Two Years In: Sandi Ward

Back in March 2017, my debut novel, To Charm a Bluestocking was published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Australia’s digital imprint). I was fortunate to join an amazing group of writers who also had their debut novels out in 2017. The 17Scribes are now two years into our publishing journey, and this series will interview authors from the group.

Sandi Ward writes books about love, family, forgiveness..and cats.

What has been the best moment since you were published in 2017?
That’s a tough question to answer! Several moments stand out.

First, I was very happy when my agent sold a third book to Kensington Books. My original contract called for two books, and being trusted to deliver a third book was an exciting day for me.

Another moment I loved: I’ve now been on two author panels at my local Barnes & Noble. It’s my favorite bookstore, and I enjoyed talking about writing with my fellow authors and answering reader questions.

I also have a great time anytime I have an excuse to go into NYC, whether it’s for a writer’s conference, BookExpo, or the time I took a tour of the Kensington offices.

And I like getting messages from readers! It’s always nice to know when something I’ve written resonates with a reader.

What has surprised you the most about the publishing industry?
I don’t think much has surprised me. Writing is still a solitary exercise, just me and my laptop, and that hasn’t changed. I already work as a professional writer (at an ad agency) so I think that prepared me for the changing marketing landscape where a lot of promotion is done digitally and online. And because I’m used to writing in a team and for clients, it also means I have a thick skin when it comes to suggestions for revision; I’m willing to edit anything I write (repeatedly).

What advice would you give to an author debuting in 2019?
I’d give the advice found in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is: Don’t panic. There’s a lot to learn about writing, marketing, social media, public appearances, giveaways, and so on. You can find more well-intentioned advice than you can even process in books, magazines or online, and it can be overwhelming. Take personal recommendations from other authors. Keep it simple.

Can you do a quick summary of your journey to date?
I have two published novels, The Astonishing Thing and Something Worth Saving. My 3rd book, What Holds Us Together, will go on sale January 2020. I was excited to win First Place in the Writers Digest Popular Fiction awards 2018 for my Young Adult short story Eighteen.

What is your latest release?
I’d love to tell you a little about Something Worth Saving, on sale now! It’s a family drama told from the point of view of a cat.

Lily and Charlie are best friends: a boy and his cat. So when Lily sees Charlie’s bruises and realizes someone is hurting him, she is determined to get to the bottom of things. Who would do something so terrible? But Lily is up against many challenges in trying to get her family to focus on Charlie.
Lily thinks Mom’s new boyfriend is charming, but he’s also a stranger. Kevin, the oldest boy, is falling apart because he misses his dad, who was kicked out months earlier. Victoria, the middle child, has a cruel boyfriend who Lily despises and suspects may be Charlie’s bully.
Most strangely, why is Dad carrying his gun, even when he’s off-duty?
Lily knows what it’s like to feel helpless. But she also knows that you don’t always have to be the biggest or the strongest to fight fiercely for the ones you love . . .

Connect with Sandi Ward on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: @sandiwardbooks

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