Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Interview with Sandy Wolters: Author of Justice for Emily, Maggie Mae, and A Brother’s Love

I met Sandy on Twitter and Facebook. She had re-tweeted one of my author interviews. How nice of her! We got to emailing and the rest is interview history. 

Sandy's about as interesting as a person can get. She comes from a "healing" family bloodline, and she believes in the paranormal. She also knows some gross things about gun shot wounds, and has some great advice for writers too. 

Below are the questions I asked her:

 1.     What got you interested in the paranormal?

I've always been a believer in ghosts and paranormal abilities.  I guess you could say that I grew up in an environment where thoughts along those lines weren't dismissed by family members even though I came from a relatively conservative military family.

Many years later as an adult, it became clear why my family believed that the paranormal realm was possible.  My children and I went for a family reunion to my elderly paternal grandmother's house.  Grandma was a very religious woman and truly the matriarch of the family.

Many of us were gathered at the kitchen table having a wonderful conversation with grandma when my niece entered the room with her small baby.  It was very warm, so the baby only wore a diaper.  She sat at the table and a cup of scalding hot coffee was accidentally dumped on the baby.  We all panicked.  Without moving, my grandmother said, "Give me that child" as she held her hands out toward my niece.  She gave the screaming baby to grandma.  The child was squirming, hurting and crying loudly.  Grandma closed her eyes and laid her hands on that child and started mumbling something under her breath.  I think she was praying but I was never able to hear what she was saying.  After a few minutes, the baby started to calm down.  Grandma continued to move her hands over the child and mumble under her breath.  Finally, grandma stopped and handed the happy baby back to my niece.

We were all shocked.  The baby was fine.  His skin was not even red.  No blisters.  Nothing.  I sat down next to grandma and asked her what she just did.  She reached out and grabbed my hand and said, "I talked the fire away."  That was my first experience with a true hands on healer.

2.     What’s the freakiest or scariest thing you’ve discovered researching for your books?

Oh gosh.  This is quite disturbing, but you asked for it.  I did a lot of forensic research for my paranormal romantic suspense novel, Justice For Emily.  I learned that it is possible to have two instantly fatal gunshot wounds with a suicide provided you have the right kind of gun and a cadaveric spasm at the time of death.

3.     Which book has sold the most copies? Why do you think that is?

Justice For Emily has sold the most copies.  I think it's because the sub-genre is suspense.  It was a very difficult book to write.  The subject matter is so intense that I sprinkled in some humor from time to time to give the reader a breather from the very difficult circumstances the characters find themselves in.  I also added one of our pet birds, Critter.  He helped provide some comic relief as well.

4.     What time do you get up and what do you eat for breakfast?

I normally get up around 3:00 a.m, but I do take a power nap around 7:00.  I don't know why, but I never eat in the mornings.  If my writing is going well, I usually forget to eat lunch.  I do love to have bacon and eggs for dinner though, actually any kind of breakfast food for dinner is a favorite at our house.

5.     How much time do you sit writing?

It really varies from day to day.  Sometimes I'll write for a few hours in the mornings.  If the storyline is really moving along, I could sit in front of my computer all day without even realizing it.  

After I finish a book, I usually take several months off unless the next story has started developing in my head as I'm writing the current WIP.

6.     What do you think of e-books?

First of all, let me just say that I have a Kindle Fire and LOVE it!  Prior to my Fire, I had a Kindle DX.  The e-readers have been a real lifesaver for me.  My vision is so bad that I just can't read a paperback any longer.  

I started buying hardcover, but even then the print was difficult for me to see.  I then went to large print hardcover books, but they are so expensive and really difficult to find in the books you want to read.  

With my Kindle, I can increase the size of the text without paying an exorbitant price for the book.  It just doesn't get any better than that for an avid reader like me. 

7. How many books do you think you have in your collection?

Shhhhh.  Don't tell my husband!  LOL  Between print and e-books I probably have in the five figures.  I have boxes full of books. Rooms full of books.  I'm still finding books under the seat of my vehicles even though I haven't read a print book in a few years.  I just can't get rid of them.  I finally convinced my husband to build a book case over an entire wall.  I can't wait!

8. Why write?

I started writing because the characters were screaming at me.  They would not leave me alone until I wrote their story.

9. What do you think about the lack of strong female characters in today’s books, movies, etc…?

I can't tell you about movies because I rarely go, but I truly believe that the strong female character is being written about more and more.  My husband and I raised two beautiful, strong women, so that's who I write about.  My characters are self supporting, tough women that do not need a man in their life to be happy or fulfilled.  I must say, though, that the sparks fly when the right man comes along.

I have a book review blog called Sandy's Spotlight and I've read several books recently that the authors are men and their female characters are very strong.  It makes me really happy to see the doormat image of the long ago woman change even with the male authors.

10. Who is your biggest cheerleader?

By far, my husband, Michael.  He has been so supportive and encouraging.  Without him, I never would have had the guts to publish my work.  

11. What words of advice do you have for fellow writers?

I know it can be costly, but it is so important to have your work edited by someone who is familiar with editing works of fiction.  You receive valuable feedback and critique by an uninterested party and as a result, your books end up shining.  

We are so close to our work that we know what the book is supposed to say.  When we read it, there may be a section that makes perfect sense to us, but no one else has a clue as to what you are trying to get across.  An editor points these problems out to you and helps your book come together.

12. How can my blog readers help you to become an even bigger success?

Before I became an author, I must have read thousands of books.  Never once did I consider leaving a review for a book.  It just never occurred to me.  I would love to suggest to all of your blog readers to leave reviews for any book you read, even if you just rate the book without leaving a review because every piece of feedback helps. 

13. What other hobbies do you have besides writing?

I love to camp and fish up in the mountains of Northern Arizona.  Two of my books take place in Arizona, Maggie Mae and A Brother's Love.  My hope is to convey the beauty of the state to the readers.  It's really a magical place.

Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to appear on your blog.

 Maggie Mae Blurb:
Maggie Mae is a steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist.  This book contains adult sexual content.

July 4th 2005, Maggie's wedding day was the happiest day of her life, the most painful  day of her life and the day she died three times.

Maggie lives as a recluse in the home that she and her dead husband, Jimmy, built  together. It's all she has left of him. She has her friends, but has turned her back on the world and any possibility of spending her life with another man.

Five years after Jimmy's tragic death, Maggie's world is once again turned upside down when the last hold she has to her husband, their home, is destroyed. Maggie is thrown into the path of a man, the only man, that can bring her back to life. Elk Bend Chief of Police Michael Rogers is there to help her pick up the pieces and move on.

Rafferty, a close friend, has loved Maggie for years.  He has been waiting for her to get over the loss of her husband and knows that in time she will be with him.

Rafferty has inserted himself into Maggie's life so deeply that she doesn't see his obsessive behavior. She doesn't realize that she has been stalked by Rafferty even before the death of her husband or the danger that Rafferty represents to her. Maggie is his and he will do whatever he has to in order to keep her.

Will Maggie be able to start a new life with Michael? Or will she be so consumed with the fear of losing him that she is paralyzed to move forward with her new life?

Will Rafferty have the power over Maggie to extinguish any feelings she has for Michael? Or will he destroy her trying to wrestle her away from her fate with another man?

This book will make the readers weep uncontrollably when they read about the tragic murder of Maggie's husband, Jimmy, and laugh with the interactions of Maggie and her friends. They will take a journey into the life of the characters that will make them escape and feel the wonder of love transcending death.

Justice For Emily Blurb:
The Paranormal Romance Guild nominated Justice For Emily as one of 2011's best reads.  Justice For Emily is a steamy romance/suspense with a ghostly paranormal twist.  This book contains adult sexual content and violence.
Rachael Merchant is on a cross country trip running from the tragic images of her last case that are embedded deep in her soul. She is a City of Phoenix Homicide Detective that is trying to deal with the freak show her life has become.

Three days ago, she was sitting in a hospital room with a man that had just murdered his three small children because he was angry his wife had left him. After making the arrest, she let the perpetrator know that when he got out of prison she was coming after him. He would not be able to hide from her. She left the hospital, went back to work and quit on the spot.

After a great deal of persuading, her captain convinced her that an indefinite leave of absence was in order instead of quitting. She went home, packed her bags and jumped in the car. With no destination in mind, she just drove.

Rachael found herself on the side of the road, unsure of where she was and on the phone with her partner. All she wanted to do was run as fast and as far as she could from the image of those three small babies with bullets in their bodies.

Officer Patrick Sheehan pulls in front of Rachael while she is bent over the hood of her car looking at a map. He overhears the conversation between Rachael and her partner and thanks fate for dropping a homicide detective right in his lap. His good friend, Emily, was murdered just days ago and Patrick knows who killed her, her husband and his boss, the Chief of Police of Brownwood, Texas.

Boyd Campbell has taken extreme measures to cover up his wife's murder but Patrick is going to do everything in his power to put this monster away. He doesn't care what he has to do or say to get this cop to stay and work this case. He needs her help and she is just going to have to deal with it. She could just blame fate for bringing her here when he needed her expertise. After all, the only important thing at the moment is getting Justice For Emily.

A Brother's Love Blurb:
A Brother's Love is a contemporary romance/suspense with a paranormal twist.  This book contains violence.
FBI Special Agent Pilar Campos lives and works in a man’s world. She loves her job because the only interaction she has with people is pointing her gun at them and arresting them. She’s a smart ass with a temper and is not above breaking bones if someone disagrees with her. Needless to say, she doesn’t have many friends. She enjoys the fact that she inspires fear in her coworkers.

Pilar and her partner, Rick, have been executing surveillance on the Snowflake Militia Group for two years. Everything was going just fine with the twenty-seven million dollar operation until she was forced to shoot and kill Thorne Baker, the brother of Boone Baker, the self proclaimed leader of the militia group. Her life would never be the same.

Boone Baker initiated a one million dollar contract on Pilar’s life and would go to any length to avenge his brother’s death. Deputy Director Greg Olsen knows that he has to get his best agent into protective custody, but he also knows that she won’t go even if he orders her to. She’ll stay and fight to the end. The only reasonable action he can take is to hatch a plan to have her tucked away at a ranch in Northern Arizona owned by Amos Thomas, a man that dislikes people with as much if not more fervor than Pilar.

Away from the city, Pilar’s life is transformed. She finds peace at the ranch that she had never felt before. She has a special bond with the animals that transfixes even the most seasoned ranch hands. She learns to open herself to the people at the ranch and develops close bonds with them. She falls in love with Amos, who wants no part of a relationship. Unfortunately for Amos, Pilar knows how he thinks. He is, after all, just like her and that makes his actions predictable. Pilar knows just how to handle him.

Unable to locate the woman that killed his brother, Boone Baker goes to extreme measures to draw her out in the open. In one fell swoop, he will destroy her life as she knows it. Will she be strong enough to continue on, or will he get his wish and kill her?

Sandy's Spotlight (Blog):


  1. What a great interview, Sandy! I had no idea you had such an interesting background. As someone who's had experience with the paranormal as well, or at least my husband, I hear you. Congrats on your success!

  2. Fabulous interview, Sandy. I learned a lot about you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ashlynne! Angie asked some really great questions.

  3. Rosanna, Thanks so much for stopping by. Oh the stories I could tell about my family! lol I must admit, I wish Grandma was still around. I was out, doing what I love, fishing in Northern Arizona when I tripped on a big boulder I didn't know was behind me on Wednesday and snapped my left wrist in two. Maybe if I ask real nice, Grandma will pay me a little visit tonight. Wouldn't that be awesome?

  4. Sandy, you are such an interesting person. No wonder your books are so fantastic.
    I totally believe in the paranormal--it's all around us, we just need to know what to look for.

    1. Thanks Brenda. From one believer to another - I'm so glad you liked the interview!

  5. Great interview Sandy. I get up at 5:30 but I eat my breakfast after I get to work. Your book "A Brother's Love" sounds interesting will have to read. I wish you continued success.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It's very nice to meet you. I'd love to know what you think of A Brother's Love after you read it.

  6. Sandy is very talented, and equally generous. I would be willing to bet that she has spent more time helping other authors promote their books than she has spent promoting her own. She and her books richly deserve the kind of exposure presented in this fantastic interview. Way to go, Sandy!

  7. **Blushes** Thanks so much for your kind words, Scott. I just can't tell you how much I truly appreciate it.

  8. Angie, Thanks for inviting me on your blog. I had so much fun with your questions. You did a lovely job showcasing my work.

  9. I loved the interview part, we have so much in common! Such an awesome author and a wonderful lady!

    1. Thanks Ms Wicked Leanore! I think you're pretty awesome too!

  10. You are so welcome, Sandy! Funny, I too come from a "healing" family, and can't wait to read your books. A;-)