I am so excited today to introduce you to author Sara Brunsvold! She’s here to talk about her debut novel, The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, and I’ve been intrigued by it ever since I first discovered the title.
Sara Brunsvold creates stories that speak hope, truth, 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. Sara’s recognitions include the 2020 ACFW Genesis Award for Contemporary Fiction. She lives with her family near Kansas City, Missouri, where she can often be spotted writing at a park or library. Learn more at www.sarabrunsvold.com.
THE EXTRAORDINARY DEATHS OF MRS. KIP by Sara Brunsvold
GENRE: Inspirational Fiction
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2022
Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she’s been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who’s just entered hospice care.
But there’s more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she’s not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it’s a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that’s just what Mrs. Kip will give her–but she’s going to have to work for it.
Debut author Sara Brunsvold delights with this emotional multigenerational story that shows that the very best life is made up of thousands of little deaths to self. You’ll want to be just like Mrs. Kip when you grow up!
Hi Sara! Welcome to the blog and Happy Release Day! Congratulations on your debut novel 🙂
Sara: Dogs, forever and always. I grew up on a farm where dogs played an important role in the work we did. Plus, I’m allergic to cats, so there’s that.
Carrie: I am a ‘dogs, forever and always’ kind of person too 🙂
Sara: Coffee. Specifically cold brew or any iced coffee.
Carrie: I so wish i liked coffee!
Sara: Netflix. I prefer the variety it offers, and my daughter and I adore the Great British Baking Show.
Carrie: I’ve been tempted to get Netflix just for that show lol
Sara: I proudly wave the #TeamPrint flag. The feel, sound, and smell of printed books are irreplaceable. I also mark up books I love – underlining, starring, dogearing. If I love a book enough, I buy a second copy to loan out to friends and keep the marked-up version on my “treasured books” shelf.I proudly wave the #TeamPrint flag. The feel, sound, and smell of printed books are irreplaceable. I also mark up books I love – underlining, starring, dogearing. If I love a book enough, I buy a second copy to loan out to friends and keep the marked-up version on my “treasured books” shelf.
Carrie: i love that!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Sara: My superpower would be reading a book in less than a minute. Maybe then I’d have a chance of getting through my TBR.
Carrie: oooo can i upgrade my reading superpower to include that??
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Sara: Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby was the first character I imagined being friends with. She gave me a taste for precocious, strong-minded female characters. Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Jo March from “Little Women” round out my three favorite characters of all time.
Carrie: such great characters to love!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Sara: I have several go-to spots depending on weather, time and other factors. I have a writing area in the corner of the bedroom, but I will frequently write at the library, my favorite local park, or my favorite coffeeshop. Diversity of location feeds creativity.
Carrie: i think i would get too distracted people-watching haha
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Sara: I started with only a general understanding of where the story was going to start and end, with a few major milestones along the way. From there I prefer to let the Spirit, and the characters, take the lead in getting us from point to point. That discovery process is euphoric.
Carrie: I think that makes the ultimate discovery process all the more euphoric for the reader too
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in this book?
Sara: It’s not really “hidden,” but I did give a shout-out to my favorite Kansas City-area coffeeshop in the story. Twice. It’s a little nod of thanks for being an inspiring place to write and a homey spot for fellowship with other authors.
Carrie: aww i love that – so fun!
Q: In The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip, you reference Clara’s key role in the resettlement of Laotian refugees in Kansas City in the late 1970s. What type of research was required to accurately portray this resettlement effort?
Sara: This piece of Clara’s life was quite literally handed to me. One day a family friend handed me a fragile, yellowed clipping from the Kansas City Star. She had saved it from 1975. “You need to write about this,” she told me. The article was about the burgeoning resettlement efforts in the city. She was one of many people who were actively involved, and she wanted the story to be remembered by today’s generation, especially fellow Christians. Capturing her memories was the first step. She has a wealth of pictures from that time period too, which made the emotional impact for me all the more real. From there, research involved the Kansas City Star archives, historical societies, hours of online searches, documentaries, and more interviews. I focused on the sponsors’ perspective of the events since that was the one represented in the book. That was a fascinating period in local and world history, and it’s worth your time.
Carrie: that is really fascinating – my husband is from Lawrence, Kansas, so this new-to-me history really intrigues me.
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote this book?
Sara: As I was writing this book, I was going through a personal crisis in which I had to learn to let go of control and trust that God would be my all. Mrs. Kip became the vehicle through which God taught me what it looks like to live a life of surrender. The discipline God was trying to form in me was what I watched unfold in her fictional life. For this reason, and many others, Clara Kip is still the woman I want to be when I grow up.
Carrie: i’m so sorry you went through something difficult but God is so sweet to never waste a single thing in our lives, even the painful parts.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Sara: My love for intergenerational stories continues to shine in the next novel I’m writing. It’s about a young woman who finds solace during an unfolding family crisis by cooking her way through her great-grandmother’s collection of authentic German recipes. Through this adventure, she learns the true root of her family’s pain – and the untapped power of streusel to heal wounds. This book will allow me to research my own heritage, so I’m doubly excited to share it with readers.
Carrie: oh i love that! Looking forward to it!
Revell is offering a print copy of The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold to TWO of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold?