New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter and her husband live in Washington State but take every opportunity to visit friends in Amish settlements throughout the States.

In this interview, Wanda talks with us about the third book in her Friendship Letters Series, Letters of Wisdom.

FF: What inspired the story in your book?
After being asked by several people to write a book on the topic of abuse, and then praying about it, I concluded that God wanted me to write this novel. The fact that both my husband and I had suffered some measure of abuse as children, provided me with the information and understanding to tackle this topic.

FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
My protagonist in this story is a young Amish woman who is married and has three children. She was the victim of abuse as a child and has never really dealt with the pain of it or her deep-rooted anger toward the man who abused her. The young woman’s mother is also a main character who struggles with guilt for allowing her daughter to endure such suffering and not standing up for her. This story is about healing, forgiving and being able to move on.

FF: Which character surprised you the most?
I think it was the young woman’s husband that surprised me the most, with the love and understanding he had for his wife, even after she’d begun to abuse their own children. Rather than taking the children from their home, he found someone to come into the house when he was at work to take care of the children. He also encouraged his wife to get the help that she needed.

FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Readers often connect with characters they read about, especially if they can relate to things that occur in the book that may have happened to them as well.

FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
My next novel is called The Protector. It’s the first book in A Mifflin County Mystery Series. It begins with the disappearance of a young Amish woman, and the main character, her brother, feels responsible because he wasn’t able to protect her. Since they don’t know what happened to her, there is no closure for the family, and each of them struggles to deal with it in their own way.

FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
The research I did was mostly about places where a victim of abuse can go for help, which I share with my readers in my author note at the back of the book. I also did some research on why a person would become an abuser. The rest of my research came from personal experience.

FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
I hope my readers will understand that Amish people are often faced with the same kind of problems we English deal with. I also want readers to see that when we are faced with a difficult circumstance, or serious issue beyond our control, we need to seek help, and above all, rely on God for wisdom and to help us get through.

FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
Since both my husband and I have an Anabaptist heritage, and we have many close Amish friends, I don’t feel challenged to write about the Amish. That being said, there are always challenges an author must face when writing a novel—coming up with an interesting topic—making sure all the chapters flow well—and giving each character distinct personalities that will help the reader relate to them.

FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
I have always loved to read, and as a child, I read a book called Nancy and Plum, by Betty McDonald. The storyline, about two orphaned sisters, pulled me into the book from the very first page, and I couldn’t put it down. I felt as though I was right there with the characters—cheering them on, with the hope that things would get better for Nancy and her sister Plum. Betty McDonald’s book inspired me to become an author someday; although at that time, I wasn’t sure how I could accomplish the goal.

FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
My faith in God, which began as a child, has brought me through many joys and trials in life. I feel blessed to be able to create situations for my book characters that readers have told me has helped them grow deeper in their faith, strengthened relationships, and given them a desire to help others who are hurting or in need.

Letters of Wisdom
Friendship Letters Series #3
Wanda E. Brunstetter
Barbour Fiction
Genres: Amish, Amish Romance
Release Date: March 1, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎1636096220
ISBN-13: ‎978-1636096223

Book Summary:
Letters and Prayers Between Friends Become a Balm for Healing

Irma Miller thought having a family of her own would bring her joy and a sense of accomplishment, but she struggles with memories of the abuse she suffered as a child at the hand of her stepfather. When she becomes physically and emotionally abusive to her own children, she reaches out to her friend Doretta for prayer and wisdom. But Irma may find herself at an even darker emotional place before she will admit she needs professional help to heal the past traumas. Will Doretta’s letters of wisdom help Irma and her family, or will too much be broken to ever be repaired?


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About The Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written more than 100 books, with more than 11 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.