It’s my pleasure to introduce author, Sandra Carey Cody.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Sandra Carey Cody (Sandy to anyone who’s known me for more than five minutes). I grew up in Missouri, surrounded by a family who loved telling stories. My husband’s job transfers have taken me to various cities in different parts of the country and I can honestly say I’ve loved them all. Now I live in Pennsylvania in a small town so pretty you’d think it was designed by Walt Disney. My Jennie Connors/Riverview Manor series (Left at Oz, Put Out the Light, Consider the Lilly, By Whose Hand and the recently-released Lethal Journal) is set in a retirement community and features Activities Director Jennie Connors, a single mom who is learning to balance her newfound independence with her responsibility to her two young sons and Riverview’s lively residents – all while solving the occasional murder. Love and Not Destroy is set in a museum of antique tools and folk art; it was intended to be a standalone, but is crying to be part of a series.
2) Where can we find you on the internet?
I blog at: http://www.birthofanovel.wordpress.com
3) Why did you choose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?
I write traditional mysteries. Why? I love stories where good triumphs over evil, where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guy emerges victorious, maybe a little banged up, but wiser for his/her efforts. And the world is a better place. That, in essence, is what a mystery is. When I need a break, I write short stories – not mysteries unless you consider (as I do) the bump and jostle of day-to-day life a mysterious thing. My writing style? That’s a tough one – a little like being asked to describe how you look. I’d say I write light, but not laugh-out-loud funny, though I’m usually smiling as I record the lives of the people I’ve created, and some of my scenes make me laugh. My books are pretty soft-edged; you might even say G-rated. Violence takes place off the page. I believe in happy endings or at the very least justice.
4) Tell us about your latest book.
The title is Lethal Journal. Riverview’s newest resident Jake Appleton has Jennie stumped. He refuses to mingle with the other residents, just sits alone and stares out the window, mumbling that the world is full of crooks. Has he witnessed wrongdoing in the construction project going on outside? Or is he looking back over his own life? Jake’s not telling; he shares his thoughts only in his journal. Then he is murdered and the journal disappears. Could the secrets hidden in its pages have caused the murder of this lonely old man? Jennie is determined to find the journal and restore peace of mind to the residents she loves.
5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?
I’d love to live in Camelot. Having said that, let me specify – I want to be a queen or at least a lady, not a serving wench. But I don’t want to sit around and do needlework. I’d like some adventure, complete with a handsome knight on a white horse. Is it too much to ask for my own seat at the Round Table? And my very own white horse too, please.
6) What was your favorite book growing up?
An old book from my father’s childhood: King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table, with illustrations by N. C. Wyeth.
7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?
Never, never, never give up. I was a grandmother before I was a published writer and I’m having the time of my life! Secondly, don’t let anyone else tell you what to write. Write what you love to read. Write for the joy of telling a story. Kindred souls will find it and, if they don’t, you’ll still have the joy.
8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?
I’m easily distracted, so I like it best when it’s just me and my computer. No company for chitchat. No music. Sometimes a cat in my lap – not my choice, but you know cats. A cup of tea, a handful of chocolate kisses for when I get stuck, a pile of books on the floor beside me. I’m not a great speller, so a dictionary is a must. There’s a window by my desk and I’m on the second floor, so when I pause, I look into a giant maple tree, usually filled with squirrels chasing each other along its branches
9) What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?
I don’t really have the patience for games. If I’m not writing, I like to be outside, gardening or walking around the neighborhood, stopping to chat with other walkers. I’m also a quilter, but don’t have much time for that these days. Of course, reading.
10) What can we look forward from you in the future?
I’m working on a sequel to Love and Not Destroy. (Remember the standalone crying to be part of a series?) The title is The Cruelest Lie, based on a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” It’s too soon to say what the book is about. More than anything I’ve ever written, these characters are taking over and telling me what they’re going to do. I had a destination when I started writing the book, but the characters are leading me down a new path. As a writer, that’s about as exciting as it gets.
Thanks again Sandra for answering my questions.