1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Hi Jamallah! Thanks for having me today J Well, my name is Sara Barnard, I’m happily married to my Army vet hubby and we have four beautiful children, all of whom were born in different states. My decade-old daughter is an amazing volleyball player, my eight-year-old son is an avid drummer, my almost-six-year-old son just lost his first tooth yesterday and my baby son is just four and will go by his nickname even when he is playing pro ball – that nickname is Bitty. Last year, I taught the most awesome group of sixth graders in west Texas, now we make our home in Native America, I have six novels in print and one set to release in September with no sign of stopping.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love animals, especially rescue animals. We have three dogs – one from Texas and twin dogs from Italy—and three cats. My cats are a bit more diverse, with one from Colorado, one from Texas, and one from Oklahoma. My daughter also has a flock of Easter Egger chickens that she is raising and we have a pair of sweet pygmy goats joining us next month. I also have my own indie publishing company now for inspirational fiction – Coffee Cakes Publishing. You can find CCP at CoffeeCakesPublishing.blogspot.com or on Twitter @CoffeeCakesPub
3. Where do you get your ideas from?
I get all of my ideas from life and history. I was a history major in college and fell in love with the subject. That is why I write historicals – so nobody is forgotten. For example, I didn’t know about the famous Texas outlaw (Robert) Clay Allison despite growing up in his stomping grounds my entire life. His story is so spectacular, I had to include him (and several Earp brothers) in my forthcoming novel, Old Amarillo (Amish Journeys #1).
4. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, which would be your favorite and why?
Out of all the stories I have written so far, the favorite I have written to completion is A Heart on Hold (An Everlasting Heart #1), my debut novel. I wrote this when my husband was in Afghanistan and my entire world was turned upside down. My thyroid was dying and had to be removed and my husband wasn’t allowed to come home, all three of my tiny babies and myself had battled the flu, and it was a particularly horrific deployment for him. A Heart on Hold chronicles all of these things and more – it is more my diary than a novel, per se.
5. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
My stories are a combination of both. If anyone who knows me well reads my stories, they will see my life experiences woven all through them. Then again, anyone who doesn’t know me that well can simply read my Facebook timeline, because, as a family, we are pretty much an open book.
6. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
In addition to writing sweet historical romances and adventure novels, I write Amish fiction, I have a four book Native American adventure series for middle grade readers, a Christian western, two nonfiction nature books for kids, a nonfiction wolf books for kids, illustrated picture books, and I am currently working on my memoir. I am also working on a medieval English nonfiction book, and have been for years. I hope to finish it someday. I love to write!!
7. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Philippa Gregory, Larry McMurtry, Ann Swann, Lucia St. Clair Robson.
8. Who are your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Charlotte Adamsland and Captain Sanderson Redding from my four-book Civil War era Everlasting Heart series. They are basically my husband and me as we struggled through deployment, PTSD, and neared divorce as the result of the Army lifestyle and hardships—and they have our spunk, too.
9. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Oh this one is easy. There are simply not enough hours in the day!! Daytime hours are split between my family time, working, and my animals. I would rather spend every minute that I have to sleep writing instead . . . my body does not agree and I usually fall asleep in mid-keystroke!
10. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Write. Don’t stop writing. Don’t let writer’s block get you down, pick a different genre and let the creative juices flow. Learn and evolve and hone your craft . . . listen to criticism, but don’t conform or jump on bandwagons if you’re not a bandwagon jumper. Write what you want to read.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
Here is a taste of A Heart on Hold, my debut novel and very first publication.
War. Devotion. Deceit. Death. How long can a heart hold on before it breaks? Most women would carry on with their lives after being thrust into widowhood, but not Charlotte Adamsland. Upon learning that her husband, Captain Sanderson Redding, was killed in a botched escape from a Confederate prison in Illinois, she clings to his promise to return to her no matter what, and quickly heads north through a war-ravaged country with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her Sanderson home - one way or another.
Charlotte's lips only took a moment to find those belonging to her beloved. He tasted faintly of molasses and she was immediately drawn into the warmth of his embrace. Their bodies were perfectly pressed together, fitting as though one had been divinely made for the other, as Sanderson's kisses trailed from Charlotte's lips down her neck. Her hands found his softly stubbled face and guided him back to her lips. With his strong arms around her, she'd never felt more safe. Or more vulnerable.
Sara’s Twitter: @TheSaraBarnard
Sara’s Website: www.sarabarnardbooks.com
Sara’s Book Blogs: sarathreesuns.blogspot.com
My next work will be Old Amarillo (Amish Journeys #1) coming September 3 from 5 Prince Publishing. Stay tuned to my website for a cover reveal, coming soon!
Book 2: A Heart Broken
Book 3: A Heart at Home
Book 4: A Heart Forever Wild