My name is M.J. Kane, Amazon Bestselling Author of A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book one of the Butterfly Memoirs. Follow me as I balance being a published author with motherhood and family. I share the knowledge I've learned and experiences I have along the way. Life, love, music and more... Grab a cup of coffee, a box of chocolate, sit back and enjoy!
Today I welcome fellow 5 Prince Publishing author, Sara Barnard! Sara is one busy woman! Army wife, raising a family, working, going to school, all the while writing in two genres...hats off to you!
What inspired you to write?
I have been writing since as long as I can remember and my biggest inspiration is simply life. I have always known that is how I communicate best, because usually when speaking I get tongue tied. I won a writing contest in the third grade which is my earliest memory of my writing garnering any attention. That story was about the life of my beloved tomcat, J. Thomas O’Malley. A fiction story I wrote about a P.O.W. in the Viet Nam war was published in my high school literary magazine as the feature article during my senior year. In 2005 my mom’s crippled dog, Clyde, was treated savagely by my hometown’s animal control officers in a royal mix-up. My subsequent “letter to the editor” of the local newspaper caused quite a stir and led to the city manager coming to my parent’s house to make a formal, in-person apology. I also took to the pen when we rescued two tiny kittens after they were flung from the truck in front of us on the highway last summer. We nursed them back to health and I am happy to report that the most injured one, Francis (named for St. Francis) is still with us today! Karma, the little blonde one, survived the incident but disappeared a few months later. Come to think of it, my first paid published work was titled CHEYENNE: CHARLIE COMPANY SWEETHEART (Silver Boomer Books, 2011). That story was the true account of my husband’s adopted puppy during his last tour in Afghanistan. After reading this, I guess animals are my inspiration, too!
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work full time, take care of four growing kids, a menagerie of rescue animals, and one drill sergeant. I squeeze in my writing time when I can, usually with the MUCH needed help from my awesome husband (said drill sergeant). It helps that I have the best job in the world and my supervisor encouraged me on day 1 to bring my laptop and write in the downtime. How awesome is that? I love my job(s), all of them!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Once I seduce my muse, my muse hangs out almost indefinitely. Thankfully. Sometimes, it waits atop my ever-growing mountain of laundry, other times it waits until I catch up on my sleep. I can pretty much write anytime, anywhere!
Are you a pantser or plotter?
Very much a pantser … at least in fiction. I like taking on the adventure with my characters, not knowing what the next turn will bring. Since my degree is in history and if I could have lived in any time period it would be the 19th century, my works are usually set during the 1800’s. Most of what I write mirrors my life too, so I guess that old adage, life imitating art is true in my case!
Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
My debut novel, A HEART ON HOLD (5 Prince Publishing, 2012), is pretty much my diary written during my husband’s last deployment to the Middle East. It features all of my fears, worries, expectations, and even some experiences. I took my life and set it during the Civil War and this book was born. Book two in my An Everlasting Heart series, A HEART BROKEN, is set to release January 2013 and deals with the Redding family’s struggle with life AFTER the war, namely PTSD, which has had quite an influence on my life, as well. My first children’s book, CHUNKY SUGARS, is completely true and written for my fourth baby, Lil’ Bit. I received the cover art yesterday and the release date is January 1, New Year’s Day! The illustrator did such a fine job on the cover, I can’t WAIT to see the rest of the book!! I have other children’s books that I have written for my three other children, too! I can’t wait to see them in print!
Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read. Simple as that J
Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
Indie pubbed is a new one to me, so I am not sure what that entails. I do have one self-published title, THE ABC’S OF OKLHOMA PLANTS, which came out last summer. I wrote that one for my kids after we we PCS’d to Oklahoma. The pictures were graciously donated by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center of Austin, TX. I am working on the Texas version now.
What are your current projects?
I have about a million in the works. I have some Christian western works I am toying with as well as finishing books 3 and 4 (A HEART AT HOME and A HEART FOREVER WILD) in An Everlasting Heart series. My chapter book for my daughter is almost finished and NUMEROUS children’s books are already complete. I have another fiction work set during a defining period of American history that I am working on as well, but it is still a secret J
A Heart on Hold....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. After learning her husband, Captain Sanderson Redding, was killed in a botched escape from a Confederate Prison, she heads north through a war-torn country with just her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her Sanderson home - one way or the other.
A Heart Broken...The war is over, Sanderson is home, and life is good - until the Army comes knocking. They have charged him with the murder of his former captor, Lietenant Lantz. With the help of Jerry Thomas, Sandrson must track down and kill the notorious outlaw William "Bloody Bill" Quantrill- or hang for murder while Charlotte is left to endure a rash of hydrophobia that threatens the countryside - her Sanderson included. ----Available January 22, 2013
Chunky Sugars...What happens when Mommy gets all of her chunky little baby's sugars? Come find out in this charming book full of exciting firsts and lots of love!----Available January 1, 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sara Barnard is an Army wife and mother of four beautiful children. They have made their home all over the world, but miss Italy at Christmastime the most!