If you ever get the chance to go to an author appearance, I highly recommend you do it. I go to many of them, even if I know the author or not. That was the case with Sandra Dallas. She came to my town, and a friend of mine liked the fact that she wrote wonderful stories about women and quilting and relationships and life. Upon hearing her speak, I picked up two of her books on the spot and enjoyed them so much I went back for more. Is there anything better than discovering a new author?
If you haven’t yet read one of Sandra’s books, perhaps the following interview with her will motivate you to look her up on your next trip to the bookstore. For Sandra’s many existing fans, please enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, Prayers for Sale. What inspired you to write this story?
Prayers for Sale is the story of a friendship between two women, Hennie, 86, and Nit, 17, who live in a gold dredging town high in the Rocky Mountains in 1936. Hennie’s been told she is too old to live by herself in the high country and must move below. About that time, Nit arrives in the town, Middle Swan, hurting because she’s just lost her first child. To help her heal, Hennie makes her a part of the community and tells her stories about the years she’s lived in Middle Swan, but the real story is about Hennie herself and her life and unresolved issues she must deal with before she leaves.
You’ve written fiction and nonfiction books related to quilting and the friendship between women. What draws you to the world of quilting, and how does this hobby seem to draw women together?
Women develop a bond over the quilt frame. The confide their joys and sorrows in difficult times, problems only other women understand. I like quilts because they are women’s art, and each quilt is a little story.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
My upcoming book is Whiter Than Snow, about an avalanche in a gold-mining town in the Colorado mountains in 1920. The avalanche roars down the mountain just as school is letting out and sweeps up nine children. Five survive.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Probably Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. It was the first book I’d read on faith that made me laugh.
Anne, Lamott (nonfiction only), Truman Capote, and many Colorado authors.
Book you’re currently reading?
Any type of writing ritual you have?
Sitting down at the computer and doing it.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
I don’t have it. I was a journalist for 35 years. If you get writer’s bock as a journalist, you get another job. But I do have off days.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
After the first book, where the goal is just to get published—sales.
Advice for other writers?
Just do it. And don’t give up. If you’re a writer, you write. If you think about it and fret about it and want to do it, but don’t put down words, I don’t know what you are, but you’re not a writer.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website, www.sandradallas.com.