Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to talented debut author, Sandy Nadeau!
Thanks for joining us today, Sandy. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself!
I love to go on adventures, photograph them and write about them. My husband and I do a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and we love to share those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. My background in writing includes a column I wrote for twelve years about our small mountain community for a local newspaper, I’ve also had several magazine articles published. Now I love to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. I am currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Vice President of the ACFW South Denver Chapter. I’ve been married for 37 years to my best friend, and we are loving life as grandparents to our nine month old grandson with a little girl on the way in May. We love to travel but we don’t get to do it as often as we’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain. I go looking for it, every chance I get.
Describe your book.
Mandy Phillips loves life with her husband running an adventure ranch in the Colorado mountains, but when Mr. Shonee, their crotchety old neighbor, tries to stop them from building a kid-size old west town, their dreams of expansion are crushed.
Is Shonee just being a difficult neighbor, or is something more sinister going on? A discovery on the property of Colorado’s state mineral leads to more mysteries for the ranch, and then a teenage guest finds herself thrust head first into danger.
Mandy will have to rescue her, but who will rescue Mandy? Her faith in God is her only source to keep the guests safe, solve the mysteries surrounding her ranch, save her neighbor from himself, and discover the secrets of the Red Gold.
Why should readers pick it up?
If they like adventure, if they like the mountains of Colorado, mystery, characters that got real bossy with their writer person…. Books are way to escape all the problems and worries we have in life. I wanted to write something that would entertain, take folks on a tour of Colorado in their mind’s eye, and maybe touch them in a way they didn’t see it coming.
How did your book come to life?
I joke about my characters taking over, but they did and I love when they do. I can sit and think about where to go with the plot and they surprise me by telling me the next step in their lives. It cracks me up. I can try to go one way, only to have the character plant their feet and refuse to move (keeping my keyboard still) until I give in and write it their way. I get really excited when that happens. I love the premise of Mandy and Jon’s story, their business, so it was easy for me to “see” it all. We just always wanted to run a ranch like this. Minus the dangers Jenny faces.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
I love Mandy. She’s strong and gutsy. A bit reactionary. But Jenny, the teenager that gets herself into so much trouble, I really love her character. She’s impulsive and a handful, as most 13 year old girls can be. Mr. Shonee became near and dear to me too. He’s such a grouch. He was fun to develop. I’m quite attached to him.
How did you name your characters?
Do I have to admit this? My hubby’s name is Ron. Rhymes with Jon. Sandy and Mandy…well…it was a connection for me to live vicariously through the story since we never started our own guest ranch. *grin*
Are the characters based on people you know?
LOL See previous answer. Plus I have a daughter. And we’ve all met cranks like Mr. Shonee.
Why will readers enjoy your book?
It’s fun. It’s exciting and full of Colorado experiences. It’ll grab your emotions too.
Is anything in the book based on your own life?
The fulfillment of a dream through my characters. Well, at least the part about running a guest ranch. Maybe not the dangers and kidnapping. We get a lot of visitors since we are living in a destination state. We always take them up into the mountains four-wheeling to explore, find adventure, and hopefully wildlife. Now, possibly a few of our friends may have thought we were a bit crazy where we took them, but I will not give names.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Cookies with Mr. Shonee. You’ll have to read it to find out why.
Why Christian fiction?
A couple of reasons. It’s all I read, so it’s what I know. God is the most important person in my life. I want to share about a life that follows Him. To share what Jesus can do for a life. Some people think Christian fiction writers just preach to the choir. But I still find stories that help me get through a tough situation. Christian fiction in recent years has changed a lot. There are so many genres within it so there is something for everyone, without questionable themes, words you don’t care to read. Input equals output for me. I want to put the good stuff in to limit how much bad stuff comes out. It’s important to me for people to realize no matter what they’ve done, no matter how they’ve felt about God, about Jesus, they can still and always be welcomed to Him and be saved. I love the verse in Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Where do you write? (What’s your office like?)
Funny thing about my office. It was recently cleaned to its core. Literally. We had a leak in the shower up above my office. It’s not a good thing for a writer to have a constant drip on the keyboard. So out came the ceiling, the shower upstairs, part of the floor…yeah. It was special. But now, my office is cleaner and more organized than it’s been for twenty-five years. I found things I was missing!
What is your process? (Spreadsheets, Snowflake, Lists/Outlines, Seat of the pants?)
Hmmm….I start writing an idea and soon my characters become such bothers and they tell me what to write. So definitely Seat of the Pants. I’m trying to change. Really I am. But they won’t let me. And if they aren’t talking, I bang my head against my keyboard until I hear laundry calling.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Look for the adventures in your own life. That’s what keeps you going. Even the challenging things. What can you learn from it? As my tag line says, “Life is an adventure, created by God”. Enjoy every moment of that adventure. Too much can change and end and then you miss the party.
Oh, and I love dogs. I miss mine. The character of Barney, the ranch dog, is my Gus. He was that smart. He was a real gift. Dogs love so unconditionally. They are just great animals.
I can’t agree more. I have three dogs! How can we find you online?
Facebook: Sandy Nadeau, author