Hi Sandi, Thanks for joining us today!
I absolutely loved this book! What a fun read!!
Thanks so much, Cynthia. Glad you enjoyed it.
You had an interesting childhood, with your love for words showing up at an early age. Tell us a bit about your early experiences with writing.
First of all, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here.
What’s funny is my love for writing didn’t start with “words.” Instead, it started with “stories.” As a child when it was time for bed, I’d dive under my covers and come up with stories in my mind. I’d be a princess escaping an evil enemy, running from her castle through the woods and getting captured by a hero, a prince, a woodsman, or whoever. I’d also dream up stories where I was the heroine rescuing someone from a violent fire. It wasn’t until later that I realized this is one quality that makes for a “storyteller.” I like to put elements into my stories that I would love to read. I’m afraid if I don’t love what I write, my readers will pick up on my lack of passion and we’ll all be miserable. :-)
That’s a great way to look at it! Your journey to publishing has gone through various stages. Can you share a little about this venture? What were some of the high and low spots?
That’s hard to say as my first book THE MASTER’S WALL was released the very day they told me I had cancer. I never got to experience all the joys of having a book published: book signings, talks, etc. Marketing my book was an impossible task. I wasn’t allowed to go out in public, plus, I was too sick, too weak to do so. This carried on into my second and third publications, YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE and WALKS ALONE, as they were released while I was still battling cancer (they had all been written before I got sick).
So . . . the highs and lows of publishing turned into friends swooping in to carry me and my books through the battlefield. Numerous writer friends, and people I didn’t even know, announced my book on their blogs and websites. Family friends who aren’t Christians even took my books to a book signing I’d scheduled before my diagnosis at Mardel’s (I signed all my books on a sticker and they used those “signed” books at my “book signing”). This changed my life in that I realized what was truly important. Not publishing a book, but love, prayers, and that there are people in this world who will bend over backwards, upside down, and inside out to help someone in need. I’d realized during that time that writing had become my idol. Yes, this was another blessing that God revealed from adversity.
Since then, I’m learning to find balance. Put God first, my husband and children second, and my writing third.
There’s a lesson in that for all of us. Thanks for sharing!
It’s obvious you have a love for adventure and diversity. You’ve written four books, each of them containing vastly different plots and characters--everything from Egyptian slaves, to Roman soldiers, to Cheyenne warriors. What drives your creativity? How do you choose where and when your novels will take place?
I choose what inspires me at that time. I love historical novels and escaping into the past. I also love going anywhere I want to go (in time and place), be anything I want to be, and doing anything I want to do through my characters and from the pages of my novels. But more importantly, God has to be in my books. I couldn’t write one without Him in it. He’s my Joy, my Helper, and my Friend. So, most of my books are about overcoming life’s trials with God’s help.
OUT OF THE ASHES is a “light historical romance.” My previous books are very “deep.” Not that this one isn’t, but it’s shorter, won’t make you cry in the middle of the story, and has a happy-ending. I needed to write something “light” because I just came out of a major battle with cancer, nearly losing my life twice, and I just needed to write something that was fun and would make me (and others) smile. Cancer was a rough ride, but there were many blessings in disguise that God showered upon us in my recovery, not just physical healing, but healing in my marriage and for our entire family in unimaginable ways.
So . . . I’m grateful to God for allowing me to write OUT OF THE ASHES. I honestly feel like I just stepped out of the ashes of cancer, into a life raining down blessings. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to write again because of chemo-brain. It’s a side-affect of chemo/radiation, a foggy forgetfulness that seems to take over and makes it difficult to concentrate, and it can last years after the treatments. It’s all because of God and His tender mercies that I’m still here and able to write.
That’s the one common thread which ties all your books together—an element of faith. What takeaway values do you strive to weave into your stories?
My novels tend to all have the same theme: overcoming adversity and forgiveness. The title for OUT OF THE ASHES has a double meaning: physically (for Nathaniel) and spiritually (for Amelia). Nathaniel’s story is about his experience in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire, while Amelia’s story is her escape from an abusive father.
Your newest novel, Out of the Ashes, just released in June, 2015. What most excites you about this newest project? What future projects can we look forward to seeing?
I think what excites me the most is the fact that I can actually write again. I really wasn’t sure if I’d be able to after everything I’ve been through. I also love romance and excitement, and with my story opening up with a shotgun wedding scene, I think that captures quite a bit of both.
Here’s the book jacket blurb:
A stranger. A kiss. A shotgun wedding.
NATHANIEL WARD, wealthy entrepreneur, needs a wife. But he’s not interested in the preening, high-society women who are offered to him on a silver platter. He wants one woman, and one woman alone: the girl who gave him all the money in her reticule years ago when the Great Chicago Fire left him destitute. He sets out to find this woman and discovers she’s unattached. There’s only one problem, a shotgun wedding may be able to bind them, but will he ever be able to win her heart?
AMELIA E. TAYLOR blows a kiss to a street rat. Little did she know, years later that kiss would follow her to Green Pines, Colorado. When a handsome stranger arrives in her hometown, she guards her heart from the stirrings this man ignites. Despite society’s disapproval of spinsterhood, she is determined not to marry, having witnessed first-hand the lack of love and horrors that accompany marriage. But will a shotgun wedding reveal blessings that arise out of the ashes?
The sequel to OUT OF THE ASHES is titled INTO THE FIRE. It’s the story of Nathaniel’s brother, Michael. He’s a brooding, hot-tempered character who falls head-over-heals in love with the feisty, God-loving heroine, Nicolette.
That sounds like another winning story! Thanks so much for being with us today, Sandi. God bless you as you continue to heal and as you further your writing journey!
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure to be here!
Sandi Rog is an international and award-winning author of The Master’s Wall, Yahshua’s Bridge, and Walks Alone. Also a mother of four, she lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in Colorado with her husband, children, a cat, and too many spiders.
OUT OF THE ASHES
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/out-of-the-ashes-sandi-rog/1122082598?ean=2940151392174
Sandi’s previous books can be found here.
THE MASTER’S WALL: http://www.amazon.com/The-Masters-Wall-Iron-Stone/dp/1936341026
YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE: http://www.amazon.com/Yahshuas-Bridge-Sandi-Rog/dp/1936341174/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y
WALKS ALONE: http://www.amazon.com/Walks-Alone-Sandi-Rog/dp/0983455651/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=153F9RDD7DQNCR1EB5FC
Sandi can be found at her website and her many blogs: