A round of thanks, some Bestselling endorsers, and a new book – Folly Beach Dances

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Well, a dream of mine is coming to fruition.  Folly Beach Dances is going to print.  I’m so happy. Thanks for all who helped in the process.

Thanks to all my endorsers –

New York Times bestselling author, Karen White – Her book, Return to Tradd Street debuted at #6 on the NYT bestseller list couple weeks ago. Thank you for always dedicating time to your fans, and being so gracious.

Joe Palazzolo, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is a prolific writer and a wonderful cousin, as well. I enjoyed our holiday talks at the dining room table, always keeping an ever-watchful eye on Beatrice, the border collie.

Craig Burhart, Indepth Watersports –  Craig, you’re my favorite divemaster of all time.  You took me to the depths of Bloody Bay Wall in the Caymans. But my best memory is your lyrical underwater ballet with Spot, a wild dolphin (who befriended us all.)

Deborah Marshall, Founder Warrior Arts Alliance; Past president of Missouri Writer’s Guild, is a positive force in the life of many.  Deb’s dedication to our unsung heroes and veterans is commendable.  Always encouraging, she assists developing their voice through writing, art, and photography programs.  I’m indebted to Deb; she’s a wonderful friend.

Sandra Carrington Smith, bestselling author of The Book of Obeah, my mentor.  I thank you for her advice and wisdom over the past two years. You’re a sweet soul.

Max Gersh, staff photographer for the Rockford Register, is an exceptional photojournalist I met through Saturday Writers. Max, I’ll never forget your whimsical journalistic video on the St. Louis Clydesdales.

Dianna Graveman, MFS, Editor, Author and Educator, spent several hours mentoring me on social media at a local Starbucks. It was pouring rain outside, and there was no better place to be….Thank you.

Tracy Hoobyar, Living Hope Health.  You’ve always been like family to me. Thanks for interviewing me on my very first podcast!

My award-winning women friends Pat Wahler, Mary Horner, Patt Hollinger Pickett, Marcia Gaye; and songwriter friend Tina Solomon, who wrote poetry and prose for the book. I love you all.  Thanks to my hubby, Russell, who collaborated with me on the photos. He even penned a poem, although he doesn’t claim to be a writer.

My book designer, Kristina Blank Makanski.  What can I say? You’re indescribable.

Thanks to Debbie Kersting, Director Gateway Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for writing the foreword for the book, and understanding my mission.

Thanks to Jan Morrill who helped organize the website for Folly Beach Dances, which is still a work in progress.

I’m sure there’s someone I missed. And if I did, thank you…

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Author Spotlight – Five Questions – Sandra Carrington-Smith

Hi friends,

Hopefully I am starting a new trend on blog – author inteviews.  Sandra Carrington-Smith agreed to be the first!  Sandra’s dedication and perseverance as a writer is inspiring.

Please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, or follow my blog.  While you’re here, check out the other posts and pages on inspirational messages of travel, nature, friends and family.

Okay, Sandra, let’s get started!

Question –   In your opinion, what does it take to be a good writer?

I believe there are several factors that play into becoming a good writer. For one thing, you must enjoy writing for the sheer sake of it, and whether you think that you will have one reader or a million, the quality of the books you produce must be exceptional. It is also important to develop a tough skin and remain open to constructive criticism, but it is equally vital to understand that you can’t please everybody. Finally, your passion must bleed through your words, so you should focus on writing around topics that you would choose for your own reading pleasure.

Question –  As Anne Lamott once said in “bird by bird’, it is important to have a moral position no matter what you do in life. What is your moral position?

My moral position is a simple one…I apply the Golden Rule to everything I do in life. Writing and networking are no exception.

Question –  Take us through Sandra’s day of self-discipline as a writer.

My days are pretty standard, since aside from writing, I am also raising children and running a household. I usually network and do a little marketing first thing in the morning, before the children wake up or after they leave for school. The rest of the day is almost completely absorbed by mundane tasks, but as soon as everyone goes to bed, that’s when I put on my writing cap and dive into my stories. The timing is flexible and depending on the kids’ schedules. During the summer, when they are out of school, I write all night and sleep in the next morning. When they are in school, I go to bed earlier, but then use the time when they are gone to write. On average, I write about three or four hours every day.

Question  –  Any quick tips for new writers?

An easy one: Don’t give up! Ever. If writing is your passion, there is a door, somewhere, that will lead you to the right place. The business of writing has changed a lot, and new writers have a plethora of new tools at their disposal they can use to get their work out there.

Question  – When did you first fall in love with writing?

My love for the written word goes all the way back to my teenage years, when I first started writing poetry. When I moved to a different country, I thought I had left all that behind, since I didn’t think I would ever write in a foreign language. Thankfully, time proved me wrong, the language barriers were overcome, and my old love for writing surfaced anew.

Thanks Sandra for a great interview!

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Sandra Carrington-Smith is an Italian-born author who relocated to the United States in the late 80’s after marrying a US soldier who was serving overseas.

Although writing was Sandra’s deepest passion since childhood, her dream of becoming a published author had to be placed on hold for several years. Moving to a new country provided several challenges, the biggest one being the language barrier she encountered when she first arrived.

In order to become fully integrated, Sandra tapped into her love for reading, and over time her vocabulary grew extensively.

She gave birth to three children and devoted most of her time to raising a family. By the time she was in her late 30’s, Sandra decided to revisit her old passion for writing, and penned a novel of paranormal suspense, The Book of Obeah, followed by a self-improvement book, Housekeeping for the Soul: A Practical Guide to Restoring Your Inner Sanctuary. Both titles were sold to the same publisher and released in 2010, and The Book of Obeah went on to win an international book award.

Currently, Sandra is working on two new novels: The Rosaries (the sequel of The Book of Obeah) and Shadows of a Tuscan Moon. Killer in Sight (A Tom Lackey Mystery) was released in June 2012. Sandra Carrington-Smith lives in Raleigh, NC, with her husband, children and three cats.