Sara Harris, formerly known as Sara Barnard, is a native west Texan, teacher, conservationist, and author. Her passion for writing began at an early age, and she won first place in an essay contest way back in third grade. In the sixth grade, she was given a copy of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove and the pull of adventures just waiting to be had, coupled with her love and admiration for nature and the wilderness, motivated her to spend her teenage summers on the move with The Student Conservation Association.
From Alaska to the wilds of New Mexico, Sara has piloted small aircraft, counted bats, tracked mountain lions, relocated rattlesnakes, hiked with black bears, and fallen in love over and over again with the roads less traveled. After earning her degree in History, she experienced the scariest adventure of all: children. Three young ones later, she decided to write her first novel, which turned into a four-book series.
Despite a couple of rounds with cancer, Sara’s publication list has grown to include Civil War Romance, Amish Romance, Amish Adventure, anthology pieces, Christian Western, YA Time Travel, Light Horror, Native American Middle Grade fiction, Children’s Nonfiction, picture books, and even more to come!
Sara now lives in Katy, Texas, with her real-life hero and her four children.
What started you on your writing journey?
I began writing in the third grade, for an essay contest at my elementary school. It was supposed to be about an influential pet in our lives, and I wrote about the life, cut short, of my beloved stray tomcat, J. Thomas O’Malley.
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Goodness yes, every single book or piece that I write features a divine detour – in my personal life, or in my pages. I try to bless my readers, and remind them that God loves them, in all of my works. Coincidentally, God reminds me of that through each of my works, too. He’s good like that!
Let’s talk about your new book, Katie’s Plain Regret (WordCrafts Press, October 2019), the first book in your Amish Journeys series. Please tell us about it.
Katie’s Plain Regret came from my first Amish novel, Rebekah’s Quilt. Actually, it is based out of the same Amish village, Gasthof Village, Indiana in Daviess County. However, spunky Katie deserved her own series, which begins with this book. It follows a historically accurate trail from Indiana to Texas and features real people of the time, including noteworthy Texan Clay Allison and the gloriously famous Native American Quanah Parker.
What led you to write Amish romance—and this particular story?
I began writing this because Katie needed her own story. She is an Old Order Amish firecracker and kind of burst onto the pages herself. She is the epitome of fire and grace!
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
I am a vegan and I love an off menu item down at my favorite neighborhood vegan ice cream shop – Korean tea, called Charlie’s Tea. YUM.
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
Song of Solomon 3:4 I have found the one whom my soul loves. Not only for my characters, but for me, too!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I am usually the one collecting all the stray dogs in the background, making sure they are loved and fed, then going off hiking in the wilderness!
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I have always had pets – all of them rescue! My current pack consists of my cat, Tom, who adopted us in Oklahoma. In addition to being a warrior cat, he rescues babies himself! For a tomcat, he is a wonderful mother. He rules his pack of four dogs; Rambo (a rescue German shepherd from Odessa, Texas), Romeo (a little pup rescued from Vicenza, Italy), Rosie Giulietta (Romeo’s sister), and the newest addition, Cricket (rescued from Katy, Texas).
Cricket loves to hike the bayou hunting for alligators with me! When we find one, we look at it and ooh and ahh, snap a pic, then go on looking for the next one!
Thanks, Sara! It’s nice to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
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