Sarah McCoy

Share this Post:

Illuminating the Literary Landscape
with Bold Characters and Curious Wonder

In the enchanting realm of literature, there are authors whose words have the power to transport us to new worlds and touch the depths of our souls. In the August issue of The Reader's House magazine, we proudly feature the extraordinary Sarah McCoy, a literary luminary who has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers worldwide. With her captivating narratives and fearless exploration of diverse genres, McCoy has emerged as a true trailblazer in the world of storytelling. Join us as we delve into the depths of her literary prowess, delve into her creative process, and discover the magic that she brings to the pages of her novels. 

In the vast realm of literature, few authors possess the ability to captivate readers and transport them to new worlds quite like Sarah McCoy. With her enchanting narratives and diverse range of genres, McCoy has emerged as a literary luminary, leaving an indelible mark on the world of storytelling.

As a bestselling author, McCoy has garnered acclaim and loyal readership across the globe. Her novels, including Mustique Island and Marilla of Green Gables, showcase her extraordinary talent for crafting richly immersive tales that resonate with audiences. Each page is imbued with McCoy's meticulous attention to detail and her unwavering commitment to creating complex, memorable characters.

What sets McCoy apart is her fearlessness in portraying women as bold, multidimensional heroines who navigate the challenges of their worlds with grace and resilience. Through her empowering portrayals, she sparks a sense of inspiration and empowerment, reminding readers of the strength and resilience within themselves.

But McCoy's literary prowess extends beyond the boundaries of a single genre. She actively encourages readers to venture beyond their comfort zones and embrace the magic of reading across genres. By blurring the lines between historical fiction, romance, mystery, and even fantasy, McCoy delivers unexpected surprises and invites readers on a thrilling literary adventure.

Embracing diversity and cultural influences is another hallmark of McCoy's work. With her multicultural background, she infuses her stories with a rich tapestry of perspectives, drawing on her experiences growing up in different countries and living in diverse communities. McCoy understands the power of storytelling as a means to bridge gaps and celebrate our shared humanity.

In a world that often seeks to compartmentalize and categorize, McCoy reminds us that the true essence of a good book lies not within its marketing label but in its ability to touch hearts and minds. She challenges readers to break free from the confines of genre and explore the myriad possibilities that lie within the pages of a book.

As a literary luminary, McCoy's influence extends far beyond her captivating narratives. She embodies the spirit of curiosity and wonder, inviting readers to embark on transformative journeys and discover new worlds through the written word.

In a time when stories have the power to unite and inspire, Sarah McCoy shines as a guiding light in the literary landscape. Her unique storytelling abilities and unwavering dedication to her craft have earned her a well-deserved place among the literary greats. With each new work, she continues to captivate and inspire, reminding us of the enduring power of storytelling and the limitless possibilities of the human imagination.

Get ready to be enchanted by the words and wisdom of Sarah McCoy, an author who illuminates the world of storytelling like no other.


Sarah McCoy stands as a literary luminary, celebrated for her captivating novels. With multiple New York Times, USA Today, and international bestsellers to her name, including “Mustique Island,” “Marilla of Green Gables,” “The Mapmaker’s Children,” “The Baker’s Daughter,” and the 2012 Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Historical Fiction, she continues to enchant readers worldwide. 

McCoy’s literary prowess extends beyond novels, with her work gracing the pages of publications such as Newsweek, Lit Hub, Real Simple, and The Huffington Post. She’s a versatile writer, equally at ease in both fiction and nonfiction realms. 

Her passion for storytelling is not confined to the page alone. McCoy has shared her literary insights as the host of NPR WSNC Radio’s “Bookmarked with Sarah McCoy.” Her dedication to the craft of writing has also led her to teach English writing at institutions like Old Dominion University and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Born to an Army officer and a Puerto Rican schoolteacher, McCoy’s multicultural upbringing deeply influences her work. Having lived in Germany and various U.S. military bases, she’s a true citizen of the world. After a decade in El Paso, Texas, she now calls Winston-Salem, North Carolina, home, where she resides with her husband, faithful dog Gilly, and her feline companion, Tutu. Sarah McCoy’s words continue to inspire, captivate, and bridge cultures with their literary magic.

What’s the last great book you read?

SM: My friend Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book Carrie Soto is Back, which I thought was brilliant. Taylor writes women characters the way I want to read and see women—as bold, complex heroines bravely tackling the world we live in. 

What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?

The Nine Days Queen: A Portrait of Lady Jane Grey by Mary M. Luke. It was the first novel that I read as a young adult that made me weep into the pages. I loved that book, Lady Jane Grey, and the history. It moved me in ways no other book had. I believe that was the impetus for my future as a historical novelist. Up until that point, I’d read either contemporary novels or historical nonfiction. When I felt the power of the two together… I was hooked. Still am. 

You’re organizing a party. Which two authors, dead or alive, do you invite?

Only two? Gracious, that’s difficult. I’d probably invite Lucy Maud Montgomery and Kate Morton. I feel these are kindred spirits and share my curious wonder about the world and our role as storytellers in it. We’d have a grand tea party in some luscious garden setting and quietly tell each other secrets while we drank the pot empty. 

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? 

I loving reading across genres. Because I write historical fiction, I gravitate toward it, but there’s danger in not daring to step outside of one’s own territory. It limits the mind and imagination, in my opinion. A good book is a good book no matter what category it is placed on a bookstore shelves. Genres are commercially made parameters for marketing. So, I read across genres and I incorporate those elements into my writing—historical, romance, sci-fi, cozy mystery, fantasy, nonfiction.  I hope readers pick up one of my books and discover magical realism (fantasy). Then, they pick up another and find a mystery. Another is a romance, and so forth. It’s a game I play with myself and my readers. Each of my books is a surprise and a new adventure.    

What books do you find yourself returning to again and again?

The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It’s a balm for my soul to read of Anne Shirley, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, and Marilla Cuthbert. The writing is kissed with Montgomery’s signature style and the characters feel like dear, old friends. They welcome me home to Green Gables with each successive reading. 

What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?

I only read the first book in the Harry Potter series. I know! I was already at university when J.K. Rowley made her triumphant debut. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on assignment in a Contemporary Children’s Literature course. To be even more honest, I probably won’t ever read the rest, but I greatly admire the worldwide love of reading that Rowley reignited for millennials.   

What are you reading now?

I’m in a season of memoirs. I gobble them like popcorn.  I recently read The Girl on the Balcony by Olivia Hussey. Also, I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts by Kristin Chenoweth and Stanley Tucci’s Taste. All so unique in style, content, and format—much like life! And all are excellently written. I couldn’t put them down. 

You are an American but do other countries and cultures influence your writing?

So very much. My passport may be USA but my mother is Puerto Rican and my father’s lineage is Irish, Choctaw, Swedish. He was a military officer so I grew up overseas and moved all around the United States. My husband became a military physician. He grew up in Germany and loves to travel. We were stationed at a fort on the border of Mexico (El Paso, TX) for nearly a decade before settling in North Carolina. I am proudly multicultural. That’s a blessing that I do not take for granted. As the pandemic showed us unequivocally, the world is small and we are all interconnected. To answer your question: yes, other countries and cultures absolutely influence my writing and stories. Global community is the essence of humanity. After all, we’re sharing this crazy journey called life. 

What’s one of your favorite parts of being a published writer? 

Connecting with readers! You, readers, are the reason I write. There’s no greater joy than making lifelong friends through my books. It’s so encouraging to hear or read a review from someone explaining how my books have moved them, changed them, brought back a memory, helped them understand, or merely entertained them greatly. I know we, authors, are not supposed to read reviews, but I value the opinions of my readers too highly to ignore them. I read every single one. And yes, a few hurt but the majority inspire me to keep sitting down at my desk hour after hour, day after day. I’ve just opened my Zoom calendar to book clubs around the globe in celebration of Mustique Island. My website has a form for Book Clubs to fill out requesting a free, 30-minute virtual visit for me to pop into their group gathering, answer questions and say hello. Meeting book clubs virtually is one of the unexpected blessings of the pandemic times. We have all become experts in connecting across miles, countries, and time zones. It’s one of my favorite parts of modern publishing. I hope your readers reach out, too. 

What are you writing next? 

I tend to keep my new books pretty secretive until they are on the production line. I’m protective as a mother during their creative developments. That said, I can tell you that my new novel is loosely based on real-life events related to a celebrity mystery. It thrills me to be able to share this story. Harper Collins will publish it in 2025