Author Interview - Sandra Byrd
Author I draw inspiration from: Francine Rivers, because she has been publishing regularly for dozens of years, exploring many genres and without letting her creativity or quality flag.
Favorite place to read a book: During the summer, outside for sure. I would normally pick the easy chair for the winter, but our new building has covered porches with fireplaces, so I’m thinking that’s going to be a new go-to.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: Captain John Blackthorne, from Clavell’s Shogun. I adore that book, Japanese history, and Tudor England. I’m on a binge of re-reading favorites right now. You’ll see Shogun a bit further down, too!
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: When I was in about first grade and could read chapter books and fell into one world after another from which I never wanted to emerge. 😊
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: All except audio, except if I’m walking. My husband prefers audio to all the others, so it’s great that we have a lot of options now.
The last book I read: I just re-read Girl with a Pearl Earring, as we are heading to see a documentary about Vermeer and this painting and I wanted to revisit it before we did. I loved it just as much as the first time – maybe more. Having written many books since the first reading, I appreciate Chevalier’s craft even more. Next up is I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon.
Pen & paper or computer: Computer. Books go straight from my brain to my fingertips and keyboard.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: Laura Ingalls Wilder as a girl, for sure. I’d like to think Mariko from Shogun would befriend me – but I don’t know. I admire her. Smart. Feminine. Bold. Courageous. Sensual. Spiritual.
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be a: Historian, for sure. I wouldn’t mind Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb’s job, though I’d be happy to just job shadow!
Favorite decade in fashion history: I was going to say any that include a lady in waiting or lady’s maid to care for my clothes. I’m not sure I have the patience to sit for so many fittings, though, as there were few ready-made pieces, and they didn’t launder as often. I do prefer wearing dresses, though. I wear a dress—albeit a comfortable one—nine days out of ten.
Place I’d most like to travel: Britain, even though I’ve been many times. I don’t like to think of myself as boring so much as besotted.
My signature drink: A little invention of my own: Respect Your Elders. One shot of St. Germain (elderflower liqueur); one shot high quality vodka (I prefer Russian Standard Platinum) and one shot of elderflower cordial (this is nonalcoholic, and you can buy the famous Belvoir Farms brand at World Market). Pour into a large wine glass, mix with a spoon. Add 6 ounces of Lemon LaCroix sparkling water and then fill with crushed ice. Divine. If you’ve never sampled the charms of elderflowers, you’ll be delighted!
Favorite artist: Right now, I’m focusing on musical artists because they play a role in my work in progress. I can’t wait to hear cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason next month at the symphony. He played at the recent royal wedding, and I love cello, and prodigies, so I’m expecting an amazing night. For contemporary music I’m really loving the songs Money by Mat Kearney and Magic by Amy Stroup.
Number one on my bucket list: To take the Orient Express from Venice to London.
Sandra Byrd is the author of fifty published books including the historical novels To Die For, Mist of Midnight, and her most recent, Lady of a Thousand Treasures (October 9, 2018; Tyndale House). She has received many awards, nominations, and accolades for her work including the Historical Novel Society’s Editor’s Choice award, two Christy Award nominations, Library Journal Best Book selections, and inclusion on Booklist’s Top Ten Inspirational Books of the Year list. Sandra lives in Seattle with her husband and with her grown children nearby. You can visit her online at sandrabyrd.com.