I first discovered Sandra Byrd when I picked up a copy of her book, Bon Appetit. It was a wonderful story filled with lovely characters and even a few great recipes. (The book is about a girl who goes to France to learn how to become a professional baker, after all!) I wrote Sandra to tell her how much I enjoyed her book, and she kindly agreed to an interview with Working Writers.
Sandra has a new book coming out shortly (Piece de Resistance: A Novel) which will be the final installment of the French Twist series. It’s available for preorder now on Amazon, so I encourage you all to pick up a copy! I’ve got mine on order. 🙂
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about your background, and how to came to fiction writing.
I always wanted to be one of three things: a waitress, a hairsylist, and a writer. I was a waitress (it was fun!) and no one would trust me with their hair after I mohawked my Barbie. Writer stuck! I’ve been writing all of my life, but professionally, just for the past 15 years. Before that I was an editor.
I mentioned in my review of Bon Appetit (which I loved, btw) that one of the things I appreciated was your approach to writing Christian fiction. I love that the character Lexi has flaws and works on them through thoughtful prayer and time with God. How did you first come up with this character?
She grew out of a lot of the women who wrote to me having a quarter life crisis. Some of these women had read my teen and tween books, and as they matured, they kept in touch. Lexi is a composite of a lot of them, with quite a few of my own insecurities (those I’ve overcome and those I’m still working on) mixed in.
Tell us about how you came up with the concept for the French Twist series, and about the latest in that series, Pièce de Résistance.
I’m a diehard Francophile – studied French in school from 7th grade on and have visited twice. So it was a blessing to be able to write about France. I also love to bake. My family is still working off three years of French pastry research! Piece de Resistance wraps up the series, and, I hope, shows Lexi as a fully realized woman in her own right. If you love food, fun, France, and romance, you’ll enjoy the book!
When did your love of baking and French food begin? Do you currently bake? What is your favorite dish to make?
I do bake – and cook – as often as I can. This weekend I’m hosting a Julie and Julia party at my house. My favorite way to cook is to stop by a market, or a really good store like Whole Foods, see what looks good, and plan a menu on the spot. They don’t call Whole Foods, “Whole Paycheck” for nothing, though. I can’t do that very often!
Will the French Twist series continue past the third installment?
Officially, French Twist will be done with the third book. I hope, however, that the characters and storylines will live on in the readers’ hearts…
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
I think writer’s block is anxiety, and the best way to get past anxiety is to outline. Once you have a map of where you’re going, it takes away some fear that you’ll be stuck and not know what to write next. I outline religiously. Pun intended!
Where can we learn more about you?
Please visit my website and sign up for my newsletter. I’d love to keep in touch!