Sandra: A lot of my writing is done in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and I get “monkey brain” - too many things going on in my head. So I will get up, go to my desk, and put my earphones on with some music playing. Before I know it, it is daylight outside and I have written quite a bit.
Paul: What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Sandra: I love to read biographies, or character-driven novels. One of my favorite authors is Anne Rice because of her descriptions, and subjects she writes about.
Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Sandra: If someone were to step into my creative mind, it would look like a huge wall of filing cabinets with too many drawers left half open with files scattered around - papers lying about, cobwebs in the corners, tables piled with all kinds of projects, and a stream of light filtering in through a half-haze.
Paul: What is a typical day for you?
Sandra: I have no typical days! But all my days wind up with a walk with my dogs.
Paul: Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Sandra: I love Sera because she is happy with her ordinary life, and everyone is always happy being around her.
Paul: In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Sandra: I think it is by not writing every day, because that is what counts - even if you don’t use it. It is like a muscle that you have to work.
Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Sandra: I will write in the middle of the night, at work when no one is looking, and just when I feel emotionally pent up - because it helps.
Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Sandra: I hope you don’t reveal that even though my book is listed as a novel, most of the plot was my life at one time.
Paul: If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Sandra: I didn’t want to wait for a publisher to figure out that my work had meaning and worth.
Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Sandra: I do plot to an extent, but there are times when I am in the middle of a page and thoughts come to mind and they find a way on to the page.
Paul: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Sandra: Perhaps I should do more editing, but I had computer issues (two hard drive crashes) and had to completely rewrite it three times. That wound up being my editing for the most part.
Paul: Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Sandra: I do some research for details in history or location to “flesh out” the characters or situation.
Sandra: I went through a really terrible year when I lost my uncle who was like a surrogate dad, my nine year marriage broke up and then my mother died. It was really difficult for me to absorb it all and cope at times. I kept thinking that surely other people have had to deal with this amount of loss and gotten through it, but how? So every time I wanted to share something with my mom, and would pick up the phone and realize I could not call her. I started writing her letters and mailing them with the address “To Mom in Heaven”. The plot of Letter Writer takes us through someone coping with the same kind of loss, and trying to make sense of the profound losses. She writes letters that are found by an established artist that is experiencing a complete creative block. These letters inspire him and change him.
Paul: Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Sandra: I have written poetry all my life, and hope to complete my next novel soon.
Paul: Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Sandra: Poetry? No! It is usually too personal to even share with others.
Paul: How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Sandra: Book People (store) here in Austin, held a book signing/meet the author.
Paul: What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Sandra: My favorite aspect is the look on people’s faces and in the voices after they have finished the book and the emotion that is there. The least favorite aspect is not knowing if someone will react favorably. My surprise has been with everyone that has read it so far - loving it with enthusiasm!
Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Sandra: When I am not writing, I love to do black & white photography of landscapes and architecture, and I love to paint on a large scale. The paintings are inspired by something I see that I would like to have on my wall. I have had showings of the photography including Austin City Hall, and have sold quite a few.
Paul: Thank you, Sandra, that was most interesting. I wish you every success for the future.
As a young woman, I loved the music business so much that I had various jobs in it for almost twenty years. I did everything from being a Music Director at a radio station, an assistant at a major record label, a roadie for a touring band, and an associate editor for a music trade publication.
At present, I am living in Austin with my two dogs Angie and Ava. When I am not writing I like to paint and photograph landscapes.
Sandra's Blog: Unknown
Sandra on Twitter: @SandraBobek
Sandra on Facebook: Sandra Bobek
Sandra's latest book: Letter Writer (Amazon)