We are interviewing Sandy Green, author of a great new MG novel titled, "The Tide Changers."
Sandy has graciously offered to giveaway a signed copy of her book. All you need to win is to:
a. leave a comment for Sandy.
b. be a follower of The Storyteller's Scroll.
A random generator will choose the winner and it will be announced next Monday. It's as easy as a rolling, rippling wave. :)
Now let’s start the interview.
- What got you started in writing for children?
I was in the kitchen washing dishes after my children had left for school and listening to The Today Show interview William Shatner. He remarked how amazed he was that the some of the props on Star Trek became reality, like their communicators we casually use as cell phones. I thought—Yes, what will come next? That night, I woke up with an idea for a holographic second self and wrote my first book. It was the beginning of a long learning process.
- How long have you been writing for children?
- When you first received your offer, what happened?
I was very excited and texted my family and writing partner, author KEM Johnston.
- Tell us a little bit about your path to publication.
I’ve completed several manuscripts, and took time to earn publication credits in children’s magazines. I also forayed into writing literary poetry—Flutter Press published a chapbook of my poems called Pacing the Moon in 2009. Writing poetry helps my fiction writing because of its economical use of words.
- Tell us about one of your most heart-breaking rejections and about one of your best.
One of the most disappointing rejections was when my short story was accepted for another Chicken Soup anthology (I’d been published in Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul). I already had the contract in hand when they withdrew it. It was a personal tribute about my sister, and she was so honored when I’d first told her about its publication. But I submitted it elsewhere where it was accepted and published.
The best rejections are those where the editor writes something personal about the work. They are like jewels. But the very best was when an agent called to discuss my story. He still didn’t sign me, but it gave me great validation to continue my work.
- How did you find your editor/publisher/agent?
I looked for an independent publisher. I never submitted the manuscript to a larger one.
- What are some of the new things you worry about now?
I don’t worry about the publishing industry. Creative people will always find a way to share their work.
- What was the editorial process with your publisher like?
Patricia Morrison at Penumbra Publishing was wonderful and offered thoughtful writing prompts and critiques. She was the perfect editor—kind, patient, knowledgeable, speedy, and apparently needs very little sleep. Many times I’d be surprised to see the time of day when she answered an email.
- How many revisions did you have to write?
We went back and forth several times. Sometimes I would think we were finished and wrapped up and the next day I would email a new idea. Patricia would always graciously accept and incorporate it.
- Describe a typical day in your writing life. Are you a morning writer? An afternoon writer? A late night writer?
I write all the time. Now that both my children are in college, I don’t have to stop at three or four in the afternoon. I’m always researching a fact, word, or place. I want the tiniest detail to be true. Then there’s the ‘business’ of writing: scheduling promotional activities, researching, reading journals and ‘how-to’ books. Sometimes I don’t drag myself to bed until three in the morning.
- Any advice for aspiring authors?
- read, but read across genres. I particularly recommend poetry, especially writers like former poet laureates Billy Collins and Ted Kooser for their clarity and beautiful language.
- Keep notebooks in your pocket for writing down ideas and overheard conversations, which could lead to great character descriptions.
- Write every day. I was trained as a classical dancer. You don’t learn to turn by doing one pirouette, but by doing hundreds.
- Join a critique group. Don’t avoid rejection—opinions about your work are subjective, like the Quick Questions at the end of this interview.
- Hone your skills by submitting to magazines.
- Are there any writing books you recommend? Workshops? Conferences?
I’d recommend the SCBWI conferences. I also attend the writers’ conference at Christopher Newport University in the spring. It offers insights into a variety of genres—memoir writing, non-fiction, children’s, poetry, and mysteries—with workshops by authors, industry professionals, and CNU professors.
- Finally, where do you get your ideas for The Tide Changers?
My family has spent the past twenty years vacationing in beautiful Cape May, NJ. Sometimes on a sunny day with the ocean waves gently rolling on the beach you have to wonder what’s really going on beneath the surface.
My husband was a scuba diver, and he gave me a lot of insight into the mechanics and science of living underwater. But the first time I had the inkling of the idea was when I was in the shower and accidently sprayed water up my nose. I wondered how little water it would take to drown and wouldn’t it be nice to breathe underwater?
- QUICK QUESTIONS: CHOOSE ONE
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Margarita or wine? Neither. I like caffeine free Pepsi.
Cookies or cake? Cookies.
A good book or a good movie? Book, of course!
Winter or summer? Winter.
"The Tide Changers" is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and can be purchased in print or for an electronic reader. Pick up a copy today!