Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality?
Sandra: I’m Canadian. My ancestors emigrated here from Italy many generations ago. Nikolai is my married name.
Scarberryfields: When you finish your novels, do you miss the characters?
Sandra: I won’t have time to miss the main characters in my mystery novel, False Impressions. Megan Scott and Michael Elliott are coming along with me as I write the next book in the series, Fatal Whispers.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Sandra: I worked as a copyeditor for more than fifteen years, so I’m familiar with that aspect of the business. I have access to various dictionaries and style guides if I need to look something up, but nothing beats a second pair of eyes. After I complete a manuscript, I send it to a critique group for review and then to a professional editor as a final step before publication. I want to make sure my readers get the best product for their money.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Sandra: It was tough at first, but I’ve learned to balance things out and now spend more time with my family and friends, especially on the weekend. They support my writing and enjoy my stories, and that means a lot to me.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Sandra: Yes—it’s too tempting otherwise! I take short breaks from my writing for social networking three or four times a day. I work in a quiet room with no music, TV, or other diversions. I need to hear myself think.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Sandra: Oh no, that would be asking for trouble! I use a critique group of writers who are familiar with the mystery genre. I critique their work as well, so it’s a fair exchange.
Scarberryfields: What do you do when you aren’t writing? Do you have any hobbies or a job?
Sandra: I retired early from the workplace but treat my writing as a full-time job. Considering the time I devote to my books, my blog, promotional activities, and so on, there never seem to be enough hours in the day left for much else. As far as hobbies go, I love to read, take long walks, listen to music, watch movies, and bake. Oh…and shop, of course!
Scarberryfields: What is the most rewarding part about being a writer for you?
Sandra: I spent many years learning the trade, so seeing my book published is a reward in itself. Recognition from readers makes it extra sweet, as does a nod from my writer peers. I’m happy just to have the chance to do something I love.
Scarberryfields: Please tell us all about the last thing you wrote.
Sandra: My new release is False Impressions, a tale of betrayal and revenge. Here’s a blurb:
Montreal ghostwriter Megan Scott falls under police suspicion when her husband and a female friend are found murdered. In what a Québec detective calls a crime of passion, startling evidence surfaces to implicate Michael Elliott, a young investigative reporter who’d rather rub elbows with scumbags than live the posh lifestyle he inherited.
Clutched out of her comfort zone, Megan is flung into Michael’s dark world of criminal investigation. As they make a last-ditch attempt to prove their innocence, an elusive enemy closes in and threatens their lives. Who wants them out of the way and why?
Their only path to freedom is to catch the twisted killer before they become the next victims. But not knowing who to trust or where to turn can have consequences that are just as lethal…
Scarberryfields: Where can everybody find your books?
Sandra: False Impressions is available at
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Impressions-Michael-Elliott-mystery-ebook/dp/B0086WMMZ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338496833&sr=1-1
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Impressions-Michael-Elliott-mystery-ebook/dp/B0086WMMZ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339878819&sr=1-1
It will also be available in paperback soon.
Scarberryfields: How can readers contact you?
Thank you for interviewing me, Becky.Scarberryfields: It was a pleasure getting to know you better. Thank you so much for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer my questions. I wish you the best with your writing.