Interview with Sandra Madera

When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a preteen when my mother got me a typewriter. I also had a word processor which was the closest thing to a computer and printer at the time. I was about eleven when I sat down and wrote the first draft of Overboard. I never finished it. The problem I had back then was not a lack of ideas but that I never saw a project through to the end. At around fourteen, I began the first draft of Restraint which was called Legacy back then. My friends ate it up and kept asking me to write more chapters. So, although the theme was romantic and I wasn't keen on it, I knew I had something.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was in the second grade. It was a school-wide project in story writing, and I wrote a story about zoo animals playing baseball. I don't remember it being that great, but I won a prize for it. The funny thing was I handed it in months before I had won...so I won, and I forgot the details of the story I wrote.
What has influenced your writing?
I am influenced mostly by all forms of art but especially music and movies. Music sometimes inspires me the most, because as I listen, a movie plays in my head and I write down those ideas. After a while a book begins to form. Movies influence me in terms of themes or characters. The character of Nalin in the Weeping Willow Series was inspired by Prince Nuada in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I liked the idea of writing about warrior Elves. I am also inspired by dreams. I dreamed with the characters in Restraint before I came up with the story. The dream was about a love triangle between Laura, Linda and Bryan, but it evolved from this romantic theme into a paranormal one.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love it when a story comes together in my mind. I don't always have every detail planned and prefer to write more organically than most. So when I find that all the pieces fit and make perfect sense...I love it! I also love seeing a book completed, because I feel as if I accomplished something. Most of all though, I love the feedback from readers. Many people have written me directly and I get such joy from reading how they can't wait for the next book. I am always amazed when a person chooses to read my work.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to go to the movies, write letters, read, draw, and paint. Anything creative which usually means I help out my nieces and nephews a lot with their school projects.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have to say that my favorite authors are the ones I read as a preteen and teen. That would be R.L.Stine and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I loved R.L. Stine for his way of writing horror and mysteries that I wanted to read, because before discovering his books, I had never read a book all the way though. I can say that I own every single Goosebumps and Fear Street books in the series. I loved Richie Tankersley Cusick, because she added the romantic element to her mysteries which made me eat them up. I can say that I have read all of her books as a teen and adult.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I make a point of reading other indie books since I am self published. I have found many hidden gems in my searches for great indie series. Before indie books, I used to choose books by their covers. I love themes in the paranormal realm with stories of forbidden love or soul mates. Now I still read traditionally published works, but I just find more creativity in indie works. I find that indie authors are not scared to think outside of the box and dream up new worlds. I like that.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I first started writing seriously, I was in college, studying nursing. I realized I was doing this for other people and not for myself. I began writing because it made me happy. I was finally doing something for myself. When I was done with the first draft of Restraint, I sent it to some agents, and while most didn't reply, those that did saw potential. Their words were quite encouraging. I decided after a year of this book sitting on a shelf collecting dust, that I would publish it and share it with the world which is what I wanted to do in the first place.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
My short stories are key. They allow me reach out to others that may not have heard of me and showcase my writing skills in a variety of themes. Without Smashwords distributing them to other major online bookstores for free, I don't know if people would have given them a try or purchased my books as a result.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything. I don't know that I really have fans. I am not famous, but I have gotten some great emails from people that say they have read everything I have written. I am eternally grateful for that. I never thought I would be able to share these writings with anyone else and these readers have showed me that I made the right decision in releasing them for the enjoyment of others. I am filled with happiness when someone writes a review, or a letter, or a message on my blog...I don't think readers, fans, followers know how important they are and how special they are to me.
What is your writing process?
I usually make a very loose outline of what I want to happen through out the book It is usually a list of ten key things that needs to happen and then I just sit down and write. The ideas flow through my head like a movie. After I write one chapter, I hear music to get inspired and see some ideas playing out in my head of the next chapter. I like to write organically, and if I wrote an outline for every chapter, I think my creative juices would be stifled.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, the last one published as I write this was Wicked Magic. Weeping Willow was supposed to end after the second short story, but fans wrote me wanting more. So, I decided to write Wicked Magic. I was inspired by Dante's Inferno and the idea of traveling through hell and back to find the one you love...a soul mate. I took this theme from Dante's Inferno and made my own idea of hell, deciding what was more punishable in my world. Wicked Love is going to take this theme and expand it by finding out what happens when love is lost and rekindled again. I am currently writing Malcontent, which as any book in the Restraint Trilogy, is about fighting back in a society where women are supposed to be submissive. I can attribute that to my own fighting spirit.
Published 2013-08-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Wicked Love: A Weeping Willow Novel
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Series: Weeping Willow Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,290. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2015. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Waking up in a foreign land, Nalin ventures home only to find that it is not as he remembers it. His parents are dead and buried. His sister has been ruling in his place. He is wounded, and he dreams strange things...about a girl who calls out to him in the darkness. (YA Fiction Novel, intended for ages 16 and up).
Malcontent: A Restraint Novel
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Series: Restraint Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,210. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2014. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Horror
Before there was a Laura or Linda Carter, there was Louise May. Born to a family that owed its riches to a sovereign vampire clan, Louise May is caught between her obligations as a familiar and her heart. (YA Fiction Novel, intended for ages 16 and up).
The Collector
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Price: Free! Words: 12,240. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Seeking fun and exploration, Kyleigh travels to Scotland on an invitation. However, unsettling dreams plague her on her stay at a castle on the Highlands, leading her to believe everything is not what it appears. (YA SHORT STORY, 2014’s Yearly Novelette)
Shattered
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Price: Free! Words: 22,990. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
After a tragic accident, Miranda is devastated by the loss her twin sister. However, it isn’t long before she begins to wonder if her twins death was an accident at all. Now, she must find out who wanted her sister dead, because she is next. (YA SHORT STORY, 2013's Yearly Novelette)
Wicked Magic: A Weeping Willow Novel
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Series: Weeping Willow Series, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,000. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
After a time of peace, Willow's world is turned on its side when Nalin is captured and taken into the Underworld. (YA Fiction Novel, intended for ages 16 and up).
Lament: A Restraint Novel
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Series: Restraint Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,860. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Stranded in a foreign land, two sisters, Linda and Laura are on a quest to regain their fortune and rebuild their once normal life. However, the past they fought so hard to flee has caught up with them and each must face the consequences of their actions. For Linda, the price may be too high. Something seeks her demise. (YA Fiction Novel, intended for ages 16 and up).
Overboard
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Price: Free! Words: 16,820. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Brenna's summer vacation on a ship sailing to the Florida Keys turns deadly when her best friend goes missing... (YA SHORT STORY, 2012's Yearly Novelette)
Restraint: A Novel
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Series: Restraint Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 70,660. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
Tragic circumstances bring two sisters, Laura and Linda, to a foreign land where they are stripped of their fortune and are at the mercy of their estranged uncle. However, strange happenings force Laura to believe their current situation was no accident. Something is after her. (YA Fiction Novel, intended for ages 16 and up).
Weeping Willow (Part Two)
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Series: Weeping Willow Short Stories, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 12,200. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Now that she knows her true identity, Willow has landed herself in a heap of trouble. Taken prisoner by Callan, King of the Dökkalfar, and jailed as an abomination to the Elven race, Willow struggles to gain her freedom in a world where she is hated. Time is running out for Willow. She must discover her true purpose, changing the fate of two kingdoms. (YA SHORT STORY)
Sangre Falls
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Price: Free! Words: 7,100. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective
Alexis Adeluna has a secret... She is a vampire. While exploring one of her favorite haunts, she finds a body and discovered a gift she never knew she had. She can see and hear the dead. Now, she can't rest until she finds the killer. (YA SHORT STORY, 2011's Yearly Novelette)
Weeping Willow (Part One)
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Series: Weeping Willow Short Stories, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 12,600. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Chloe Dennis always felt awkward in her own skin. Being teased at school has always left her feeling alone.... Until, she dreamed of another world.... Until, she dreamed of a handsome stranger. Chloe is about to discover who she really is and what is worth fighting for. (YA SHORT STORY)