I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, April 20, 2012

Interview with Sandra Robbins, author of the Ocracoke Island Suspense Series

by Pat Trainum writing as P. T. Bradley


I am excited to welcome my friend and great author Sandra Robbins as a MBT Ponderers guest today.


Sandra is a multi-published author who lives with her husband in the small Tennessee college town where she grew up. At present she has eleven books published, one more releasing in 2012, and two releasing in 2013.


Her books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Contest for excellence in mystery writing, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for romance, the Holt Medallion, and the ACFW Carol Award. In Barbour’s 18
th Annual Heartsong Awards for 2010, Sandra was one of five authors voted by readers as one of their favorite new authors.

Fatal Disclosure is the last of your series set on Ocracoke Island. What sparked the idea for setting a series in this area?

I had never heard of Ocracoke Island until my daughter’s college roommate got a job teaching in the island school. When I listened to her talk about the island’s history and life there today, I decided it was a perfect place to vacation. One summer my son, granddaughter, and I took a trip there. When we drove off the ferry after the two and a half hour ride from the mainland, I knew I wanted to set a book there. By the time we left a week later I was already beginning to plot the first story. The Michaels family began to take shape in my head and soon I felt like they were good friends. It was a delight to write their stories.

Were there any particular challenges in writing Fatal Disclosure? Like sadness at ending the series? I know I’ll be sad to see it end. There’s another Michaels girl, you know.

I have to admit I am sad to see the series end. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to some old friends, but it’s time to go on to other things. The challenges in writing these stories came in trying to make the characters different and give them different challenges to face within an exciting story. In the first book Kate deals with a deranged killer, in the second Scott helps Lisa solve a twenty-five year old mystery and rescues her from someone who’ll do anything to keep the past buried, and in Fatal Disclosure Betsy is targeted by smugglers. I tried to include island landmarks such as the lighthouse, the maritime forest, and the British Cemetery in the stories so readers could get a feel for some of the things the island offers.

And yes, there is another Michaels girl, but she’s an adolescent. I don’t think she’s quite ready for a full-blown adventure yet. However, Mark Webber the hero in Fatal Disclosure has a sister named Laura, and she is the heroine in the first book of a new series I’m working on. It is set in Memphis and deals with cold cases the police are working on. I’ll let you know how that series develops.

Fatal Disclosure has a very strong faith-based theme. What role has your faith played in your writing?

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes life worth living.” I have found that to be true in my life. My faith has sustained me all my life, and it was no different when I started writing. I had no idea where God was going to take me on my writing journey, but I put it in His hands and followed. I still marvel at the people God put in my path and how they played key roles in helping me become a published writer. I have had the opportunity to work with some fabulous editors, and I’m especially blessed to have the wonderful Natasha Kern as my agent. I couldn’t have a better champion of my work.

I would say to those writers waiting for that first contract to not give up. Put it in God’s hands, and let Him take you where He wants you to go.


Your turn: Sandra writes both historical and romantic suspense. Have you read one of her books? If so, which setting or character did you like best? And if you haven't, go now to your favorite bookstore or on-line store and pick one up. You'll be glad you did!





You can find out more about her books at her blog. She also writes a weekly column for The Borrowed Book blog with fellow authors Elizabeth Ludwig, S. Dionne Moore, Amber Stockton, and Candice Speare Prentice.

25 comments:

  1. I love meeting a new author and finding books to add to my TBR pile, Pat! Thank you for this interview. And I loved the quote Sandra shared about faith and enthusiasm!

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  2. Sandra is such a dear person. She has encouraged me so much. And I love her books!

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  3. I haven't read Sandra's books yet but this post sold me and I think Ocracoke Island is a fabulous setting--I'm looking acquainted to getting acquainted.

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  4. Hey, Dee. Ocracoke Island makes an amazing setting. Sandra has several historicals. She has one coming out set in the great Smokey Mountains that will be awesome.

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  5. Hey Sandra, what a cool setting for your series. I look forward to reading them. I think I got one in the book club mailer, will have to go back and check. Haven't had time to read lately, but after reading about your books, I want to! LOL. Have a great weekend!

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  6. This is my first time "meeting" Sandra. Her books sound like excellent reads! I look forward to finding them and reading them. I love her knack for finding creative story settings.

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  7. http://sandrarobbins.net4/20/12, 9:03 AM

    Hi Beth. I'm glad you stopped by today. I would love to be in your TBR pile.
    Sandra Robbins

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  8. Sandra Robbins4/20/12, 9:05 AM

    Hi dtopliff. Ocracoke Island is a fabulous place. The beaches these have been voted the most beautiful in the nation. There are bad rip tides at times, however, and tourists have to be careful.
    Sandra Robbins

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  9. Sandra Robbins4/20/12, 9:07 AM

    Hi Lynette. I know what you mean about not having enough time to read. I have a big basket of books to read, too. Thanks for stopping by.
    Sandra Robbins

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  10. Sandra Robbins4/20/12, 9:09 AM

    Hi Jeanne. It's so nice to meet you. Making new friends is one of the things I like best about being a writer. Have a great weekend!
    Sandra Robbins

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  11. Sandra Robbins4/20/12, 9:11 AM

    Pat, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. Also, I think everybody needs to know that you are a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest! I am so happy for you. It's not going to be long before that story is published.
    Sandra Robbins

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  12. Thank you Sandra. It is such an honor to have you here today. And to be called your friend. Jackson? Soon!!?

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  13. Ooh, I love being introduced to new-to-me authors! :) Sandra, you're going in my "read her books!!" list. Your setting sounds fantastic.

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  14. Ocracoke Island sounds intriguing; I've never heard of that place. My next internet stop: googling!

    Sandra, your stories sound so exciting. Hope to read one soon.

    Pat, congrats on semi-finaling. You've written a great story and I pray it'll be in print soon.

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  15. Thanks, Johnnie, one of last year's Genesis winners! and Sandra has me wanting to go to Ocracoke Island!

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  16. Sandra, it's always great to welcome a fellow Love Inspired author to the Ponderers. Your series sounds fabulous--you had me at beaches. :) I'm looking forward to read them.

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  17. Hi Sandra,
    So glad you're posting today! Loved Final Warning. Have several other of your books on my TBR shelf and looking forward to reading them.

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  18. Like others, I'm adding Sandra to my TBR pile. I love island settings and I'm intrigued by those plots.

    Pat, Thanks so much for having Sandra visit today.

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  19. Sounds like a terrific setting!

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  20. Great to read this, Sandra. I enjoyed Final Warning!

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  21. Lisa and Roxanne, I know you'll enjoy any of Sandra's books. I'm just so glad she could join us today.

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  22. Paula and Kathy, I loved Final Warning, too. I think it's the first of Sandra's books that I read.

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  23. Patricia, we'll have to take a road trip to the island!

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  24. I'm a couple of days late coming in to read this, but I really enjoyed the interview. I'm looking forward to the final Ocracoke book.

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