Sherri Sand’s interview

» Posted on May 23, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Sherri Sand’s interview

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How did you come up with the characters in your book?

They came to me. When I saw Sierra, I knew she was a mom who deeply loved her kids and wanted the best for them. Elise was so fun to write with her over-the-top ways. When she drove up to Sierra’s and pushed her ooga horn, I knew I was going to love her. And Sid is such a dear and reminds me so much of my father-in-law, Art. And Ross, how could you not love him?

Do you have a horse?

No, but I love horses, and desperately wanted one as a child. I did end up with a little Shetland pony named Sundance that I would gallop through the
mint fields around our house. I spent countless hours sprawled across him backwards
reading books. One time he’d apparently had enough of the dead weight on his back and he lay down. It was a shocking end to my reading time.

Did the theme of forgiveness/unforgiveness that Sierra deals with come from your own life?

In a way it did, though I didn’t consciously implement it into the novel. Just like most of us living in this fallen world, there have been a couple significant events in my life that I had difficulty forgiving. I finally realized that if I waited until I felt like forgiving, it would never happen. And I desperately needed to forgive. The bitterness was choking the life out of me. So with God’s help and through His grace I made the choice to forgive and forgive and forgive. I wish I could say that there was instant peace and joy. Though I think that can happen for people when they forgive, I’d lived in unforgiveness for so long that I had to continually make a choice to forgive until the freedom came. And when that freedom came, it was a wow moment for me!

In the story, Sierra has three young kids, you have four children. How successful are you at trusting God with their lives?

It’s been an ongoing process for me. Maybe because I’m a writer and have such a vivid imagination, I can always come up with the most gut-wrenching conclusions to the most innocuous circumstances involving my kids. That makes it hard to let go and trust. But how much control do we actually have over every day life? I had to learn that before we can trust God with ourselves or our children, we have to get to know him first. It’s only in knowing God and His character that trust can develop. And when we truly know the God of the universe, we can trust him with everything.

Ross worked hard in his landscaping business in an attempt to prove his value. Do you struggle with that?

It’s difficult not to get caught up in that. Our world is performance driven. How often do we praise others without attributing it to something they’ve done? Even with our children, we praise how well they unloaded the dishwasher or drew a picture or minded us. It’s difficult to find the words to value people for who they are, apart from anything they do. For most of my life, performance colored my relationship with God. I could not wrap my mind around the concept that He loved me despite less than perfect behaviors. Recently I glimpsed His grace from a new angle. Sin does create anger, but God’s anger was satisfied at the cross. So rather than His anger at our sinfulness, we have His pleasure in us. That has done wonders with my ability to be myself with Him, to honestly let His light shine on all parts of me—the good and the unsightly. When you bring your faults to God and discover He isn’t angry, you can fully experience His compassion and love.

When you’re not writing or parenting, how do you spend your spare time?
Reading or running. (An occasional bubble bath with book and treats–door padlocked, of course!) With four kids, seven to eleven and a half years old, spare time is a rare commodity in our home!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Hmmm. . . probably the ability to see where my kids will stumble the most painfully so I can help develop their characters more diligently in those areas.
For you, what was the most difficult part of the process of writing this book?
The editing. I wrote and rewote and rewrote and then my agent sold it to David C. Cook who hired an amazing editor to reshape it. It was tough. Spent a lot of time sending up SOS prayers!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An author. Then as I got older an Egyptologist, then an accountant and finally in college decided to become a psychologist. God had other plans. Ones that I love!
Where will you be headed next?
I’ve started a collaboration series that I’m really excited about. I met with my agent and another writer a couple weeks ago to brainstorm and do some character development. It’s going to be a lot of fun to write.