Getting to Know Sandi Layne
Sandi Layne has been writing for more than twenty years, publishing works of contemporary Christian romance, historical fiction, and posting columns on writing and publishing for various sites at one time or another. Her stories are noted for their attention to detail and striking heroines, and she enjoys bringing her readers through stories that surprise, entertain, and edify. You can learn more about Sandi and her books here.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now? Tell us something a lot of people don’t know about your home town.
I grew up in Cerritos, California, where my family moved when I was nine years old. The school books were all stamped with “Dairy Valley, California” when we got there, as that was the former name of the town. Dairies were everywhere, including across the street from my elementary school. Today, it’s a prosperous city and many of my former classmates still call it home. These days, my family (husband and two sons) and I live in Maryland. Living with four seasons is a delight.
What is your favorite part about writing Sweet Romance/ Cozy Mysteries?
Oh, I enjoy the challenge of working with other authors in a shared world. It’s so interesting to read about the other characters and incorporate them in some way in the story I am writing.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I never planned on becoming a writer. I sort of stumbled into it while exploring another way to do my part while being a stay-at-home mom. I remember thinking, “I’ve read hundreds of romances; surely I could write one!” Ah, the innocent confidence of the novice, yeah? I wrote six full-length novels my first year trying to do this and found out that I had a lot to learn. I’m still learning, even after publishing and being published for almost twenty years.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t writing? I don’t know. I’d be editing, likely. I’ve done that in a freelance manner before. I have also served in the professional and lay ministries in various ways, so I could possibly be doing that, as well, though being a mom to a son on the Autism Spectrum is my biggest job and one in which I invest myself all day, every day.
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
I have no pets. I grew up with dogs, cats, tropical fish, birds, and even tortoises, though.
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
I have definitely found my HEA. I’ve been married for more than twenty-five years to a man who loves me exactly the way I am on any given day. He’s fantastic and very supportive of my writing and all other aspects of my life.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
One book? ONE BOOK? Surely, you jest. Okay, non-fiction first. I would say the most impactful book on my writing life has been How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. It opened up my mind in both the study of history and the writing of historical fiction. Choosing only one work of fiction is way too hard. I think everyone should read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, for starters. It’s fantastic as a romance, but also as a peek into the society of its time. Other works that everyone should read include The Stand by Stephen King and Redeeming Love, a work of Christian romance by Francine Rivers. The Stand is not, I know, King’s favorite of his works, but I love the scope the story encompasses, the Good versus Evil plot, the fantastic characters he created, and the way it comments upon society and psychology. Redeeming Love is a wonderful romance that encompasses forgiveness, faith, starting over, and the beautiful love that can be exemplified in the heart of people who love the Almighty. I could go on for an hour, literally, about books everyone should read. These are some off the top, though. (Seriously, one book?)