Today I’m interviewing Sara McCormick, owner of Bella deLuna Designs and her new shop Liber deStella. Sara lives in North Carolina with four cat children and a husband who thankfully loves math so she doesn’t have to. Like me, she gets distracted by shiny things.
Sara and I met through a secret society for witches who love tea. We had a quick connection based on our love of the same kinds of magical books. When Sara opened Liber deStella, I knew I had to interview her for CBC, because how could I not share the deets on someone making handmade items based on the books we all love? Brew some tea, pull up a cat and join me and Sara for a chat…
Allison: Sara, I’m so happy you could talk with me today about books and your fantastic work. I was so delighted to find out that we read so much of the same stuff! What’re you reading right now and I know you always have a TBR pile going, so what do you plan to read next?
Sara: I’m so glad to be able to chat with you! I never turn down an opportunity to talk about books! Right now I’m reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I’m only a couple of chapters in, so I’m still getting a sense of the book, but I’ve heard so many great things about it.
Next up on my TBR pile I’ve got Flamecaster, The Glittering Court and The Shadow Queen. I’m waiting for The Star-Touched Queen and A Court of Mist and Fury to come out and as soon as they do, they’ll go to the top of the list.
Allison: I loved Lady Midnight! We’re right in the middle of our Shadowhunters universe weeks and we’ll be talking about Lady Midnight later this week! Have you read the other series Cassandra Clare has written?
Sara: I have! It’s crazy to see all the fanfare the Shadowhunter world is getting right now with the new TV show and everything. I discovered the books in 2009, just when City of Glass came out. I vividly remember curled up in a blanket pile for days reading the first three books, and falling in love with the world Clare had built. City of Bones is still my favorite.
Allison: It’s still my favorite too. I think Lady Midnight has that same feel of falling into something cool and new (even though the first half of the book does a lot of looking back). I think it’s something about the vivid role LA plays in setting the stage. New York was just as captivating in The Mortal Instruments. Clare has a way of making things feel real.
I also have The Star-Touched Queen (which I just got my hands on today!) and A Court of Mist and Fury on my list of can’t-wait-to-reads. What’s your favorite new book in the last few months? I confess I’m shamelessly looking for book recommendations!
Sara: Without a doubt The Mirror King (the sequel to The Orphan Queen) and The Wrath and the Dawn. Both books I read in one sitting. I’ve already created a candle based on The Wrath and the Dawn, and I’ve got a necklace in the works based on The Mirror King. That’s pretty much how you know I absolutely fell in love with a book, I created something inspired by it.
Allison: How fortuitous! I’m reading The Orphan Queen right now. It’s very intriguing so far. I’m enjoying the slow reveal of Meadows’ system of magic. Speaking of new pieces, you just opened Liber deStella as a sister shop to Bella deLuna. How did you get your start selling handmade goods?
Sara: Oh, wow. Well, I’ve always created things, and actually in high school really go into making jewelry, candles and even the photography, but it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I started to look at it as a job. Long story short, my Mom was an artist, a painter, and when she passed away, I just remember standing in her art studio and having this epiphany that I was trying to force myself into the 9-5 desk job box and making myself pretty miserable while doing it. I saw all this art around me my Mom had created and knew I wanted the same thing, to live my life creating.
Allison: That makes so much sense to me, and it’s really inspiring. What made you want to create a shop just for cool book related goods?
Sara: There started to feel like there was a divide in my original shop, Bella deLuna Designs. I knew I was heading into more of a feel of metaphysical shop there, with the gemstones and ritual candles I had been working on, and my book jewelry didn’t feel as at home there anymore. Plus, I knew I had these book inspired candles in the pipeline that really would feel out of place. The two shops are really catering to two different audiences, and I felt that in order to give both the room they need to grow and flourish, that they just needed their own space.
Allison: Luckily, I think there’s a lot of crossover between the metaphysical customers and lovers of the kinds of magical books we both enjoy. What are your favorite pieces thus far?
Sara: Yes, and I’m so happy about that! It has made the process of opening a second shop so much easier than it would have been if there was no crossover at all. And everyone has been super supportive, because there was a little shift where items that used to be in my Bella deLuna shop are no longer there, so I’ve done my best to make sure everyone can find what they’re looking for.
As far as my favorite pieces, I have to include my Outlander dragonfly bracelet, as that was the first book inspired piece I ever created. The Six of Crows necklace is another favorite, as it’s a completely different design than anything I’ve ever done, and I love that it can be worn with anything. But I do have to admit, I’m really obsessed with the book candles right now. I’ve always made notes of scents described in books and how the surrounding landscape shapes the book, so I was really excited to sit down and really do research on how I could create candles that reflected that.
Allison: I just got my Rattle the Stars candle today and it smells amazing. It really does remind me of Celaena. I saw you added a candle for The Wrath and the Dawn to the shop recently, any plans for jewelry inspired by the book?
Sara: Yes! I’m working on a bracelet inspired by The Wrath and the Dawn right now. I’m hoping to finish it and a few other pieces this week! (Click here to see the finished beauty!)
Allison: I need to be saving my pennies… I loved The Wrath and the Dawn. And I already have a strong, strong desire to have that Six of Crows necklace. I love the book so much. For some reason I was a little worried about Leigh Bardugo expanding the Grishaverse, but it blew me away. Yet another series that has me impatiently waiting for the next book…
Sara: I had the same reservations about Six of Crows. Before reading it, I had heard it was from multiple points of view, and for some reason books written in multiple POVs can just rub me the wrong way. If there’s one character’s voice that I don’t like, I don’t like the rest of the book. So I was nervous about Six of Crows, but once I read it I absolutely fell in love.
Allison: I’m with you on the multiple POVs, it can be a risky move. But it turned out to the be thing that kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to get to know all the characters better in the next book. Sara, thank you again for having this fun chat with me today, I’m so blessed to know you.
Sara: Anytime! Thanks so much for inviting me to chat!
Pssst, before you go…Sara writes about the books she loves all the time on her blog. And if you want to see what her cats are up to, follow her on Instagram (or here for Liber deStella related goodness). Biscuit is my particular favorite. Like Twitter best? Follow her here. Facebook more your style? Keep up with Sara here. By the way, you can click on any of the above images to go right to Sara’s shop!
Double psssssst…. We’ll be back later this week for our talk about Lady Midnight and next week we’ll discuss the Shadowhunters universe as a whole!