When did you start writing?
I began writing in 1986. For several years, I concentrated on greeting cards, posters, and devotions. After my daughter was born in 1991, I started writing short stories for denominational publications. It wasn’t until 2008 that I felt confident of God’s okay to begin writing novels. It was a learning process—like going to school. I have a handful of completed novels, but The Yuletide Angel is my first published book.
Do you write full-time or along with other pursuits?
Honestly, I don’t know how people with full-time, day jobs do it. Unlike many others, I have the luxury to treat writing as a full-time job. That’s a good thing since I’m notoriously slow at it, and there are many other tasks besides creating that next book that fall under a writer’s responsibilities.
I see you have a title listed for coming out in Jan 2016 is this a full length novel? What tidbit can you share about your latest writing project?
Yes. A Reluctant Melody is a full novel to be published by Heritage Beacon Fiction, my publisher for the novella. In fact, the hero of the novel is Kit Barnes, the brother of Hugh from the The Yuletide Angel. The story takes place a year-and-a-half later (1892) when Kit is given the opportunity to open another ministry to inebriates in North Carolina. Unfortunately, the property he hopes to acquire belongs to the woman with whom he betrayed his brother … and she isn’t selling to him. Mmmm … conflict and romance with a murder mystery thrown into the mix!
What are your favorite hobbies?
I devour fiction at night. Football, NASCAR—those are the sports I watch each week. Those no-man’s-land Sunday afternoons after the Super Bowl and before Daytona leave me with nothing to do but clean. J I enjoy gardening. In the past few years, though, my time has been short and I haven’t done much in the yard. I love horses, but haven’t owned one in years or ridden much.
Is there somewhere you would like to travel to in the coming years?
I wrote a novella set in Sydney, Australia (unpublished as of yet). The research convinced me it would be a wonderful trip to take … if I can convince myself the hours on the airplane won’t do me in. For the most part, my husband and I stick close to home. We’re mountain-oriented people more than beach-goers, though we’re fortunate that it’s a relatively short drive to one or the other for us.
How often do you sit down to write whether on a writing project or your blog?
I put out a blog post on my personal blog on Tuesdays—generally book reviews. I also host the Wednesday posts for the Seriously Write blog and do a review for Suspense Sisters once a quarter. I’m usually in my office from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. I start on my fiction projects mid-morning and work the rest of the day. I don’t work on Sunday and try not to work on Saturday.
What idea sparked The Yuletide Angel?
Frankly, I wanted to write a Christmas novella and sampled different ideas. I wrote a draft of the first two scenes of The Yuletide Angel, but had no idea where it was going. I then wrote most of a contemporary novella and didn’t like it, so I switched back to the historical, which is my preferred genre. Everything snowballed from there. I tell people God spit this one out. I suppose the idea of a mysterious “angel” came from Hugh’s first scene. I originally wrote it to create a mood, but I needed a reason he was prowling around at night. J
Please share what you would like readers to know about you, your life and passion.
Like Violet in The Yuletide Angel, I’m the one you’ll see hugging the wall in a room full of strangers. I’m much more outgoing online.
Something I’ve found to be consistent in the novels I’ve written is the theme of forgiveness—both by God, others, and the need to forgive ourselves. The latter is a major issue for my heroine in A Reluctant Melody. Many authors have one particular theme that runs through their works. For some reason, I suppose this is the one God has given me.
Thank you for hosting this interview, Lisa! I’d love to connect with your readers. I can be found at my blog (www.sandraardoin.com) and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for my newsletter.