Search This Blog

Friday, April 17, 2015

An Interview With Sara Barnard



Sara Barnard is a native Texan, conservationist, mother of four youngsters, wife to a handsome Texan and elementary teacher. She started writing in grade school, and hasn't stopped since. During the past year, readers have thrilled to the very special story of Indian Em'ly, published by Painted Pony Books.

Recently, Richard Prosch visited with Sara as the fourth book in the series, The Journey Home, nears publication.

Richard: The inspiration for the Indian Em’ly books is rooted deep in your past. What did you see at Fort Davis Texas when you were a child that stuck in your memory? 

Sara: My mom, dad, and I were lost in the tangle of misbegotten trails in the park at Fort Davis. We came upon the ruins of the old post cemetery and there was only one marker. Apparently all the rest of the bodies had been relocated to San Antonio when the post was abandoned, except for this one. It was the marker of a young Native American girl named Indian Emily, or Em'ly as they put it. The inscription said something about her loving a soldier at the fort and accidentally being shot while trying to deliver to him a message of the impending Indian attack, but not before "saving the garrison from massacre".

Richard: Are you working on a specific arc, or number of books, with a beginning, middle, and end, or will the Indian Em’ly story continue on?  As a corollary –can each story stand alone?

Sara: Each story can certainly stand alone, but is best when read all together. It begins with Indian Em'ly's death and the kidnapping of the children she and this soldier could have had, and the last story in the series will release this summer with the wayward children finally finding the peace they've been missing.

Richard: In the first story, Apache siblings Wind That Knocks Down Lodges and Cactus Flower have their world turned upside down. How have they grown by book two and three?

Sara: Knocks Down (who appears in my Everlasting Heart series, as well) and Cactus Flower (who is named after Cynthia Ann Parker's daughter Prairie Flower) are forced to form trusting bonds with select pale faces, despite the fact that it was the pale face Army who murdered their mother. Not only are they beginning to question and rationalize their world, but they must rely on each other in ways they never had to before, as well.

Richard: The two characters have a typical brother & sister relationship. Do you have siblings? Or: Are you drawing from your own life?

Sara: I draw from my own experience, but not from brothers and sisters of my own. I write these adventures after my own children :-) I have four of my own, ages 3,5, 8, and 10 and we have recently taken in a 12 year old child, as well. So there is certainly no shortage of inspiration and quotable quotes around here!

Richard: Your bio says you write Amish fiction. What’s your inspiration there, and where can we find those stories?

Sara: I do! Rebekah's Quilt is my first Amish romance and stemmed from my familial research and finding what I believed were Amish ancestors. One man had the nickname of the Pennsylvania Dutchman and another photo showed a woman in an Amish covering. However, another family historiographer has found that these people may have been Jewish! This is very exciting and I am just as proud either way <3

Richard: Where can we find more information about you and your books?

Sara: Find my work at www.sarabarnardbooks.com

Thanks for having me at the blog!

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for having me, Richard!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for having me, Richard!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sara. You're writing some fun stuff!

      Delete
  3. Great interview Sara. Love the background on the Emily books. They sound wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristy!! I can't wait to get the fourth installment out!

      Delete
  4. Rich, you ask some great questions! Sara, I'm going to read Rebekah's Quilt--I've got it on my Kindle, but I have to find some TIME! It sounds really good. I admire anyone who can write an Amish romance--I just don't have it in me--kinda like writing a mystery--don't have that in me, either. LOL

    I just want to say AGAIN what a remarkable person you are--one of the BEST people in this world, as well as being a darn good writer! I don't know how you cram so much into your days, but you're managing just fine. Love the Indian Em'ly books--those are so touching, and I love the relationship between Knocks Down and Cactus Flower.

    Livia and I are so glad to have you as one of our authors at PRP/PPB! Can't wait to see what you come up with next--and of course, I'm dying to see what happens at the end of the Indian Em'ly series.

    XOXOXO
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl! Looking at the calendar...I think your turn is coming soon!!

      Delete
    2. CHERYL on the hotseat! Always a grand time! LOL Thanks Rich, just let me know!

      Delete
    3. Cheryl this brought tears to my eyes. <3 Thank you :-) I think you and Livia are pretty wonderful ladies myself!! Can't wait to see what Richard has in store for you!!

      Delete
  5. Love your Indian Em’ly books. You have written them rich in history in an entertaining way that kids can read. Not an easy feat. I'm looking forward to seeing what you write next. I am surprised you have time to write being a full time teacher, and mom of 5, but I'm glad you manage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Livia!! I'm blessed to have these five kiddos in my life, for sure! Thank you for all of your support and friendship 💟

      Delete
  6. Sara, after reading your interview I can see I need to fire up my Kindle and add yours to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Diana! I hope you love them!! 💞

      Delete
  7. Great interview Sara. Your books sound wonderful not just for kids but also for the adults. You are truly a gifted person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate you, Barb! Richard is a great interviewer!

      Delete
  8. I enjoyed finding how you were inspired to write the series for Painted Pony. It's sad that Emily's grave is there all alone.
    You certainly have a house full of inspiration! LOL
    All the best to you, Sara...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah! I hate that her grave is out there all alone as well, and whenever we get back down that way I hope to take the family on a trek to find what I can!

      Delete
  9. I admire anyone who can write good children's stories. Just in passing, I do look at children's books...okay, well, I would write one if I could. It's the only genre I might crossover into..nothing else, certainly. One of my young friends here--a mother of two young boys--writes mid-grade stories, and even though she got off on the wrong foot and she knew it, she returned to real story telling and has won awards and is on a NY best selling lists, etc. Her recent one is Wish Girl.
    Pardon me for talking about her.
    The story of the real Indian Emily is intriguing, and often discounted as a fable--but to find a marker does make me stop and wonder, too. I still like to believe there was a real Emily.
    Yours books sound wonderful, and I wish you all the best! I don't know when you write with five children, and good for you for taking in this girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Celia!! I will have to check out WISH GIRL, for sure! I hope to get down to Fort Davis and take some pictures at some point, to see what I can find. I am certainly blessed to have my five babies, the newest addition is actually a precious 12 year old boy :-) That brings us to four boys and one beautiful girl :-)

      Delete
  10. Great interview Richard and Sara!

    Sara, your Indian Em'ly books sound wonderful. I really need to pick those up. The real life story sounds so tragic.

    Best of luck with all your stories for children and adults. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kirsten! I voted for HOME FIRES, by the way ;-)

      Delete
  11. Sara, your Indian Em'ly books sounds so intriguing. I haven't read them, but will be sure to get them and I know my two granddaughters will love them. I live in NYS, but over the past twenty years hundreds of Amish and Mennonites have moved to our rural county. Wonderful people and they are a great asset to our community. I'm looking forward to reading Rebekah's Quilt also. Wishing you the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope your grand babies love Indian Em'ly, I sure would love to hear how they like then :-) I hope you love REBEKAH'S QUILT!

      Delete
  12. Sara, I'm always looking at novels for my bookworm niece. Every Christmas she receives a new set of P.J.s, popcorn, and books from me. Your books sound like the perfect gift for her. It was nice hearing about you and your stories. Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment :-) I hope your neice loves Indian Em'ly!! She is lucky to have you for an auntie!! (She sounds just like my daughter who received the entire WIMPY KID series from her daddy for Christmas and had them all read in a week!)

      Delete
  13. Great interview about one of my favorite authors. Can't wait until summer when you REALLY have time to write!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mom :-) Love you!! (And you are my favorite author, hands down! I can't wait for the release of COPPER LAKE!)

      Delete
  14. It is STAAR testing week and I just noticed that my website has expired!! I will have it back up and running soon :-) Until then, find me at sarathreesuns.blogspot.com :-) I can't wait to chat again!!!

    ReplyDelete