Author Interview with Wendy Rich Stetson for Hometown

Please join me in welcoming author Wendy Rich Stetson. Look no further than Hometown for a delightful, sweet romance.


Title: Hometown

Author: Wendy Rich Stetson

Genre: Sweet Romance


When Tessa’s big-city plans take the A Train to disaster, she lands in her sleepy hometown, smack in the middle of the most unlikely love triangle ever to hit Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.

Hot-shot Dr. Richard Bruce is bound to Green Ridge by loyalty that runs deep. Deeper still is Jonas Rishel’s tie to the land and his family’s Amish community. Behind the wheel of a 1979 camper van, Tessa idles at a fork in the road. Will she cruise the superhighway to the future? Or take a slow trot to the past and a mysterious society she never dreamed she’d glimpse from the inside?


What was the inspiration behind your latest release? 

Just out of acting school and twiddling my thumbs while I waited for the phone to ring, I saw an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show featuring romance writers.  “I could do that,” I thought, every bit as naïve as I was to think a starring role on Broadway would land on my doorstep, wrapped in shiny paper and tied with a satin bow.  Still, inspired by those Oprah writers with the often-heard advice to “write what I knew” I came up with a simple premise: what would happen if a girl moved back to her hometown and fell in love with an Amish guy.  Twenty years and endless edits later, Hometown is now in the hands of readers.

Do ideas for plot or characters appear first? 

Perhaps stemming from my work as an actor, I get most of my inspiration from situations.  Actors often use the phrase “what if” to connect to our roles and approach our acting work in a truthful, emotionally-centered way.  What if I was a young, headstrong woman in the time of the American Revolution, looking to find a husband among the hotheaded revolutionaries in New York City?  What if my uncle killed my father and married my mother…how would I feel and behave?  When I begin a book, I don’t think, “I know—I’ll write about a tall girl with curly red hair and impossibly high standards in men.”  I think, “What if I moved back to my hometown in central Pennsylvania and met a drop-dead handsome Amish guy at the farmer’s market?” and I let the story spring from there.  I like getting characters in trouble–that’s where the good stuff lies.

Have you ever traveled when researching information for a book? 

Since my hometown provided the inspiration for my book series, I didn’t have far to travel.  But I still did oodles of research.  I take the responsibility of writing about another culture very seriously.  When I first started working on Hometown, my only resources were books and the observations I made from interacting with the Amish in my town.  Now, many online sources offer details about all aspects of Amish life.  I have read many books, watched videos, read blogs, and written to other authors of Amish fiction for help.  It’s extremely important to me that I represent Amish life and culture as accurately and respectfully as I can, while also depicting the Amish as real people, not costumed characters.

When did you begin writing? 

I can’t remember when I didn’t write.  When I was a girl, I wrote fantasy stories, and as a teenager, I was an obsessive diarist.

How many hours do you dedicate each day towards writing? 

As a freelancer, my days are never the same. Sometimes I write 45 minutes, and sometimes I get a good four or five hours of writing before my brain turns to mush.

What has been your biggest challenge? 

Social media.  It can be such a great way to connect with other authors and readers, but it sure can be a time suck as well.

What does literary success mean to you?

A few weeks ago I sent a paperback copy of my book to a high school friend.  We had been in touch off and on over the years, but after chatting one day on Facebook, I asked if she liked sweet romance.  She said yes, and I just stuck a copy in the mail for old times’ sake.  A week or so later, she messaged that she had spent the whole day at the hospital while her husband had neck surgery, and that my book really helped her get through the rough tasks of waiting and caregiving.  That, to me, is the pinnacle of literary success.

What writing tips or marketing advice would you like to share

Write the story you want to read.  Don’t set out to please some ideal reader you’ve imagined in your head.  Tell a tale that thrills and delights you, and you’ll find no end of inspiration.

Which authors inspire you?

Diana Gabaldon is a tremendous inspiration.  Her depth of character, emotion, and detailed research make me drool.  Amish romance writers Kelly Irvin and Patricia Johns are not only wonderful people, but lovely writers.  And indy romcom writer Ellyn Oaksmith could teach a master class in comedy.

What project are you currently working on? 

I’m so excited to be working on the second book in the Hearts of the Ridge Series, Heartsong Hills.  Jonas Rishel, the Amish carpenter who is the hero of Hometown, has a sister who in book one is angry and bitter after suffering great loss in her life. Book two places her in the spotlight, giving her a story full of music, whimsy, and unlikely love.


Wendy Rich Stetson is a New York City girl who still considers the Central Pennsylvania countryside to be her home.  She grew up road tripping in a 1979 VW camper van, and she keeps a running list of favorite roadside attractions from coast to coast.  Now an author of sweet, small-town romance, Wendy is no stranger to storytelling.  She’s a Broadway and television actress, an audiobook narrator, and a mom who likes nothing more than collaborating on children’s books with her teenage artist daughter.  Wendy lives in Upper Manhattan with her family of three and rambunctious Maine Coon kitty.  Follow Wendy’s journey at











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