Saturday, October 12, 2013

Interview: Sandra Byrd

Today I get to post an interview with my favorite author of Tudor fiction, Sandra Byrd! I'm so excited about this interview! :D

What inspired you to start writing?
Reading! Writing and reading really are two sides of the same coin.  Most people I know who want to be writers, at least fiction writers, do so because they love to read.  For me, I just love stories: reading them, hearing them, writing them, telling them.
I knew that I wanted to be a writer at six years old, as soon as I'd learned to read the Bobbsey Twins books. Really! When I was a kid I wanted three careers: to be a hair stylist, to be a waitress, and to be an author. After I mohawked my Barbie I knew I wasn’t cut out for the hairstylist career. I actually was a waitress in a Jewish deli when I was a teenager, and I worked for a caterer. Writing, however, was the real passion. And it stuck.
I went to college on a writing scholarship, but got scared.  Who could get published? How would I make any money? I switched majors to real estate, but within a few short years I ended up working for a textbook publishing house.  I eventually became an editor, and when my second child was born, I left to write full time.

What about the Tudor era made you decide that was the era you wanted to write about?
I have always loved English history, and read Tudor era books from the time I was a young teen.  I'm a big fan of Jean Plaidy (who also wrote as Victoria Holt); Plaidy wrote many wonderful books set in historical England and with royalty as the main characters.  The stakes were so high during the Tudor era, there was always excitement and change, love, lust, hatred, murder, good vs. evil, self sacrifice, greed and envy, spiritual birth or renewal, the excitement of the reformation, friendship and betrayal, good family and bad.  Meaty material!
I've read some Jean Plaidy- I love her style!

How does your faith affect your writing?
My faith is the core of my being and world view, so it influences every project I choose and how I develop them.  Sometimes that is expressed overtly, sometimes it's in world view. When I'm writing about real people, I feel that to treat their faith with integrity means that I don't make them have more, or less, relationship with the Lord than they really did, Christian or not.  So naturally, some of my books will have more overt faith than others, based on subject.
It's also important to remember that Christians expressed their faith and worship differently in different eras.  What might seem formal to us may have been very intimate, and honoring, to them.  
I found the spiritual aspects to your books really great and encouraging! 

Can you tell us a little about your current writing project?
I am finishing up the second draft of the first book in my new series, which will also be an English historical, but set later than the Tudor era.  These have a little more mystery and suspense, as well as more romance, so they have been very fun to write and, I hope, will be to read! 
Ooh! I can't wait to read it!!! =D Sounds amazing... 

Are there any specific things/surroundings you like to have when writing?
My office is very "London" right now.  I have a large framed print of the Tube map, as well as a vintage photo of London in it.  My office window faces my neighbors, but beyond them, the water, so that's very soothing.  My dog is usually nearby to offer companionship or be a pest, or both.  I drink a lot of coffee, and when the writing gets tense, I chew on 

What is your favorite period drama film?
I've rarely met an historical Masterpiece Theater production that I didn't like. I'll admit that I'm tiring of Downton Abbey because it's become more soap opera than period drama.  I've just tuned in to Paradise, I love Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, I love Colin Firth as Darcy, I love Sherlock Holmes. I love Cranford. I could go on, but I won't. :)
Great list! My favorite of those is Cranford. ;)

What are some of your favorite pastimes? 
We just started working out at the Y, which balances one of my other favorite pastimes, baking. :) I love to hang out with my adult children when they have time, and with our friends.  I love preparing for holidays and gardening. Reading, of course! DIY home improvement. And playing board games.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
England, again.  France, again.  Italy.  I've never been! 
England<3 ^_^

What is your favorite season?
I love the quietness of winter, the solitude of it, the way the cold makes me want to nest with those I love. I'm so ready for gardening and flowers and the let up of rain by the time spring arrives.  I love summer with its music festivals and beach days (and nights!), the perfume of BBQ smoke, and walking outside at dusk.  Autumn is perhaps the most colorful, and kicks off the baking season, so it has its charms, too.

Those are awesome things about each season! Makes me want it to be each of those seasons- right now! haha ;)

Tea or coffee?
Both! I would say I drink coffee more often, but I bought a "hot pot" this year so I could enjoy Earl Grey (and Lady Grey!) more often.
Yummmm!!!! I'm going to go make some tea! ^_^

Thanks, again, so much for stopping by!! :D
Thank you so much for having me!

Along with this interview, I'm also hosting a giveaway; the winner will get to choose one of the three books from Sandra's "Ladies in Waiting" series. (To Die For, The Secret Keeper, Roses Have Thorns.) To enter, just leave a comment in the space below- including your email address and the book you would like to receive, should you win. This giveaway will be open until next Saturday (Oct. 19th), when I will be announcing the winner!  Thanks for participating!



  1. Oh! I loved the interview and pictures! I'm really looking forward to reading Sandra's books and digging into the Tudor period.
    I would love to be entered to win "To Die For"! Thanks for hosting.
    Nicole ~ pocoauthor[at]gmail[dot]com

  2. Interesting interview! I've never read any of her books, or any Tudor fiction for that matter. I'd love to be entered for whichever of those books is the first of the three. =) Thanks!!

    Rebekah (

    1. Thanks for entering, Rebekah! I think you would really like them!
      To Die For is #1. :)

  3. Love the interview!! I would love to read Sandra Byrd's books!
    I would like to win "To Die For" or "The Secret Keeper". Whichever one.

    1. Thanks so much for entering! =) The Secret Keeper and To Die for are my favorites!!! To Die For comes first. :)

  4. Interesting interview! I've read many Tudor-related books, both fictional and non-fictional. I've never read any of Sandra Byrd's books, but I'm always on the look-out for a new author! I'd like to win whichever book is the first in the series, since I prefer to read chronologically when possible!

    Mary (

    1. Thank you, Casey! And thanks for entering! I love Tudor-related fiction as well. ;) To Die For is the first book in the series - I loved it SO much!!!! I really want to re-read all of these. The stories do not connect as far as characters go, but they are historically in chronological order.

  5. I would love to win To Die For. I write Stuart fiction and love the era.'

  6. I love her books! Interview wad awesome!

    Would love to enter the giveaway!!

  7. Fantastic interview, I really liked the questions you posed.

    I would like to enter the give away.

    Annie @

    1. Thank you so much! :))
      Yay! I'm excited to see the outcome of this giveaway! :)

  8. Excellent interview. Interesting reading. Please enter me for the giveaway.