Name Sandy Faye Mauck
Where are you from?
In the early years as an Air Force Brat, I lived in several foreign countries and graduated from kindergarten in Germany. In the states, I lived in VA, AZ, NV, and CA. And right now I am living in an RV, visiting CA.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am very happily married to a guy who loves romance so makes it easy for me to write it. We have five grown children and nine grandchildren. My hubby is also a writer but of Biblical teachings. I was a single mom for many years before we met and went back to college to take writing classes.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My debut novel, More Than She Dreamt came out at the very end of March. I am currently doing a Celebrate Lit Blog Hop Tour and a giveaway right now. I am working on the next book in the series and also another book that started out as a short story for Thanksgiving but I keep thinking about the new characters and wanted to expand the story into a novel.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was little, I used to write all over my books. I used to think it was the artist in me but now I think it was the writer in me. I wrote my very first book in sixth grade. The teacher wanted us to read after lunch for an hour. I asked her if I could write instead and she agreed as long as she could see it when it was finished. I wrote a 36 page romance about a race car driver. In eighth grade I began to write short stories because I was lonely as I sat in my room at night. Even though my teacher was impressed, I never had a lot of confidence so I just set them aside. In high school, I had a poem published in the school writing book. It really was good but I just threw the whole thing together to rhyme and had no clue what I was talking about. It took years before I really got serious about writing again. I wrote my first published book Psalms for Single Moms after being a single mom for several years. It was the hardest thing I ever wrote. A small book of 40 pages but seemed to touch many who read it. I self-published and gave it away free on-line (before the days of e-books). But the fiction was all new. I gave up TV one night and sat down with a notebook. In ten days I had the first 168 page early draft of More Than She Dreamt.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess when I knew the story would be a book. But then there was the moment when I came into my quiet spot one morning and saw the space where I often kept books I was reading and saw my own novel sitting there. It was a really emotional moment for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My non-fiction Psalms for Single Moms was a book that had to be written. I had to give hope to single moms that God would be with them. And it was like pulling teeth to write because it was so hard to relive it to get it on paper, but God pushed me hard to do it.
I would have to say, my novel, More Than She Dreamt was inspired by my favorite writer, who has been dead for some time. I had read and re-read all her books over and over. I needed a new one, so I attempted to write one of my own.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say my style is strong faith messages mixed into sweet romance with action and humor. I use a lot of dialogue and love creating fun characters and evil villains.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
After pages and pages of brainstorming, I got the name and saw how perfect it would be for the series. I have always been the family “namer”, naming most of the children and critters.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My hope is that there is a message for everyone. Not just one. So far that seems to be happening as I see the reviews and comments coming in. People are taking the message they need from the life of the family of faith in the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Everything I write will have fiction merged with experience. I have had way too many life experiences not to have them pop out in many places. I have lived a life of faith and some may not believe some of the things that happen to Katie but many I have experienced myself. The things we taste in life mold into who we are and who we are will come out in some manner in our stories, usually not perfectly but inherently.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Many books have influenced me in the non-fiction category but the Bible is my mainstay. I read it faithfully before I do anything else, every day.
I had many writing books that were helpful, but I would have to give a little credit to Steven James for making me feel good to be a pantser.
But my fictional inspiration is Grace Livingston Hill. She is long gone but I have her entire collection and love them. She could make you see, feel, taste and smell every detail and her characters were great. Her stories were filled with action, need, faith and romance and there was always a message. Often there were many messages.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Joanne Bischoff’s beautiful word painting and Sarah Ladd’s as well. Sarah Sundin has a real gift for historical research and great story. One author that I really love is Cathy Marie Hake. I loved her witty style. I was pleased to see Lawana Blackwell coming back with a new novel. Loved her characters.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Well since I consider God family, I guess my first critique reader and friend, Mary. She encouraged me and though there were many flaws in that first draft , being encouraging but truthful. And has prayed and encouraged me all the way.
And I would have to bless the Christian Indie Authors group for their wonderful support for the publishing process.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Sort of, but I see it more as a ministry and a serious job. It is really hard work. I had no idea!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Only to save up for more editing, as it is a big expense for self-published authors. Otherwise, I am happy with it. It is really hard to let go of the book baby. You constantly think, “Is it good enough, can I make it better?” At some point you have to let it go and start the new one.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was always fascinated with story. My mother and I were avid old movie buffs. And I loved the old writer movies/books like I Remember Momma, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, etc. I am a very visual person and could see a story played out in my mind clearly. But I honestly had no idea I would write fiction. I thought I would be writing non-fiction or allegories. Then all the sudden I was writing a novel.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I can’t yet, because the two works I have going are both in early draft mode. But I can tell you a bit about the next in my series, More Than She Imagined. The characters from More Than She Dreamt are woven into a new romance with an exciting story. Partially set in 1906 San Francisco at the time of the quake. Audrey is my main character and not like the quiet Katie of More Than She Dreamt. She will have some romantic and shaking adventures.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I would say the editing process is the biggest challenge for me and sometimes research.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really. I do a lot of research on-line and I do like to write about places I know.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Wonderful Lynnette Bonner of Indie Cover Design. A Storybook Moment did my lovely model photo-shoot.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The critiquing. Seeing the things that didn’t work, too much backstory, etc. Having to rewrite when you thought all was well. With this first book, I felt a little like Cinderella when the stepsisters ripped her dress to shreds. But in the end she had a much more beautiful gown. Hopefully I have learned more with the next books.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned how unbelievably hard it was to get a book together and out there—start to finish. I learned that writers don’t get paid what they deserve for their hard work, generally. LOL, I learned a ton of things about writing a novel that I did not know when I wrote my first draft.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
That would be difficult. But I did see some of my characters like old movie stars. My heroine as a little like Grace Kelly and my hero a little like Errol Flynn.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Tons of advice. Read the genre you want to write. Read multiple writing books about novel writing and important things such as POV. If you self-publish, start saving now for multiple edits if possible and a really good cover.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
That I hope they love my characters, my story and I hope it brings true hope and faith into their lives.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading Carmina Edwards’ A Door Cracked Open. Can’t wait to get back to it. She has a great style.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Cinderella. I read over and over. Still have it. I guess it is a theme I love.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Silly things make me laugh, quippy things and nonsense. And God has a great sense of humor. He uses birds and other things around me to make me laugh.
This hardened world and the pain people suffer makes me cry.
People like Nick Vujicic and his Life Without Limbs ministry and those like him that overcome their disabilities, make me cry. Weddings and a baby’s birth and when a new spiritual baby is born into God’s kingdom also make me cry. LOL, a beautiful book review recently made me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Of course many Biblical people but that will come one day. In regards to writing, I would have to say Grace Livingston Hill, my favorite author. I would love to pick her author brain a bit.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well done good and faithful servant, enter into thy rest. She was beloved of God, husband, children, and friends.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I am a professional artist, not a hobby but it is becoming one now that I am doing what I need to be doing—which is writing books. I also crochet but this has been curtailed since I started writing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I gave up TV years ago and it has bought me peace and time. But we do download the When Calls the Heart series. And I love old movies and a few not quite so old like Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (old and new versions), August Rush won my heart. My favorite movie for years was The Sound of Music. I love Random Harvest, Mrs. Miniver, and so many more. I also love the many Christian movies that Alex Kendrick has done.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Belgian chocolates but I only allow myself sugar twice a year. I love fresh fruit of all kinds. Have been in strawberry country for a while and enjoying it. I love artichokes, a good steak, teriyaki, homemade beef jerky and homemade french bread.
My favorite colors are green and its varieties. Teal is a big favorite, sea green, purple and blue.
I love 70’s and 80’s worship music, Keith Green, Robin Mark, classical music, Andre Rieu and some movie scores. However, when I write I have no music playing. Music is very motivating to me so better to have it off. I get drawn away.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I was a full-time artist but writing is much more fulfilling. I don’t think anything would be better. I love to act but I would have never done well because I can’t memorize well so I will act out my parts in my books.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Welcome to the author page of Sandy Faye Mauck. Sandy writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior.
Slip into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and travel back to the first years after the turn of the century.
Enjoy faithful Christian characters who have come through a spiritual wilderness into a place of hope. Stories of charming romance sprinkled with humor and topped with redemption. And be sure not to put the cup too close to the edge of the table because there are enemies lurking about.
Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her Bible doctrine writer husband in the west they love. They have five children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting (a different kind of yarn) and is also a professional artist.
Visit with Sandy at her website at http://www.sandyfayemauck.com
On Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sandyfayemauck.author