I wanted to introduce you to one of my new favorite Authors...Sandie Will.
I asked her some interview questions so enjoy reading her responses:
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
Sandie Will (I don’t use a pen name)
Tell me a bit about yourself:
I am an observer. I’ve been told many times that I’m too quiet, but I think it’s more that it’s hard for me to discern my thoughts in real time. Sometimes it takes me a while to process how I’m feeling in the moment and I have to dive into it and climb out later, usually alone. I’d rather take in moments in time and hold onto them, only to share them with someone special later, whether it’s my husband of 29 years or the readers of my work. I love the frenzy of the birds early in the morning, the stillness following an afternoon rain shower and the tenderness of an evening sunset, but I have difficulty explaining why in a conversation. Perhaps this explains my need to write or paint or draw. It’s my most comfortable way of expressing how I feel or how I think someone else feels. I have to feel it to share it and when I do, it’s like I’m giving you a part of me.
I am also a learner. My mind never stops. I have spent years learning geology, my profession, both in college and in the field. In more recent years, I have added the disciplines of management and leadership to my career and found that I have a passion for helping others succeed. And yet, this analytical mind pushes me to be creative every day. So, when I was no longer required to write technical reports, I switched to authoring novels – one extreme to the other, it seemed to me. But it’s really not. It’s more like an extension of me.
What type of genre do you write?
I’m still trying out different genres, but my tendency is to write dark, especially for the younger audience. I love getting into the mind of a tortured character or feeling the fear of the unknown – and then bringing it to the reader. So, it seems that my genre is turning out to be young adult psychological thrillers, though I have written a time travel and dabbled in children’s books (not dark, of course!).
What genre to you personally read?
I love creepy mixed with the unexplained – novels that make you question afterwards such as paranormal thrillers, especially if the character has a relationship with the entity or is in fear of their life. I love science fiction especially with a disaster involved or exploring space, and good historical fictions that are intertwined with romance, tragedy and the human struggle between right and wrong. I also love horrors, especially those written by Stephen King, vampire/werewolf/witch novels and various YA novel series such as Twilight and Hunger Games.
Tell me about your latest?
Currently, I have a YA psychological thriller being released by Caliburn Press titled, The Caging at Deadwater Manor. This book is a fiction but is based on a discovery my dad made while working at a psychiatric hospital long ago, which he only recently shared with me. I also incorporated patient treatments and routines that both of my parents described from earlier careers, as well as research that I conducted on other psychiatric hospitals. The cover art was recently released and I’ve had numerous accolades on it including one from Dawne Dominique who wrote that she loved the cover because it was “creepy and beautiful all at the same time.” Here’s the book blurb and cover art:
ABOUT THE CAGING AT DEADWATER MANOR:
On a cold, January evening, fourteen-year-old Jeannie Kynde is told that her beloved mother drowned in the murky waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Her distraught father turns on Jeannie, no longer the caring father she once knew.
Four years later, Jeannie is finally old enough to escape her father’s clutches, but he has different plans. He imprisons her at Deadwater Manor, a psychiatric hospital with an unscrupulous past. Will she be locked away forever?
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I still shudder at the thought of that book. It was the first time I had concerns for my own safety because a demon could be lurking anywhere! Ha! No, but seriously, it did make me question whether the demon actually possessed her or whether she was absolutely insane. Not sure how she would make her own head do a 360, but hey, stranger things have happened, right?
What has been your best moment as a writer?
I think it’s on its way with my debut novel, but so far, it would be receiving the email offering me a contract for The Caging at Deadwater Manor. It was such an incredible feeling, knowing that a publisher thinks you’re good enough to take the risk, especially an unknown like me.
Who is your author idol?
Stephen King, of course. He’s the king of creepy. IT – need I say more? He knows how to build a setting and keep the story moving with intrigue even in the simplest of things such as the autumn leaves and the complexities of the human mind in his novels such as Needful Things.
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
My dream has come true as far as my geology career, but writing fiction is still new to me. There’s way more for me to learn and I have a long way to go. I can’t wait to create more new characters, settings, twists and turns in future novels and extend my list of available books.
What does your workspace look like?
I have an old writer’s desk that I found in a local antique shop. It’s nestled between the cat perch and dinner table in my second-story sunroom with a beautiful view of my yard. I especially like to watch and listen to the birds’ squawk and carry on at the bird feeder and even started a children’s series regarding it. Maybe someday, I’ll get back to writing children’s books again. There’s a short story series on my blog about the desk called “The Writing Desk Saga” at: http://www.sandiewill.com/blog/category/the-writing-desk-saga
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
No, but I think that’s because my income is from a different profession. I don’t have the pressure of having to write. I write because I need to but from an internal pressure. If a scene is becoming difficult for me to feel, I’ll set it aside for days or weeks and come back to it when I’m ready.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I mostly work as a manager for a state agency. I have a staff of 15 geologists, drillers and technicians who study the characteristics of aquifers in our 16-county area to collect the data needed for evaluating and protecting future water supplies. In my spare time, I promote my upcoming book on social media, run a science blog, help other authors promote their books, draw, read novels and geologic information, plan my marketing strategy for my book release, and spend time with my family and pets. Family time usually includes Sunday afternoon barbecues near the pool with a competitive game of pool beer pong with my two adult sons and travel to Disney World, cruises, family reunions and trips out west for my mountain fix! I also like to bake cupcakes, cookies, and pies and most notoriously known for angel cookies and pumpkin pie which my family begs for way too early in the season (I have a blog on this at http://www.sandiewill.com/blog/for-the-love-of-pumpkin).
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Being patient with yourself. Sometimes it can take awhile to develop a story and even when you think you have it down, a character will pop up out of nowhere and you’re back to more brainstorming. For me, writer’s block means that I haven’t fully vetted the story yet and I need to go back to outlining and figuring out more details.
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
It happened when I no longer wrote technical reports or college papers after becoming a manager and finishing my degree. If you would have asked me if I’d be sitting here waiting for my book release ten years ago, I would have told you, “No way.” But here I am! I didn’t realize how much I would miss writing and how much it was a part of my life until later. I have to admit that I find writing novels way more fun!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Learn the art of writing, but leave some room for your own creativity. Think outside the box. Having good grammar, spelling and typing skills can help immensely – take classes in these if you struggle. Be prepared for lots of marketing on social media and other outlets. There’s a lot to learn with website designs and using social media. I have lots of Twitter tips at the following link: http://www.sandiewill.com/blog/category/social-media. Help other authors with their promotions and be guests on their blogs and live events. Be engaged on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+ and other social media outlets. It takes a lot of time, so use Hootsuite or another similar app for scheduling posts. Speaking of which, I need to update my Goodreads account and look into Snapchat and Google+. It never ends!
After this book, what is next?
My next book, Time Lands, is a middle-grade historical time-travel series, which is complete and ready to go to the publisher. It’s about a girl who meets a guy from 1849 Ireland and all the adventures that go along with it.
I am currently writing another dark, YA psychological thriller. The title is pending, but so far, I’m calling it, Vision’s Edge. I’m still developing this story, but I can tell you that there’s a huge tragedy that occurs which leads to some peculiar behavior.
Your website? I have two websites. My author website (Sandie Will, Author) includes my novel information and can be found at: www.sandiewill.com. My blog can be found there as well and it includes my experiences during publishing, social media tips, short stories and novel news (www.sandiewill.com/blog).
I have a science website called Rock-Head Sciences that features geoscientists (mostly geology and geography) from around the world who have shared their careers and advice for students at www.rockheadsciences.com. My field, career and travel experiences are also on this site. Blogs on the website are also posted to Facebook (Rock-Head Sciences) and Twitter (@RockHeadScience).
Where can your book be found?
My book has not been released yet, but it will be available online at all the major bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, my website (http://www.sandiewill.com), Caliburn Press and other bookstores. For updates on the status of my novels, please follow me on Facebook (Sandie Will, Author), Twitter (@SandieWillWrite), Instagram (sandie_will), and Goodreads, where I actively share writing tips, updates on my novels, and information on other author novels. Also, please sign up for my newsletter on my website at www.sandiewill.com.
Thank you, Jodie, for having me as a guest on your website and helping me with my upcoming book release, especially the Facebook Live cover reveal for The Caging at Deadwater Manor and author takeover event yesterday. The event was a great success and I met many other authors and readers in the process.
Sandie is an amazing person so please check out her books and links! She is very interesting and has an all-around great personality! I wish her the best of luck!!!