Monday, 24 November 2008

Getting to know Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd is a prolific author, writing for tweens, teens and now grown ups! I adore her French Twist series and am now seeking out her tween books for my eldest daughter for Christmas...shh...don't tell her!

I hope you enjoy getting to know Sandra and the wonderful French pastires she describes in her adult trilogy, Let Them Eat Cake, Bon Appetit and coming in 2009, Piece de Resistance.

Over to you, Sandra:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

You know, my parents had considered naming me Wendy, too. I like Wendy. I like Sandra, too.

Your first pet's name?

Well, if you disinclude the Monarch butterfly that I adopted as a kid and named Henry VIII, we'd have to pick my current dog, Brie.

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?


Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

Yes, a Mrs. Beasley doll. I already had a dramatic flair as a child. I remember promising her that if I died, she'd be buried with me. I still have her, though we're both very much above ground, still!

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Anne Boleyn.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

Freshly made lemonade.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A beautician, a waitress, or an author. I got two out of three.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I'd spend a summer month in England.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My husband, hands down. Whenever I wonder if God really loves me I look at the gift of my husband and know that He does.

What's one (or more!) of your favourite books?

Oh dear, for an author, that's like asking who my favourite child or cousin is! Right now I'm on a British reading bend, so let's say Sharon Kay Penman is up there for historical fiction. The Little House on the Prairie books influenced me to become a writer. One of the first things I did with royalty money after I was published was to buy a complete, dustjacketed first edition set of the series. And I went back and visited her home in South Dakota last year.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

A latte in the morning before I work. I'm a Seattleite, after all!

What's one (or more!)of your favourite movies?

I asked my kids to buy My Big Fat Greek Wedding for me for Christmas this year. Oopa!

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

The Navajo Indian Reservation.

What's your most fervent prayer?

That my children hold tightly to their Lord and their faith and that they marry people who do, too.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Submit my work for publication. Over and over again. Read reviews from people who don't know me or or my heart for readers. Those are the bravest things all writers do. Raising teenagers. J

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

Most Christians, including myself, would say salvation. And while that's true, the one I realize and appreciate each day is the gift of hope. Because the world is a pretty hard place without hope. I also like the antique sewing machine my grandmother passed down to me.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Now faith is the assurance of things) hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1. I love it because it encapsulates the daily life of a Christian living in a world not our home and worshiping an intangible God.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Using the word, “pulchritude” in a speech before the student body so I would sound learned and coming off as weird instead.

How did your husband propose to you?

Over cheesecake. It went uneaten. J

The French Twist Series................

How did Lexi come by her Francophile nature?

Her grandmother is Italian and so multiculturalism was all around her. Watching Hunchback of Notre Dame didn't hurt. Or Cinderella as a kid, and Ever After as a teen.

Please describe Lexi, Dan, Philippe, Celine, Patricia and Anne in 5 words or less

Lexi: Chocolate Mousse: everyone likes it

Dan: Mille Feuille: many surprising layers

Philippe: Macaron: Not what you expect

Celine: Galette: Sweet with a surprise

Patricia: Baguette: Tough outside, tender inside

Anne: Croissant: Typically French, enjoyable everyday

What do you hope readers take away from these stories?

An understanding of the French people, a realization that we can be cultural Christians just like anyone else, an idea that we have to draw near to God in order for Him to draw near to us. The realization that God both plants and fulfils our dreams.

Favourite French pastry?

Almond Croissants. Mmm.

Most romantic spot in Paris?

Walking along the Seine, especially the tree covered areas. They've done such a good job keeping a low-profile city, no high rises, really, till you get further out. It's lovely.

Can you give us a sneak peek at Piece de Resistance?

I can tell you that I've hopefully left every single character in a place that we'll all want them to live forever in our minds. And that nothing is easy. But that everything is worthwhile. Also, takes place in BOTH Seattle and Paris.

What is in your writing pipeline after Lexi's trilogy is complete?

Right now I'm working on a tweener series called London Confidential. It's great fun! And then I'm hoping to follow that up with an adult series, one I've wanted to write for at least a decade…

Please check out my books at

Thanks Sandra for sharing with us! Hanging out for the end of Lexi's story :)

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Let Them Eat Cake and Bon Appetit

Visit Sandra's website (well worth checking out for your daughters too!) and blog

Buy Sandra's books at Amazon and Koorong


Tracy said...

'Bon Appetit' is on my wish list of books to read. If I can't read books about the Amish, then all things French would be my next stop, without a doubt.

Kim said...

Bon Appetit was my introduction to Sandra's work and I loved it! This was a fun and wonderful interview ladies! I would love to sit down and chat with Sandra over coffee and pastries!

I'd also love to hear more about that uneaten cheesecake proposal! Sounds romantic!


Deena said...

She is just the coolest. I want to go back and read her teen lit now:-) Wonder if I can use my teen daughter as an excuse to buy the books:-)

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