennonites, who don't put an emphasis on worldly things, helps others to be able to do that, too.

What does the Amish community think about your writings?

The Amish I know personally have told me that they enjoy reading my novels. I've had many Amish people who attended my book signings tell me that they appreciate the way I portray them.

I'll be back tomorrow (maybe, I'm going to an auction) with another book review. Have a wonderful weekend!