Interview with Sandy Appleyard

What do you keep in mind as you write? An overarching question? A theme? The last line of a book?
Because I write novels that are mostly mysterious, I find it’s almost like writing a book backwards. You know how you want it to end, but you have to tie all the clues in to the beginning and the middle. So as I’m writing, I make sure all my facts are straight and in keeping with the resolution. My stories all have happy endings; I make sure of that. I also make sure I leave my readers with a tear in their eye and warmth in their heart. As long as those things are achieved, my job is done.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I wrote my first two books, which are memoirs, I initially thought they were all I would ever want to write. There was nothing that remained that was interesting to write about myself. Then one night I went to bed after reading Nicholas Sparks’s ‘A Walk to Remember’ and eating a whole bunch of cheese. When I awoke, the idea for my first novel ‘Blessed and Betrayed’ literally popped into my head. I recorded the idea in my phone and a few days later began writing. After that, I knew there was more to my writing than memoirs. Since then I’ve written three more books and started a fourth.
How do you react to a bad review?
I was lucky with receiving reviews up until about a month ago. Normally I would have just let it slide, but since I only had two other reviews for my new release, I was afraid it would hurt sales and my reputation. So I left a comment, correcting the reviewer. I learned that comments don’t serve any purpose except to feed the reviewer’s negative energy. From now on I will leave negative comments to be taken for what they are: negative. Liking a book is as individual as liking a type of food or colour. It’s personal. I’ve learned to accept that and move on.
Do you use a tagline? If so, what is it and why did you choose it?
My tagline is "You'll hug them all a little tighter..." All my stories have elements of mystery and suspense mixed with romance, but ultimately readers will feel compassion for the main characters and walk away with an understanding that in the end they did the right thing. My characters are imperfect and I believe readers will be able to relate to the challenges they're faced with. I think you'll find a bit of someone you know interlaced within each of my characters. Therefore, after reading my books, you'll want to hug them all a little tighter.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I’m a Canadian mom of two and wife to a very supportive husband. My first two books, which are memoirs, pretty much outline what my life is like. But essentially I’m an animal lover, avid reader and writer, a clean freak and a health fanatic.
Tell us about the books you've published so far.
My first two books are memoirs. ‘The Message in Dad’s Bottle’ is about what it was like living with my alcoholic father while he was alive. ‘I’ll Never Wear a Backless Dress’ is an uplifting story about my struggles with Scoliosis.

‘Blessed and Betrayed’ is my debut romantic mystery. It’s a heart warming story about a woman who grew up believing a lie and in learning the truth, she had to decide if she would let it dictate or simply guide her future.

‘The Wife of a Lesser Man’ is a romantic suspense about a married police chief who suffers a heart attack right before a serial killer strikes. He is left impotent and just as he begins to track down the killer; he realizes his wife is having an affair. This is a story that developed after I had an interesting conversation with a friend about adultery. A day or two later I had enough notes to begin writing and the story basically took off from there. This book was one of the most fulfilling to write since it has a little bit of everything and has a bittersweet ending.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords offers much more flexibility for authors. You can set your own prices as often as you like, and you can also offer your books for free whenever you like, which is a great feature when you're seeking book reviews. The other thing I like about Smashwords is that you can add video to your book's profile. That's great for book trailers.

These features have enabled me to offer my book to reviewers and at a discount without having to wait. This is key to an author's success since timing is everything.
Who are your favorite authors?
I very much enjoy mysteries, suspense, historical fiction, romance and memoirs. My favourite mainstream authors are Philippa Gregory, John Grisham, Sue Grafton, Nicholas Sparks, E. L. James and Andrew Morton.

I'll also include my favouite independent authors: John Dolan, Katie Mettner, and John T. Sonne.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read a LOT and frequently do book reviews. My website also includes lots of blogs about writing and social media advice, health and inspiration, so much of my non-writing time is spent preparing blog posts.

When I'm not doing anything writing-related, I enjoy plenty of exercise, playing games with my children, camping and watching movies. I also adore animals and spend time regularly at the local animal shelter and at home with our much-loved cat.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
The ebooks I read are mostly from review requests. The books I read from mainstream authors frequently come from my local library, although I do own both a Kobo and a Kindle, so my reading material comes from all over.
Published 2014-01-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

To Hide in Holly Springs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 101,280. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
“An eye for an eye.” Layla Dixon never dreams of living in the small town of Holly Springs, North Carolina. Having been born and raised in New York City, the teen never fathoms the idea of ever leaving her hometown. Until one day when a horrific scene makes her beg to be anywhere but home. Her parents, both doctors, are kept in the dark when their daughter begins to display strange behaviour.
The Man with the Black Belt
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,530. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General, Fiction » Inspirational
Young Sam has long ebony hair, caramel skin, a wicked kick, and he is hated by many. An old man holds a bitterness for him, just waiting for the boy to screw up, and when a young girl exploits him in a deplorable manner, Mr. Seamington's wish comes true. Years later, as Sam drives to the dojo one afternoon, he grips the steering wheel as he witnesses a horrific scene.
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,720. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
What would you do if the love of your life suddenly didn’t want the same things as you? What if you had an unfulfilled dream and only your partner could make it come true?
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 53,110. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Cassandra has never known romantic love. Her son, her parents, and her friends love her…but no man ever has. Until she’s torn between two.
Price: Free! Words: 53,160. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
On the surface, Kendra is seen as the apartment’s gossip, but underneath she’s a woman who has felt pain in a way that most haven’t. Hiding behind a pair of non-prescription lenses is a girl who loves, laughs, cries, and enjoys life…all from behind her living room curtains. Ian, the heartthrob that lives in her apartment, doesn't know she exists.When they meet, there's no telling what can happen.
21 Days for Liza
Price: Free! Words: 49,640. Language: Canadian English. Published: March 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
Liza is a twenty five year old girl with one thing missing in her life: a man. Up until now, she’s lived her life by-the-book. When she learns she has three weeks left to live, everything changes. Suddenly she's dating, having sex, and entertaining at her roommate’s lingerie parties. It seems now that she's dying, she wants to live life in the fast lane.
A Coupling Conspiracy
Price: Free! Words: 48,410. Language: Canadian English. Published: March 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
Linda and Larry's New Year's parties have become drab over the years, unbeknownst to them. As Linda stands in her living room, watching her friends gather for the festivities with pasted on smiles, something occurs to her...everyone she cares about is miserable. Until Linda and Larry come up with a plan...a coupling conspiracy...but will it work? Or will fate take over and sabotage their plan?
Don't Mess with Daddy's Girl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,580. Language: Canadian English. Published: February 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A serial killer, a stock broker, and a police chief’s daughter clash in this mysterious tale of greed and love. Michael is forced to choose between his most precious asset and the love of his life, when a serial killer tries to take what matters most to him. Police chief Mark Tame and his team hunt for clues with Michael’s help, when they realize that the killer is linked to Michael.
Would You Still Love Me?
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,670. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
A dramatic story about a young actress who, in her youth, falls in love with an actor, and later seeks him out. But when he falls in love and marries her, he doesn’t marry the real her, just a sanitized version. After she’s involved in a near-fatal plane crash, he learns who she really is, as she remains comatose in hospital. Once he's learned the truth, will he still love her?
When Will Knocks at Your Door
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,050. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Her bad-boy lover is no good for her, but she doesn’t realize how much until her house is ransacked and she’s left for dead. Overcome with grief, Ripley begins seeing her life as hopeless. Her father steps up. But he doesn’t anticipate his plan backfiring. Suddenly Ripley's heart is on the chopping block again. Her life begins to change, and it all starts when Will knocks at her door.
Seven Lies, Four Truths
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,470. Language: Canadian English. Published: January 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
When your dream means changing someone else’s life, what lengths would you go to to make it come true?
Betrayal Only Comes in Green
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,110. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
*****5 Stars from Readers Favorite****** His wife is dead. His only son is a drifter. He lives alone in his quaint San Bernardino town and likes it that way, until well-known Nevada criminals discover something about Saul Jessup that makes him rather interesting.
The Message in Dad's Bottle
Price: Free! Words: 17,170. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Addiction & recovery, Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Abuse / domestic partner abuse
Growing up with an alcoholic father was difficult. Dealing with losing him was even harder. I was once interviewed for this book and the headline was very poignant in describing the book's context: "Writing book 'better than therapy' says author." Honestly, if I help one person who has suffered or is suffering with the disease, whether they have it or someone they love has it, I'll be fulfilled.
She Only Speaks to Butterflies
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,580. Language: Canadian English. Published: April 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Romance, Fiction » Christian » Suspense
Sherry’s daughter Denise doesn’t speak. The town they call home is suddenly ravaged by fire, adding another challenge for Sherry; keeping her daughter safe. When a new face arrives in town, residents wonder if it will be a help or a hindrance; but only Denise knows. And she can’t tell anyone.
The Wheels of Change
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,820. Language: Canadian English. Published: January 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
Simon Cross is a type-A personality advertising executive, who has a penchant for sleeping with married women. When one lover’s husband learns of the affairs, Simon finds himself at the mercy of a madman. The advertising executive develops a very different view of life and the people around him, but not before things are radically changed in ways he never dreamed possible.
No Thanks, Mommy, I Peed Yesterday
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,190. Language: Canadian English. Published: October 2, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Parenting, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Humor / General
She thought she'd laughed a thousand times...then she had kids. This kids-say-the-darndest-things style memoir will keep you laughing for days! Fun for all ages.
The Wife of a Lesser Man
Price: Free! Words: 54,060. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Mark is Chief of Police for the LAPD. His return to work after a heart attack is eventful as his team hunts down a serial killer. Mark is used to unexpected situations at work, but when he finds himself amidst a shocking mystery at home, his hands are tied. Being pulled in all directions, Mark thinks the situation could not be worse…until he learns the next bullet has his wife's name on it.
Blessed and Betrayed
Price: Free! Words: 52,420. Language: Canadian English. Published: November 28, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Victoria’s lived a lie all her life, and she finds out at the worst time: when her lover proposes marriage.
I'll Never Wear a Backless Dress
Price: Free! Words: 17,110. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 18, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Physical impairments, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Medicine
A memoir on living with the back deformity known as Scoliosis.