Interview with Sandy Graham

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Many, in fact most, of my writing ideas show up before dawn when my mind is too active to fall asleep again. I hold out until dawn mulling them over, then get up and jot down reminders to make sure they are not lost..
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play golf, have woodworking projects, exercise (not enough) and work in too large a yard. I also develop software though that has tapered off in recent years.
How do you discover the books you read?
Books bought over the years and an extensive collection inherited from my mother form a substantial source of reading material. In addition, I review selected books for BookPleasures.com.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. Early ones include stories written for a grand-nephew when he was at a very early age. We swapped stories back and forth. Mine to him were written to give his parents a laugh as well. My first serious lengthy story started out as a memoir of my days at The Boeing Company. However, I read where John Irving said all would-be authors feel an urge to start with an autobiography and I promptly shelved the effort.
What is your writing process?
I basically plan the main theme of the story in my head and start writing. I believe the story will flesh itself out as you go and find trying to create a formal outline useless. My goal is to get a first draft down and then polish and polish and polish. Often I start a writing session by going back a chapter or two and reading them to get into the flow again.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to make it reflect the theme and/or the main characters.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like books with humor, emotion and a reasonably fast pace, not bogged down with windy descriptions of scenery, etc. They also should show evidence of good character development. Genre is not important although I prefer they deal with real people and I insist they be well-written. Otherwise, they get discarded early.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None. I've tried a couple of giveaways and some price countdowns but neither resulted in a deluge of orders. I think word of mouth is most effective for those of us who have yet to enjoy a bestseller or celebrity fame.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In British Columbia, Canada before computers were invented. At that time (and hopefully still), education was serious business and it involved substantial composition both in daily work and on exams. In addition, my mother was an English and French teacher. She felt no qualms about correcting my English, both spoken and written.
When did you first start writing?
For many years I inflicted relatives with short pieces. However, after I dumped the memoir, I announced on my seventieth birthday that I was going to write a novel. That stake in the ground kept me going until it was finished.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My fifth novel (which is nearly finished) is titled Ickee Mushta. What is a an Ickee Mushta you ask? You'll have to wait for its release to find out. However, I will say it deals with introversion/extroversion, communication and an aspect of our political situation.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I live to create things and have found writing to be one of the better ways to vent my creative urges (though not the only one).
Published 2015-01-30.
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