The rules are simple: I ask Suzanne some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.
It’s my blog.
Here we go!
1. Favorite childhood memory?
Suzanne – Seems I had a bit of an independent streak, even as a three-year-old. I vividly remember waking up early in the mornings to head over to my neighbor’s house for breakfast. We lived in a cul-de-sac, so it wasn’t dangerous, but it was a bit presumptuous of me. Not to leave a note, for one (or a scribble). And to arrive at someone’s home uninvited…at six am.
One of my characters, M.K. Lapp, (The Keeper, The Haven, The Lesson) might be the tiniest bit based on her author.
Charity – Oh my goodness!! That’s amazing. What a gracious family they must have been!!!! ha ha. I might have a heart attack if 3 year olds were showing up at my door at 6:00am!!
My favorite memories are of Sunday dinners. After church, we would invite a bunch of people over (usually single military guys….) and we would make a huge meal and squeeze around our dining room table and talk and laugh and tell stories. Such WONDERFUL memories. I didn’t mind the view too much either (;
— you definitely win that point!!!!
Charity 0 / Suzanne 1
2. Have you ever spent time with an Amish family (as in, overnight, or for a few days)?
Suzanne – Yes! Each year, in fact, since I’ve been writing about the Old Order Amish. The first year, I found families who were willing to let me stay with them. After that, I’ve been invited. It’s invaluable—I become aware of so many little everyday moments that find their way into my books. Each December, I get Christmas cards from my various Amish friends in different states. That’s a lovely time for me—to realize how this writing gig has enriched my friendship circle.
Charity – No. Way.!!! That is so awesome. I didn’t know that they welcomed outsiders into their life like that. How special!! I certainly have never done that, but it would surely be a neat experience.
Charity 0 / Suzanne 2
3. I see that you train guide dogs for the blind. That is really cool! How many do you train at a time?
Suzanne – One puppy at a time! It all starts with an 8-week-old puppy. Lots of potty training, house manners, trips to the store and outings to expose the puppy to new situations (called socializing), and in the blink of an eye, the pup is about 16-months-old, ready to be recalled. That’s when the serious training begins—back at Guide Dogs for the Blind, with skilled instructors. That takes a couple of months…and if all goes well, your darling little pup has matured into a responsible young adult! Ready to guide a visually impaired person. Sniff, sniff. It’s like watching your child graduate from college.
Charity – Ok. I’ve got nothing! We gave away our precious little pug because I couldn’t handle having him follow me everywhere. ha ha. I am not much of an animal person. We basically owned a zoo growing up. I got my fill….
Charity 0 / Suzanne 3
4. Are you a major history buff, or mostly interested in the Amish way of life?
Suzanne – History is my sweet spot. I think that’s what I enjoy about studying the Amish—not that they live an old-fashioned life (you might be surprised to learn that they use all kinds of sources to get energy into their home, but they’re not connected to the public utility grid), but the reasons they live the way they do are steeped in tradition and history.
Charity – Oh, me too!! I really love history. I live in the “Historical Triangle” (Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown), so you can imagine it’s like hog heaven! ha (: Even my boys are really into it. I think what a parent is passionate about, the child seems to grow passionate about as well. I played in the Yorktown Fife and Drum corp for many years and now I am in the Regency Society of Virginia.
— I NEEEEED this one, so I’m taking it!
Charity 1 / Suzanne 3
5. What’s the worst food mishap you have had? (when cooking or baking)
Suzanne – When my youngest son brought his sweetheart home to meet us, he wanted us to have a special dinner. He chose grilled pizza…something we had never attempted before (big mistake!). Let’s just say…we called it “Pizzah Disastah.” However…Tad and Sarah are going to be married in May, so I think the relationship survived the dinner. And I gave Sarah a pizza stone and a pizza recipe book for an engagement gift.
Charity – Oh, that’s too funny! Did she die laughing when she got those gifts from you? AND CONGRATS, BTW!!!
My worst would just be trying all those cute cupcakes that are supposed to look like something neat. You know, chinese food, corn, etc… Yeah, not so much when I try. I don’t understand icing. We just don’t get along well.
— You are CRUSHING me! And that picture is making me feel sick!
Charity 1 / Suzanne 4
6. If you could choose one person in history to meet (besides Jesus), who would it be?
Suzanne – Benjamin Franklin! What a mind he had. Creative, inventive, witty, wise. One of my favorite Amish bishops is a dead ringer for Benjamin Franklin—looks and all!
Charity – I think it would be George Washington. I love that man.
–I am so taking this point because I absolutely need it.
Charity 2 / Suzanne 4
7. What was your favorite book when you were growing up?
Suzanne – Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field. It’s a story about a little doll that ended up on a whaling ship. Curiously…my next series will be about Quaker Nantucket, during the whaling period. Amazing how an idea begins…
Charity – Ok, I need to not ask this question. I really didn’t like reading until about 4 years ago. Something snapped and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Now I read all of the time. I have no idea what book you are talking about! ha ha. I am not even sure what the Whaling Period is?!
— Girl, you need to just stop with the smarty pants thing!
Charity 2 / Suzanne 5
8. Favorite movie or TV show?
Suzanne – To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m rather fond of Gregory Peck.
Charity – I have never seen it…. sad, really. I haven’t even read the book! I like Warrior, or else Regency movies. They couldn’t be more opposite…
— Culture always wins. *sigh*
Charity 2 / Suzanne 6
9. How do you bring God the most glory in your life?
Suzanne – What a wonderful question! We should all take time to ponder and reflect on that question. When I practice forgiveness—by opening up my hand and imagining I am holding the offense and releasing it to God for His care, I sense that I am giving Him glory. That act trusts in His sovereignty, His justice, His loving care. And it is not easy to do! I try to practice it every morning, before I get up for the day. Little things and big things. Every day…we all have opportunities to forgive. And to be forgiven!
Charity – Very cool. I agree. I also believe that forgiveness is not a one time event. It’s a daily decision to forgive.
I try to bring God glory in any situation (key word, TRY). If the car breaks down, instead of being mad, I ask the kids what is it that God’s wanting us to do to bring Him glory through this. Keeps me on my toes…
— God wins
10. Could you ever live in those “tiny houses”? You know what I mean? The ones that are like 100 sq ft. They are all the rage?
Suzanne – I sort of do! I work in my laundry room, which is shared with two big dogs. And lots of family who walk in and out to do their laundry. I would love a tiny house that was all mine…but I have a hunch it wouldn’t have electricity or heat. I envision a long orange extension cord running from my computer back to the house.
Charity – LOL. Nice. We live in a small space. We felt God calling us to surrender some of our attitudes of greed and materialism. So, the 4 of us live in 732 sq ft home! It’s kind of nice because everything has a spot…ha ha (:
— Totally taking the point
Charity 3 / Suzanne 6
11. Lastly, favorite president we’ve had?
Suzanne – Oh…I stay away from any public political remarks!
Charity – Well, GOOD! That gives me a point! ha ha ha (: I think you could guess my choice. Most definitely George Washington. I’m a bit of a fan (;
Charity 4 / Suzanne 6
Wow, that was RIDICULOUS. Almost every one of my points was just because I needed some!! You crushed me!!!
And now, this guy is laughing at me!!!!
I want to thank you, SO MUCH, for doing this face-off. It was so fun getting to know you a bit!!! I look forward to your next book.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with Suzanne, here is a little bit about her:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of ‘The Stoney Ridge Seasons’ and ‘The Lancaster County Secrets’ series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is a Christy award finalist and a Carol award winner. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Suzanne hosts the blog Amish Wisdom, and has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb to your smart phone. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. She loves to hear from readers!
First of all, Suzanne has offered to give one reader a signed copy of her newest book!
And, secondly, “Since it isn’t every day an author has a book release, we need to celebrate! As a thank you for being such loyal readers and supporters, I’m giving away an iPad and a Kindle!”