ABOUT AUTHOR: Sarah Parshall Perry (JD, University of Virginia School of Law) is a wife and mother of three young children. She is the coauthor of When the Fairy Dust Settles (with her mother, Janet Parshall) and the author of numerous magazine articles, award-winning short stories, and poetry. Sarah has served in youth ministry for over ten years and is currently writing where she encourages other families living with disabilities. She lives in Maryland. Learn more at

What do you hope readers take away from Sand in My Sandwich?

Life is wildly, beautifully messy. And that’s the way it was designed. The last perfectly ordered place was Eden. And the only perfectly ordered being is God. Appreciate the messes that God brings to you through your children and your circumstances. There is something wonderful He will show you in all of it. Nothing He does is wasted.

Nora: Amen! Amen! I like how you said that.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you?

I love to write. When I was 10, I wrote a letter to Marguerite Henry, the Newbery award-winning author of Misty of Chincoteague and other children’s books. I was so moved by her stories that I wrote to her, telling her that I wanted to be a writer myself. Then I went to law school, and I learned that writing could be very, very boring. Using Latin is not fun. Unless you are a monk, I’m guessing. And you can’t use phrases like “jacked up” in a legal brief. Coming back to the type of writing I've always wanted to do is very satisfying. The hardest part for me is really the origination of ideas. I don’t have difficulty with the writing part. It’s just the getting started part. I can stare at a blank computer screen for a really long time.  

Nora: I wonder if Marguerite Henry ever wrote you back. That will be another question for the next interview.  I would be very interested to hear what she told you!

What would you say to parents that have just found out their child has ASD? How to feel hopeful?
Park fun

First, these children have amazing giftedness. They see the world in a way that others cannot; they have so much to teach us about both the complexity and the simplicity of the things around us. An ASD diagnosis also indicates that God thought you up to the challenge of raising a child with special needs. He does not give these unique children to just anyone, and He does not make mistakes. He won’t deny you His wisdom or His guidance on your parenting journey, either. Just ask Him.

Nora: The Lord has a way of putting you on a path you’d never sign up for willingly. But I too feel that he has provided all our needs and a few wants. We've experiences special moments in the hard times that we never would have experienced otherwise.  

What advice would you give parents of these special children about their relationship and how to make time for each other?
Sarah's Children
The divorce rate for parents of children on the autism spectrum has been reported to be 85%, so don’t forget that you and your spouse were a family, first – before special education meetings, and physical therapy, and doctor appointments. The two of you need to remember your primacy. God totally digs it when you go on dates and have long talks over coffee. I don’t think He even minds when you close your bedroom door so you can talk to each other without having to stop and wipe a snotty nose in the middle of it (hint: find a room with a lock on the door). Be deliberate with each other. Because I can virtually guarantee your kids won’t help you get a sitter so you can spend time away from them.

Nora: I agree it is important keep dates with your spouse in the middle of life’s crazy schedules. Even if it’s to go walk in a park, go to a book store. It doesn't have to cost lots of money. Precious time together is valuable on many levels. Staying a team in the middle of life’s storms makes all the difference in your relationship with your spouse and children.

What four words or what phrase would best describe you (you can add a few additional words if necessary)?

    Committed (Mat says, “obsessed.” We will discuss this later.)
    Introverted (Writing is the perfect profession for introverts. It’s not that I don’t love people. It’s j       just I like going to work in my pajamas.
   Tender (I hate to see people hurting. I’d rather hug you than shake your hand. I firmly believe there    is too little kindness in the world.)
   Creative (Good career fit, here. Kind of necessary for people who write for a living.)

 Nora: all this shows in  your book. I also loved your sense of humor!

What three things are you most thankful for in life?
Sarah and her children

My family: my long-suffering husband, Matt; my three precious children who are constantly presenting me with new writing material, my parents, siblings, in-laws…basically, anyone related to me by blood or marriage. They generally make everything more tolerable. Sometimes, less so, but that’s another story.

    My horse, Caspian. He is a real pain in the backside sometimes, but just going to the barn and        putting my face next to his makes everything better. Even on the days he’s trying to kill me.

    My books. I love to stand in my makeshift library, and look at their covers, remembering those    I've  read, and pining for those I’d like the time to read. I am constantly on the search for new insights and  ideas.

  Nora: LOL about your horse. Love to see your library!

 When you sit down to relax and read, what genre do you turn to? Do you prefer hardback,  paperback or digital when you read? Why?
Whole family

My two favorite genres are memoir and fiction.
Not surprisingly, these are also the genres I most like to write. I am fascinated by stories – both real and created. Strong characters motivate and inspire me. I am also not an e-reader (sorry all you Kindle fans!). I love the culture of books – their texture, their smell, their weight in my hands. I love stacks of them in unexpected places. I love the worn look they get after years of use. I prefer hardcover, but paperback is usually easier to fit in my purse.

Nora: I agree that paperbacks are easier to put in purses. I don’t want to take my kindle out anywhere for fear I’ll forget it or break it in my purse! Paperbacks are safe and easily replaceable if damaged.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

Son Jesse

I’m the details person. I’d be the one counting coconuts, establishing a fishing schedule, scouting camping locations. I’m a natural researcher, so I’d get all the data together, and then let someone else manage the team
Nora: I’d like to be on your team!

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I’d visit the American ex-pats in Paris during the 1920’s (Hemmingway, Stein, Lewis, Wilder, Fitzgerald) and pick their brains on the process of writing, and where they found inspiration. These authors were critical to putting American literature on the map. To visit one of Gertrude Stein’s literary salons would be thrilling.
Nora: That sounds like fun!

What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?

1. A good pillow. Seriously. It makes all the difference.
2. My animals. I can’t imagine why some people don’t like sloppy dog kisses. I don’t love the dog hair tumbleweeds so much, but they make vacuums for that.   
3. Mascara. I look like a mole without anything on my eyes.

Nora: I’m there with you about the pillow. I take mine wherever I go. There is nothing worse than messing up your neck because of a bad pillow! A great pillow make all the difference in how you sleep and feel in the morning.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!
Noah playing with family dog

I was the director of business development at an advertising agency (while also doing a large part of their legal writing). And while in college, I participated in a work study program at the University’s football office doing clerical work. You’d think I’d know more about the sport by now, but I need my husband to explain just about every play when we watch a game. It’s embarrassing.

Nora: Fun!

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
The ocean, the nickering of horses, and the laughter of my children. Hearing my children giggle always gets me laughing, too. I love to hide and listen to them joking with one another when they think I’m not around. The jokes tend to be cruder, but the laughter is freer and louder.

Nora: Although horses are intimidating to me, the other sounds I love!
Sarah with Daughter Grace

As bad as things get, you will at some point in the future look back on your “valleys” and smile. You might even laugh. When you hold your life and everything in it with an open hand, you will be amazed at how God manifests His presence. Matt and I spend a lot of time laughing, now. Granted, it took a while, and there were points at which we both wanted to shove each other down a manhole. But the stuff we once thought we wouldn't survive is now just one patch in the whole tapestry of our lives. When we took a step back and looked at the whole thing? The picture was pretty darn amazing.

Nora: I love your transparency Sarah. I was very encouraged as I read your book. I like how the Lord has helped you look at life and things differently. Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. This book was real, hopeful and funny. I think laughter is a precious gift; ours for the taking.  It’s gift that has helped our family through so much. 

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN started the 20th of MARCH at .

Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Looking forward to it to reading the participation between you and readers! It’s always so much fun! Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Click on link to read my REVIEW  www.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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