Tag Archives: awards

Author Interview – Sandra Hurst


Author-Interview-Button

Sandra Hurst

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

That definitely depends on what I’m writing. Some scenes flow so easily onto the paper with very little effort. My imagination sees the pictures, hears the voices, and obeys. Other times it can be emotionally harrowing. It can take me days to get over the death of a beloved character, even though I made the decision to kill her off.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Handling my own nature is the hard part for me. I tend to be very distractible and moderately obsessive. There is always that one more piece of research, a new book to read, and, Oh Look! I got a facebook mention. My mind will bounce to anything new and shiny and sometimes when it lands on a topic I find it hard to let go and get back to the writing. There is a definite benefit to this type of mind though, once I start writing and the scenes are flying, I will keep going until someone pulls me out.

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I actually do write under a synonym. I work in the legal profession and was advised that it might be better not to use my real name for security purposes.

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  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have been so lucky! Two of the first people I met when I started to write were Rebekah Raymond and J.J. Reichenbach, they, along with several others convinced me that my ‘baboon crap’ was worth the effort and helped me get started learning the craft of writing.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My original plan was three standalone books in the same world. But the story doesn’t seem to be working out that way.  It looks like being a three-book series.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

In the beginning I’d say joining the Alexandra Writers Centre Society, a local writers group that runs classes on everything from writing technique, to plotting, to poetry. Once my book was underway, I hired a good editor whose knowledge of her craft and determination to present my work at its best is the reason Y’keta is a polished, professional read.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

When I was little, we had a burgundy set of children’s encyclopaedia’s and I would put on performances in the living room and insist that my family listen to the stories and legends that I read. I grew up on the stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, and the Fae. What else could I ever be?

I love the authors who can make words dance and sentences MEAN things. This has led me to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay, and Don Dellilo. I would give my left ovary (not so dramatic a thing since at 55 those parts are hardly crucial) to sit down with either of these gentlemen, or even better their writing notes, for an afternoon!

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

That’s a hard question, there are so many good novels that go just under the popular radar. For me M.K. Wren’s Sword of the Lamb is a definite favourite. How will a government that has spanned centuries react when faced with political and social unrest? How does this affect the people born to a world that has never changed? If you enjoyed Asimov’s foundation series, you will probably like this one.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Oh fun! I think I would take a raven as my spirit animal. They are known for being wise birds but also for having a sense of fun and mischief.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Eeep. Do I have to admit it? At least eight, there is just not enough time!

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

For me its all about the reader’s reaction. Yes, the sales are great (PLEASE – buy the books), but if one person says to me that my words opened their eyes to a bigger world, or that I showed them the power of words and the beauty that they can bring, then I’m a success.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I originally didn’t think that I was researching to write a book when I started out to write Y’keta. About five years ago, my husband found out that he was part Cree. At that time, I went back to the indigenous legends I’d learned growing up in Northern Alberta as a way to teach my son the history and culture that my husband never learned.  For more than four years I studied the language and history of several different indigenous cultures.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

When the words are flowing I write two to three hours a day. When things aren’t so easy and I’m struggling with a scene or a plot point it’s harder, but I try to keep to writing something every day. Whether poetry, or as part of my ongoing books.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I try to find names that will work within the cultures of the story taking into consideration the ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’ of certain sounds and whether they match the character. In Y’keta, I borrowed the name of a traveller that my friend met in Ontario (Y’keta) and adjusted the name of my cousin, Sian.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

In my work-in-progress, D’vhan, there is a scene where a young child dies. Writing it was emotionally crippling and took me to some very dark areas of my past. It was a necessary part of the story, but very very hard.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I write fantasy because the words are my way of exploring a world I can’t see. I’m a mythmaker, there is nothing that gives me more creative juice than asking a question and then building a world to find the answer. Myths and fantasy give us the opportunity to look at ourselves in new and often unusual ways, to play a huge game of ‘what if’ and see where the answers will fall. I find the basic understanding is the same when I’m working on romance books, except that you are now playing what if with relationships and feelings.

  1. How long have you been writing?

According to my mum I have always written stories and poems. I wrote my first ‘official’ poem in Grade four and had my first work published in a school magazine in 1977.

  1. What inspires you?  

There are so many people that inspire me, whether they are historical figures or literary ones. I think the common thread in all of them is that they had the opportunity to quit, every reason to say I’m too old, too tired, it’s just easier to let it be someone else’s problem. This kind of hero, unwilling, often flawed, yet willing to step up, gets me every time.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

Finding time to write is an ongoing issue for me. I have started to take myself on writing dates, the people at the local Starbucks know my name and how I want my coffee, they don’t ask anymore.  I also have a great group of writer friends that hold sleepovers now and then. Much laughter, much wine, and many words have come from these weekends.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I’ve got three projects on the go at the moment, with a never empty folder of ideas on the backburner.

The next book in the Sky Road Trilogy, D’vhan, is in the ‘necklace’ stage of drafting. I’ve got several pearls but I’m missing the chain of story movement that will tie them together.

I am working on a romance that will be part of an upcoming series of novellas with my contribution, Peace Out, slated for May 2018.

There is also a chapbook of poetry in the works, although at the moment the prose has centre stage.

Romance novella, Peace Out releases on May 4th.  Video.  

Peace Out video link. 

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I am plotting a YA Fantasy based on a world where the center of the earth is molten magic and drilling is creating imbalance and magic quakes – Geomages! I’ve also got poetry,plans for a darker themed adult fantasy about a dying world that even the gods have abandoned, two other romance novels and a space opera. So much to do! It’s going to be fun.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

Website:       http://www.delusionsof literacy.com

Twitter           _SandraHurst
Facebook:    SandraHurst.Author

Succulent – Well Sweet to be Exact…


Succulent – definition: full of juice : juicy

I’ll stretch this word’s definition slightly today to fit with a blogging award I received from http://www.swatichavda.com/  The Super Sweet Award.

The Award Picture:

super-sweet-blogging-award1

So here are the rules:

I must thank the person who nominated me.

Thank you, Swati for your nomination and for following my blog.

I must answer six Super Sweet questions – see below.
I must include the Super Sweet Blogging Award pic in my blog post – done.
I must nominate a baker’s dozen of deserving bloggers see below.
I must notify my nominees on their blogs – done!

The questions:
Cookies or cake?  My preference would always be cake. (You get more!)
Chocolate or vanilla?  I’m not a big chocolate lover and everything goes with vanilla.
Favorite sweet treat?  Now I will contradict myself and say white chocolate but good Swiss white chocolate. English scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Anything with caramel.
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 Favorite memory of eating sweets: I over indulged at secondary (high) school with the tuck shop. Sitting on the lawn munching my way through was pretty good. At that time wagon wheels and sherbet dips were favorite. A friend introduced me to her Aunt’s homemade Gulab jamun, which were absolutely divine and addictive. My mother’s Lemon meringue pie and apple pie with cloves, reminds me of Sunday dinner.
When do you crave sweet things the most?  I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but just occasionally a craving hits me. There is no rhyme or reason when or why.
Super sweet nickname? Haven’t had a sweet nickname ever. Mostly plays on my names, Mandy and Eve. Although my husband calls me Blodwen!
And my nominations are:
Have fun everyone and remember to visit these other blogs.

Propaganda or Blogging..?


Propaganda – definition: information, ideas, or rumours widely spread

An award I’m so pleased to receive. I endeavor to encourage and support other writers here. We are a community like no other. So thank you EyE (before) E for nominating me. http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/

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The rules for the Most Influential Blogger Award are as follows . . .

Display the award logo on your blog.

Link back to the person who nominated you.

Answer seven questions.

Nominate (no limit on the number of nominations)

Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

The questions are:

1. If you could create your own planet what would it look like?

It would be similar to Earth but all animals (including humans) would live in harmony utilizing the natural resources.

2.If you could visit one nation you have never visited before. What nation would that be?

New Zealand

3. Have you ever taken a long distance train trip?

Unfortunately no but I would love to travel through the Canadian Rockies that way.

4. What is something you would collectively change about humanity?

That they learn from history and realize was and conflict never solve anything.

5. What is your favorite song?

Now this is difficult. I have many spanning my throughout my life but Have I Told You lately by Van Morrison is up there.

6. If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet?

Richard Attenborough

7. If you could choose one symbol to represent you, what would that symbol be? Why?

gemini-symbol-3I am a Gemini and do enjoy two sides of my personality. It works well when I write as I can go to dark or light places.

An Expert..?


Pundit – definition: an expert : authority

Although I don’t proport to be an expert, my hope is that my blog inspires others. Through sharing my author journey and thoughts on the craft of writing, I wish to encourage and support my visitors.

interesting-blogNow the rules :

Thank person who nominated you. – Eye Dancers by Mike http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/blog/

List 5 random facts about yourself.

When I write I prefer silence or classical music.

If I eat chocolate, its only white chocolate.

I grew up with German Shepherds.

I’m a country girl.

I’ve lived on three continents.

Nominate 5 other blogs.

Jackie – http://jlroeder.wordpress.com/

Gerri – http://www.gerribowen.com/

Suzanne – http://sogsblog.com/

Vikki – http://the-view-outside.com/

Tracy – http://tracycembor.com/

Answer the 5 questions the blogger awarding you The Most Interesting Blog Award asked you. Here are my answers to Mike’s questions.

1. Seinfeld or Cheers?     Cheers.

2. Country music or heavy metal?   Heavy Metal – my youth was groups like Status Quo and Led Zepplin.

3. You have a chocolate muffin and a piece of cherry pie before you, but you can choose only one.  Which do you choose?

Cherry pie – I’m not a huge chocolate lover.

4. What city, anywhere in the world, would you like to visit and why?

If it is a city I have not yet visited – Cape Town but if I can re-visit it would be Rome.

5. There is a zombie movie on one channel and a James Bond movie on the other.  Which do you watch?

I’m not a huge TV watcher to be honest but as long as the Bond was Sean Connery that is my pick.

Ask 5 questions of your own to nominees.

City slicker or country lover?

Smooth or crunchy peanut butter?

Dog or cat?

Mountain hike or beach?

Favorite childhood cartoon?