Tuesday, July 14, 2015

All Lady July Author Interview: Sara R Turnquist of "The Lady Borneokva" (HFVBT)

Displaying IMG_1284.PNG

Displaying 04_The Lady Bornekova_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL.png

An author interview today for All Lady July! It's set in the Czech Republic, so I was all over it. But I thought that an interview might be good for a little variety. Here's the book summary and then Sara's answers to my questions!

"The red-headed Karin is strong-willed and determined, something she inherited from her father. She tries to keep her true nature a secret to avoid being deemed a traitor by those loyal to the king. Karin and her father butt heads over her duty to her family and the Czech Crown. She is then sequestered to the Royal Viscount’s hunting lodge.
Not aware of everything that is happening, she becomes the target of an individual with murderous intent. Her heart soon becomes entangled though her father intends to wed her to another. The turmoil inside Karin deepens and reflects the turmoil of her homeland, on the brink of the Hussite Wars."

And did I mention a giftcard giveaway? Because there's one of those too!

What first peaked your interest in the Czech Republic? What made you decide to set your story there? 

Interestingly enough, I don’t know that I would have thought of the Czech Republic myself. I was invited to travel over to teach English at a summer camp. I loved everything about the Czech Republic and its people so much that I went several more summers. Each time we went, we would spend some sight-seeing time a couple of days prior to the camp. Our trip leader would plan something unique for us to do/see. One trip, we visited a royal summer house near Hradek Kralove. Touring this massive estate inspired the setting of the novel and the basic story. Coming across the story of Jan Hus and the Hussite Wars in their history did the rest.

How much research did you need to do for this book? Did you find out anything surprising? 

I was doing research before I realized I was…like visiting the chateau. One of my English students that summer taught Czech history to high school students and I asked him to tell me about the Hussite Wars. I also poured over what research I could find here in the United States about the Hussite Wars and Jan Hus as I was actually writing the book. I was surprised at how long the Hussite Wars actually lasted. I was also surprised to find out that the Bohemian king during the time was the King Wenceslas from the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”.

This is your debut novel! Has anything surprised you about "officially" being an author? 

Hmmm…all the work that goes into bringing a book to publication. I expected edits, but was surprised that there are so many rounds of edits, for example. I’ve also surprised myself. I have been writing for quite some time and always thought of this as a hobby. But when my husband convinced me to query one of my works and it was accepted for publication, all of a sudden, things got serious and my whole mindset changed. Now, I’m going to writers conferences and I’ve joined a critique group…it’s just gotten a lot more serious (in a good way).

Are there any characteristics that you share with Karin? Or that you wish you did?

I think she has my strong will and determination. Karin doesn’t have the same shyness I have though. I would like to think that under the same circumstances Karin faces, I could hold on to what I believe to be true as firmly as she does.

Who are some of your female authors?

Michelle Moran for sure. I recently read “This Quiet Sky” from Joanne Bischof and was blown away. And I can’t forget an author who has become my mentor and friend, Hannah Conway. Her “Wounded Warrior’s Wife” is just gripping.

Who are some of your favorite female character in literature? (Besides Karin of course!) 

Michelle Moran’s female characters are always intriguing. I really enjoyed reading Nefertari in her “Heretic Queen” and her Nefertiti character from “Nefertiti” is a powerful female character. I’m also partial to some of Jane Austen’s females like the strong-minded Elizabeth Bennet. I also relate to Anne, from “Anne of Green Gables” a lot in my life.

I think it's so interesting that you have a zoological background! Do you work with one kind of animal or a wide range?

I actually work more on the educational side of the zoo institution, so the homo sapiens. We take them around the zoo and talk about a wide range of animals, though. For the adults, we visit a couple of animal night houses and have closer encounters with animals such as white rhinos, elephants, hippos, and the like. I did do an internship where I worked with invertebrates – tarantulas and scorpions and whatnot. Mind you, I am terrified of spiders, but I learned to appreciate these wonderful animals for their uniqueness and the benefit that they are to our planet.

(Wesley's note: Oh homo spaiens. The most unpredictable and strange of all in the animal kingdom :) )

Thanks Sara!

Sara resides with her family in Middle TN. Though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word has always drawn her to write. An avid reader, she has been, for many years, what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic for short stints in the summer over several years. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in the Czech town of Hradec Kralove.

Monday, July 6
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, July 7
Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Wednesday, July 8
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, July 10
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book
Sunday, July 12
Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, July 13
Review at Book Nerd
Excerpt at To Read, or Not to Read
Tuesday, July 14
Interview at Library Educated
Wednesday, July 15
Excerpt at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Thursday, July 16
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Friday, July 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Monday, July 20
Guest Post at Unshelfish
Tuesday, July 21
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, July 22
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews
Friday, July 24
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Monday, July 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, July 28
Review at Genre Queen
Wednesday, July 29
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, July 30
Review at Bookramblings
Friday, July 31
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter


  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog!! I did want to say though that I misspoke about the Christmas Carol's connection to King Wenceslaus. There was apparently a miscommunication between myself and one of my Czech sources about this. The King Wenceslaus from the Christmas Carol was a Bohemian Duke, not actually a king, and not during the time of Jan Hus/the Hussite Wars.

    1. My pleasure. Thanks for the correction!


Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!