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The Baker's Daughter
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Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Sarah McCoy of The Baker's Daughter (March 20 - March 22)

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message 1: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments About Sarah
Sarah McCoy graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in journalism and public relations and Old Dominion University with an MFA in creative writing fiction. She has taught writing at Old Dominion University and the University of Texas at El Paso. The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico was her debut novel. Her second novel, The Baker's Daughter, releases from Crown Publishing on January 24, 2012. She currently lives in El Paso, Texas, with her husband and dog, Gilbert, where she is working on her next novel.

Website
http://sarahmccoy.com/

Books
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy

Giveaway
Sarah will be giving away a copy of her newest book - The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy


message 2: by Sha Mslvoe (new)

Sha Mslvoe (mslvoe) | 32 comments Hai Sarah,

I never read your book but when I clicked your latest book "The Baker's Daughter" and saw 4 and 5 stars review, I'm eager to read it.

My question - do you like the cover of your books?

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!


message 3: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Welcome Sarah, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

Members, if you can please write the questions in bold; it would be easier for her to know that you have asked a question and less chance that it will be missed. Thanks!


message 4: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments If anyone needs to know instructions for how to bold, use the following:

at the beginning of the text you want bolded (remove the !)

at the end, !b> (remove the !)


message 5: by Misskim (new)

Misskim | 47 comments This book looks great! I am keen to read it.

I have two questions; Did you always know you wanted to be an author? and; Do you have a favorite place to write and if so, where is that place?


message 6: by Sharon (new) - added it

Sharon Buchbinder | 2 comments Hi Sarah--

Congratulations on your novel. It sounds fascinating. What was the inspiration for it?

Sharon


message 7: by Laurean (new)

Laurean Brooks (landtbethyahoocom) | 11 comments Hey, Sarah, I finally made it. Your books sounds intriguing. Where did you get the idea for the plot and characters?

(Sorry. I don't how to "bold" my letters.


message 8: by Iris (new)

Iris (Ipro) | 277 comments Hi Sarah and welcome!

Where did you get your inspiration from for your books?


message 9: by Sarah (last edited Mar 20, 2012 10:07AM) (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Such a pleasure to be here with you, friends! I'm delighted to answer all your questions over the next three days. I'm an open book. Truly. So ask anything... well, unless there's some TMI question like, "What's your brand of deodorant?" (Secret Platinum with Olay)
OK... since I knocked that one out of the park, the door is wide open! Let's chat about THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER, my lovely Romance Readers Reading Challengers!

Dee wrote: "About Sarah
Sarah McCoy graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in journalism and public relations and Old Dominion University with an MFA in creative writing fiction. She has taught writing at Old..."



message 10: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Dear Nisha,
I so hope you get a copy of THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER and enjoy it!
Re: your question about my book covers. Yes! I love them both. I've been incredibly fortunate to have crackerjack designers at Crown. I've never been an author to "dream" about her cover--or her wedding for that matter. I still remember walking down the aisle and thinking, "Oh, ok, this is what it's going to be like. Lovely!" I had the same stunned and joyful reaction with each of my book covers.

Dee wrote: "About Sarah
Sarah McCoy graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in journalism and public relations and Old Dominion University with an MFA in creative writing fiction. She has taught writing at Old..."



message 11: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Hi Misskim!
I can't wait for you to read THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER too!

From a very early age-- around first grade--I knew I'd do something related to writing. I never fancied numbers. I yawned through Math class and made stick figures out of the number symbols. Science bored me too except when we got to go into the woods to collect different leaf specimens and I pretended I was a forest fairy checking in on my tree friends. History was more interesting to me but not the dates--the stories. The one place I knew I could spend the entire school day was the reading circle and writing hour. I'd nearly make myself sick with anxious butterflies when I could see on our chalkboard day itinerary that it was only a hop over Math away.

I do have a space that lends itself to my creative process. It's my writing office: a hidden high loft with my writing desk, my bookcases, a writing chair and a window that looks out to our backyard, the Rio Grande, and the Franklin Mountains beyond. It's quiet here. (I'm here now!) No distractions minus my little fur-babe Gilbert snoring in my lap or at my feet. It's a tranquil room of my own. My characters are able to speak to me here without the commotion of TV or phones or other people. They're able to tell me their stories and I am able to forget about Sarah for a time and be their willing conduit.

Misskim wrote: "This book looks great! I am keen to read it.

I have two questions; Did you always know you wanted to be an author? and; Do you have a favorite place to write and if so, where is that place? "



message 12: by Sarah (last edited Mar 20, 2012 10:09AM) (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Hi Sharon, Laurean, and Iris,

Thank you so much! I so look forward to having you read THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER and hearing what you think!

Since you three are in sync with your question about inspiration/idea, I hope it's okay if I answer you all at once.

I really profess to know how inspiration comes to any of us. I recently was looking at some gorgeous mixed media art on Etsy and thought, "How in the world did the artist get the idea to use that on a canvas?? It's BRILLIANT!" So I, too, am a bit baffled by the creative muses. What I can tell you is that I'm a complete over-analyzer, by my little Type-A nature. So when I meet interesting strangers, my imagination won't let me rest until I've constructed a whole backstory for them. As was the case for THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER.

I lived in Germany during my childhood but more recently, my husband's family lived there during our undergraduate and graduate school years. The last time I visited Germany was in 2001. I'd just completed a studying abroad program in Italy and my husband was beginning his summer job at a restaurant in Garmisch, Germany. So before I headed back to the States, I popped over to Bavaria to spend a week with him. I tell you all this to explain my connection to Germany.

Jump forward to 2007 and I'm living in El Paso, Texas. I went to our local farmer's market and saw an elderly woman selling German bread. I figured I'd bring some authentic brötchen home--get a wife star for the day, you know. In casual conversation while I paid, I asked how the woman came to be in El Paso. She said she married an American soldier after the war and moved here. BAM! The story muses whacked me over the cabeza. I was smitten by her and what my own imagined tale of her life. I went home and journaled up a storm.

For Reba's narrative arc came to me with equal force. All I need do was turn on my local news station, walk outside my door, listen to my students at the University of Texas at El Paso. The story of people living on the border was ripe and ready to be told.

That was a rather longwinded answer but I hope I gave you an idea of where these two divergent ideas came from... or rather, how they were given to me.

Yours truly,
Sarah


Laurean wrote: "Hey, Sarah, I finally made it. Your books sounds intriguing. Where did you get the idea for the plot and characters?

(Sorry. I don't how to "bold" my letters."


Iris wrote: "Hi Sarah and welcome!

Where did you get your inspiration from for your books?"


Sharon wrote: "Hi Sarah--

Congratulations on your novel. It sounds fascinating. What was the inspiration for it?

Sharon"



message 13: by Iris (new)

Iris (Ipro) | 277 comments Do you outline your stories first or let the characters lead the way while writing?


message 14: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 9094 comments Welcome Sarah! I am on the waiting list for The Baker's Daughter at my library and I can't wait to read it!

How difficult was it to write a book with two different stories during two different time periods? Do they intersect?


message 15: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments hi Sarah

Thanks so much for joining us. What was the hardest thing transitioning from the YA writing style in your first book (which I loved), to the Baker's Daughter?


message 16: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Hi again Iris!

I outline the scenes and basic narrative arc in my handwritten journal first. It's part of my creative brainstorming. By the time I pull up a word document and begin typing, I like to have a basic roadmap of where I think I'm headed... because yes, the characters absolutely lead the way! I look at my journal outline for THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER and the final book only somewhat resembles my initial plot map for character development. They absolutely take charge. If I try to strong arm them into my wants/needs/ambitions then it shows in the prose. You see/feel the author peeking out from behind the story and in my own reading life, that doesn't appeal to me. I want to be full consumed by the story and characters. I prefer not to see the author at all. Ha! So I let the characters do as they please. The outline isn't a paved highway. It's more like a rough sketch of a river flow.

Yours truly, Sarah

Iris wrote: "Do you outline your stories first or let the characters lead the way while writing?"


message 17: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Hi Fran!

Thanks for the lovely welcome. I'm pleased to be here this week. I can't wait for you to get a copy of THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER in your hands too! You'll have to keep in touch and let me know what you think.

I happened to be a big history nerd. I absolutely love research, especially on a place I have personal ties to and a deep kinship. (I grew up vacationing in Garmisch, Germany, as a child. Photos of me there are on my website: http://sarahmccoy.com/bio. As well, I went back in 2001 to spend time with my husband who was working at a Garmisch restaurant for the summer.)

As I mentioned in my earlier reply to Sharon, Laurean, and Iris, the inspiration for the novel and characters came to me in two time periods: I met an 80-year-old German baker at a farmer's market in present-day El Paso. I live in El Paso currently. So it wasn't a stretch for me to connect these two worlds. I did about 10 months of intensive research into the socioeconomic, political and cultural issues affecting the German community in 1945. As well as getting to know the culture of El Paso. When the story first sparked for me, I was a new transplant to Texas from Virginia. I went to the farmer's market in August 2007 and I moved to El Paso just two months before in June. So I was also doing hands-on research into my new bordertown community. Exploring. Watching. Listening to neighbors, new friends, my students at UTEP, etc.

Yes, the stories intersect, but I'll let you find out how and why. I don't want to ruin the surprise of discover!

Yours truly, Sarah


Fran wrote: "Welcome Sarah! I am on the waiting list for The Baker's Daughter at my library and I can't wait to read it!

How difficult was it to write a book with two different stories during..."



message 18: by Nicola (last edited Mar 20, 2012 07:03PM) (new)

Nicola | 644 comments Hello Sarah,
Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to share with us. I must admit that I have not read any of your books, but THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER keeps catching my eye.
I am curious, you obviously love to write, but have you always been an avid reader? Do you prefer to hear your own stories, or do you enjoy escaping into the stories of other just as much? I always wonder if an author's own stories tend to take over?


message 19: by Annamarie (new) - added it

Annamarie | 3 comments Hello Sarah,
Thanking you for taking the time to let us pick your brain a bit, I will admit that I have unfortunately not read either of your books yet. I have recently heard of The Baker's Daughter in a very favorable review and I have become intrigued. Congrats on all the great buzz by the way. What was the moment where you felt like you have become a "real published main stream author"? Or have you had that moment of surrealness yet?


message 20: by Sarah (last edited Mar 21, 2012 09:39AM) (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy No apologies, Nicola! I'm glad we're being introduced now and I hope it's the start of a long author-reader friendship.

Yes, I've always loved reading novels as much as writing them and continue to be an avid reader when I'm not actively writing my own. For example, I love to read on planes. It's my favorite place for uninterrupted (usually) reading. While on THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER book tour, I happened to be on a lot of planes. (The city photo album for my book tour is available on my FB Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahM....) So I was able to catch up on many of my author friends' new book babies. I'm headed to Tattered Cover Books in Denver for an event this Friday and hope to start into my friend Amy MackKinnon's novel "Tethered." I write about my weekly reading (and tea of the day) on my blog's Tea Party posts: http://sarahmccoy.wordpress.com/

All that is about to change, however. As soon as I return from my event schedule in Denver, I'm on strict lockdown orders from my editorial team. I have to hand in a completed outline and first 100 pages of my 3rd novel plus a completed outline of my 4th! So... I have plenty of work to do before I have to jump on another plane in May for Nashville followed by the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

That was probably more info than you wanted! ;) Bottom line: Yes, I am a reader and a writer. I love championing my fellow writers and their work, so of course that means reading it.

I hope you get a copy of THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER soon, Nicola. I'll be eager to hear how you like it and praying you do!!

Yours truly,
Sarah

Nicola wrote: "Hello Sarah,
Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to share with us. I must admit that I have not read any of your books, but THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER keeps catching my eye.
I am curious, you o..."



message 21: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Thank you, Annamarie! I hope you pick up THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER to read and definitely let me know how you like the story. I'll be crossing my fingers you enjoy!

I can't say I've had that "I've made it moment." I'm a bit of a neurotic perfectionist so in everything I do (from cleaning my house to writing my books), I think I could do just a little extra... a little bit more.

My husband recently asked me, "When do you stop and say this is enough for now?" And without thinking or batting an eyelash I replied, "When I'm dead." Ha! Sure, we laugh about it, but I truly live day by day in worker-bee fashion.

I did have one moment last week in Tucson when I was lounging and laughing in a hotel room with Jenna Blum, Ruta Sepetys, Kristina McMorris and Diana Gabaldon sipping drinks and nibbling treats, and I thought, wow, these amazing writers are my friends. My God, how fortunate am I!! I had a similar feeling when I ran into Cindy and Luis Urrea at their packed festival signing tent and they put down their pens, opened their arms wide for hugs, and said, "There you are, Sarah!" A feeling of incredible gratitude. I'm entirely humbled to be doing what I love and to have such great, respected authors championing my books and me.

Here's a quick glimpse at the fun I just talked about: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

Yours truly,
Sarah

Annamarie wrote: "Hello Sarah,
Thanking you for taking the time to let us pick your brain a bit, I will admit that I have unfortunately not read either of your books yet. I have recently heard of The Baker's Daught..."



message 22: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie (greenurlifenow) What are some of your favorite historical novels?


message 23: by Sarah (last edited Mar 25, 2012 11:18AM) (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Hi Bonnie! Welcome to the chat. I love so many historical novelists. It would be a Santa Claus list if I tried to write them all but here's a handful: all of Tatiana de Rosnay's novels, Jenna Blum's THOSE WHO SAVE US, Chris Bohjalian's novels, Ruta Sepety's BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, Amanda Hodgkinson's 22 BRITTANIA ROAD, Kristina McMorris, Kelly O'Connor McNee's THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, Geraldine Brook's MARCH, all of Lisa See (SHANGHAI GIRLS), all of Luis Urrea's work, Sandra Dallas, Dodie Smith's I CAPTURE THE CASTLE... good heavens, I could go on and on!

What are some of yours? I hope THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER makes your 2012 list. ;)

Yours truly,
Sarah

Bonnie wrote: " What are some of your favorite historical novels? "


message 24: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 9094 comments Thank you so much Sarah for joining us! It was so nice to chat with you and read your answers.

Stay tuned for the winner of a copy of Sarah's latest release, The Baker's Daughter. The lucky recipient will be announced soon...


message 25: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 644 comments Thank you for being here Sarah!


ponderinghope (Gbemisola) | 1 comments hi
sarah, i am suppose to write a short novel in school and i don't know what to write. i have many ideas but everytime i try to write something goes wrong, like it is too predictable or it just sound wrong. with my confusion it make me think of authors and what inspires them to write. so i am asking you what inspires you to write books and what impact does it have in your life.


message 27: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah McCoy Thanks for having me on RRRC, friends!

And now I have the privilege of announcing the selected winner of the signed copy of The Baker's Daughter. Luckily, I had nothing to do with the winner selection process. Everyone was lovely and asked such great questions so it was done lottery style. Drum roll please... Congratulations to Miss SHARON!

Sharon, if you would private message me your mailing address, your copy will be on its way!

Thanks again to all who participated. I hope you pick up The Baker's Daughter, pop back onto Goodreads to let me know what you think, and pass it along to your friends and fellow readers. Crossing my fingers you enjoy it!!

Yours truly,
Sarah


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