Wednesday, October 01, 2014

She has a Voice for Radio

Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author. A fan of old westerns growing up, it’s only natural that she sets stories in the days of the horse and buggy. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.  Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Find her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, on Amazon. To receive updates, fun facts, and special offers, sign up for her newsletter

Tell us about your releasing book.

A novella set in 1890, The Yuletide Angel is the Christmas love story of Violet Madison, a shy, spinster-in-the-making who delivers food to the poor in the middle of the night and Hugh Barnes, the handsome, confirmed bachelor living next door. When Hugh discovers the identity of the town’s mysterious benefactor, he vows to protect her on her rounds—in secret. Neither of them knows someone waits in the shadows to ruin the ministry and reputation of The Yuletide Angel.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? What sparked this story?

Many of my ideas come from a single, imaginary scene that pops into my head. From there, the characters develop and take on life. Sometimes, it’s a simple phrase that sparks the idea, or a type of character. Since I write historicals, it may come from something I read involving a past event.

The Yuletide Angel is one of those stories that began with a scene image. After 1,800 words I still had no idea where it was going. It was pretty much a pantser effort, though I consider myself more half-plotter, half-pantser. It’s better for my blood pressure to have some idea where I’m headed beforehand.

Did anything strange or funny happen while writing this book?

Once I settled into this story, it flew from my fingertips. I tell people, “God spit it out.”  After it was finished—an awesome happening! My agent submitted the proposal. Within four days, the full was requested. Two days after that, I received a contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It’s the first release of their new historical imprint, Heritage Beacon. How cool it is to have Christy-award winner Ann Tatlock as an editor! But … as Violet tells Hugh, “Praise is for God alone.” Amen to that!

Also, it led to receiving a contract for a follow-up novel! A Reluctant Melody (working title) is scheduled for release in January 2016 and tells the story of Hugh’s brother, Kit Barnes.

Did you always want to be a writer?

When I was in third grade, I wanted to be a cartoonist. A friend said she wanted to be a novelist, and I thought, “Me, too!” But I never took it seriously as an occupation and never wrote while I was growing up (though I wanted to). I was afraid I’d die and someone would read what I left behind. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I got up the courage to start putting those ideas on paper.

Where do you write, a coffee shop, attic nook, or a cave? Describe it, please.

Ha! Sometimes, it feels like a cave. My desk is in my guest room, crammed between the wall and the queen-size bed. It offers the necessary solitude and privacy—most of the time. Plus, if I ever had a moment to take a nap during the day …

Of all your characters, which was your favorite and why?

Ouch! That’s like Mama pickin’ her favorite babe. From the novella? Probably Hugh. He’s such a sweetheart, though Violet’s shy ways really appeal. Hmm … For the sake of peace in my fictional world, let’s pretend I never answered this question.

What's next for you?

Right now, I’m writing the novel I mentioned earlier, A Reluctant Melody. It’s historical romance set in 1892—two years after the novella.

Share a few of the techniques you learned that changed the way you write.

I bought Susan May Warren’s The Book Buddy at Ridgecrest in 2012. It was great in showing me I needed to get to the nitty-gritty of a character. Keep asking “Why?” until you reach the bedrock of that person’s motivation.

I’ve used Scrivener for a couple of years and love it. It lets me store scenes separately and move them around, make notes, etc. With the separate scenes I can find a particular passage easier than when I wrote in Word. Also, I can store everything pertaining to the story (research, character info, photos) in one place without having to keep a dozen windows open on my computer.

Now for the fun: Tell us 3 things your readers might not know about you.

1) I guess you could call me a Hoo-an-Heel … born an Indiana Hoosier, transplanted to become a Texan, and relocated to the Tarheel state of North Carolina.
2) All my husband needs to do is mention eating out and I’m waiting for him in the car.
3) Contrary to my online ability to be wordy and outgoing, in person, I’d be the one blending into the wallpaper.

If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why?

Though I love listening to music, I’m probably one of the least musical people on the planet. I’d say I’m an instrument that blends into the background—one of several of the same type that makes up the whole orchestra. Maybe an oboe, though I’m an alto with a fairly deep voice. Jim Rubart once said I had a voice for radio. (Frankly, I was just thankful he didn’t say I had face for radio.) 

LOL Thanks for joining us, Sandra! 

The Yuletide Angel

It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor. 

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others. 

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company. 

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Official End of Tour ~ Winners will Be Announced

The tour is officially over ... and the winners will be announced on Oct. 4th on Novel Rocket. I hope y'all had a bit of fun following me around. Most of all, I hope you love Claire and Patsy and the rest of the Chapel Springs folks.

Karen Ball, an agent with the Steve Laube Agency, said something in a blog post that resonated in my soul. It perfectly described the heart of a Christian author.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tour Day 29

by +AneMulligan  @AneMulligan

Almost to the end! Here's how it works:

1. Each day of my blog tour that you leave a comment here on my blog, with your answer to the bonus question(s), you get a point (for each question answered).
Leave a comment on each of the blogs I'm on that day, and each one will earn you another point. (If I'm on 3 blogs that day, and you leave a comment on each of them, you'll get 3 points.)
3. If you 
post on your Facebook page that you have commented on a blog I'm on, tag me, and give the link, you get 2 extra points.
Tweet the same as #3, giving the link, and you get 2 more points.
Google+ the same as #3, and you'll get 2 more points.

Like yesterday, if you do all the steps and answer the bonus questions right, you can gain 8 points.

Today's stop:

Today's bonus questions:
What is my favorite quote?
Name Marcia's books