Author Interview: Sandy SinnettPosted in author, interview, promotion
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About the Author:
Sandy Sinnett is the epitome of a hopeless romantic. At a very young age, from the very first TV episode of ‘The Love Boat’, she was hooked on the idea of the ultimate love story! Her passion for reading love stories, and a quiet addiction to Hallmark movies, now fuels her passion to write.
Sandy was born in Mt. Vernon, IL. She did some journaling in high school and college, and filled several books of poetry during that time, but never had aspirations to write anything more. She met her husband, Monty, in college and started a family. Once the first baby was born, the journaling stopped and parenting began! The couple lived in Missouri for many years prior to her husband joining the Army in 2004. During her husband’s recent deployment to Afghanistan, Sandy felt the inspiration to write a short story, which eventually turned into her first novel.
Shortly after she completed the book, Sandy and her friend Laura visited North Carolina to celebrate and even attended a Hickory Crawdad baseball game. The team was very flattered to hear of Sandy’s mention of them in her book and her book will now be stocked in their team store.
Sandy currently works as a Marketing Specialist for a local bank and volunteers as an event planner for several local non-profit organizations in Olympia, WA. She lives with her husband and four kids. This is her debut novel and she is already at work on the sequel.
What made you want to become a writer?
I wanted to write because I love to tell stories and use my imagination. A coworker encouraged meto write my first book after listening to one of my stories that I had made up from a dream. Writing gave me the ability to elaborate on those stories and create a world that would invite others inside.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Most of my inspiration comes from my own life experience – places I’ve visited, jobs I’ve held, aspects of my own childhood, etc. I also like watching others around me and turning their experiences into fiction.
Other than writing books, what else do you do in your free time?
I love to read. A writer that doesn’t read would be doomed in my opinion. I also love to hang out
with my husband and kids, and I love to make coffee! I’m a barista at my church and have a significant addiction to coffee, so it works out well for me.
If you could work with another author, who would it be?
I would have to say Cassandra Clare. I love writing romance, but I love reading YA novels even
more! She did an amazing job capturing the details of a post-modern Europe in the prequel to the Mortal Instruments. The way she describes a scene is outstanding! My second choice would be Eileen Goudge – the Audrey Hepburn of writing in my book. Her writing is graceful and her personality (via Twitter) seems to match. Her writing style is clear and precise – and she manages to build a stage that draws the reader in from the very first paragraph. One day, I hope to be half as talented as these two ladies.
What are major themes of your work?
In my debut novel, ‘hope’ is the main theme. Ultimately, this theme drives home the belief that people do get second chances, both in love and in life, and to never give up on keeping hope alive.
What do you think people look for in a book?
An emotional connection – it needs to tell a story that they can get lost in and allow them to travel to a place that they would not ordinarily go. I think people want a story that reaches the innermost parts of their psyche, their soul, their heart, and transforms their ordinary into extraordinary. I know I’ve made a connection to the book when I feel sad once I’m finished reading, and I yearn for more.
Are there any recent works you admire?
I’d have to say Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series – ‘Clockwork Prince’ being my favorite, as well as her Mortal Instruments series – my favorite was ‘City of Ashes’. I’ve also recently come to love the writings of Eileen Goudge in her first novel, Garden of Lies. It’s an intense story that has kept me glued to the pages!
Questions About the Book (Hope in the Rain):
Which character in the book do you think you can relate to the most?
I would have to say Laci, the main character. Everything about her, apart from the breast cancer experience, is derived from my own life. I’m naturally a flibbertigibbet, so I tried to pass along some of that in her as well. She’s a fun character.
How did you come up with the character's names?
Most of the names are a variation of a real person that I know and whom I based that character’s profile. For example, Lena is a variation of ‘Gaylene’, Gail is a variation of ‘Abigail’, etc. It was important that the character’s name match their true personality and keep it intact. If I couldn’t achieve that with a variation, then I simply used their real name, because that was the only name that did the character justice in the end.
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The book was first inspired on a flight returning from my hometown, I just didn’t know it at the time. I sat next to a nice gentleman from North Carolina who shared his love of baseball and a minor league baseball team called the Hickory Crawdads. He simply lit the initial ‘spark’ that helped me write a story that was already inside, waiting for the right moment to come out. A year after I met him, I had a dream about him and decided to write a short love story using his persona as the male character.
However, not long after I started writing, I realized that the true inspiration of the book was my best friend, Laura Tinnin-Lewis, and her personal battle with breast cancer. I used Laura’s real-life experience in the story as a way to honor her. I also wanted to use this book as a way to bring awareness to the importance of annual exams to promote the early detection of breast cancer. My new phrase is now #Early Detection=HOPE!
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