Plain-living, family-oriented, hard-working and worshipful of God are qualities most readers attribute to the Amish. But when New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter and daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter set out to write the six-part serial novel, The Amish Millionaire, which launches with the March 2016 Shiloh Press title, THE ENGLISH SON, the writing duo set out to show their readers even more about the Plain People.
“Amish people become wealthy more often than most people realize,” said Wanda, who is often referred to as “Amish Country’s Most Beloved Storyteller” for her accurate portrayal of the Amish, their faith and culture. “But none of them act differently because of it, and they struggle with the same problems and issues that we English do.”
Struggles abound in THE ENGLISH SON, when after abandoning his Amish family for the material world, Joel Byler comes home, desperate for financial help to fix problems created by his lust for classic cars and foolish spending. He doesn’t even tell his fiancé, Kristi Palmer, about his outlandish purchase and ultimately dips into their joint savings account secretly to salvage his business when his millionaire father refuses to bail out his wayward son yet one more time.
After writing more than 60 books solo, Wanda teams up with Jean Brunstetter to deliver an engrossing story designed to have readers eager for installment two in the six-part serial novel, which unfolds in six successive months. Each book is a satisfying read but ends on a powerful hook leading to the next installment, until the series ending.
Wanda teamed up to write the serial novel with her daughter-in-law after the New York Times success of the author’s six-part 2013 story, The Discovery: A Lancaster County Saga, which showed her how much her readers enjoy a change of pace, with novels in short installments.
Book two in The Amish Millionaire serial novel is April’s THE STUBBORN FATHER.
Did writing the serial novel pose challenges that differ from delivering a story told in one volume?
“Oh, yes,” Wanda provided. “Jean and I would write one book and turn it in to our editor and move on to the next one. But sometimes in the books that followed, our characters took us in a direction different from our original serial outline, and the change in course would impact the telling of the first book, which was already in the publication process. But we persevered, and we are both happy with the end result.”
What’s next for the Brunstetter writing team? “A second book about twins Elma and Thelma from our THE LOPSIDED CHRISTMAS CAKE,” Jean said, referring to the September 2015 novel by her and Wanda.
Wanda’s published books number almost 70. Her novels have appeared on such bestseller lists as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, CBA, ECPA and CBD.
The winner of RT Book Reviews magazine’s 2013 Career Achievement Award for Inspirational Fiction, she and her husband, Richard, reside in Yakima, Wash., where Jean and her husband also live. Wanda and Richard spend much of their winters in Sarasota, Florida.