Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE WILD PATH! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Sarah R. Baughman to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about THE WILD PATH and Sarah R. Baughman, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
The Wild Path by Sarah R. Baughman
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 1, 2020
Genres: Middle Grade
Twelve-year-old Claire Barton doesn't like the "flutter feeling" that fills her chest when she worries about the future, but she knows what she loves: the land that's been in her family for three generations; her best friend Maya; her family's horses, Sunny and Sam; and her older brother Andy. That's why, with Andy recently sent to rehab after a DUI, and her parents planning to sell the horses, Claire's world feels like it might flutter to pieces.
When Claire learns about equine therapy, she imagines a less lonely future that keeps her family together, brother and horses included. But, when she finds mysterious wild horses in the woods behind her house, she realizes she has a bit more company than she bargained for. With this new secret-and a little bit of luck-Claire will discover the beauty of change, the power of family, and the strength within herself.
If you could trade lives with any character for a day, who would it be and why?
As a child, I wanted to trade places with Anne Shirley so I could live on Prince Edward Island, which captured my imagination. Michigan is a peninsula surrounded by water, so I was always intrigued by the idea of taking that one step further and living in a place that wasn’t connected to land at all.
What would you do if you spent the day with Claire? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Claire and I would probably spend the whole day riding. We’d pack snacks to keep in our saddle bags and stop in a clearing to eat. There’s nothing more relaxing than a cold drink after a long trail ride– when I was younger, that was one of the only times I was allowed to have soda– so once we got back to the barn and took care of the horses, we’d be sure to have one (if Claire had my twelve-year-old tastes she’d want Pepsi, but at 41 I’d probably pick a grapefruit seltzer!)
If Claire were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think of characters in other middle grade books who experience some otherworldly magic: Lily in Tae Keller’s How to Trap a Tiger, Alma in Jess Redman’s Quintessence, and
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
At one point in the development of this story, logging with horses factored more significantly into Claire’s life, and I did a lot of research about that process. In Vermont, where I lived when I started writing this book, and in Michigan, where I live now, there are multiple loggers who still work this way, and I found it so interesting to read about… but most of it never ended up in the book.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Wild Path?
I love the moment in Chapter 3 when Claire first realizes that the signs she sees in the woods point to horses. At the end of that chapter, when her Mom urges them to head back and Claire thinks: “every part of my body feels rock-heavy, like it wants to dig in, go back to where we came from and keep looking for what I know I saw”–we see a glimpse of confidence that ultimately grows throughout the book.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
I knew I wanted this story to end with hope, but I didn’t know quite what that would look like. I struggled in particular with the last line, but once I found it, it felt just right.
Sarah R. Baughman is an author whose debut middle grade novel, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE, is forthcoming from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in 2019. A former middle and high school English teacher currently working as an educational consultant, Sarah graduated from Grinnell College and the University of Michigan, where she studied English, German, and Education. Sarah is represented by Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, running, or getting outdoors with her family.
(US and Canada Only!!!)
Have you added this amazing book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!