The Bridge Club, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Bridge Club?
PATRICIA SANDS: The Bridge Club is a novel about eight women who have been friends for over forty years. It's a story about challenges in life and how strong friendship empowers us in the choices we make to faces issues that confront us. The reader takes a journey from the psychedelic 1960s when the eight friends were liberated twenty-somethings to the present day as these vibrant women enjoy their "zoomer" years. A life-altering decision in the final chapter profoundly affects each of them.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
PATRICIA SANDS: The foundation for this book is the forty-year friendship I have shared with my real-life bridge club. The characters are all either somewhat based on actual people or composites of them. These are women with distinctly different personalities but very common values. Needless to say I had the full support and co-operation with these friends as I wrote the story.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
PATRICIA SANDS: Women over forty are probably ideal but I have received messages from women in their twenties and eighties who have written very positive comments about their response to the story. It's incredibly rewarding as a writer to hear how readers can easily relate to the characters in the story. They also write about their own friendships and how this story makes them appreciate and value what they have in their own lives. (I love it!) I've also heard from men who liked The Bridge Club. In fact a quote I use from a man about The Bridge Club is this: "A few years ago Hollywood gave us a movie about what women want. Patricia Sands has written a book about how women think."
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
PATRICIA SANDS: I have always been a storyteller through photography and in my profession as an educator writing was important. A few years ago I began writing this story purely for the amusement of my friends but it began to take on a life of its own and I was encouraged by others to consider publishing. At that point the writing turned into fiction rather than fact although much of the story is indeed true.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
PATRICIA SANDS: Having never been an early riser, I now waken around 6:30 a.m. and am compelled to get to the computer to write what is swirling around in my head. I spend a good part of each day researching details and making certain I know the facts I should. However I do take time off to play golf or go out with my husband and talk to him about something other than my writing, although he has been long-suffering and supportive through the four years it took me to write The Bridge Club.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
PATRICIA SANDS: Carol Shields, John LeCarre, Charles Dickens, Janet Evanovitch (she makes me laugh)—how's that for a wide spectrum? Also Stephen King for his amazing ability to provide aspiring writers with understanding, inspiration and motivation through his words in On Writing. Every writing workshop I attended recommended this book and I have found none more helpful or more "real."
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
PATRICIA SANDS: Oh! The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.
DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?
PATRICIA SANDS: I self-published through iUniverse and as a recipient of their Editor's Choice and Rising Star awards, their design team worked with me to develop the cover. The colours and patterns were their suggestions based on research as to what appeals to readers right now. It appears they were right as people do respond very positively to it on the shelf.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
PATRICIA SANDS: Through iUniverse, The Bridge Club is in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters, and some other booksellers. However most of the marketing and promoting has been done by me through my launch party and social media marketing. It's been a steep learning curve! I've approached several independent bookstores in Toronto who are carrying the book in store and are very supportive. Fortunately I've been acquiring a group of people who feel The Bridge Club has great potential and we are working on marketing ideas. There's no doubt exposure is all that is needed as more people discover how the story resonates with their own lives.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
PATRICIA SANDS: The future of e-books looks very bright! As much as I love to hold a book and turn the pages, I am also thoroughly enjoying my own Kindle. As one who travels a lot, this is the only way to take your library with you. As the technology improves, reading ebooks becomes an increasingly more pleasurable way to go.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
PATRICIA SANDS: I would encourage them to seriously consider this option. In fact I will be putting a link to your site on my blog and talking about it in the future. The world of publishing is changing quickly and dramatically and Kindle Author is establishing itself in the most reputable way.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.