Sunday, October 24, 2010
There's a piece of myself in all my characters. Even the bad guys. My bad guy in this story (the grandfather) is a bit insane and arrogant. E-hem. I'm ashamed to say I see a little of myself in him as well! Aaack! Better work on that. I also see myself in David. He's hot tempered, but has a passion to please God. Yep, that's me. Then there's Alethea. She's carefree and foolish, but at the same time shrewd, especially when it comes to protecting her own hide. Yes, that's me, too. :-)
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
One morning I climbed out of bed to take my two-year-old to preschool. This took place when we lived in Holland, by the way. So, I fed her, got her dressed and loaded her on the bike (we rode bikes, not cars out there). I dropped her off, and right across the street was the grocery store. There were some items I needed, so I decided to head on over there. Because it was so close, I decided to walk.
I crossed the street, pushing my bike, and then I went into the store. As I walked along, a man looked at me, looked away, then looked at me again. Surely, my hair and clothes weren't in that bad of shape. Yes, I'd just crawled out of bed, or felt like I had, but there was no call for anyone to take extra notice—or so I thought. Another couple walked by and gave me a strange look. Well, maybe I did look pretty bad. Finally, one woman's eyes darted downward and rested on me, or whatever it was she saw, so I also looked down. To my surprise, I was still pushing my bike! I'd walked my bike into the grocery store.
I chuckled and managed to get the words out in Dutch, "I'm not awake yet." I think it was my first official joke in Dutch. The woman laughed, so it must have worked. Well, I managed to get the bike turned around and parked it outside where it belonged. After that, I was wide awake.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
While in Holland, before I knew the language, I needed an "out." A way to express myself, since I couldn't in the everyday world. So, I started writing. I always wrote as a kid, but I never planned on becoming a writer.
We had a Dutch exchange student when my daughters were in high school. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Historicals and historical romance. Not much of a range, I guess. It's also what I write.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I wrote a historical romance about a half-breed Cheyenne warrior and a Dutch pioneer woman. I became intrigued with the Sand Creek Massacre and the fact that I grew up in Colorado and never knew about this horrific "holocaust." The idea of a Native American Christian coming face-to-face with white men who claimed to be Christians as they killed innocent people from his tribe, including children (all true according to history, by the way), really challenged me, so I had to write about it.
Not many houses want Native American stories, so that one isn't published.
The business is always changing. It's time may come. There were several books with Native American main characters that came out this year. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Good question. Yes, life in America is ten times faster than it was in Holland. It leaves me breathless. So, we say "no" to a lot of things. We have a family dinner with the kids and simply hide out at home.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I do baby name searches online. Usually it's a name that either needs to be Dutch, Cheyenne, Greek, Latin, or Germanic. So, I look them up online and see what's out there; I also like to choose names with a meaning that "fits" their character. Other times they just come to me.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Writing related: That I finished THE MASTER'S WALL. This story has been in me for years. Now on to the next in the series, YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A cat. So I can curl up and sleep all day.
What is your favorite food?
Indian food (India Indian, not Native American Indian).
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Not knowing the craft. So, I learned it. My Native American story mentioned above was my "practice novel." It won first place in the 2005 West Virginia Novel Competition, so I don't think it turned out too bad.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Learn the craft! Get your hands on Dave King and Renni Browne's book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Or stop by my blog where Dave and other fabulous editors hang out, and learn about the craft: http://thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com/.
Tell us about the featured book.
Below is the book jacket description.
Title: THE MASTER'S WALL
He fights for his freedom. She fights for her life. Together, they fight for each other.
After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. David trains to become a skilled fighter. He works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.
Please give us the first page of the book.
THE MASTER'S WALL
Rome, 76 A.D.
David tried not to cry, tried not to breathe or make a sound as he crept along the dark street. Careful not to trip on the flat stones, he recalled how that morning he’d taken this same path, chasing friends between the alleys, pretending they were gladiators fighting at the Circus Maximus. Now again he followed the enemy. Only this enemy was real. There were three of them. And they had taken his parents.
Mamma. Abba. He wanted to shout out their names, to cry out to them.
He could still feel Mamma’s hand in his. Could feel her letting go as the soldiers pulled her away. Could feel her stola ripping as he clutched it. All he had left was the shredded fabric from her dress still in his hand. How empty his hand felt now that she was gone.
He made a fist. All he had in the world. Snatched away. And now their lives might depend on him. On what he would do at this moment.
A lot of emotion there. How can readers find you on the Internet?
At my website: http://www.sandirog.com/
My personal blog: http://sandirog.blogspot.com/
Facebook and Twitter.
Sandi, thank you for the interesting peek into your life and writing.
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