Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of nearly 70 books with more than 9 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, and Country Woman. Wanda’s books have been translated into four foreign languages.
Wanda’s fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda’s desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.
All of Wanda’s novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
Wanda’s primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern “Englishers.” Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too.
More about Wanda:
Wanda and Richard have two grown children — Richard Jr., married to Jean, and Lorine, married to William. Wanda and her husband have been blessed with six grandchildren — Jinell, Madolynne, Rebekah, Richard III, Philip, and Richelle. They also have two great-grandchildren, Ezekiel and Jocelynn.
Wanda’s family history on her father’s side dates back to 1750 with her great-great-great-great grandparents, Jacob Landess, born in Germany in 1750, and Mary Reynolds, born in North Carolina in 1760. Jacob and Mary were members of a Plain people group called the “Dutch Quakers.” They had a strong connection to the Dunkard Church, part of the Anabaptist movement, to which the Amish and Mennonite also belong.
Jacob and Mary had 13 children, among them was Henry Landess (Wanda’s great-great-great grandfather) who was born in Kentucky in 1789. Henry was married and widowed three times. His second wife, Catherine Moler, gave birth to a son named John Landess who was born in Highland County, Ohio in 1814 (Wanda’s great-great grandfather). John married Rachel (Michael) Landess, born in Virginia in 1818.
Favorite Verse of Scripture:
Proverbs 17:22 — “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Wanda believes that everyone needs a daily dose of humor, because laughter is good medicine.
Wanda enjoys photography, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and visiting her Amish friends, whom she has come to know and love so well. She also enjoys every chance she gets to spend time with her family.
Besides writing, Wanda is a professional puppeteer and a ventriloquist. She often entertains children and adults with one of several ventriloquist figures. One of Wanda’s favorite figures is a little boy puppet dressed in Amish clothes, which she often uses when she visits Amish or English schools.
Wanda’s husband, Richard, is an avid photographer who loves to take captivating images of the Amish country. Several of his pictures are available for purchase or as a free download. Click here to view Richard’s gallery.
Favorite Places to Visit:
Wanda and her husband enjoy traveling, and take every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the United States. They have Amish friends in every community that Wanda writes about. Wanda and Richard have visited many Amish settlements in several states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Montana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, and Missouri.
Wanda also enjoys Hawaii, which is her favorite place to go when an “Englisher” just wants to relax.
Favorite Food and Recipes:
Wanda has extensive knowledge of Amish cooking and has written two unique Amish cookbooks. Click here for a list of some of her favorite recipes.
Organizations and Affiliations:
Romance Writers of America
American Christian Fiction Writers
Northwest Christian Writers Association
2014 Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award: Wanda was awarded the 2014 Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award for her book, Woman of Courage. View the entire list of winners here.
2013 Career Achievement Award: Wanda won the Career Achievement Award for Inspirational novels at RT Book Reviews. View the announcement here.
2013 Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award: Wanda was awarded the 2013 Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award for her book, The Tattered Quilt. View the entire list of winners here.
2011 Author of the Year: Family Fiction named Wanda the 2011 Author of the Year. Read the interview with Wanda in the May/June issue of Family Fiction magazine.
2011 Retailers Choice Award: Lydia’s Charm won the 2011 Retailers Choice Award in the Contemporary Romance category.
2006 Retailer’s Choice Award: The Storekeeper’s Daughter received the 2006 Retailer’s Choice Award for Women’s Fiction.