An award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense, Sandra Orchard writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, who loves to encourage other authors, as well as Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild in Canada.
Sandra is the mother of three grown children and lives in Ontario, Canada, with her real-life-hero husband in their one hundred year old farmhouse.
You’re a university math major turned fiction writer. What diverted your path?
I still love math. I homeschooled my children and do the bookkeeping for my husband’s company, so my math skills continue to be utilized. But . . . I’d always wanted to write, too. I just thought I’d write non-fiction. Then after my mom died, I discovered Christian fiction. Seeing characters face and triumph over trials similar to my own helped me tremendously. After several years of reading novels, a yearning grew to write them. Then I blew a disk in my back, and suddenly couldn’t do a lot of my other projects, so . . . I started writing a novel. : )
What’s been the biggest challenge in pursuing writing (and/or what’s surprised you the most about the writing life)?
At the moment, it’s finding balance. There is always something writing-related I could be doing, from writing my next chapter, to editing, to updating my website, to a myriad of marketing tasks, to responding to emails. The list goes on and on. But . . . I also have a family and home to take care of.
How does your faith play into your work?
My heroes and heroines are typically believers that struggle with some aspect of their faith over the course of the story, and the events of the story help them to see God from a fresh perspective.
Let’s talk about your latest book, Fatal Inheritance (Love Inspired Suspense, August 2013). Please tell us about it.
This is a standalone novel that takes place in a big old farmhouse (much like my own) in the Niagara region of Canada. Here’s the blurb:
“YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”
Someone wants to stop Becki Graw from claiming her inheritance. Police officer Joshua Rayne is just as determined to keep his beautiful neighbor safe. She may not be the tomboy Josh remembers, but she’s just as stubborn. Becki is intent on keeping her grandparents’ remote farmhouse—no matter the danger. Becki’s feelings for her childhood crush may be rekindled, but she’s seen too much to risk opening her heart.
As the threats against Becki escalate, the list of suspects grows longer. Josh must convince Becki to trust him with her heart—and her life—before a madman ends their chance at happiness . . . permanently.
You can read an excerpt of the first chapter and bonus features here.
Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like plot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
What an appropriate question for this particular book, which features an antique car, inherited by the heroine. Writing her story turned into an unexpected adventure as the characters veered onto uncharted detours and threw numerous roadblocks in my path.
About two-thirds of the way through writing Fatal Inheritance, I realized that the villain wasn’t who I thought he was. I mean the villain was actually a different person than the person I’d plotted. And . . . I had a deadline. I learned to write by the seat of my pants, something I’d never done, and discovered that it was a lot of fun!
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Dark chocolate, because it’s both decadent and healthy.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Not really. I can plunk a few songs on the piano and pluck a few songs on the guitar, but I have no musical training, and not a great voice. In fact, I vividly remember being humiliated at parents’ day in Kindergarten when I was asked to sit down, instead of sing with the group of children that were to sing a song.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A love song or ballad.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
LOL, well . . . until I blew a disk in my back, I was definitely the super heroine. I did everything from teaching the kids to building a horse barn. Now . . . I’m more the bossy—I mean strong—female lead. I’ve learned delegation is a wonderful thing. <wink>
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We have an Alaskan husky who has finally outgrown the puppy stage of eating everything from couches to hubcaps. Yay! We also have a cat and a goat and a horse and a dozen laying hens. And yes, my children (at least at one time) consider the hens pets. They (that is my children) used to give them rides in the wheelbarrow or sit with one on their lap by the campfire, and of course, they all had names.
Thank you, Sandra! It’s been fun to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Sandra, visit her website.
To purchase Fatal Inheritance, logon to:
What a fun, fun interview! I’ve gotten to know Sandra through ACFW and My Book Therapy, but this interview was great … going to order her book NOW! (Yes, Sandra, we talked about this, but I was on deadline … )
LOL, Beth, that was a different book, Deadly Devotion, my Revell book. 😉 Good to see you here!
Kathy thanks so much for having me!
Sandra, I might have roomed with you once during an ACFW conference, but it takes a great interview like this one to find out more fun things about you. It’s so nice to watch your career taking off. Blessings to both you & Kathy.
Thanks so much, Elaine, yes, “locking you out of our room” as Brandilynn so eloquently put it, for all to hear, in perpetuity on conference CDs was my greatest marketing ploy, yet! 😉
The three of you have me ROTF.