BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVE AWAY & SANDI ROG INTERVIEW


SANDI ROG'S BIO:(taken from blog) Her writings have appeared in Christian Woman Magazine, Affaire de Coeur, Sister Triangle and Writer's Digest. She has written children's stories and has given writing workshops at schools.

First novel, The Master's Wall, was published in 2010 by DeWard Publishing Company, Chillicothe, Ohio.

Sandi has spoken at Christian ladies retreats both in the United States and Europe. She lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in her home state of Colorado with her "husband, four children, a cat and too many spiders."

Did you always have the writing bug? If not, how did you get started as a writer?

I didn't always want to be a writer. I had other plans. Like becoming an actress or a singer. Once I hit college, I decided acting and singing weren’t for me. But there was always one constant: writing. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a poem that an adult didn’t believe I wrote. I was shocked by his accusation because I had indeed written the poem all by myself. At the time, I didn’t realize his accusation was a compliment. I also wrote some short stories for a project in Junior High. The teacher thought one of my stories was true and shared with the class how important it is that we “write what we know.” I destroyed her point when I announced that the story was actually fiction. I don’t think she was too happy with me after that. However, by this time I was old enough to see the compliment. In high school, after convincing my mom that the 17 absences I had in English were a computer glitch (I still had an "A"), you'd think I would have realized I had a knack for words and for "telling stories."

How did I get started?
Well, I didn't grow up in the church, and after I became a Christian at 16, I decided it was time to clean up my reading. So, I started reading Christian Fiction. Well, I never thoroughly enjoyed reading Inspirational Fiction; it was boring and preachy. But I kept trying. Finally, after a "traumatic experience" with a fiction novel, I vowed to never read it again. While in Holland (I lived there for thirteen years), I purchased a 500+ page Inspirational novel during a short visit to the States (this was before we could buy books on Internet; wow, makes me feel old, lol). Anyway, I brought it back with me to Holland and devoured it, desperate for something in English that was trustworthy. Well, after wading through sermon after sermon and boring description after boring description, the story finally got moving in the LAST CHAPTER! It was then that I found out it was a SEQUEL (I had no way to get back to the States to buy the next books; not that I really wanted to)! I literally threw the book across the room and vowed to never read Inspirational Fiction again. That's when I decided to write what I wanted to read. So . . . that's why I like to write Inspirational Fiction. Sounds negative, I know. But it's how I got started. Thankfully, much better writers have emerged since that time! And it’s a good thing I didn’t know about these great writers, I probably wouldn’t have continued writing.

How did you come up with the premise for The Master’s Wall?

I asked myself what it would be like to live in Roman times while the church was under persecution. What would it be like if my parents were Christians and executed for their faith? What would happen to me as a child? How would I grow up? Would I remain faithful? When I studied the Hebrew background, I learned that Hebrew boys were made to memorize scriptures. So, I knew David, my main character, would have a strong foundation in his faith by the time he lost everything and everyone he loved. He wasn’t perfect, of course, but he had enough to stand on.

How does the cover process work for you? Did you have any say in picking out the cover for your books?

I had quite a bit of say, and as you can see, the graphic designer is awesome. I didn’t want a typical cover with a woman staring off into the distance. Instead, David is doing that, lol. One major difference I wanted is that the faces aren’t that clear. It leaves more room for the imagination. This cover is also special to me because Alethea and David spend some of their most precious moments together on that wall. It’s the wall that surrounds the villa where David is enslaved, and Alethea is the master’s granddaughter. Their relationship is forbidden.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be released?
Yahshua’s Bridge releases in the Fall of 2011. Here’s the blurb, followed by an excerpt: An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future.

Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood . . . a man he will never call Father. Determined to break away from his master’s hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what's he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of all those he knows and loves?

Yahshua’s Bridge
By Sandi Rog

Chapter One

Rome, A.D. 88

Alexander held his breath as the man he’d never call Daddy forced him under the water. The fist in his hair shook his head from side to side and bubbles beat against his face. His head jerked to the surface from his master’s fierce grip. His mamma’s screams echoed off the nearby columns, and his face plunged back into the watery depths of the impluvium. Would this fountain become his grave?

This ritual of forced drowning had become so frequent that Alexander learned to hold his breath for a long time. With his mamma witnessing this spectacle, he couldn’t help but wonder if she’d rather have the master’s fists pounding her body as they so often did. But Alexander couldn’t stand by as his mamma suffered a beating from her drunken master. It didn’t matter that he was just a child and could do nothing to overpower the man. The goal was to make him stop. And he wasn’t hitting her anymore, so that was good.

He released a bit of air to ease the tension in his lungs, to ease the need to gasp. But it didn’t help. It never helped.

He quit thrashing. Usually if he held still for a long time, the master would pull him out, thinking he was dead. He let his arms float to the surface and his legs relax behind him. With the edge of the fountain pressing against his midriff, it made holding his breath that much more difficult. He wanted to thrash, but he forced himself to go limp like a dead rat.
And waited.

Enough time had passed for his act to become believable. But the master didn’t pull him out. Maybe this was it. Maybe this time he’d actually die. Despite his desperation, he remained as motionless as the marble statues on display in the atrium and courtyards.

All too soon, panic set in. His lungs screamed, crying out for air. Alexander exhaled, but it came out in an explosion. Instinctively he gasped, but stopped when water burned his nose and throat. He swallowed a huge gulp, enough to fill his stomach. It hurt going down, and just as he was about to suck in a breath, his head jerked out of the water and his body flew back. He landed on the slick tiles and skidded to a stop. He belched, and water spewed from his mouth. As he pushed up onto his trembling hands, he convulsed and vomited.

“Alexander!” Mamma dropped to her knees next to him. Her hands smoothed back his wet hair, wiped his face. She crushed him to her chest as he coughed, spewing out more water.

The master crouched down next to them and thrust his face close as Alexander fought for air between coughs. “Don’t think you can fool me,” he said, his voice a hot whisper. The alcohol on his breath fouled the air Alexander so desperately inhaled. “I know when you’re faking it.”
Alexander pushed up and got to his wobbly feet. Mamma took hold of his arm to help him walk, but he leaned on his knees and coughed, trying to get the water out of his throat and nose.

Master Demetri swaggered from the atrium, his blond hair mussed and reflecting the sun’s rays from above the fountain. He pushed aside the curtain that led to the peristyle and disappeared.
Alexander turned to leave, groping through the haze.
“Don’t go . . . .”

He would have acknowledged her, but he couldn’t without choking, so he ignored his mamma’s pleas and stumbled toward the door, coughing.
Once on the street, he blew his nose in his palm. He shivered from the hot air turning to cold on his wet body. Water sloshed around in his head, but he stumbled forward, managing to put one foot in front of the other, anything to get himself as far away from his master as possible. A liquid cocoon engulfed his body, his vision and his hearing, as if he were still in the fountain. He shook the water out of his hair and tripped over the large stones paving the street. Righting himself with his fingertips, he kept on moving. Nothing would stop him. Not the people coming toward him. Not the people bumping into him as they tried to get by, chattering and staring at him with curious gazes. Not his mamma. Not his master.

If you had the opportunity to write anything on any topic (and you were guaranteed a market to sell it in) what would you write? Why?
I’d write exactly what I wrote. I didn’t pay any attention to what the market wanted (because I didn’t like what was out there; keep in mind, I was stuck in Holland with no knowledge of the new, fabulous writers). I wrote what was on my heart, what I felt passionate about. Of course, because I did that, none of the larger houses wanted it because it wasn’t “familiar.” They wanted to see my other work, work that would “fit” what they were looking for, but DeWard Publishing believed in my story enough to publish it. They liked the fact that it was different and felt it was what the market needed.

How personal are your novels? How much of you are in them? Do tell?
There's a piece of myself in all my characters. Even the bad guys. My bad guy in this story (the grandfather) is a bit insane and arrogant. E-hem. I'm ashamed to say I see a little of myself in him as well! Aaack! Better work on that. I also see myself in David. He's hot tempered, but has a passion to please God. Yep, that's me. Then there's Alethea. She's carefree and foolish, but at the same time shrewd, especially when it comes to protecting her own hide. Yes, that's me, too. :-)

What do you hope to accomplish in your books? What is your goal or mission in writing Christian Fiction?

My hope is to draw people closer to God, to question what’s in my stories and hold it up to scripture. I want to encourage people to open their Bibles, to search the scriptures and get to know God better.

QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK?
1.If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and what would you do?

Pompey. I’ve been to Rome and other parts of Italy and Germany for my research, but I’d love to see Pompey and see the ruins (and people) they’ve uncovered.

I’d also love to go to Cappadocia in Turkey. My second book takes place in this area. It’s a mountain range with caverns that Christians hid in. The mountains are white and look like fairy chimneys. The caves aren’t typical. They have windows with stairs running up and down the sides of the mountains, and the Christians made their homes in these open, light caves.

2.If you could be a part of any event in the history of the world which one would you pick?

This hasn’t yet made history, but my prayer is it will soon. I’d love to help be a part of finding the cure to MS:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143725.htm . These folks need pharmaceutical partners in order to conduct this study, so if anyone here knows of pharmaceutical partners who want to take part in a major discovery, send them this link.

3.If you could hang out with any two people alive or dead in the history of the world, who would you pick and why? What would you do?
I’d hang out with Blake Williams. He’s not famous. He was a bankrobber and converted my dad in prison. After he was released, he continued prison ministry and looked out for me while I was in college. He was like a second dad to me, and I miss him. He died of cancer just before my first child was born. I told him I’d name my baby after him if it was a boy. I had to wait till my third child to have that pleasure (Aaron Blake Rog was my first boy). Blake made it possible to see and feel Jesus and what it would be like to hang out with Him.

That of course leads me to my first and foremost choice. I would love to hang out with Jesus.

4.What movie affected you most as a kid?

Hmm. I’d have to say E.T. I saw it for the first time when I was 12 in a drive-in theater. So fun!

5. What THREE things would you not want to live without?

My laptop, my books, and K-Love radio station. I guess I should have said food and water, since those things are a necessity, but . . . .

6. Name two of your favorite books you read growing up?

I didn’t read much as a kid. I know that comes as a shock, since I became a writer. I attempted to read Pride and Prejudice but was so disgusted with Darcy in the beginning, and lost in the middle, that I skipped to the end and was shocked that Elizabeth and Darcy got together in the end! LOL Since then, I’ve read the book a gazillion times, and it’s one of my favorite.


FINAL COMMENTS FOR MY READERS!!

Nora, thank you so much for inviting me to this interview. It’s an honor to be here.

Sandi

Thanks Sandi for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books. I can’t wait for the ACFW book Club discussion of your book The Master’s Wall. If any of you would like to join in on the discussion please do. You can join the ACFW book club by going to the American Christian Fiction Writers website www.acfw.com look for the book club and following the direction to join.

The discussion on the ACFW book club loop will start on the 20th I look forward to the discussion. You've been in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery! I'm amazed that you managed to do this interview. Thank you. I was really moved by your book The Master's Wall.
Sincerely,
With a grateful Heart

Nora St.Laurent
The Book club Network
www.bookfun.org


MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing.

Be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win. Winners chosen using Randomnumber.org.
DRAWING WILL BE - JANUARY 15th

For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment

Enter to win The Master’s Wall by Sandi Rog from @http://ning.it/dMzTqo Please RT

3. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
4. Make a post on your blog about this drawing (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address) - I will contact the winner and need to hear from them within 48 hours to claim their prize!

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

CONGRATS goes to KAREN PULESKI as her name was picked using Random number.com THANKS Sandi for making this give away possible!!

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

31 comments:

  1. Hi Sandi & Nora -

    Great to get to know more about Sandi. I've been praying for her & would love to read the book!

    Blessings -

    Andrea
    andrealschultz at gmail dot com
    Ponderings by Andrea
    http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a follower.
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I follow your blog, Nora!

    Thanks -

    Andrea
    andrealschultz (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I added your button to my blog, 'Ponderings by Andrea' (http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com); please consider adding mine to yours! : )

    Blessings -
    Andrea
    andrealschultz (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sandi, Loved your interview and love both your books. I love stories based on the Bible and have The Masters Wall on my wish list and I am adding Yahshua’s Bridge now. I am hoping to read The Masters Wall soon, maybe be a lucky winner here. So glad your are better and can spend time with your family now. Will keep you and your family in my prayers. With God, all things are possible.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am an old GFC follower

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Follow on twitter
    Tweet
    http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/23070521084084225

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have your button here
    http://ibooksbooksandmorebooks.blogspot.com/

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  10. You always post the most comprehensive interviews, Nora. I'd love to see MS eradicated as well as cured. It's a horrible disease. My mother was bedridden for twenty years because of it and died at the young age of 56. I'd love to read the Master's Wall. I love the premise.

    joyfulhutch[at]msn[dot]com

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  11. I'm now following your blog, too, Nora. Oh, and I love K-Love (the radio station) too!

    joyfulhutch[at]msn[dot]com

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  12. I love her answer to what three things she would not want to live without. So different for standard replies!

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  13. Thank you for the interview, Nora! It's great to be here. And Lee Ann, I'm curious to know what the standard replies are, LOL!

    Hugs to one and all!

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  14. Sandi, your life and conversion are such a shining light I always appreciate learning more about you.

    touch_magic at hotmail dot com

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  15. I still love to read Pride and Prejudice, what a great novel!

    kpuleski at gmail dot com

    http://practicalfrugality.blogspot.com/

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  16. I am a follower and email subscriber

    kpuleski at gmail dot com

    http://practicalfrugality.blogspot.com/

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  17. Great interview!

    Gail Mundy

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  18. Wow, that is quite the excerpt of the next book! You got me hooked! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  19. I am happy for a chance to win Sandi's book!
    I loved the interview!

    I particularly liked the statement:
    "That's when I decided to write what I wanted to read. So . . . that's why I like to write Inspirational Fiction."
    HOW AWESOME to be able to write what you want to read! I wish I could do that, but instead I will read the works of others whom God has blessed with this talent!

    Many Blessings and Smiles,
    Charlotte Kay
    charsaltz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am a new GFC follower:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charsaltz at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I tweeted this giveaway
    @CHAKASA58
    Charlotte Kay
    charsaltz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was touched by her story about Blake Williams.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. The movie E.T., also made an impression on me
    as a child. I still watch it at various times!
    Thanks for the delightful book giveaway...
    Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com
    "Carmen sent me!"

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow your blog via Google Friend Connect!
    Again, many thanks to you...Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Tweet!"
    http://twitter.com/cmh512/status/24681124659732480.
    Thanks bunches!
    Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  26. thanks for the chance to read sandy's masterpiece....sandy, you are in my prayers :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. i'm a follower and subscriber :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. This was a really intersting interview! I read a fair number of interviews and many of them are boring, but this one was riveting! Thank you! Btw, Carman sent me. :)

    photographer4ever832[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Good interview. I agree with what she said about a piece of her is in every character. I believe that to be true of most authors. (I know I write that way.)
    Carman sent me.
    bigpinelodge at gmail dot com

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  30. Wonderful interview and very nice to meet and learn more about Sandi. This must be an incredible book with oodles of research. I'd love to read this book. It's Biblical and that's a great interest - stories about normal people in Biblical days. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I do win!

    Blessings,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. CONGRATS goes to KAREN PULESKI
    as her name was picked using Random number.com THANKS Sandi for making this give away possible!!

    Praying for you and your family as you fight the good fight with Cancer! You are a blessing and so is your book!

    Nora :D
    The Book Club Network

    ReplyDelete