About the Author
Sara Barnard and her family of six make their home deep in the recesses of Native America with a trio of rescue dogs, a trifecta of rescue cats, a flock of Easter Egger chickens, and a "tiny" herd of Dwarf Nigerian pygmy goats.
Some of Sara's works include The Calling (Prairie Rose Publications), The Saga of Indian Em'ly series (Painted Pony Books), Shootout in Old Amarillo (Prairie Rose Publications), The Everlasting Heart series, Rebekah's Quilt, and Desperado (all from 5 Prince Publishing). Sara is a certified elementary teacher and a bona fide coffee aficionado.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I got started way back in third grade with an essay on my late tomcat, J. Thomas O'Malley. I won first place in the school and hid in the hall as it was read at the PTA meeting. It wasn't until my husband was on his last deployment to Afghanistan that I began writing for publication. I was home, depressed, with three tiny children, a mess of inspiration, and a tempest of emotions -- and a wonderful friend named Rochelle who made me think I could put it down on paper and make something of it and an author mama who stood behind me every step of the way.
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
A Heart on Hold, A Heart Broken, A Heart at Home, A Heart Forever Wild -- this is the four book series that was born from my debut novel and all historical romance with a family saga/adventuresome spin. (4)
Rebekah's Quilt was my first Amish romance and I have several more books in her series on my desktop, staring at me daily, just begging to be finished. (1)
Desperado and Shootout in Old Amarillo, both YA time-travel horror with wonderful reviews and a ton of old west fun. (2)
The Calling is Christian western based on a Marty Robbin's song, The Master's Call. (1)
The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants, The ABC's of Texas Plants, and The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn't so Big and Bad -- children's nonfiction. (3)
The Saga of Indian Em'ly: The Apache and the Pale Face Soldiers, On the Colorado Trail, The Orphanage, and The Journey Home are Native American middle grade chapter books. (4)
The Bank Robber's Lament is historical romance. (1)
Chunky Sugars and Little Spoon are illustrated picture books (2).
Old Amarillo is a three book series and is a new genre I created -- Amish western. (1)
I also have several pieces in various anthologies, including MY DOG CAN DO MAGIC.
That makes 19 finished books available on the market right now :-)
3. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I have a ton, really. I have a medieval nonfiction project that has kept me busy for over a year based on certain aspects of London that I can't force out of my mind.
I also have a memoir I am working on and I am sharing bits and pieces on my blog weekly at sarathreesuns.blogspot.com. This is one woman's journey through the wilderness, through a PTSD-infected marriage, and a life-changing cancer diagnosis at the age of 32.
All of my follow up Amish projects are also on my desktop :-)
4. What does your writing process look like?
My writing process looks like late nights, lots of Keurig coffee, Craig Chaquico on my Pandora station, early mornings, and my laptop going everywhere I go. I have started leaving my laptop at home and carrying a mess of notebooks out on the town with me instead, so that cuts down on bulk when traversing Native America with four young children.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?
Where the buffalo roam is my home. This picture was taken just down the road from my front door. This is where I write :-) My windows are open, light is streaming in, and my animals are everywhere. Kids are doing their thing, I'm multitasking and my muse is at its peak -- I wouldn't have it any other way.
6. How important are the names in your novels? How do you choose names for your characters? Do you have any name resources you would suggest?
My names are so important. I choose names from baby name sources and historical guides of the day. If the name was popular in 1860 and that is when my novel was set, then it is in the running :-) Babynames.com is a wonderful resource!
7. What authors/novels that you enjoy would you recommend?
Ann Swann is my leading favorite. She is also my mother. Cheryl Pierson, Livia Reasoner, Kathleen Rice Adams, Lucia Robson, Larry McMurtry, Kristy McCaffrey, Steve Sanders, and Christine Steendam are all writers whose work I enjoy very much!
8. Where is your favorite place to read and why?
My favorite place to read is in my boys' room at night when I'm reading them bedtime stories. <3 I WISH we were reading in a room that looks like this. . .
9. What period of history interests you the most?
Oh there are so many. Medieval England and the American west are my favorites.
10. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character?
I only get to pick one? Oh but there are so many . . .let's see here. I think the lovely Jonathan Rhys Meyers would make a WONDERFUL hero, Peter Wagler, for OLD AMARILLO. I can totally see him as a roguish Amish guy . . . sigh . . .
11. What inspired the idea for Old Amarillo? How many books do you plan to have in this series?
Old Amarillo is inspired by the real life migration of an Amish family from Gasthof Village, Indiana (where Rebekah's Quilt) was set to Amarillo, Texas. But I just fictionalized it a bit and made a strong-willed female lead the charge. There are three books in the series and they are all set in the west -- Old Amarillo, followed by Old Santa Fe, then concluding with Old Montana. I think readers will like them <3 I do <3
12. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Well, I have four children, all of which are in school this year, so that keeps me busy. I'm also an MD Anderson patient, so trips to Houston are frequent. My family also has a flock of Easter egger chickens which my daughter raises, a tiny herd of Nigerian pygmy goats, and a mess of rescue cats and dogs. Nope, never a dull moment around here!
Check out my review of OLD AMARILLO.
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