Why do you write the kind of books you do?
When I first started to write, I wanted to write historical romance. At the time chick lit was the most popular genre, and publishing houses weren’t buying historical fiction. Since I knew I didn’t want to write chick lit, I turned to my second love—mystery and suspense. At the time Barbour had started a line of cozy mysteries, and they bought my first mystery. After that line closed, I turned to romantic suspense and found that I really liked writing it. I now have four romantic suspense novels published and two more coming out next year, but I’ve never really gotten away from historical romance. When editors began to seek it again, I started writing it and sold three historicals to Heartsong Presents Romance. The three-in-one of that series will release in the fall, and I’ve recently been contracted by Harvest House for a three book generational historical romance set in the
. The first book will release next year. Since I love both genres, I’m having a wonderful time writing the kind of books I like to read. Smoky Mountains
I would love to feature your 3-in-1 in the fall. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I thought a long time about this question. I’ve had so many happy moments—my wedding day, the births of my children, a promotion from teacher to school principal. The one thing that kept popping into my mind, though, was the day I survived a heart attack. I was on the River Walk in
with my daughter, grandchildren, and nieces when I became ill. Paramedics transported me immediately to a hospital which was less than a mile from where we were, and a world renowned cardiologist had just finished a procedure in the cath lab. Within minutes I was in surgery. I knew that day God had allowed me to live because He had something for me to do. Nine months later I sold my first book. With each book I write, I want God’s message of love and forgiveness to touch the hearts of my readers and bring comfort into their lives. One of my happiest moments came when a reader wrote to tell me she had accepted Jesus while reading one of my books. San Antonio
How has being published changed your life?
For one thing, it allowed me to retire and devote my time to writing. It also has given me many new friends. Some are writers who have become close friends, and others are my readers. I love to speak to groups and correspond with my readers by email. I now have friends all over the country, and it seems like I’ve known them all my life.
What are you reading right now?
I’ve always been a reader and may have several books that I’m reading at one time, and they may be different genres. That’s the case with what I’m reading at the moment. I recently finished Dorothy Love’s historical Beyond All Measure, Debbie Macomber’s contemporary romance A Turn in the Road, and Tim Downs’ suspense Nick of Time. Right now I’m reading Cynthia Ruchti’s They Almost Always Come Home, and Steven James’s suspense/thriller The Knight. I guess you could say I have quite an eclectic taste in books.
I love Cynthia's book and I'm looking forward to reading Dorothy's. What is your current work in progress?
I am currently working on the third book in a Love Inspired Suspense series set on
. It deals with the sister of the heroine in my current book. Betsy Michaels is an artist who lives on the island who finds herself helping an undercover DEA agent bring down a drug smuggling ring that is operating on the island. Ocracoke Island
What would be your dream vacation?
My husband and I have been fortunate to travel extensively in the continental
United States and to England, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland in Europe. We also have been to the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but we haven’t gotten to Maui yet. That’s where I want to go next. I would love to spend a few weeks there, and maybe we will sometime in the future.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I try to choose settings that I know. For instance, my latest book is set on
, a vacation spot for me several years ago. I also set a lot of my books in the South because I’ve lived all my life in that part of the country. I understand the culture and the way of life which I think adds authenticity to my writing. Ocracoke Island
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This question really made me think about who I would choose above all other people in the world to spend an evening with, and only one answer came to mind—my mother. She will be 90 years old the last of this month, and her health has declined in the past year. Having lost my father eleven years ago, I understand the importance of sharing every moment you can with those you love. She has been such a blessing in my life and was the one who instilled the love of reading in me. She is still my biggest encourager on my writing journey, and I love her dearly.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I graduated from college with a degree in music and majored in piano. I enjoy sitting at the piano and playing and can do it for hours. I also enjoy listening to music and going to Broadway musicals when they tour through our part of the country. I also love antiques and collect flow blue china. I enjoy going to estate sales and trying to find a bargain.
My degree is in drama, and I've been involved with musicals on campus. I love them, too. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I find that I do a lot of editing as I write. Sometimes I’ll spend too much time writing and rewriting a sentence or a paragraph before I can make myself move on. Even when I sit down at the computer and read what I wrote the day before, I find myself wanting to rewrite. I know I need to get the words on the page and edit later, but it’s really hard for me to leave something until I feel it’s exactly as I want it. I’ve found that I have to force myself to go on even if the thought is niggling in the back of my mind that there’s still work to be done on a certain sentence.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I always tell beginning authors they should join a professional writers’ organization such as America Christian Fiction Writers so they can learn from seasoned authors. They also should get in a critique group and go to writers’ conferences so they learn the craft of writing. I would also advise beginning authors to read and keep informed on what’s selling in the market. It’s disappointing to spend a year or so working on a book only to find out the market is flooded with that genre and editors aren’t buying what you’ve poured your soul into.
Tell us about the featured book.
Dangerous Reunion is a romantic suspense set on
Ocracoke Island, one of the barrier islands twenty-five miles off the coast of . Here’s the back cover blurb: A murderer on tiny, safe North Carolina ? Deputy Sheriff Kate Michaels doesn’t want to believe it—until someone at the crime scene starts shooting at her. Then Ocracoke Island detective Brock Gentry shows up. Brock broke her heart years ago when he called off their engagement. Now torn apart by a case, Brock seeks sanctuary on the island. Yet as the threats against Kate escalate—and Kate’s sisters are targeted—she turns to the man she’s never stopped loving. Even if their reunion is more dangerous than it ever was before. Nashville
Sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page of the book.
Murder didn't happen on
. But with a gunshot wound in the center of Jake Morgan's back, Ocracoke Island senior deputy Kate Michaels knew it had to be murder Hyde County
She glanced at Grady Teach, self-proclaimed island historian, who had discovered the body. "What were you doing at the beach so early this morning, Grady?"
Before he could answer, the police equipment bag she'd placed in the sand beside Jake's body exploded in a rush of air followed by the crack of a rifle. She pulled her service revolver from its holster and whirled to determine the shooter's position. The second shot kicked up sand inches from her feet.
Kate lunged for a stunned Grady and shoved him to the ground as another rifle report echoed across the quiet beach. The bullet sailed over their heads. "Stay down. Someone's shooting from the beach ridge dune," she screamed. She turned her mouth to her lapel mic. "Shots fired. Officer needs assistance at beach ramp."
"Ten-four." The reply crackled in the crisp morning air.
Another shot whizzed over their heads, and then silence.
A car engine roared and tires squealed on the pavement of the road that skirted the beach. Kate jumped to her feet and bolted across the two hundred feet of sand and up the hundred-foot-long wooden ramp toward the top of the dune ridge that ran parallel to the coastline. When she reached the road on the other side of the dunes, she looked in both directions, but the car had disappeared.
How can readers find you on the Internet?I love to hear from my readers. They can visit my website at http://sandrarobbins.net or email me at Sandra@sandrarobbins.net. I also blog on Thursdays at The Borrowed Book www.theborrowedbook.blogspot.com
Thank you for stopping by, Sandra. You must come again.
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