ABOUT AUTHOR: 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 She loves to hear from readers!  

How did you come up with the idea for Anna’s Crossing?

It came as I was studying background about the Amish. There was something about the name “Charming Nancy” that seemed like a story waiting to be written. But there aren’t many facts about the actual first sea voyage of the Amish who came to America—only a fragment of a diary, and a ship’s passenger list. I had to hunt down other sources that described life on a tall ship in the 1800s. Fascinating stuff!  

Nora: I was amazed at all these passengers endured on The Charming Nancy. 
Our pets

What do you hope readers take away from Anna’s Crossing?

If I could only choose one (so hard!)…it’s that readers will start looking for the “Only God” moments in their life. We all have them—circumstances that only God could have orchestrated--but we don’t always have the eyes to see them. And yet what a difference it makes to see God at work in your life!

Nora: Yes, I like how you put that Suzanne. Yes, it makes a huge difference when you see God working in your in your life. It gives you hope to take the next step; hang in there another day or week. You did a good job of showing that in your story.

What was your favorite scene in Anna’s Crossing?

There’s a little boy named Felix who liked to roam around the ship, though he kept getting shooed back down to the lower deck by the sailors. There’s one scene, in particular, where he was snooping around the captain’s quarters and heard footsteps approaching. Felix hid in the captain’s bunk, unobserved, until his stomach let out a loud growl. That one loud tummy growl set into motion an entirely new direction for Felix. For Anna, too.

Nora: That was a fun scene!  

What surprised you and/or fascinated you in your research for this book?

The more I dug into the realities of ship life in the 1700s, the more gruesome details kept emerging. One example: a deckhand died and was buried at sea. The next day, a shark was caught. As the cook prepared the shark for supper, he discovered…(ugh, you guessed it)…the dead deckhand.

Nora: Oh, that was a crazy thing. It was real? Yikes!

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?
We train seeing eye dogs

My goal in writing each and every book is to invite a reader into a conversation with God. I try to avoid Bible bashing—thumping someone on the head with a two-by-four—but I do hope readers will finish my books with an interest in learning more about God, or with their faith deepened.

Nora: I appreciate this about reading your stories and this one was no exception. 

What sparked your interest in the subject matter discussed in your book as you searched historical documents, books, newspapers, museums? What did you discover in your research you wanted readers to know?

There is nothing like original sourcing or hands-on research to bring a book to life. I visited a number of historical ship museums on the east coast—and it gave me such a huge appreciation for what our ancestors endured (and most all of us have a link to an ancestor who crossed the ocean in hopes for a better life).

Here’s an example: when I explored the lower decks, where passengers stayed (and they rarely were allowed on the upper decks because it was dangerous for them), I realized how dark and dim and confining it must have been. And the smells! So close to the bilge, as well as the “open plumbing system” (if you catch my drift). Oh…the smells must have been horrific. 

Nora: I know that your research helped you make me feel like I was on the ship with the passengers. I also like how you described the boat having it's own sound and smell. I haven't been on a boat for any length of time so you helped me imagine what it was like for the people in this voyage and how bad the conditions were.
Precious pups

In your research for Anna’s Crossing you came across families’ stories of many who sailed to America in 1737. You said that you read about their grit and determination – and hearts- of these people. And God’s loving protection 
QUESTION: Is there a family you were surprised by that you didn't include in your book but you couldn't stop thinking of them?

In a way, yes. There is something Anna brings along with her from Europe. Something special that plays into another book—Christmas at Rose Hill Farm. I did think often of the many hands that took care of Anna’s “something special” over the centuries.

Nora: It was surprising how that "something special" played out in this story. I didn't read the other book but I'm making a note to find it and read more about the item. Fun!

Out of all the sounds in the world, what are your favorite?

My grandchildren
Making beautiful music together

Bird song (especially owls hooting in the night), my children’s (and grandchildren’s) voices, the garage door opening at night as my husband comes home. 

Nora: I like your favorite sounds.

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

My family and I at my husbands retirement party

My husband loves to make Ice Cream it made and shared at the party

A few months ago, my husband retired after 32 years as a corporate guy. And my daughter moved home after living in China. Then, my son got engaged. And then my daughter got engaged. Two weddings, within six weeks of each other! Everything that’s happened in the last six months has been good—all blessings. But lots of adjustments to make, including a huge reduction in the amount of time I’m able to devote to writing. Definitely something I pray about each day…trying to keep everything in balance. And I pray for grace. I pray for that a lot. J
My daughter, husband and baby

My son and his fiance

My daughter and her fiance
Nora: Wow, you definitely had a lot going on. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I struggle with balance too! Trying to keep the main thing the main thing!

If you had a day to yourself and you could do anything you wanted (funds are not a problem) what would you do?

One of my favorite hobbies is to play tennis. So…if I had a day to myself, plus just the right weather (maybe, 70 degrees and overcast so I don’t get an eyeful of bright sun when I serve), I would get three of my favorite friends out on the court and play! Then…have lunch together.

Nora: Fun!

What’s your favorite date night with your husband or something you all just enjoy doing together? 

How about a date morning? Steve and I go out for coffee on Saturday mornings—a perfect way to catch up on things and get the weekend off on the right start.

Nora: I find that having breakfast/coffee dates are good too. My husband and I are the most energetic and alert early in the morning before the demands of the day have had a chance to get a hold of us. Time together is very important.

What’s the last movie you saw that the theater you were blown away by?
I loved “Hundred Foot Journey.” If you enjoy watching Food Network, you’d like this movie. I’m a closet Foodie (with one exception—I hate fish. It’s a great cosmic joke for a woman with the last name of Fisher).

Nora: OhMyGosh Suzanne! Fred and I LOVED that movie. It was informative, fascinating and all about food, family and relationships. Great stuff. Funny about your last name and you not liking fish!! LOL! Love that!


Thank you for reading my books! I appreciate it more than I can say.

You can learn more about this author at her website 

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books Suzanne. Thank you for all the great pictures.

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th of MARCH at .

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Nora :o)

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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