Wednesday, December 01, 2010
I think every writer must include a part of themselves in their characters, and I’m no different. I find my characters reacting the way I would in situations. Maybe I should clarify that. I don’t react the way my villains do, but my hero and heroine’s reactions are very much like mine.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I suppose the quirkiest thing I ever did was when I was on an antiquing trip with my best friend. We both collect blue and white stoneware, and we had heard of an antique mall that had many pieces for sale. We were in Ohio and were pleased when we saw the name of the town where the mall was located about 120 miles from where we were staying. So we took off in search of the mall. When we arrived in the town, though, we couldn’t find anyone who had ever heard of this antique mall that was supposed to be one of the largest in the country. We finally found one person who told us we had the name of the town right, but we were in the wrong state. We needed to be in Indiana. A quick search of a map revealed we were only about three hours away from the Indiana town, so we took off. Needless to say it was rather late when we returned to where we were staying that night, but we had acquired some wonderful blue stoneware pieces.
I have a friend, who would do that very thing. Road Trip! When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I had always wanted to write, but I think I first discovered I could write when I took a fiction writing class in college. I came up with a story idea during that semester that I have never quit thinking about. The story has never been written, but it may be someday.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like suspense and mystery, romance both historical and contemporary, and women’s fiction. I don’t care for fantasy or science fiction.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I stay focused on what’s most important in my life—my faith in God, my family, and my writing. I try to remember that life is fleeting and that no one is irreplaceable, but I do want to make an impact on lives I touch. That’s why I pray that the words God gives to me will be like seeds that are scattered into the world. I don’t know where they will land, but I pray God will help them to find fertile soil in the heart of someone and will help that person understand the love that God has for him or her.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
For my hero I like to choose a one syllable name. I think that makes him sound like a stronger character. For my heroine I try to choose a name that has more than one syllable because I think it sounds more feminine. I search name lists on the internet until I find the right combination for my story. The hero and heroine in my latest book are named Matt and Rachel.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of the children my husband and I have raised. They are all grown now with families of their own, and they all have a faith in God that guides them in their daily lives. Nothing gives me more pleasure that spending time with our four children and my grandchildren.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a Yorkshire terrier dog. Maybe I think that because my Yorkie passed away a year ago at fourteen years of age. She had all the characteristics that I admire in a person. She gave me unconditional love and was completely loyal. She enjoyed life to the fullest and was never too involved in what she was doing to come running to me if I called. She gave me encouragement in my writing because she lay at my feet the entire time I was on the computer. I still miss her so much.
What is your favorite food?
I have two favorites—hamburgers and chocolate chip cookies. I think I could live on those two foods. I get hungry just thinking about it.
Sounds good to me. Let's go get some for lunch. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Before I started writing, I was the principal of a school and supervised a staff of over 60 employees. I suppose I was used to being the final authority on decisions in the building, but I found that wasn’t true when I began to write. I was fortunate to find ACFW and get into a critique group through that organization. As I began to receive feedback from my critique partners, it was sometimes hard to accept. But God revealed to me that I was growing as a writer and that I needed to learn from those who had more experience than I did. I’m so glad I listened to God’s soft voice for now I realize He was preparing me for the editors and readers that I would encounter later on. Now I’m thankful for the help I was given by so many.
I know what you mean about that. Tell us about the featured book.
Yuletide Defender is a romantic suspense that is releasing December 7 from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. An anonymous source tells Rachel Long, a determined newspaper reporter, that he believes a vigilante is responsible for the deaths of gang members in their city. Rachel who needs a big story to advance her career decides to find out the truth. Matt Franklin, a police detective, is worried for the feisty reporter who keeps showing up in the wrong part of town and becomes her protector. The two of them find that a threatening gang war is propelling them to a showdown—just in time for Christmas.
I want to read that. Please give us the first page of the book.
Arriving at a murder scene before breakfast wasn’t Rachel Long’s idea of a good way to start the day.
She leaned against the lamp post at the corner of 9th and Perkins and pulled her coat tighter. The December wind that whistled around the deserted storefronts and rundown apartment buildings lining the street sent a shiver down her spine. Unlike other neighborhoods in Lake City, there were no holiday decorations anywhere in sight. In fact nothing about her surroundings gave a hint that Christmas was only a few weeks away.
A young man’s lifeless body sprawled twenty feet away spoke volumes about what life was like in this part of the city. Several uniformed policemen stood to the side as crime scene investigators gathered their evidence.
Her stomach rumbled, and she pressed her hand against her abdomen to suppress the hunger pains. Coffee would have to come later. As chief investigative reporter for the Lake City Daily Beacon, her job was to cover the news.
One of the policemen backed away, and Rachel caught sight of the victim’s leg twisted underneath him. She made a quick note in her journal of his white canvas tennis shoe with a five pointed star on the side—one of the identifying marks of the Vipers, the gang that boasted control of this neighborhood.
She pursed her lips and tried to mentally recall how many gang-related deaths she’d reported in the past two months. Four? No, five. This one made the sixth victim.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me at my website http://sandrarobbins.net/ or at my blog at http://www.sandrarobb.blogspot.com/
I always enjoy hearing from my readers at Sandra@sandrarobbins.net
Sandra, thank you for the interesting visit.
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