Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY | The Engrafted WordKristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best of 2014 lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. Her second novel, A SPARROW IN TEREZIN, was named to Library Journal Reviews Best of 2015 list, and received a nomination for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Book of 2015. Kristy’s third historical novel, THE RINGMASTER’S WIFE, was named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10.

Kristy is a Speaker and Design Manager at, and holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read. For more, visit her at


Welcome back to the blog, Kristy. I’m so excited to have you join us today! Congratulations on your new release, The Ringmaster’s Wife. I am counting down the days until I get to read it! 🙂

Thanks for having me! I love anytime I get to come back and visit with you.

When did you first know you wanted to write a series set in the Jazz Age?

Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY | The Engrafted WordI’ve wanted to write a Jazz Age Era novel for quite some time. The music, art, and fashion… the rapid changes in a post-war world… the modernization of culture into a consumer-centric society – all of these things were swirling in the years between the end of WWI and the Great Depression. With the great losses sustained in the war and in the sweeping Spanish Flu epidemic that followed, society was in a place that became both heart-breaking and prosperous at the same time. As a history-loving writer, I’ve wanted to research all of these things, and write a story that had strong characters who thrived in this world. Writing about the nomadic menagerie of the circus felt natural to incorporate all of this, and I am so happy that my publisher agreed now was the right time! They brought me the idea of writing a novel about Mable Ringling because they were sure she had a story to tell. I agree with them. 🙂

As you wrote The Ringmaster’s Wife, did you find the story spoke a particular message or lesson to your heart?

I love this question, because it has a very real (if somewhat unglamorous) answer. This story spoke to my heart on a much deeper level than I expected. It was my first opportunity to research and write semi-biographical fiction – a story on someone who really lived, and whose life history has already recorded. So there’s a certain measure of healthy fear that comes along with that. I loved learning about Mable Ringling – she had grace and wisdom that by all accounts I could find, was always the hallmark of her character. I wanted to honor that in her, both for her legacy and for the Burton and Ringling descendants. It weighed heavily upon me in the development of this book, as if Mable had a chair that was scooted up right next to my desk every time I sat down to write. She was present in my mind and always a part of my heart. I cherish this story because of who she was.

That is so special. I’m SO excited to read it!! (But you know that already, don’t you?) 😉 Which character was the easiest to write and who proved to be the most difficult?

Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY | The Engrafted WordHere’s what I adore about our two heroines – they come from opposite ends of their story, and meet in the middle with more in common then they’d have expected. Mable Ringling came from very little; our fictional bareback rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus, Rosamund Easling, came from great wealth. Both women however, felt a strong call to lead a different life than the one that had been placed before them, and bravely they stepped out to chase it. Mable was more difficult to write, because she is a woman who really lived. Rosamund was a bit easier for me to understand, simply because I was in a similar place – having stepped out to change many things in my own life made me understand her motivations and fears.

I loved seeing pictures and some video clips from your research. What was one of your favorite discoveries while researching this book?

There is nothing like onsite research opportunities for historical writers. (Seriously – it’s my favorite thing!) This was my a golden opportunity to dive in and see, smell, touch and experience everything that my characters would have, in the manner in which they lived. The days I spent researching at the gorgeous Gilded Age Ca’d ‘Zan (“House of John” in Venetian dialect) mansion in Sarasota, FL were a dream come true. The curators and staff at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art gave of their time to show us every detail about the Ringlings’ lives, and gave us behind the scenes access to their circus world. One of my absolute favorite moments? Touring the Ringlings’ custom-designed train car (named, The Wisconsin) and spending time in the servants’ hall at the mansion, tucked away reading research documentation in an office they allowed me to use. That was a Downton Abbey moment if ever there was one!

Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY | The Engrafted WordHow cool! As one of the contributors to The Grove, what do you enjoy most about this special ministry and writing alongside this group of authors? is a ministry of two things: fellowship and living out our story with God.

In the beginning, our storytellers – (authors Cara Putman, Courtney Walsh, Beth K. Vogt, Melissa Tagg, Katie Ganshert, Katherine Reay, Sarah Ladd and myself) – came together to offer support on the writing journey. Writing can be a very solitary profession and along the way, there are certain ups and downs that come from a job where you release so much of yourself out to the world. We wanted to partner together to encourage and support one another. What we discovered however, was that there are women out there who have stories they’re telling too – stories that they live day in, day out. They’re teachers, mothers, sisters, friends, doctors, writers, wives, missionaries, caregivers, advocates, leaders, and world-changers, and they all have a story to tell. We wanted to create a community that offers a haven – a GROVE – where we do that. We’re still growing (as any good grove should do), but it’s been an amazing community to be a part of so far.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kristy! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

My heart is really wrapped-up in the idea of dream chasing these days. Both Mable Ringling and Rosamund Easling inspired me in this book, because they were so brave! They walked away from what didn’t make them happy, and were relentless in the pursuit of what would. I want to encourage all of the dreamers reading this blog – whatever God has placed on your heart… go after it. Chase it. Don’t give up. Be relentless in the pursuit of your calling, and never be afraid to risk absolutely everything to follow God. When you’re “all-in”, your dreams are safe with Him.

Thank you, Kristy! Sending you a big hug from Missouri! 😉


Kristy has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of The Ringmaster’s Wife to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends June 14, 2016.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!

103 comments on “Interview with Kristy Cambron & GIVEAWAY
  1. Deanna Stevens says:

    I would be a famous quilter/teacher and do special classes on year round ship cruises where I would specialize in teaching the craft of quilting!

  2. Bonnie Roof says:

    I’m truly happy doing what I do (and being retired from working outside my home): supporting Christian Fiction and it’s authors in any and every way possible. It’s a calling from God. However, at one time – I wanted to be a travel agent and tour director, I love traveling and seeing as much of God’s beautiful world as possible. I’m not physically able to travel near as much as I once did, God has substituted that desire with the enjoyment of what I now do.

    Such an interesting post about a beautiful story, Kristy and Savanna – thank you, I enjoyed it so much!! So looking forward to reading ‘The Ringmaster’s Wife’!!

    Shared post!!

  3. Candice Valdez says:

    I would love to be a singer! Leading people in worshipping God! Too bad I can’t sing…. LOL

  4. carylkane says:

    I enjoy encouraging others. I want to shine brightly for Him and my life to bring Him glory and honor.


  5. Amanda Recicar says:

    If I could do anything it would be to travel the world! I love visiting places of history that one reads about. Seeing how they lived, where they lived. I have read your other books and fell in love with them. Thank you so much for writing these books that have makes one think about how far are we willing to take a stand for our faith and what we know to be right.

  6. Joan Arning says:

    Something encouraging others especially single women.

  7. Michelle Faile says:

    I would work with animals!

  8. emilee douglas says:

    I would like to have my own cute little bakery. It would be fun to be a singer in a southern gospel group and travel to all 50 states. Not real big stuff but different from what I do today. I love what I do though. I’m a pastor’s wife, mom of 3 teenagers and I teach preschool.

  9. Amanda T says:

    I would have my own piano studio! Right now I teach out of my home, but to have my own private studio would be amazing!

  10. Tina Turpin says:

    I am sort of already living my dream. I always wanted to be a wife and mother and that’s exactly what I am, only now I also am blessed to be a Nana to 7. I LOVE to read and I LOVE books, so my work as a middle school Librarian is another dream come true. The only other thing that I’ve wanted to do for the past five years or so is to open a coffee shop/lending library. I love coffee and books and would love to get more books into hands of readers who may not be able to afford their own. Plus, I could share the fabulous books that I read by the amazing authors whom I consider friends as well. 😉 Oh, and another trip to Assisi, Italy would be the best!

  11. Lucy Reynolds says:

    I would be an interior decorator, as everyone thinks I have a gift. I always wanted to be a librarian.

  12. Rachael K says:

    I’ve always loved wildflowers–studying them, finding them, photographing them, drawing them–so in another life I would be an ethnobotanist, studying wild plants and how people have used them over the centuries. And while I’m dreaming it, in this other life, cellular biology would NOT be a requirement for a botany degree.

  13. Sonnetta Jones says:

    My dream job is to work with women living with chronic or terminal illness live the best life possible.

  14. Rachael Merritt says:

    I’d buy the restaurant my hubby has always wanted! I am disabled she can’t work, but my hubby loves to cook. It’s one of his dreams so it’s one of mine!

  15. Melanie Backus says:

    I would have a lovely, little bookstore. It would smell wonderful when you walked in the door and the shelves would be filled with book after book that my customers loved.

  16. Alison Boss says:

    Hmmm…maybe a Christian ‘I Love Lucy’ style comedian as I love to bring joy to people and make them laugh…or possibly a Christian radio announcer. But at the end of the day, I just want to be the best godly, nurturing and fun-loving wife and mom that God wants me to be 🙂

  17. I really don’t think I would want to relive anything. I am fairly happy where I am.

  18. dianne casey says:

    I would like to have a small shop that sells unique products made in my state and locally.

  19. Kathryn Voss says:

    Oh wow. That’s a loaded question. I think I’d want my own school where I can truly make a difference in the lives of children who don’t fit the mold. I want to work with those who have been hurt, abused, or troubled, and I want to be effective at it.

  20. Abby Breuklander says:

    I’ve always jokingly told myself the last few years that if I ever felt completely better from all my health issues I’d look into ballroom dancing lessons since I love Dancing With the Stars. I never quite believed it would ever happen since I’ve been so sick for so long, well things are getting better quickly, so I guess maybe it could happen after all!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Abby, I would love to be right there beside you taking lessons. I’ve always wanted to learn ballroom dancing. 🙂 Glad to hear your health is improving. Blessings to you!

  21. Ladies ~ I read every comment, smiled over your dreams, and wanted to hug (and then nudge you) towards them. There are so many beautiful things here! You have lovely giving and empathetic hearts, and it’s why I love connecting with you.

    Thank you for encouraging me — and THANK YOU to my dear friend, Savanna, who is always such a breath of JOY to talk to. I’m delighted to have been a guest. <3

  22. Raechel says:

    Publish a book and have it touch many people, bringing them closer to Jesus. 🙂

    Thank you for this giveaway! This sounds like such a great book and I love the cover!

  23. Lisa Medeiros says:

    I am a Registered Nurse… I would love to run an orphanage and use my nursing along with that 🙂

  24. Loraine N. says:

    I would be a writer of soul touching stories while I was traveling the world with my husband. I’m looking forward to reading Ringmaster’s Wife – Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. MS Barb says:

    I’d be debt free & retired; play in a community band (cornet &/or French horn; own & know how to fly a helicopter; have at least one published book; have more quilt tops finished; not have any of my adult kids’ “stuff” stored at my house…visit all 50 states…

  26. Sarah B. says:

    I loved this interview and I’m so excited to read The Ringmester’s Wife!
    What would I do if I were brave enough? . . . . If I were brave, I think I might go to college and work to become a FYI agent. Or maybe I’d do something slightly less crazy and go skydiving. Which I’m actually planning to do this year! I’ve found a place somewhat nearby that offers it. I would also travel. Visit new places without fear of getting lost or the unknown.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      It’s great to see you here, Sarah! Skydiving, huh? You’re braver than I am! 😉 My husband went a few years ago, though, and loved it. Hope you have fun!! Good luck in the drawing too. 😉

    • Sarah ~ You absolutely can go back to school. I think that’s an awesome first step towards your dreams! (It took me 13 years to earn my degree, so I understand that dream-chase. I was a non-traditional adult student and I loved the entire journey.) I hope you look into it, even if you just jump in with online courses to start. 🙂

  27. Linda Romer says:

    I would work towards getting a degree in Architecture ♡ Thank you

  28. Trixi says:

    My dreams came true when I married my husband! Now our future dream is to buy a 5th wheel & truck to travel the USA 🙂 There are so many places to explore and things to do and we love to travel and spend time with each other!

  29. Karen Hadley says:

    I would like to work at a Christian book-store or own a small one with a comfy, down home atmosphere.

  30. Kim Potter says:

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  31. Diana Guz says:

    If I could live any dream, it would be to go to China and North Korea and work with the underground churches. Those Christians are incredibly brave and faithful…meeting them would be amazing! Thanks for this lovely giveaway!

  32. Jennifer Bretsch says:

    My life long dream has always been to be the next Beverly Cleary. I would love to write children’s books, especially picture books. So maybe a Beverly Cleary for younger kids. I also think it would be so cool to have a children’s bookstore like Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail”. 😃

    I am really looking forward to reading “The Ringmaster’s Wife”. I grew up in Tampa, FL, not far from Sarasota, and am excited to learn more about the Ringling Brothers circus. 😃

    • Jennifer ~ Do you follow author Nancy Rue? You might also like her work, and she just might encourage you in your writing dreams. Go after it, sister-writer! 😉

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      How fun, Jennifer! I would LOVE to have a children’s bookstore like Meg Ryan did in that movie too. I’ve always thought that would be fun. 🙂 So glad you stopped by!

  33. Merry S. says:

    I would love to have a business that helps employ those that are differently abled. A friend shared with me that she didnt know what would happen to her daughter after she graduated high school as she didnt fit into most available programs

  34. Becky says:

    IF I could speak with my younger self, I would say: You can always change you mind AND Don’t be afraid to speak up. With both those things under my belt, I would have liked to have opened my own business!

  35. Nancy says:

    I am pleased with my choices to be an elementary educator and librarian. I think it would also have been interesting to be a nutritionist.

  36. Annmarie W. says:

    I would go & live at the beach…and walk along the shore every morning for hours!

  37. karen says:

    If I could start anything today, i would start a non-profit for inner city children.

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