I’m so excited to interview Christy Award Winning author Sara Brunsvold today! Her debut novel “The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip” touched the hearts of all who read it and her new novel (which she shares about today) “The Divine Proverb of Streusel” is another unique and heartwarming story. Without further ado, here’s Sara!
First let’s learn a little bit about you. Can you share a few things about yourself that have nothing to do with writing?
My husband and I have two teen daughters and one middle-aged dog who is currently laying at my feet. We live in the Kansas City area, and at one time, we had four barbecue restaurants within two miles of our house, all of which had been featured on the Food Network. My go-to barbecue dish is a KC signature, burnt ends.
That sounds amazing! What drew you to write?
My middle school language arts teacher was the first person to encourage me to pursue creative writing. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I started writing “novels” in spiral bound notebooks and fell in love immediately. From that point forward, it’s all I have ever truly wanted to do.
It sure seems that your teacher was right. What’s your writing process?
I’m still figuring out what works best for me. In general though, I start with a gist of story then focus on developing the characters. By understanding my characters and their goals and challenges, I discover the plot. Once I know my characters well and have at least a loosely formed plot, I write a sloppy first draft. When I hit the 85,000-87,000 word mark, I go back through and refine. I’m a much stronger editor than I am a first drafter, and I give myself permission to be messy the first go-round.
As an author myself, I can definitely relate to figuring out what works for a process. How do you come up with your story ideas?
From real life. Authors tend to be keen observers and note-takers of the world around them, and I include myself in that generalization. All of the stories I have written and plan to write were sparked by something I experienced, saw, heard or read.
Now, we’ve all been waiting. Tell us about your new release.
The Divine Proverb of Streusel follows Nikki Werner as she seeks solace from a family crisis by cooking through her great-grandmother’s German recipes. The story was inspired in part by my own family story and heritage.
Are there certain themes explored in the story?
The key theme is forgiveness after father wounds. This is something I personally wrestled with, and I hope to encourage others who may have similar familial hurt.
I’ve read and enjoyed The Divine Proverb of Streusel and definitely have some characters that will stick with me. Do you have any favorite characters in your books?
In The Divine Proverb of Streusel, one of the two point of view characters is Nikki’s uncle, Wes. Wes represents the first time I have written from a male point of view, and the process to understand the world through his eyes was richer than I expected. We all experience and navigate emotional hurt in different ways, and I found myself drawn to how Wes processed things. In the end, he became as much of a comfort to me as he was to Nikki. For that reason, he has a special place in my heart.
What are you working on now?
I am working on book #3, about a mom and her two grown daughters on a bookish road trip around the Heartland. Lots of layers to explore in the mother-daughter dynamic.
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
My family and I love to travel Middle America, from the Midwest to the Great Plains to the south central regions. “Flyover country” has a lot to offer, and we try to see as much of it as possible together and eat the local favorites. I’m also a fan of cooking shows. Great British Baking Show is one of my all-time favorites.
You can find information on how to order “The Divine Proverb of Streusel” and connect with Sara here: