Posted on October 17, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Today we're interviewing Sally Bayless, who writes cozy mysteries and sweet and clean romance novels.

Bayless lives in the Missouri Ozarks, and when not working on her next book, she enjoys shopping for cute shoes, swimming, watching BBC television with her husband, and — of course — reading! She has two grown children. 

SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?

SALLY: Before I had kids, I worked in newspaper journalism and public relations.

In January 2009, when I was an at-home mom, I made a New Year’s resolution on a whim to write a novel. By April, I had a book. When I was a finalist in the first writing contest I entered, I was hooked.

In 2015, after many online classes, conferences, and critique groups, I indie published my first book.

SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?

SALLY: I would most like to trade places with Libby Ballard, the small-town history museum director who stars as the sleuth in my Dogwood Springs cozy mystery series.

Despite the occasional dead body in her world, she has a fun job, a delightful circle of friends, a great love interest, and the best dog ever.

I’d least like to trade places with any of the murder victims!

SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?

SALLY: I’ve had several readers tell me that my books provided uplifting entertainment while they were going through illness or other difficult times. Those messages have really meant a lot to me.

Whenever I’ve faced hard times, I’ve always found escape in fiction. I love the idea that I might provide that same comfort to others. 

SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?

SALLY: I would like readers to come away from the Dogwood Springs cozy mystery series with the message that second chances are possible.

My hope is that the main character, Libby, will provide an example of someone who faced a bad situation in her personal and professional life, took the risk of moving somewhere new to start again, and created a wonderful life for herself.

I am a big believer in our ability to overcome adversity and triumph. 

SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing? 

SALLY: These days, as I’m writing about a woman who is the director of a history museum, I am often struck by how much I learned when my kids were young, and we took family vacations.

Almost every trip involved a museum of some type, and we were the museum visitors who read every word of every placard in the building. All that happy time in museums comes out in little ways in my stories about Libby. 

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Learn more about Sally Bayless on her website, where her books can also be purchased; like her page on Facebook; and follow her on Instagram

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Categories: Author Interview

Sally Bayless’s Libby Ballard is one of the most human and most enjoyable protagonists in cozy mysteries. Sally is an exceptional writer!
Lisa Bjornstad | 10/17/23 at 9:09 PM
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