Friday, April 15, 2011


Linda Sands is the founder and editor of scratch, her award-winning short stories and essays can be found in Skirt! Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and too many more to count.  For those who don't know her she's . . well . . . fun.  Better yet, here's a direct quote from Sands herself,  "People who write fiction for a living are basically insane. They tell lies that you will believe, create worlds you'll get lost in, steal your time and stories. They can majorly mess with your head. It's a powerful gift.  I'm a writer." 

See what I mean?  Anyway, she's an extremely talented writer who's recently received a flood of terrific reviews for her new Ebook titled, "Simple Intent."  She was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule to play 5 questions with me.

1- Which form of writing were you drawn to first, the short story or the novel?

I began this crazy journey by writing children's picture books- which to me are really graphic novels told in a very, very short story format. So, I guess I have always been doing both, and in reverse, if you ask my friends they will tell you I can turn a two minute story into a thirty minute one if you'll stand still long enough.

2- How does a novel begin for you, with a character or a storyline?

Hmm. Good one. It's the storyline, I think. Because I can sit here and say a girl goes into a bar, asks for a job and ends up dead, and see the whole novel, including the who, why, where, when and how. But if I say there's a girl who's blonde with blue eyes who used to live in the mountains of Kentucky... it just dies. Who cares about the character, if the character isn't doing something interesting?

3- Tell us about your affiliation with Write by the Water?

I have this thing about water. Being near it fuels my creative spirit. (A fact confirmed by a local psychic.)

Tired of paying a lot of money to travel to "retreats" that were really more of a conference/ meeting/ bar gathering with newbie writers and jaded teachers, I began making my own writing retreats- escaping to lakes, rivers, and oceans. Writing pals would say, "Hey, that sounds great. Call me the next time you go." One of those pals and I decided if we felt that strongly about needing an escape, we could bet at least ten other writers felt the same way, and if the retreat was a learning experience with an author in residence, included a Skype call to a NY agent, well, hey, we'd have a program unlike any other. Write By the Water was born. We' had one fantastic event on the Emerald Coast of Florida and are currently tweaking the program, putting all our efforts toward a large event this Fall.

4- You’re an extremely prolific writer with deep roots in print publications, what made you decide to go digital with “Simple Intent?”

I love technology. I have to have the best, newest thing and I jumped onboard the Kindle wagon as soon as I could. Going digital made sense- MAKES sense. I figured electronic publishing would be part of the package in a traditional NY publishing house deal- something my agent and I have been striving for, with two novels being shopped. So, when I was approached by an international publisher who had read my shorter work, and asked me for something longer- ebook sized- I declined, saying they were all promised to the agent, all being read in NY. And then, I remembered that manuscript in my file cabinet...

I will be distributing a series of my short stories for e- readers in a summer debut, as soon as I finish the WIP, a mystery featuring the unstoppable female trucker, Jojo Boudreaux.

5- With the popularity of digital technology exploding, what do you think the publishing world will look like in  5 years?

There will be more readers of all ages, and more books. Books everywhere! Americans are slow to catch on, but I can see the electronic book becoming the new cool. The stories will be shorter, more visual, and book trailers-a must. To be able to choose what type of book you want to read today, not just by which popular author will be great. To take the market share away from the top thirty authors who suck up the best seller lists, and open the field to independents (authors who don't need $100 million contracts for 17 books they aren't even writing. Hello James Patterson. Authors who turn down $500k contracts with traditional publishers to go electronic on their own. Hello Barry Eisler.) would be an amazing, liberating, empowering movement.

The new industry will not be brick and mortar stores selling paper products that were written, edited, rewritten, published, pushed back, promoted, shipped, stocked, and then remaindered- a process taking YEARS. The new industry will be instant gratification, will less judgmental control from "powers that be." Which, could be dangerous, and could leave us with a lot of crappy writing to sift through, but hey, if Dan Brown could sell... I'm just saying.

With more than 50 e-readers out there, plus smart phones, laptops, netbooks and tablets, we can take our books- and I do mean more than one- anywhere. Only problem I have is the flight attendant telling me to turn off my Kindle, when I'm in a good part of the book. Does she seriously think Michael Connelly will crash the plane?

1 comment:

  1. Linda Sands is great. How great is she?

    -She’s as great a writer as the Great Pyramid of Giza is triangular.

    -If her writing came in liquid form, I’d drink it, bathe in it, and freeze it to rub on my nipples.

    -I would compare her work to Hemingway’s, but that’s be insulting—to her.