Name Sandy Loyd
Age Old enough to wish I was younger
Where are you from Utah
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m busy writing several books. I’ve just published a Christmas novella, A Christmas Miracle: The Gift of Love, and in January I have a Romantic Suspense novel, Shattered Dreams, launching. A Christmas Miracle: The Gift of Love is in a boxed set called Christmas With You.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Like most writers I know, I’m an avid reader. The books I was reading at the time were taking a direction I didn’t like. I’d always thought about writing, but…Well, it seemed like something that was beyond me. One day I started on a book and was so annoyed I threw it across the room and thought I could do better. If the powers that be couldn’t give me what I wanted, I decided why not? Then I challenged myself to write one of a story idea that was in my head. Once I started, I couldn’t quit. Now, I know how difficult it is and have spent the last ten years perfecting my craft. There is always something to learn and I’m constantly working to be a better writer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At a reader/writer conference when a lady came up with one of my books and wanted me to sign it for her. She gave me a necklace with a couple of charms that portrayed the setting of the book. I was very touched and that’s when I knew readers liked what I did.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Snippets of experiences that either me or my friends went through as a single person when I lived in San Francisco. Observing the dating ritual (including how we all landed our HEA) was different for everyone. Time passing doesn’t change the fact most women want someone to share their life with. It’s part of our DNA.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Usually the title comes as I’m writing the book. In Shattered Dreams, the characters created the title for me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Most of Shattered Dreams is a product of my imagination. This story (like most of them) is created from snippets of things I’ve observed and thought…what if…then I create the story. The setting is from experiences in Florida that I found interesting. I try to bring it to life in the writing. There is a dolphin scene in the story that really happened and I thought it something readers would love to experience. It certainly was an experience of a lifetime for me.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A couple of scenes came from real life. In Shattered Dreams the hero and heroine (Jason and Claire) are sailing and a pod of at least 30 dolphins start swimming alongside the boat all breaching at different time. Also, I describe the weather and scenery. I try to convey what it feels like to be there along with what you see. The mystery and plot are just things I made up.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
One book that really spoke to me was Envy by Sandra Brown. I learned a lot about motivation from that book. I also started reading romances only after a friend shoved one of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s books in my hand and said read it. I couldn’t put it down and have been an avid romance reader ever since. Another book that influenced my life at an early age was Gone With the Wind. I wanted to be Melanie, but because I’m a survivor, I’m more like Scarlet.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Wounded by Cindy Stark. I’ve been reading a lot of indie authors and some have become my favorites. I wish I had more time to read all of the interesting books out there that are on my TBR list.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes. Most of them Indie Authors. Tiffinie Helmer, Cindy Stark, Ginny Baird, Barbara Lohr and the list goes on and on.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have several series I’m working on. Book 3 and 4 of my DC Badboys series. Book 3 is Eric’s story and book 4 is Scotty’s story. I’m also working on book 2 of my Deadly series for Romantic suspense where Rich Heslin is off to Mexico trailing a slave ring. Book 2 of my Second Chances series where Rachel and Felipe clash into love and book 6 of my California Series where Kevin meets his match. Hopefully all five will be published in 2016.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Probably RWA and the chapters I belong to – my local chapter Louisville Romance Writers, along with Central Ohio Fiction Writers and Utah Romance Writers. I’ve met some talented writers who have helped me hone my craft over the years. The friendships that I’ve cultivated will last a lifetime.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I see it as long term for as long as I can write. Even when I’m old and gray, I’ll still put words on the page to create stories that are in my head.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I like it exactly as it is. But that’s because I already made changes as I went along.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From reading and thinking about writing a story. Then I challenged myself to just do it like the ad says, and I just dug in. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. But the minute I started, I was hooked.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s the 3rd story in my DC Badboys Series. It’s Eric’s story. He’s the sexy hunk of the group (although they’re all hunks, even Scotty the computer nerd). Eric is very charming. All the characters have interesting backstories, and the reader learns this while solving a mystery. All the men (except for Scotty) had rough beginnings and were held together by Sin (Jeffrey Sinclair). Eric’s past was pretty bad and his self-worth is tied to it. Deep down he doesn’t believe he’s loveable because his parents didn’t want him and abused him. That’s why he has a problem with intimacy. He’s a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy. He is in the process of changing because his partners have found love, so how hard can it be? Right?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fighting the urge to over-edit. The more I learn about writing, the more paralyzed I become and the muse suffers. The best stuff comes out when I just let it come out and not worry about perfection.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have too many to just narrow it down. I like different authors for different reasons. I read (and write) a broad range of genres. I love Nora of course, because she tells a good tale and Sandra Brown. I love her voice and the way she thinks. It’s always fun to try and figure out the bad guy. Roxanne St. Clair is another favorite because she has a voice I connect with. Like most readers, the writers I like have voices I can connect with.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel to reach readers and attend conferences. Usually I try to do 3 or 4 trips a year. These keep me grounded and give me a chance to come out of my writing cave.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve used the same cover designer on all of my books except for my Christmas books. Kelli Ann Morgan at Inspire Creative Services. She’s created different branding for my different genres and I really love her. She’s easy to work with and very talented.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sitting down and actually writing the first draft without procrastinating. As an Indie author, I have to do it all, and it takes away from writing. Finding the time to just write and think becomes a challenge.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I love my characters. And sometimes I learn about myself when I’m rereading or editing it. I put a lot of myself into my stories. That’s why my story is different than anyone else’s. They are created from my POV and from my experiences. I also learn about my characters as I go. Sometimes it’s surprising what comes out about them.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write and learn the craft. Meet other writers and have fun.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want them to know that their feedback helps to keep me writing when things get difficult.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was about an alligator at the library when I was around 9 or 10. I also remember a biography about Elizabeth Blackwell the first woman to graduate and become an MD.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband has a great sense of humor and so does my son. I can’t not like to laugh around them. Also, sad movies make me cry as does cruelty to an animal or a child. And laughter is hard to find when I think of the stuff that’s been going on in the world, so it’s doubly treasured.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Jacqueline Kennedy. I’ve read several biographies about her life. I would love to pick her brain and learn what makes her tick. I found her to be a fascinating woman when she was alive. A true survivor who made sure her children were raised properly, unlike other Kennedy women.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She made the world a better place through her stories. That would mean my life meant something.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m an avid snow skier and I take yoga and Zumba classes. I also travel a lot. I sometimes sew, but that’s out of necessity more than as a hobby. I can’t sit still long enough to knit or quilt. And I don’t have the shopping gene.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
NCIS is my favorite and Mysteries of Laura is another favorite new show. I loved The Mentalist. Mainly I watch shows that are well-written and have subtle humor in them. Criminal Minds is too violent for my taste, but it’s well-written.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza and pasta with white sauce. Blue is my favorite color and I’m a big Cher fan. I also like Beyoncé.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I thought about being a teacher, but with all the hoops teachers have to jump through to teach kids today, I decided to forgo it, especially since I would have had to get a MS degree which meant spending tens of thousands of dollars. I hold those who do in the highest esteem. I also wanted to be a CPA, but now I’m glad I didn’t. I really love what I do, so it worked out. I’m at that age where I don’t have the patience to put up with the BS to start over in a new career, so it’s a good thing I love what I do and can do it forever.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I have a website- www.sloydwrites.com. I’m toying with the idea of a blog, but I haven’t done it yet.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008S2BPG0
Shattered Dreams: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017L4ROGK
A Christmas Miracle: The Gift of Love: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016NDE38M
Christmas With You boxed set: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017ALT5CA