I must confess: I totally missed the ball on this blog! It should have been posted this morning but life got in the way! My sincere apologies to Sandra Ardoin, author of The Yuletide Angel. I posted my review of the book several weeks ago; to make up for this oversight, I will post my review again before month’s end! Please enjoy the interview and pick up a copy of The Yuletide Angel today!
You spent a lot of years writing short stories for denominational publications. What made you take that turn to writing novels?
Off and on over the years, I tried my hand at writing novels. (I have several filed away in the dark places where failed stories go.) Every time, I’d get no more than fifty pages in when I believed God was telling me, “Not now.” In 2008, circumstances were such that I decided to try again to have a career as a novelist. This time, through various signs and successes, I felt God giving me the go-ahead. That’s when I learned that writing 1,000-word short stories and writing 80,000+-word novels were two totally different things. I spent the next few years in training—certainly not the quick career move I had envisioned. In 2012, I found an agent. Last spring, I signed a contract for my first longer project, The Yuletide Angel, a Christmas novella. In August, I signed a contract for my first novel-length project, A Reluctant Melody.
What is something you hope to accomplish through your writing?
I have a number of things I would like to accomplish. First, I’m a reader, so I know the types of stories that affect me on an emotional level. I want to create that same type of emotional experience in my readers. I want to get their hearts pumping, their eyes watering. I want to make them laugh out loud and look forward to the next story.
Second, while I believe in the Great Commission, spreading the gospel to strangers one-on-one and in person is not my strong point. I look at my writing as a mission, a way of getting that word across, but I think my stories tend to be geared more toward Christians. I hope they’ll find something they can use to strengthen their own faith.
Third, what I do is a business. Even if a writer feels “called” to write for the Christian market, she still has an obligation to the publisher to market the book and try her best to make it a financial success.
What is your favorite social media outlet—the way you connect with people?
One of the ways writers stay in touch with readers is through social media. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with it. J While we enjoy interacting with others, especially our readers, it eats up a lot of writing time.
For pure interaction with family and non-writing friends, it has to be Facebook, because that’s where they are. Very few are on Twitter.
From a personal, relaxation standpoint, I like Pinterest. I love finding images that appeal to me. It’s a little like window-shopping. I don’t repin them all, but I enjoy looking. Lately, I haven’t had time to be on it much, though.
As a reader and writer, I like Goodreads. I would like to, and should, spend more time on it than I do, but I try to get there two or three times a week.
How do you spend your “off” time?
What time is that again? I write all day Monday through Friday. I clean on Saturdays and sometimes write. Sundays, I’ll check emails, but I don’t write. Sunday afternoons are for football (Go Panthers!) and NASCAR, laundry and as many other relaxing activities as I have time for.
Tell us a little about your book. What is the theme? Who will it appeal to?
Here is the back cover copy:
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.
In The Yuletide Angel, my characters deal with issues of forgiveness and pride. It’s a story that will appeal mainly to readers who enjoy stories set in times past, a little suspense, and sweet romance.
Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, released this month. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.
Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for her newsletter.