Meet Christy and Carol Award Winner, Sara Brunsvold

Meet Christy and Carol Award Winner, Sara Brunsvold

If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Sara Brunsvold before, let me tell you, she is one of the sweetest, humblest women I’ve ever met. Her debut novel, The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, was one that rocked the Christian Fiction world in 2023. Her newest release, The Divine Proverb of Streusel, is sure to do the same, and I’m excited to talk about it with her today. In fact, you can get she streuselkuchen (German crumb cake) recipe from the book straight in your inbox when you subscribe to her monthly updates here. First, let me introduce you to Sara.

Sara Brunsvold is a Christy Award-winning author who creates stories that speak hope and life. Influenced by humble women of God who find His fingerprints in the everyday, she does the same in her life and her storytelling. She lives with her family in the Kansas City, Mo., area.

You can connect with her through:  Website Facebook  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Linda with rapid-fire.

 

CC: Pineapple pizza or candy corn?

SB: Pineapple (period)

CC: Test the waters or dive in the deep end?

SB: Test the waters.

CC: Guacamole or salsa?

SB: You ask impossible questions. I’ll go with guacamole.

CC: Silly hats or silly socks?

SB: Silly socks.

CC: Passwords or secret handshakes?

SB: Secret handshakes because I can’t remember one more password.

LOL. Oh man! I 100% get you on that last one. I use a program to manage all my passwords because it’s just ridiculous. Let’s start off with some get-to-know-you questions.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

SB: I first knew I wanted to be a novelist when I was in middle school, and the revelation was largely thanks to my language arts teacher.

CC: Teachers can be some of the best encouragers! I’m sure we’re all thankful for that teacher that set you on this path. 

What does your writing process look like from beginning to end?

SB: I create just enough of an outline for a story in the beginning to have a general idea of where the story needs to go, and then I discover the rest along the way. My first drafts are sloppy and incomplete, but I don’t mind. I am a stronger editor than I am a first-drafter.

CC: I’m with you, except I tend to edit as I go along.

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

SB: I have a testimony video on my website in which I share more about this. Basically, every “failure” I have had in my journey has proven to be a blessing. God wasn’t saying “No”; he was saying “Trust me.” This journey has taught and continues to teach me to be still and know that he is God. It has taught me obedience and faithful servanthood.

CC: Amen. I’m sharing the testimony video link here for those who want to hear her more detailed answer. (And can I say that I love that you have a testimony video?) Scroll toward the video and you can see her videos about her favorite verse and author journey. https://sarabrunsvold.com/about/

Now I’m excited to talk about your newest release, The Divine Proverb of Streusel.

Cooking her way through her great-grandmother’s German recipes provides Nikki Werner an anchor in the storm of family crisis. But will it be enough to fill every hunger she has?

Shaken by her parents’ divorce and discouraged by the growing chasm between herself and her serious boyfriend, Nikki Werner seeks solace at her uncle’s farm in a small Missouri hamlet. She’ll spend the summer there, picking up the pieces of her shattered present so she can plan a better future. But what awaits her at the ancestral farm is a past she barely knows.

Among her late grandmother’s belongings, Nikki finds an old notebook filled with handwritten German recipes and wise sayings pulled from the book of Proverbs. With each recipe she makes, she invites locals to the family table to hear their stories about the town’s history, her ancestors–and her estranged father.

What started as a cathartic way to connect to her heritage soon becomes the means through which she learns how the women before her endured–with the help of their cooking prowess. Nikki realizes how delicious streusel with a healthy dollop of faith can serve as a guide to heal wounds of the past.

This contemporary Christian fiction story features unforgettable intergenerational characters, a touch of mid-life romance, small-town charm — and yes, unique recipes.

Purchase your copy at  Amazon | Baker Book House | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Books-A-Million | Christianbook

CC: Where did you get the idea for this story?

SB: Two things inspired the premise of The Divine Proverb of Streusel. First was the movie Julie & Julia, about a young woman who cooks her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. After watching the movie, I wondered, “What if that concept was applied to a granddaughter cooking through her grandmother’s recipes?” The second inspiration came from a memoir I read. A grandson chronicled his German immigrant grandparents’ settling into Missouri. He mentioned the “common book” his grandmother wrote for her children. It was a dime store notebook she filled with practical life advice and wise sayings she had collected. Those two ideas — recipes and advice — collided, and the premise of The Divine Proverb of Streusel came into being.
CC: I love that concept! How perfectly wonderful!
Who was the most challenging character to create?

SB: The character of Uncle Wes represents the first time I have written from a male point of view. My husband was a gem in helping me understand Uncle Wes and how he might think and respond in a given situation. 

CC: Husbands are a blessing in this for sure. I’m just learning how much of a gem my husband can be in the same way if I’m willing to be brave and talk to him about my story while still writing it.
Which character was the most fun to create?
SB: Hands-down the most fun was Aunt Emma. She was such a joy to write because she is witty and gregarious. All of her scenes came easily.

CC: She sounds like such fun character, and I can’t wait to get to know her better.

 

How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
SB: The story is in many ways a tribute to what God had already taught me, specifically about forgiveness. I share in my author’s note at the end of the book that the story is loosely based on my own family’s story, specifically my relationship with my dad. Before my dad passed away, I sought his permission to write about our journey. I thank God that he understood why I asked and gave his permission. Because he did, what God first started in our real-life story can bear fruit in a fictional story as well.
CC: Hugs. I love that you have that personal connection and that your dad was willing to allow you to share that with us. There is a special beauty to writing stories that connect to use on such a meaningful level. 
For my last question, I love to end with just a playful question. 
You are in the back of a police car on your way to jail. What did you do and is anyone with you?
SB:  I probably spray-painted grammatical corrections onto sign. My editing brain can’t overlook such abuse of language.
CC: LOL! I think there are many grammar police who would be sitting in the back seat with you!
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Divine Proverb of Streusel and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, if you were to sit down with someone over a meal or dessert and offer advice, what would the food be and what would the advice be?

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