Interview with Sandra Orchard

» Posted on Sep 13, 2011 in Blog | 9 comments

This week I’m hosting Sandra Orchard with Deep Cover, Becky Melby with Illinois Weddings, Mary Moore with The Aristocrat’s Lady and Staci Stallings with Coming Undone. If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (September 18th) evening.

Interview with Sandra Orchard:

What made you start writing?

I kept a journal since I was little and always dreamed of becoming a writer. At age 12, I found a publisher’s market book in the library and blissfully sent off poems and stories to various magazines. One very sweet editor at a university press took the time to write back and explain that SASE meant self-addressed stamped envelope and I needed to include one with queries if I wanted a response. 

Where was a 12-year-old Canadian girl going to get American stamps? 

I shelved my aspirations until I started my family. For a few years, I wrote motherhood articles and homeschooling articles. Then after my mom died, I discovered Christian fiction. Seeing characters cope with many of the emotions I was experiencing helped me immensely. I began to devour the books and after awhile my husband suggested I write my own. The idea had already been growing in my mind and his nudge was all the encouragement I needed. 

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I started writing fiction almost seven years ago and sold my first book in September 2009. 

What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Probably working at a bank. If I hadn’t blown a disk in my back, I would be doing construction projects on our old farmhouse and around the property, or gardening, or knitting or painting. Now, I can’t physically handle much of those things, but I can sit at the computer without pain, so writing is perfect. When I’m not writing, I’m playing with my new grandbaby. <big grin>

 What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the third book in my Undercover Cops series due out in the last quarter of 2012. 

Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Deep Cover is about an undercover cop Rick Gray who poses as a construction foreman to gather evidence against a developer who torches buildings for the insurance money, without thought for the people he endangers. The trouble is Ginny, a woman Rick once loved, is the man’s niece. Rick sacrificed a relationship with Ginny for the sake of his cover and her protection. 

She still doesn’t know who or what he really is, but she knows he’s not a foreman. And she’s not about to let a lying criminal jeopardize the group home she’s raising funds to build for her special needs sister. 

Rick is torn. If his mission succeeds, it will destroy everything Ginny is working for, but he can’t let her uncle’s crimes go unpunished. 

Someone else agrees. 

Will Rick win Ginny’s trust in time to save her from the avenger?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Persevere. Learning to craft marketable stories is a process that takes time and practice, like playing a musical instrument. If a story gets rejected by publishers, don’t keep revising it and trying to change their minds. Take what you’ve learned and write the next story and the next one. 

How important is faith in your books?

Quite honestly, I never thought I’d be able to write fiction. I always imagined myself writing Christian Living or How To books. But God had other plans for me. He is the source of my inspiration and when I’m not immersed in His Word, I see the lack in my writing. Just as my faith is part of the essence of who I am, the hero and heroine’s faith (or lack of faith) is an organic part of every story I write. I don’t shy away from showing them struggle to understand God’s goodness in the midst of heartbreaking situations, but ultimately they find peace by resting in Him.   

What themes do you like to write about?

Forgiveness, grace, and overcoming past mistakes and the guilt that haunts us because of them.

What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Escape to Terror, the unpublished manuscript that won the Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence in 2009, is my favorite. It’s a plane crash/survival story set in the Northern Ontario wilderness. It has really great action scenes that make you feel like you’re there. I love the hero’s character arc and the romantic tension between him and the heroine. 

What undercover cop assignment would you find most intriguing to read about? 

9 Comments

  1. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for having me here.

  2. Every time I read the synopsis of ‘Deep Cover’ I’m enthralled by the story. I’d love to read any undercover cop story with so many personal problems involved. Probably the personal factor is the most important to me. Anything that gives the hero a hard time because of relationships and feelings is good by me.

    I’d give a specific assignment, except I don’t actually know much about what undercover cops do. (I just that’s because they’re undercover.) So I can only talk about your plot, which sounds great.

    My email address is : imogen.elvis@gmail.com

  3. please include me in Sandra’s book giveaway this week thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. HI!

    I learned about your book and drawing through the ACFW course loop. My WIP is a mystery with a female protagonist. I would love to read an inspirational book with a male protag.. =)

    • Well, Donna, this fits the bill 🙂 I highly recommend reading debut authors with the publishers you’re targeting. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m a debut author 🙂 ) It gives you a good idea of what the publisher is looking for, because established authors are given more leeway than a debut author generally is.

  5. oh Sandra – you’ve given such great advice and i’ve luved hearing your writing tips and journey’s learnings…
    st.jamesprayer at yahoo dot ca
    thank you !! great storyline ~ looking forward to this read….

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