What organizations are you involved with?
I’m an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Faith, Hope, Love inspirational chapter of Romance Writers of America, The Word Guild, and WODE (my local writing group—Write Off the Deep End).
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Letting a story go is probably my biggest challenge. I enjoy revising, and I know there are always ways I can make a given story stronger, but sometimes too much tweaking isn’t good. Other times, deadlines demand that I move on.
Who is the person who most influences your writing?
My critique partners. Since they don’t know my characters as intimately as I do, they give me honest feedback on the story that makes it to the page, rather than the one that’s in my head—which can sometimes be much different without my realizing it!
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love hearing from readers, especially what they take away from the story. Many times they shared something I’ve never imagined, and I love seeing how God uses stories in unexpected ways. My favorite part of writing is brainstorming the twists and turns of the plot, and then the challenge of fitting them all together—often not the way I planned since the characters have their own ideas!
What do you do to get away from it all?
Since the stories live in my head, it’s hard to really get away from it all. I enjoy quiet walks in the woods with my hubby. Although my favorite pastime these days is playing with my two-year old granddaughter and exploring the world through her eyes.
What were your favorite stories as a child?
The Wind in the Willows was the first chapter book I remember that really captured my imagination. I enjoyed reading the Trixie Beldon and Encyclopedia Brown detective series as a preteen, which no doubt contributed to my interest in writing mysteries.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve created some intriguing bonus features for my novels, such as deleted scenes, location pics, character interviews, etc. which readers can find on my website at: http://sandraorchard.com/extras/bonus-book-features/