Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: Writing is something that was in the back of my mind since elementary school, but I was always too afraid to put my imagination on paper for someone else to find. I finally took a creative writing class when I was in my late twenties. I was hooked.
Q: What was your path for your first novel
A: I’ve been writing for publication since 1986. Until 1992, I stuck to small pieces: greeting cards, posters, devotions. That’s when I began writing children’s short stories for denominational publications, then adult stories. Every time I’d try to begin a novel, I felt the Lord saying it wasn’t time. In 2008, I got the go-ahead. I started writing full time in 2009. Though I’d been published in one form or another almost two hundred times, writing novels was completely different. I had so much to learn. It took three years to get an agent, then another two to become published. In October of this year, my Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel released. My contracted novel, A Reluctant Melody, “stars” a secondary character from the novella and will be out in early 2016.
Q: Do you have a writing routine?
A: I write from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. I try not to do much on Saturday (it depends how far behind I am from the week), and I don’t write on Sunday.
I spend the first couple of hours (at least) working on emails, social media, blog posts—the business end of writing. The rest of the day, I try to get in at least 1,000 words on my current project. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less.
Q: What kinds of things inspire your writing?
A: Deadlines. Just kidding … sort of. I’ll get lines, titles, scenes that pop into my mind and beg to be written down. In the end, they may or may not become a story, or they may inspire something different. Items from old newspapers (I write historicals) will spark ideas for either whole stories or scenes. As far as inspiration to just sit and write, it’s what I enjoy doing, so it’s no hardship, plus I consider it a ministry.
Q: What advice would you give someone just starting out in writing
A: Be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. Writing for publication is a slow enterprise. It takes time to finish and polish your project. It takes time to receive an answer from an agent or editor on that project. It takes time to see the printed version.
Be persistent. Rejection is part of the job description. You’ll probably go years being rejected while you study and strive to become a better writer. If you believe writing for publication is God’s plan for you, keep at it.
Q: What’s the most satisfying thing about being a writer? Most frustrating
A: The most satisfying? Getting into the story and feeling a part of what’s happening. Being in that “zone” and having the words flow in a way you KNOW they’re supposed to go. That’s when I enjoy writing the most.
The most frustrating? Honestly, I’d have to say it’s when I want to work on my story and get into that zone mentioned above, but business obligations—things I can’t put off—keep me from it. “Writing” is a job, and as such, there are things we like and things we don’t always want to do, but have to be done—things like marketing and accounting. Sometimes, those are the fun parts, and the writing, when it’s not flowing, can be frustrating.
Q: What do you think the Lord will say to you about your writing when you go to heaven?
A: Good question. I hope He will say He’s pleased because I wrote what He intended me to write. I’ve always believed He’s had a plan for my writing, so I’m believing there is at least one person who will benefit in some way.
Q: How can we get in touch with you?
Q: Where can my readers buy your book?
The Yuletide Angel is available on Amazon in print and e-book and on Barnes and Nobel in e-book.
Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, is her debut in longer works. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.