Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One Writer's "Blind Faith"

Once again, I'm pleased to host my fellow writer and good friend Sandra Tilley to my blog.

Sandra Tilley has a new novellla released this month and serendipitously the title of her new release is "BLIND FAITH".

I say serendipitously because once I read Sandra's answers to my interview questions I realized the title of her release also describes her writerly journey for this story. And I'm all about the writerly journey.

Read how Sandra's "blind faith" produced "Blind Faith".

Here's Sandra:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for having me back on your blog, Suzanne. I love reading it, and it’s a special treat to be on it.

Tell us about writing in this new genre. What genre would you classify “Blind Faith?” and your
target audience?

My new release “Blind Faith” was an experiment. At every level.  Even though it’s being marketed as romantic suspense, “Blind Faith” is a supernatural story about a young college couple faced with a serious dilemma, thus targeting the young twenty-something readers called New Adults. 

I know for a fact you used a different process to write this story.  Tell us about it.

Some of my best friends ( Suzanne included) are pantsters. But the idea of writing pantster-style, without the safety net of my exhaustive outlines filling page after page in my legal pad, made this hard-line plotter hyperventilate. And I can’t count the number of eye rolls and head shakes my friends endured when they would tell me that they just “wrote,” and the story came to them. Until I wrote “Blind Faith.” 

My pantster friends were right. I started writing, and my characters took over. I wanted to write a science fiction story about a GPS, but Emelyn and Daniel wanted to use the errant GPS for their own journey. The story took twists and turns I never expected, dipping my toe into a genre I never expected. 

I apologize to my pantster friends for the eye rolls, but I’m not ready for a membership card. Yet. While I love the spontaneity and surprises I encountered writing “Blind Faith,” I don’t know if I could maintain the level of stress of not knowing what was going to happen for a full-length novel.  
But now that I’ve tasted the pantster wine, I can’t go back to dull, lifeless outlines.  I will have to develop my own process to keep me on track yet still allow room for creative surprises!

Tell us the difference, for you, between writing novel length and novella length.

I love writing novellas. Not only for the obvious reason that it takes less time, but also because it means less meandering and staying focused and to the point. When you write a short story, novella, or novel, all the same concepts are at play: plot, dialogue, conflict, etc.  Think of our writing tools as shiny, round balls that we toss into the air and juggle until the project is finished. Writing a short story or novella compared to writing a novel cuts the juggling time and reduces the stress level. I still see writing novels in my future, but I can also see a series of novellas.

What did you learn after writing, submitting, and publishing this short story?

From my first word on the page to the published word on the e-book, I learned one valuable lesson: nothing in this business moves fast.  More like molasses on a cold morning.  
The only way to endure it is start another project. And another. And another.

Thanks so much for joining me on my blog, Sandra.  
Here's the cover and link to Sandra's new release.
A real bargain at only $0.99 on Amazon. And here's the link to Sandra's website. 

As always feel free to comment or ask Sandra any questions.


  1. Thanks for having me, my friend!
    It was fun!

    1. It was my pleasure! Good luck with your new release!

  2. great interview. I loved it and I love that you sorta/kinda drank the koolaid with us pantsers!

    This is a super story idea and story. Congrats on your release.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jillian, maybe your pantster ways rubbed off on Sandy.

  3. LOved the interview. I've never written a novella, but you listed all the reasons I want to. Eventually.

  4. I too have been bitten by the novella bug and love the shorter length. Hope you get a chance to give it a whirl, and thanks for stopping by.

  5. Sandy,
    When I hopped over from Candace Havens' group, I thought this would be about your debut. Is this your first book or your first book in this genre--congrats for getting in on a new genre BTW. Since you did this pantser style, did you find the editor comments were different that when you write from a plot? I'm just wondering how the pantsing approach impacted your finished book and the reaction to it.
    Good luck with it!

  6. Thanks for coming over! My first published work and all my WIP's are romantic suspense or women's fiction.
    Blind Faith is my first attempt in the New Adult genre and my first attempt into the supernatural.
    BY USING A DIFFERENT STYLE, DID I FIND A DIFFERENCE IN THE EDITOR'S COMMENTS? Good question. I saw no difference in the comments from my critique partner or the EDITOR. I truly can't explain it. The story just flowed through my fingers onto the keys. My friends say it works for novel-length too. I'm trying to get up the courage to try. :)

  7. Great! Thanks for your response! Maybe the lesson here is to keep the creative juices flowing and don't be hampered by people saying you have to stay in a certain genre.
    I used anonymous for technical reasons. I meant to sign my name. Cathy Shouse

    1. Thanks for visiting Cathy and for the great questions. I agree with you, keeping the creative juices flowing is imperative. :)