About the Author...Born and raised in California, J.E.B. Spredemann now resides in beautiful southern Indiana Amish country and writes Christian fiction. Since Amish by Accident (J. Spredemann) was first released in November 2012, the author has held a steady spot in Amazon's Top 100 Authors in Religion & Spirituality, by the goodness and grace of God.
Joanna's Struggle, in the Amish Girls Series, was the first of several books written by the author(s). The Amish Girls Series was primarily penned for teen girls, but has been enjoyed by readers of all ages/genders. Lovers of the ever-popular Amish fiction genre are sure to enjoy these books as well, even though they are geared toward a younger audience. The characters in the stories will soon become endeared to your heart, especially the mischievous Jonathan Fisher.
An Unforgivable Secret, book 1 in the Amish Secrets series, was given a 5-STAR Review Rating by Readers' Favorite and was nominated in Goodreads' Best of Amish Fiction pole.
Note: J.E.B. Spredemann is Jennifer, Emily, and Brandi Spredemann. Together, they have penned the Amish Girls Series books. The other books, although the author name (J.E.B.) was kept, were written solely by J. Spredemann.
- What inspired you to be an author that writes Amish fiction? Was this the original genre you set out to write?
I kind of stumbled upon it, in a way. I love reading Amish fiction and felt compelled to begin writing it when my daughter mentioned the lack of Amish books for girls her age. My response was, "Why don't we write some?" So we did, and haven't stopped since. While the first series (Amish Girls Series), written for teens, was penned by two of my daughters and I, the other adult-age books were written primarily by myself.
- If you had to live in an Amish community for at least 6 months, what are some things you would enjoy living as Amish? Some things you would miss?
I think I would enjoy the buggy rides, learning how to quilt and bake, and living a simpler lifestyle. I'd miss modern technology. I couldn't imagine writing a book by hand. :o
- Do you do a lot of research concerning the Amish community when writing a new novel? What are some of the most interesting/fascinating things you have learned?
Yes, I definitely do a lot of research! I couldn't imagine writing about the Amish without researching. With that said, one of the most fascinating things I've learned is how much diversity there is between the individual Amish groups. For example, most communities require a young man to remain clean-shaven until marriage, while others insist the men grow their beard as soon as they're able. A former-Amish friend, who lives in Indiana, had never heard of the term 'mud sale', whereas in Lancaster County, PA the Amish are quite familiar with the term. Each ordnung (set of community rules) is different and there are no two communities the same.
- One of my favorite things about reading Christian novels is the Biblical message that is weaved into the lives of the characters. Is there something special that God taught/showed you while going through the process of your latest novel?
One of the blessings of writing is learning and growing in the process. My latest novel deals with the subject of mercy. If I were put in the same situation as my protagonist, would I be able to show mercy? Challenging, for sure.
- You have written quite a few novels. How has your writing changed and do you find it easier or harder as you write now?
I hope my writing has improved since I first began over two and a half years ago. Some aspects are more difficult, such as finding new ways to phrase things. Others are easier. When I sit down to write, I usually have a general idea how the plot will unfold. However, my characters take on personalities of their own as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. I often sit back after I've written something and say, "Wow, I was not expecting him to do that!" Hopefully, my readers will be surprised as well. :)
- What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Write about what God lays on your heart. You don't know who is out there that might need to hear your message. Educate yourself so you can be the best writer possible and put your best work out. Keep moving forward, even if it's just one scene at time. Don't give up!
- What's next for you in the writing world?
I have a book signing coming up in early September. It'll be at The Whoopie Pie Festival in Strasburg, PA. I'll be there with several other Amish fiction and non-fiction authors. Come out and say hello!
As far as writing goes, my latest book, A Secret of the Heart, will release the fifteenth of September. Lord willing, the girls and I will have an Amish Girls Christmas book out in fall and I'm writing another Amish Fairly Tale novelette loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. The Cinderella-based story was released last year and has been well-received.
- Lastly, where can readers connect with you online?
I'm most active on Facebook www.facebook.com/jebspredemann. Our website is www.jebspredemann.com. Readers can sign up for our monthly newsletter there and be eligible for the monthly giveaway as well. We are also on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6691513.J_E_B_Spredemann, Pinterest www.pinterest.com/jebspredemann/, and Twitter @amishjeb.
Thank you so much for by J.E.B.! It was a pleasure having you on Crafty Booksheeps and I'm looking forward to reading one out of many of your novels!