I sat down with author Sandra Tilley to talk writing, passion and her book, The Ghost and Mrs. Miller!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
In utero. ☺ Like most of you, it’s part of my DNA.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
My first published work was a short story; and when I saw the cover, I cried. It finally felt real.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Like most everyone else, time is the biggest challenge. Can’t overcome it, but we do the best we can to stretch it.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
I outline. I definitely outline. Then I outline some more. That’s not to say that my characters take direction very well.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
My current WIP is about black market organ and tissue banks. Did you know that the first successful human-to-human bone transplant was in 1878!
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
Join writing groups and organizations. Enter contests. Take classes in our craft. But most importantly, find a good critique partner.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
My office is my domain. There my desk snuggles against double windows with a beautiful view of our sailboat. On my desk you will find lots of sticky notes and a Diet Coke.
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
Would depend on my mood. If I want pampering and passion, Jesse would be my first choice. If I want dinner and a movie, Neil would be all about it. But if I want to laugh, I’d have to choose Eli.
What project are you currently working on?
Full-length sequel to my first short story about bogus body parts and love and revenge.
What’s next for you?
Sandra Tilley grew up in a small town near Birmingham, Alabama, where friends always entered through the back door and where everyone spoke the same language—Southern. After a successful teaching career, she packed up her pearls and headed toward her inspiration: the sugar-white beaches of Orange Beach, Alabama, on the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Tell us a little about your new release: The Ghost and Mrs. Miller
Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
I became single after many years of marriage and started hanging around with other single women. What began as joking around about re-entering the dating world became a story.
Did you outline the story, or dive right in?
Oh, I outline. But I do love it when the characters get wacky.
How did your characters come to life?
I have some wild and crazy friends to use as role models.
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
My favorite part was revising. Writing about serious situations with a little irreverence was the most challenging.
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series? When does it come out?
Don’t think it’s going to be part of a series. Of course, I can change my mind. 🙂
“I was your high school sweetheart and husband for nineteen years. I’ve only been dead for two months. Why aren’t you despondent with grief? Or at least sad?”
The weight of his words pressed down, pinning my eyes to the ground. I felt his eyes digging into my skull, but I couldn’t lift my head to meet his accusation. I removed a flip-flop and swatted at a line of ants traveling inside the groove of grout between the stones. “The therapist says we handle grief in our own way.” I turned my head to the side. “How can I be sad if you’re still here?”