Bio

Joan M. Shoup, writing as J. M. Hochstetler, writes stories that always involve some element of the past and of finding home. Born in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers, Joan grew up in the Amish and Mennonite community outside Kokomo and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. Her life’s ambition was to marry a nice Mennonite farmer, settle down to raise babies and crops, and become an artist.

As we all know, life has a way of throwing curve balls . . .

Instead, while raising three daughters, she discovered writing after an intriguing dream that begged to be developed into a novel. Several new stories followed, all gathering a collection of rejection slips. Years later she moved from Indiana to Tennessee and eventually became an editor with Abingdon Press, where she worked for twelve years before founding her own small press, Sheaf House Publishers. Recently she and her husband moved back to Indiana.

Joan is the author of the critically acclaimed American Patriot Series. The first four volumes, Daughter of Liberty, Native Son, Wind of the Spirit, and Crucible of War, and Valley of the Shadow have been released, with two more volumes planned in the series. Book 6, Refiner’s Fire is scheduled to release in April 2019, and Book 7, Forge of Freedom, will complete the series. She also coauthored the Northkill Amish Series with multi-published author Bob Hostetler. Book 1, Northkill, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, received Interviews and Reviews’ 2017 Silver Award for historical fiction. Joan is also the author of One Holy Night, a retelling of the Christmas story set in modern times that was the 2009 Christian Small Publishers Fiction Book of the Year and a finalist for the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award.

Joan is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Jacob Hochstetler Family Association. She loves to garden, scrapbook, travel, spend time with her grandchildren, and most of all read good stories and write. She and her husband, a retired pastor with the United Methodist Church, live at the center of Amish country in Elkhart, Indiana.