Readers’ Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
Sandra, weclome to Interviews & Reviews! For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
When not plotting crimes, I love to play with my adorable little grandchildren or enjoy hiking or kayaking with my hubby or renovating our century-old farmhouse, aka the money pit. Once upon a time, I taught high school math, homeschooled my three brilliant children (I could be biased on the brilliant part) and I still do bookkeeping—the mathematical kind. ;) I also love to speak at events, teach writing workshops, and do all kinds of crafts.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing in some form or another all my life. But for most of those years, I never dreamed of writing fiction. I didn’t think I had enough imagination! I started my first novel in late 2004 and signed my first publishing contract six years later.
How many books have you written?
3 1/2 more than have been published and/or contracted. <wink> Over Maya Dead Body is lucky number 13—my sixth mystery with Revell. I also have 7 romantic suspense with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense Christian imprint, and I’m currently working on 3 cozy mysteries for Annie’s Attic.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
The writing! I love brainstorming ideas and plotting and editing and researching. But most writing days are hard slogging.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Yes, but I don’t want to give them away! They are best delved into along with Serena over the course of the story. I also provide questions for book club discussions based on the book, which can be downloaded from the bonus features page on my website or from the book’s page on the publisher’s site.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t be in a hurry to get published. Take time to develop your writing craft and enjoy the journey.
Good advice! Let's turn to something a little different.What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Craziest might be a better description of what I did than quirkiest. I rode my daughter’s brand-new-to-us horse bare back, when I really didn’t know how to ride. I mean what greenhorn knows that squeezing your legs makes a horse go? I was just trying to stay on! Instead she bucked and bucked and…bucked. With each buck I went up a little higher as my hubby raced to my rescue. On the third buck, I cleared her withers and my sweetheart caught me on the way down. Ahh…my hero.
Sounds like something you could use in a story. Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Absolutely! When I’m stuck in a story, I put off writing by re-outlining the story, re-reading, re-everything-you-can-imagine in the hopes of some divine inspiration.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
“Favourite” is hard for me to define. It used to be at night, after all my other obligations of the day were met. It’s when I write the best, but…I’d prefer to write in the morning. Ideally, I’d quickly meet my writing goal, leaving the rest of the day free for other things. Unfortunately days are rarely ideal.
What is your favourite Scripture verse and why?
There’s that word again! My favourite verse changes periodically, depending on my current situation. Lately it has been: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.”
I love that verse! If you would like to follow Sandra so you never miss one of her books, you can touch base with her over on her website at www.SandraOrchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
Interested in starting this series from the beginning? Just click on the pictures below!