I’m thrilled to talk with Susan Lantz Simpson about reading and writing, her most recent release Lizzie’s Heart, and what’s in store for her later this year.
Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully) in addition to her inspirational romances (Plainly Maryland Series and Southern Maryland Amish Romances Series). She was a finalist in the OCW Cascade fiction contest. She is a member of ACFW. She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework.
Behind the Scenes
When you enter a bookstore, in which section do you look first?
I usually head for the inspirational romance or romantic suspense sections first.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Of course, I love Amish books, but I also really enjoy reading inspirational romantic suspense novels and cozy mysteries.
How did you begin writing? What drew you to write Amish fiction?
I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pencil—poems, short stories, journals. I have been fascinated by the Amish forever, too. I remember going to the Amish market as a child and asking my mother about the people I saw there. We have several different Plain communities in my area, and I have always loved seeing the gray and black buggies traveling along the shoulder of the road. My mother and I talked about writing an Amish novel years ago, before there were even such books on the market. And now, here I am writing Amish novels! I hope my mom is smiling in heaven.
What aspect of the Amish lifestyle is most intriguing to you? Why?
Much of the Amish lifestyle intrigues me. I especially like their quiet faith, their honesty, their ingenuity, and their creativity. I like the idea of living close to nature. I wish all of us had such a sense of community and desire to help each other. And I wish I could stitch such beautiful quilts!
Where do you like to write?
Since I work full time, I have to fit writing in whenever and wherever I can. I don’t have any certain place that I call my “writing nook.” I’ve written in my car, in waiting rooms, at the kitchen counter, in bed—-you name it!
Are you a plotter, a pantser, or are do you fall somewhere in between?
I tend to be more of a panster. An idea or character grabs me, and I go with it. Sometimes, though, I think it might be a bit easier to write following an outline.
Would you rather write a book about your greatest passion on a tight deadline OR would you rather write a book about something you know nothing about with no deadline?
I think I would rather write about a passion because the ideas and words would be more likely to flow faster and smoother.
Please tell us about your newest or upcoming release.
My latest release was Lizzie’s Heart, an Amish romance.
Fall in Southern Maryland’s Amish country is a time of fiery falling leaves, a bountiful harvest, and bracing, frost-touched days. It’s the perfect season for one irrepressible maidel to try an unexpected match . . .
Were there any songs, scriptures, quotes, or poems that inspired this book?
I usually weave several scripture references in with all my stories. I often use verses related to the themes of forgiveness, trust, and hope.
What is something God has taught you through your writing?
God is teaching me things all the time! With my writing, I have been learning to rely on Him for everything—ideas, words, themes, and even getting my books published.
Save the Date
Susan says she is thrilled to be one of fourteen authors in the Amish Christmas Miracles Collection, due for release on November 10, 2020. Her novella in the collection is “The Christmas Fudge Miracle.” She is so excited to be working with authors she has admired for so long.