Friday, November 13, 2009
Well, I write Christian books because that’s where my heart is. There’s so much really awful secular fiction out there, the kind that makes me close the book very quickly. Once I knew that this was God’s plan for my life, it seemed like a no-brainer that I would use that gift to uplift Him and His children. I write comedy because … I’m a very funny person! LOL
I first met Sandra in person at the ACFW national conference, and she's a lot of fun to be around. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I fought for months on end against stage 3 ovarian cancer. There were surgeries and radiation treatments and what felt like YEARS feeling horrible. Even at that, I’d heard so many statistics about how this disease likes to sneak back up on you, and there’s a huge percentage of women who face it again within five years. On the day that I’d been clean for five years … that was a spiritual and physical jubilation like I can’t even adequately describe.
I can imagine. I lost my sister that way. Praise the Lord, He healed you. How has being published changed your life?
I spent a great deal of my life as a publicist for actors, essentially telling the world how wonderful my clients were. I kept it to myself, but I often thought how great it would be if some of them would use their celebrity to bring enlightenment to hurting spirits, or at least to inspire people to be more effective in their lives. I never really realized until recently that I’ve been given that opportunity as a published author. I receive emails and notes all the time from readers who have really been moved by something I’ve written, or I’ve made them laugh at a time when they didn’t think they had any more laughter in them. I’m so humbled and grateful every time I hear a story like that, and it strengthens my resolve to continue providing entertainment AND encouragement through my books. The scripture says a merry heart is as good as medicine, and I feel like that’s been my assignment, to provide light-hearted truths.
One of my novellas was titled The Best Medicine, based on that scripture. What are you reading right now?
Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson. She’s phenomenal.
What is your current work in progress?
I am just putting the finishing touches on my second novel for the new Abingdon Press fiction line. It’s called Always the Baker, Never the Bride, a comedy (of course) about a baker who is diabetic and can’t eat her own creations. I’m having such fun with this book. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye to the characters when it’s finished … but a relief to stop thinking about cake and pastries all the time!
What would be your dream vacation?
It’s really funny that this should be one of the questions because, just this week, I was talking to a friend about needing a break when this next book is complete. She asked me the same question, and my instinctive answer was this: Somewhere tropical like Sanibel Island, Florida, with 6 of my favorite women (and my dog), just getting some sun, sharing a few meals, reading books, taking long naps, leaving the computers behind and turning off the cell phones.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Actually, I chose the setting for the Summerside book I'm writing right now. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My friend David. We’ve been so busy lately that we haven’t had any real time together. He’s one of my favorite people. He’s uber-smart, and he always makes me laugh, and I can fearlessly bear my soul to him. How many people can you say that about?
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to scrapbook and take pictures, and I’m also a bit of an armchair designer. I make greeting cards and specialty tee-shirts and even paint pottery and ceramics. My creativity gene is an over-achiever.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
That would have to be balancing my life. I’m still working a day job as an editor in Corporate America, so that’s 40+ hours every week that belong to someone else. Balancing a full-time writing career with that is rough, and then adding some sort of life into it … well, you can imagine.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Finish something. I meet so many people who talk about writing, and they start a hundred projects, but they’ve never finished a single one of them. I think it’s very important to get beyond a synopsis and three chapters. To do that, there’s no substitute for putting your fanny in the chair and writing, writing, writing until you finish something. And when you do … take a break … and then do it all over again.
Tell us about the featured book?
Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, isn’t your typical romantic comedy. The hero and heroine are in their mid-50s, and the humor is extremely quirky and unusual (just like the town of Holiday!)
Bostonian Cassie Constantine is only in Florida long enough to use her Christmas break to get the vacation house that she’s always despised ready for the real estate market. But her widow status is like a target on her back, and the elderly matchmakers around town manage to sidetrack her mission at every turn. Holiday is a land mine of golf tournaments, ballroom dancing competitions, shuffleboard and day trips. But the biggest obstacle of all? Nope, not Sophie the crazy Collie. It's Richard Dillon. The stuffed shirt she’s paired with on the dance floor makes her heartbeat tap faster than the rhythm of The Quickstep.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Cassie rounded the curve of the street and pulled into the driveway, and there they were! Those horrible neon pink flamingos, grinning at her from beneath the palm tree in the front yard. Just that morning, she’d deposited them in the trash receptacle, hoping that would be the end of them. Something told her she would never be rid of them.
Oh, what a thought!
As she climbed out of the car and stalked toward them, the horror of it buzzed around her like a swarm of gnats. The picture was a vivid one: Sitting on the back deck in her old age, sipping one of those terrible Southern beverages Zan was always experimenting with, her silver hair standing on end and frizzy from the Florida humidity. And poking out from beneath the dock … or peering at her from around the side of the house … or possibly standing tall in one of the large flowering plants … Those eyes. Those gawking, neon eyes, just staring back at her, mocking her with their presence.
Cassie yanked the first one out of the ground where its hard plastic spike anchored it to the front yard, and she tossed it to the grass behind her. Just as she wrapped both hands around the beak of the second one, Zan’s laughter taunted her from across the street.
She turned her head slowly toward him, narrowed her eyes and stared him down, the distance between them bridged by a look her husband had come to know all too well.
“Hi, baby,” he called out to her, grinning as maniacally as those flamingos he loved so much. “Want some help carrying in the groceries?”
Lounging on the front step of Millicent’s porch with his faithful dog Sophie at his side, Zan could surely be spotted from the space shuttle in that colorful Hawaiian print shirt. He waved his arms at her, and then the old woman in the rocking chair began to wave as well.
Cassie planted both feet and faced him, hands on hips. “Alexander Constantine, I won’t have these horrible things displayed in the front yard. What will the neighbors think of us?”
“Ah, come on, Mac. They’ll think we’re kitschy. Don’t you want to be known as kitschy?”
“I certainly do not.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web site: http://www.sandradbricker.com/
Personal blog: http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com/
Group blog: http://bestilldevos.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Sandie Bricker
Thank you, Sandie, for spending this time with us.
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