It's hard to believe another week has passed by already and we're gearing up for a new interview. Today I'd like to welcome, Sandra Ardoin.
Let's start out with something fun. If you have a day all to yourself, how would you spend it?
I’m anywhere but at home. When it’s just me by myself, I’m flitting from store-to-store. I like to window shop. The ideal day is spent wandering antique malls, specialty/craft shops, garden centers, and consignment stores. There’s a break for lunch at Taco Bell while I read whatever book I’m into at the moment. Then, more wandering until the stores close—almost!
I can relate. Most times I leave the house I have a book with me. :) How did you develop a love of story?
It began with television and movies. Westerns were the thing on television in the 1960s. I’ve always loved horses, so it didn’t take much for those programs to hold my attention. In third grade, I began reading the Little House books. Then my reading progressed to mysteries, suspense, and romance. Put it all together and you know what I like to read and write.
I've found that many authors got their start by reading the Little House books. What spiritual truths do you desire to convey to your readers?
It’s interesting, but I’ve found that a recurring theme in my stories involves forgiveness between people. There always seems to be some major character in each story who must forgive someone else (or themselves). I guess it’s a universal theme, although I’m not sure what that says about me. :) In writing stories, I think the author often learns as much as the reader.
I know what you mean about the author learning as much as the reader. How long have you been writing?
I began writing greeting cards and posters in 1986. After my daughter was born and I became a stay-at-home-mom in the early ’90s, I started writing fiction for children and adults, published in denominational publications. It wasn’t until 2008/2009 that I wrote my first novel. It has been a complete learning experience. In 2014, I received my first traditional publishing contract for my novella . Soon after, I signed a contract for the novel .
How exciting. Tell us about your new novel.
A Reluctant Melody is the story of a secondary character from my Christmas novella The Yuletide Angel.
Kit's alcoholism ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. But the most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past.
Friends of her late husband blame Joanna for his death. Although eager to flee from the rumors, she will let the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she allows Kit back into her life.
When a blackmailer threatens to reveal Joanna’s long-held secret, will she risk losing everything she owns to Kit … including her heart?
It’s a story that involves numerous themes. At the heart, though, it’s a story of God’s mercy and grace. It reminds us we cannot be too “bad” to receive God’s forgiveness when we seek it through Christ.
It sounds like an interesting theme. Are you involved in a critique group?
Absolutely! I couldn’t do without my crit partners. Phyllis Keels is a local friend and writer, my go-to when I need to brainstorm. I got together with Heidi Chiavaroli and Nicole Miller through the ACFW Scribes group in 2009. We were all beginning novelists, so it’s been fun to see our progress over the years. All three are supportive and put up with my less-than-stellar grammatical issues.
It's fun having critique partners who become your friends too. :) What foods do you eat when writing to keep you going?
I’m a big morning coffee drinker. My breaks consist of running back and forth to the microwave to reheat my coffee. Otherwise, I try not to snack while writing. When I do though, I prefer chocolate or something sweet—which is why I try not to snack. :)
LOL. I'm very similar although I keep reheating my tea. :) What's your favorite animal and have you ever used one in your stories?
I’ve always been a horse person. Since I write 19th century historical romances, they’re definitely part of my stories. Strangely, I’ve written a horse-centered short story once, but have never used a horse as the central part of a novel. However, I do have one in an (as of yet) unpublished manuscript. Her name is Ruthie.
Sounds like fun. Thanks for stopping by today, Sandra. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win ?
Next week, tune in for an interview with Connie Almony.