by Jeff Reynolds
Aaaand... we have a winner!
Congratulations to Jackie Smith.
Aaaand... we have a winner!
Congratulations to Jackie Smith.
This week, I'm interviewing author Sandra Orchard, and we will be giving away a copy of her latest, Deadly Devotion. At the bottom of this blog are three steps to being a winner.
I had debated asking Sandra Orchard if she uses an Apple computer to plant seeds for a fruitful and Delicious plot that goes out on a limb, developing core characters (such as, maybe, Jonathan MacIntosh and Granny Smith), and some Gala event at an a-peeling setting (possibly Fuji?), but she might say "Leaf me alone." So I'll put on my serious interviewer hat and begin.
Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to Sleuths and Suspects, Sandra. I had the privilege of reading your web-page bio, which mentions you started your writing journey by composing numerous reviews and articles for your homeschooling newsletter. Could you tell us about any of those that you have fond memories of?
Sandra Orchard: I loved doing reviews of homeschooling curriculum when my children were in the early grades and could do similar work. I often reviewed unit studies where all the subjects were integrated around a central theme, because…I got to try the studies with my family first. We loved the variety.
JR: At that time, your bio mentions that you never considered writing fiction. What changed your mind?SO: The more I read Christian fiction (particularly romance and romantic suspense), the more I yearned to write it. Ideas soon followed. A back injury gave me the time and motivation.
JR: If my math is correct, this year will see the release of your fourth title with Love Inspired Suspense and your first with Revell. Could you tell us about them?SO: Deadly Devotion, which released last month, is the first book in a three-book romantic suspense/mystery series called Port Aster’s Secrets. Each book will have a standalone mystery, but the romance and an underlying suspense plot will arc the series.
In book 1: Herbal medicine researcher Kate Adams knows her friend didn’t commit suicide, as the police suspect, and is determined to prove it. But standing in the way is Detective Tom Parker who has the niggling suspicion that Kate might be the killer. When Kate’s investigation unearths a web of suspicious goings-on in the sleepy town of Port Aster, will Tom believe her innocence and catch the real murderer before Kate becomes the next victim?
My next Love Inspired Suspense, Fatal Inheritance, about a woman who inherits her grandparents’ century farmhouse, only to be terrorized by someone who wants her to sell, releases in August 2013.
JR: Do you work on one story at a time, or are you a multi-tasker as a writer? Also, are you one who outlines in advance, or are you more of a blank pager?
SO: Out of necessity, I am a multi-tasker. Ideally, I’d be working on a first draft stage of one manuscript, while editing another, but… it doesn’t always work out that way. As of today, I need to start writing first drafts of both my next Revell novel and my next Love Inspired Suspense. Mind you, this is my favorite stage. It only starts to get scary when the book I’ve outlined—yes, I outline—begins to unravel as the characters assert themselves half way through the book and my outline becomes so much fire starter!
JR: Back to the bio. Your three twenty-something children (as well as your husband) help with your writing. You mention your youngest daughter is also a freelance writer and an aspiring novelist. What's it like mentoring her? Or is it the other way around?
SO: I love having another writer in the house. She understands me. She fully appreciates what a big deal little victories are and how devastating defeats can feel. She can relate to writer’s block, and the oh-so-sweet feeling when a scene comes together. We don’t talk stories too often since our tastes and writing are quite different. But we encourage one another to persevere and are the ever-present and much-needed listening ear when characters are being uncooperative.
JR: How do you work the faith element in the story? Do you start with theme and develop the story around it? Or do you start with a story and discover the theme?
SO: Well…yes and yes. Oftentimes I start with a theme and develop the story around it, only to have a different theme emerge as the story evolves. Sometimes, I start with more of a suspense plot and discover the theme as I write.
JR: Here's a challenge. What problem concerns you, and how would you -- as an author -- solve that problem?
SO: I would write a fictional story to help people walk in others’ shoes and see the view from their perspective. For example, I learned a lot about troubled youth and youth detention centers in my research for Shades of Truth, and hopefully, conveyed a more compassionate approach to their situations through my heroine in the story.
JR: Thank you for your time. Could you direct us where we could contact you?
SO: My cyber home is at http://www.SandraOrchard.com I blog there every Monday, and you’ll find fun bonus features for all my books such as deleted scenes and location pics.
I also love to connect with fans on Facebook at:
And I’d like to invite readers who wish to be notified of my upcoming releases to subscribe to my newsletter.
Jeff to the reader: Now, the giveaway part. If you would like a copy of Deadly Devotion (winner's choice of print or e-book), here are the rules:
- There needs to be a minimum of ten entries for a book to be given.
- Include your e-mail address -- your entry does NOT qualify without one. (I always get at least one person who wants to enter the giveaway but does not include their e-mail -- and yes, you can spell out the icons like myemailaddress (at)bigcompany(dot)com.
- Finally, Sandra has suggested a question for you to answer, and it looks very interesting. Here it is: The heroine of Deadly Devotion, Kate Adams, is interested in herbal teas and remedies. What is the most unusual or most effective folk remedy, or herbal tea, that you or someone in your family has tried? For what ailment? And how well did it work?