Sunday, December 16, 2012

Author to Author Blog Hop - Sandi Layne

I'm participating in an Author to Author Blog Hop. From December 5th through December 20th, participating authors will be guest posting on each other's blogs. We've all banned together and donated at least one book, and at the end of the blog hop one lucky person will win a collection of 13 books. What a great Christmas present, right?

Today's post is from Historical Fiction/Inspirational Romance author Sandi Layne.

Having been a voracious reader all her life, Sandi never expected to want to write until the idea was presented in a backhanded manner. Once the notion occurred to her, though, she had to dive in the deep end (as is her wont) and began by writing historical fiction. She has since written more than twenty novels—most of which will never see the light of day.
Sandi has degrees in English and Ministry, has studied theology, spent years as an educator, has worked in escrow and sundry other careers, but research is her passion. She won an award for Celtic Fiction in 2003, but as well as history, she is also fascinated with contemporary research and has self-published several novels in the Inspirational Romance genre.

She has been married for twenty years to a man tolerant enough to let her go giddy when she discovers new words in Old Norse. Her two sons find her amusing and have enjoyed listening to her read aloud—especially when she uses funny voices. A woman of deep faith, she still finds a great deal to laugh at in the small moments of the everyday and hopes that she can help others find these moments, too.
Upcoming release:  √Čire’s Captive Moon, January 10, 2013

1. Who's your favorite author, and why?
I don't have just one favorite, alas.  Jane Austen is a favorite because her stories are wonderful character studies about a few unique women and the men who love them.  Stephen King is a favorite because he also does rich characters and wonderful plots that involve multiple perspectives.  Francine Rivers is a favorite because her inspirational historical fiction novels are well researched and communicative.
2. If you could have a conversation with one of the characters in your most recently released novel, which one would it be and why?
I'm going to go with the book that is up for release next month, okay?  I would enjoy having a conversation with Tuirgeis from √Čire's Captive Moon.  First, he was a real person and could help me with my research.  I'd love to pick his brain.  Also, he's the key player in the third book of the series and he might like to have some input in how I intend to portray him.  I'd be very interested in knowing his true motivations as well as his feelings regarding the Irish people of the day.
3. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your characters' personalities?
From all over. I've written a lot of books and each one requires different handling.  I never use a real person as primary inspiration for a protagonist's character. (Occupation, sure, but not characteristics.) Sometimes, the personality grows on me as I flesh out their backstory in my private "seminars" that I hold in my living room. Yep, that's how I get characters to make sense. I give seminars on them to my furniture.  Often, it's about how characters should fit together, and then I make them do that, using different traits to complement or antagonize one another. Or both.
4. What is the best thing (in your opinion) about being a writer?
This is going to sound really, really egocentric, but okay.  Best thing about being a writer is creating stories that people will read - knowing that your words are going out there and perfect strangers will be paying attention to them. At least for a few minutes.
5. How did you find your agent/publisher?
I self-published for many years before I was approached by my publisher.  A few times.  One of their editors had read one of my novels and liked it.  I am extremely grateful to her.
6. What's the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
That a writer is competing for the entertainment dollar against other forms of interactive media. Therefore, one should write in such a way as to engage the senses and attention of the audience.  You might write for yourself, but if you want to make money, you have to remember who is paying you. They want to be entertained.
7. Biggest mistake you've made as an author?
Editing a proof galley while I was on cold medication.  Stupidest. Thing. Ever.
Holiday-themed questions: 
1. What would the lead character of your latest novel want for Christmas?
A new mortar and pestle set.
2. Favorite Christmas music?
I love the classic hymns.  Adeste Fideles (of course, in the Latin) is lovely. But I also have a fondness for Straight No Chaser's 12 Days of Christmas.
3. What was the best gift you ever received?
I really have no idea. I have had memorable gifts and memorable holidays, but what I remember most is the last time my siblings and their families and me and mine converged at my mom's house for Christmas.  It was crowded and fun and exuberant and magical.  I felt richly blessed to be there. That was the best gift, really.
The Author to Author Blog Hop is hosting a giveaway for a prize package of eBooks from our contributing authors. Enter below, and the winner will be notified by e-mail. You have a chance to enter every day on any of the participating author's blogs - so keep checking back. (Note: eBooks labeled 18+ will not be awarded to a winner under the age of 18.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love that you have seminars for/with your furniture :-) Great, and interesting post.

  2. Hi, Sherry Gloag! Yeah, it's pretty fun, talking to the furniture. Very patient listeners. :) Thanks for dropping by!