Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have historical romance author Sandra Ardoin as my guest. I love the title of her new series “the Widow’s Might” – it brings to mind so much character and strength. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did! Sandra is giving away a copy of her latest release, so read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a wife and mom living in an empty nest with a retired husband. I’ve been writing and publishing since the mid-1980s (Wow!), but only started writing novels a dozen years ago. I’m a fan of country music, pro football, NASCAR and eating out—not necessarily in that order. 😊
As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.
Tell us about your current release. Unwrapping Hope released in October. It’s the prequel novella to the Widow’s Might series about a group of widows finding new love in a growing town along the banks of Indiana’s Wabash River.
In Unwrapping Hope, former concert pianist Phoebe Crain struggles to support herself, her mother, and her small daughter. She can’t afford a second mistake in love, especially when it comes to men with wealth. But will she allow the heir of a department store owner to restore her trust?
The first novel in the series, Enduring Dreams, releases in the fall and centers around Claire Kingsley, an architect in an age when women were rare in the field.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? For me, it was the Kennedy assassination. I remember coming home from school, walking through the door, and seeing my mom ironing in front of the TV. She had tears in her eyes. I also remember the funeral procession with the black horse with the empty boots following the coffin. I’ve always been a horse person, so I’m sure that’s why that image imprinted itself in my memory.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Let’s go waaay back, shall we? 😊 Hmm… I was in elementary/junior high in the sixties, so my musical favorites were The Monkeys, Peter Tork, in particular. (Yeah, I don’t quite understand that one myself.) I also thought Bobby Sherman was adorable.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I started out being traditionally published with a small publisher but began to consider going the independent publishing route in 2018. The decision required me to weigh a few factors:
Economics – The bottom-line royalty is greater, but all the costs (cover, editing, marketing) are on the author.
Time – Writing the book and turning it over to the editor at a publishing house is different from writing the book, then finding a freelance editor, cover designer, etc.
Business Creation – Authors are in business. We are creators, but we must manage that creation in a way the reflects proper business decisions. As an indie, those business decisions expand and everything is on the author’s shoulders.
What made you take the plunge and finally do it? When I weighed all of the above, what made me truly consider plunging into the indie waters was the control factor. Yes, it’s more work, more responsibility, but it allowed control over cover and marketing decisions. The latter lets me see what marketing efforts work and what don’t, because no matter how an author is published, marketing is part of the job and marketing can be expensive.
What truly caused me to take the plunge was answered prayer. I spent a lot of time praying about the decision until I felt that peace of knowing I was doing what God had in mind for me.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I try. I know the general plot with major plot points and what my characters want/need/fear, but I’ve never been able to write an extensive outline. Also, I find I have to write a while before I really get to know my characters, so things sometimes change.
Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? First, I determine whether it will be a novel or novella. Second, I establish a word-count goal. I’m generally pretty good at staying close to that goal while still writing a complete story.
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? Great question. I write the stories from the ideas that intrigue me. At the same time, if I want my books to sell and support my writing habit, I need to keep in mind what readers what to read. What are the commonalities in my chosen genre of historical romance? What size book is popular with readers? If I’m not entertained by the story, I’m pretty sure it won’t be something that entertains my readers.
Here is where you can find Sandra online:
Sandra is giving away a copy of Unwrapping Hope to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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