Congratulations! You’ve written a book and seen it to publication. What are three things you’ve learned from this experience?
Sandra: 1. God has His plan. Through this whole novel (novella)-writing process, I’ve noticed that for every discouraging bit of news, soon after, something encouraging happens to keep me going. It seems the best way to discover God’s incredible timing is through hindsight. While wondering “When will I see that contract?”, He’s working behind the scenes.
2. While family and friends are happy for you, they have a life and it doesn’t revolve around your book. It would be nice to receive a ticker-tape parade, but no one will ever be as excited about this adventure as the author, because only we realize how much sweat and tears go into writing for publication.
3. I’ve discovered how difficult it is to make time for and wrap my head around another project. I’m the type of person who gets started on something and has a hard time stopping, so it’s tricky to go from business matters to creativity. I’ve had to become more organized in both my time and thought processes.
What is your favorite sentence or paragraph in the book?
Sandra: Oh no! You’re asking me to choose a favorite among my babies. That’s hard. But here are a couple of samples. The first is from the point of view of the hero, Hugh Barnes, and the second is from the point of view of the heroine, Violet Madison:
After opening the door and stomping the snow from his shoes, Hugh entered the grocery and stood mesmerized by the sweet laughter coming from across the room—Violet’s laughter, as light and clear as a spoon tapped against fine crystal.
In her whole adult life, she had not imagined a man experiencing jealousy over her. She pinched her wrist. The pain assured her she wasn’t dreaming.
And I sighed over the last few lines of the story, but I won’t include them here.
Writers sit for extended periods of time. What do you do to combat fatigue?
Sandra: I try to get up every half hour or so to walk around. I drink several cups of coffee in the morning and it gets cold after a few minutes, so there’s a path in the den carpet as I hike to the kitchen and the microwave. I also stretch at various times during the day. Movement is always good for both body and brain, but I admit, when I’m really in the zone, I can forget to leave my seat.
How do you personally handle “writer’s block?”
Sandra: I’m a half-plotter, half-pantser, so it always hits me about halfway or two-thirds through the story. Where do I go from here? What’s next? Where’s that bridge from my last scene to the one three chapters ahead? Prayer is always good, but I also keep writing. Sometimes, I’ll work ahead and write a scene I know will be coming up. I read back through what I’ve written (sometimes from page one) if I think I’ve lost the feel of the story.
What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you?
Sandra: Fun? Hmmm … Well, it’s not writing related, but I’m someone who will drive down a road, paved or not, just to see where it goes. During lunch, I stand at the kitchen counter to eat and end up dancing to country songs on the radio, and … Oh, you only wanted one?
It’s Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.
No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.
When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh’s estranged brother shows up in town … and in Violet’s company.
But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.
Passionate about horses and a fan of old westerns, it’s only natural that Sandra Ardoin sets stories in the days of the horse and buggy. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, is no exception. Sandy is the married mother of a young adult. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
The Yuletide Angel is available on Amazon.com and at Christianbook.com.