Sandra: I was born and bred on the coast in the far north of Australia and have filled my leisure hours with reading, gardening, horse-riding, fishing and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. I always wanted to be an astronaut, but unfortunately during my schooling days women weren’t allowed to become pilots. So now I write Sci-Fi Romance and take myself to the stars in my imagination. J My husband and I and our furry child, KC the King Charles Cavalier, currently live in sunny South East Queensland, Australia.
My favourite colour is green.
My favourite smell is that of fresh cut grass and my favourite scent is frangipani. As for most loved film or book I couldn’t pick just one.
SMP: Please share your favorite holiday memory.
Sandra: My husband and I went to watch the Fairy Penguins come ashore during breeding season in Tasmania. The sun slipped below the horizon taking what little warmth there was with it and those of us in the tour huddled closer into our jumpers and jackets. I snuggled closer to my husband. Our guides lit diffuse lights and almost immediately, as though they’d been waiting for the signal, the cute little penguins came waddling ashore from the dark ocean seeking their seasonal breeding holes.
SMP: How long have you been writing? Have you always wanted to write?
Sandra: I began writing as a hobby in 1987 and over the next twenty years, in between all the challenges life throws at one, wrote a one hundred and fifty thousand word fantasy. Persistent, that’s me, J but it never entered my head to not finishing the story.
SMP: Do you write in a single genre, or more than one? What do you find most compelling about your genre(s)?
Sandra: I write Science Fiction Romance and Fantasy Romance and love the freedom of expression both these genres offer.
SMP: Tell us a little about your writing journey.
Sandra: Writing was a hobby before I became a member of the Romance Writers of Australia in 2009. I attended conferences, joined a local writing group, found a great critique partner and learned heaps. It took three years for my journey from hobby writer to published writer. The learning curve is not quite as steep as it once was, but I find there is always something new to discover about the writing process. And now the journey continues with the next book.
SMP: Tell us about your process. Do you plot/make outlines for your WIPS, or are you a total pantser?
Sandra: I began authorial life as a complete pantser. Now I’ve morphed into a plotser. My writing style is a bit like using stepping-stones to cross a pond. I set out, write a bit then land on the first stone, halt and have a think about where to go next then leap to it.
SMP: What has been your most significant inspiration on the road to publication?
Sandra: Belief in oneself by oneself and those close to you. If you think you can, you can. If others negate your efforts, don’t include them in your writing world.
SMP: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Sandra: Don’t ever give up. The writing journey is a series of milestones without an apparent final destination. It’s putting one word after another, celebrating highlights then back on the journey to the next stop, whether that be entering a contest, polishing a manuscript, pitching to an agent or editor or writing the next book. (Or all of the above!)
Experiment with writing styles, learn what suits you and stick to it. Some people swear by word count per day, others not so much. The name of the game is productivity. Discover how you best achieve that and go for it—and don’t ever give up. Did I mention that? J
SMP: Tell us a little about your current
or upcoming release: your inspiration, main characters, setting, etc. What was the most difficult process? The easiest?
Sandra: Alien, Mine, a science fiction romance, was released in June this year. I love sci-fi action stories, but find they rarely have adequate romance. On the other hand some sci-fi romance is simply set in a cosmic background and lacks adventure. My desire to have both in a story is what inspired me to write as I do.
In Alien, Mine, my heroine finds herself on the far side of the Galaxy staring down the barrel of some extreme emotional and physical ordeals. By her side stands an alien warrior willing and determined to take on the challenges presented by a cross species romance while defending her against a ruthless race intent on exploiting her unique human physiology.
I find the most difficult process of writing is putting myself through whatever my character is experiencing in order to get the emotion down on the page. The easy bit is editing.
Want to find Sandra? Start here:
SMP: Sandra, thanks so much for visiting with us today!
Sandra has included an excerpt from her popular Soul Mate Publishing release, Alien, Mine. Buy Link: Amazon
Excerpt: (Kendril is alien female who has befriended the heroine, Sandrea. This scene is immediately after Sandrea has been attacked by an enemy. Dexter is an empathic lizard-like creature.)
Sandrea blinked and focused on Kendril’s worried face. Her friend knelt beside her, eyes filled with concern.
Cramps struck Sandrea’s legs, urging her to unwind from a tight huddle. Beneath her vest and over-shirt, Dexter’s warm body hugged her ribs. “What happened?” she asked.
Kendril gazed at her with steady consideration then eased her grip on her upper arms. “Did he kill your dog, too?”
“Well you ‘happened’ to him as you did the Bluthen who killed your dog.”
“Did they rape you?” Kendril asked quietly.
Sandrea shook her head. “No. Violate, yes.” She hauled in a deep, shaky breath, gathered herself, and rose. “Where is he?”
Kendril pointed with a jerk of her chin. “Over there—mostly.”
Sandrea moved to the cliff edge and peered down. Early afternoon sunlight revealed a sheer tumble of boulders in shades of grey with a gruesome embellishment of stark, dark-red gore.
After a few moments of silent observation, she pursed her lips in contemplation.
“He is all over here, Kendril.”
“Well, technically, I suppose, yes,” Kendril admitted, coming to her side. “It’s just that he’s spread out over a few square meters. Sandrea?”
“Is that little lizard one of those things we’re not telling the General about?”