Under the Covers with Sandy Hill
welcome to this under the covers episode of Charlotte readers. podcast authors. Give voice to their written words. This is the Friday version of Charlotte readers. podcast where hosts land is Wade and his author. Guests get under the covers thus Roy we get in and out because they're just too many interesting books engaging authors offers and region and not enough town and just like the longer version of the show. You'll learn interesting. Facts about the authors and their books and the authors will read their work and also like the longer version you will find images links and information about the authors in the show notes Charlotte Readers PODCAST DOT com support for Charlotte readers. PODCAST is provided provided by park road. 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Hey listeners today I'm visiting with Sandy Hill and talking about her five novel Sandy's written four historical novels three set in North Carolina and one in Pennsylvania and she has one gentle murder mystery deadline for death sentence. Charlotte San is a lifelong reader. Who Read Her First Short Story Tin Ten? She's fascinated with language having learned Braille Sign Language and most recently Spanish. She's a lifelong volunteer member of the Charlotte Writer's Club and many other organizations and is married very to a kindred spirit spirit. She says a novelist himself Sandy. Welcome to the show. Thank you so sandy. You've been at this writing thing A while you know Dennis your husband husband is going to be on this show to him about the fact that you've got Five books He's got to your three head. I'M GONNA keep that lead you. They will let him catch a lot to think about that about that. You've got another couple of books. You think. Plenty of other books in. I love to write. You love to tell stories right. Do you know you shared some information with me about your past which I found interesting or number levels first of all you are a very active person right. This is true. I I enjoy staying busy. Well you are skated until what age were about in my. Let's see I'd already met Dennis so I guess I was in my Late fifties maybe When I I quit you quit because You your children word you might fall on the frozen surfaces and yet you were involved in Talk Wando at the time to I was I was. I've always been an athletic person as well as someone a new likes to read so Dennis is owners PS and QS. Around you right. Talk Cuando and ice skating in August. Yeah right under my thumb insurance. Well you did you do lift weights You Walk Daily. You've done that for for many many years. You said you grew up skating waiting on frozen pause but you also said to me that you You grew up poor poor Pennsylvania and worked through school and And that somehow influenced deriding I think it has particularly influenced the blue car which is set in the mountains of North Carolina and deals with a a young girl age. Twelve who who is poor and It helped me To make that realistic and bonds have courage. I knew what it was like to To go out on the frozen morning with The new car. You're a knew what it was like to go out into a outdoor privy in summer with wasps or winter when you're freezing All those things helped me bring some sensory experiences. I think to those novels in particular and actually aww tangled threads is set at the turn of the nineteenth century. So it It helped me with that too. We're going to get under the covers with those books in just a moment But reading and writing and interesting languages something you've had most of your life right. This is true and still do. I mean you were writing stories at a young engage and You said you learn Braille sidelines and most recently Spanish. So we're we're give sandy languages fascinate. Let me They fascinate me on many levels. There are a challenge there an opportunity to connect with other people through learning Spanish. I've been able to connect with Some of the Hispanics in our community and in particular. I teach them English as a second language which helped people get their citizenship I learned Braille because I was at home not working with the baby and was bored but but I was able to use it to Braille a cookbook for young bride. They've all been very rewarding. And you're an editor at the Charlotte Observer for a number of years and a- As that helped your writing or is it somehow gets you. floss pecking pages as you as you start as you go along It's helped and hindered. It's helped because only once my whole writing career have I suffered from writer's block. It is hindered because my first drafts are incredibly short Yeah because that's what you learn in the newspaper business. Keep it tight and so I have to Learn I had to learn to let the story. Sorry breathe and to expand okay so before we dive under the covers just talking about book covers for second one of the books you're GonNa read from today. is bonds of courage and all that on that front cover. It looks like this could be a A river sort of set in the foothills. Maybe I don't know where would this be said. That is actually only the Susquehanna river into indepence near Towanda Pennsylvania. I'm from Towanda. Pennsylvania rivers are in almost all my novels for for some reason I grew up on a river An imbalance encourage One of the characters fleas downstream the Susquehanna and so that seemed like a fitting cover for. Okay you ready to get under the covers with me. Let's go let's go if you like. Our mission of helping authors give voice to their written words. Please consider leaving short written review about Charlotte Readers podcast on Apple podcasts or the podcast platform of your choice because when you leave a review it helps authors reach more listeners. You can keep up with news about the show and member only content for our member supporters joining our email list. We promise not to spam you because as well that takes too much time and if you join the list we'll give you a free e book written by me the first book in the Christmas courtroom Trilogy Charlotte Readers. PODCAST is a member of the twin city podcast network powered by Ortho Carolina for more information. Go to Queen City podcast network. Dot Com I book deadline for death. What's going on there? I decided I wanted to write a book and I chose a mystery because I thought mystery would be rather structure. I would have to have suspects. I'd have to have a clues Things that would help me to Hangar structure my first novel And I also operating on right what you know of veered after that I said it in a mythical Charlotte newspaper mythical shown is as if there were a lot of shroud new service to choose from right. Well I have to say it'd be The physical layout is based exactly on the old Charlene Observer building but the characters are are different. And you say that in that book along the way that You know there's a quest to find to kill her but The person who searching must cope with family secret. That's been buried for years owners in a secret that threatens One of her important relationships. That's true I guess. Another theme perhaps APPS that runs through all of my books is secrets the effects of secrets on relationships both positive and negative. Okay so we started out with a with a body in chapter one awesome deadline for death. We've got to solve it and then you move to To a different kind of store I did. I think the next one I wrote was tangled threads. I went to the Museum of the New South and saw their exhibit from cotton fields. Skyscrapers and I was intrigued. By the whole Piedmont textile mill Story I started to do some research and the next thing I know I'd written tangled threads which is set in a like around little before nineteen hundred Piedmont cotton mill the village mythical again because I wanted to let my characters go down any street that I made up And it deals with the relationship between into Young Girls Ruth and Roseanne rather and Delia and various pass. It they take can. Life's something happens early on that Changes their relationship to one of Being enemies to each other Aw and then. Years later near the end of life The granddaughter comes and To deal you in a nursing home and tells sir she has to come back and confront her enemy and that is about making peace at the end of your life with things you did earlier and secrets you've got also Wanted to explore the relationship between old and young. There aren't as many books as I'd like with really older characters my character after was eighty years old And so that was something else that interests me in that book in your one. One of the Young girls escapes the mill and other Remains behind and you say timing on their lives sort of intertwined and sometimes unexpected and painful ways even fail you say And after returning under their childhood home and they're stunned to find out of that. Some of these secrets you say that have been hidden right. That's right okay. And then you got your so invested in this a certain period of time and the story that you wrote a sequel. I did there is a granddaughter. Kate and I got to wondering what happened to Kate After her grandmother died granddaughter. Did I say let's try that again. There's a granddaughter. Kate and I got to wondering what happened happen to her after the grandmother died. And what is her relationship with the main character dearly. Because Delia has a secret and and if Delia tells the secret kate may not want to have anything else to do with her. But if Delia doesn't tell the secret she's living ally in her relationship and so that is sort of the focal point of of the book to bring out the final secret between these people and so so then you write a book called the Blue Car and I'm looking at the cover the book now and it's The cars blue and it's a little blurry it's kind of looking like I just going through Rain treed side roads maybe on a rural area. So tell us about the blue car. Lucar sorry said In Piedmont North Carolina. It's about a twelve year old girl. Sarah who has to cope when her mother goes away to a mental institution attitude that the father's largely absent. She has too much responsibility. And then something happens where she has a secret about someone in town and she's faced with the choice of does she make that secret public even if people may not believe her and even if it will harm her her or does she keep it a secret and maybe harm someone else. What's the right thing to do about choices? It you start out in the sun on shot partly in a cloud in the sky one day when a blue car pulls up to young Sarah's home and two men aided by Father Hustle her mother away without a word leaving being her stunned and steering them kind of an inciting incident right. That's your you gotta start off. Okay now let's get to the to the book you're going to read from here in just a minute Bonds of courage you said that's based on a true story of The comes from you know. Oh family cry yes. My ancestors were kidnapped by unions. During the Revolutionary War. We're held captive for some years and released near the end of the war. Work When I was in my hometown I went to the museum? Where the shovel hundred-year-old German Family Bible is got interested in and then my husband the novelist? Dennis Carrigan Give a plug for his book. PLUG IN WE'RE GONNA put him on another town okay. bought me a family history and I learned a lot more about what happened to those people and I decided to write a novel. aval about it. It is stick shift is but I would say the main part about it is The twelve year old daughter is separated raided from her father and her mother. And we've got three characters each not knowing what happened to the other and not knowing if the other people that are alive or dead or what's happening to them but all struggling to reunite and you got a short rate here and just that up. I think this involves twelve year old old Jane who is hiding in a spring house while a Indians burned family. Farmhouse that's right and and use the term Indians because that's the term that was used at the time and we say native Americans now. But that's this is historical fiction right so right so in that context of takeaway intermural. Jane Crouched in the Spring House watching through a crack in the door. Her thoughts were muddled is for brain. Wasn't working ripe leader. The Indians touched a torch to the interior and roof of the farmhouse. Flames leaped forth bright against against the sullen sky. He turned and spot in the Spring House. Almost hidden behind the trees He said and headed toward it. The action broke Jane's paralysis. She looked around frantically but there was no place to hide inside and the ended mood. Let's see her if she went out the front door. She dove for the narrow opening under the logs through which the creek ran the rocks bit into her stomach. Make small as she was seemed for a moment is if she would become stuck mud and green slime coated her hands and face and she she scrabbled in the wet muck frantic. She wriggled through scraping her head on the top of the logs hoping the building would hide her flight she pelted for the nearest thick Bush dove behind it and set motionless. The pounding of her heart seem so loud surely the Indian must hear it. She breathe shallowly trying to make no sound. Don't let them see me God. She prayed and save my family. Please please please please save my family. The smell of burning house drifted to her on the breeze. That rustled the Bush where she crouched changed. Footsteps drew near this. She thought is how the rabbit must feel when the Hawk soars overhead bad. Yeah that's that's a striking image there. You're hiding There's danger around But you feel like you might be caught also now did you have Was it interesting to kind of research. Their family history to kind of get back and found the facts in that time period. It was extremely interesting. Yeah I research all my books very heavily because I think when people read historical novels they want to enter a an accurate world even if the characters are not real and maybe doing things that they never did in real life. So that's one of the things I research in the. The Internet has been a godsend to riders with that so very quickly riding life. A little bit Do you Do you ever retain in writing. I usually ride in the morning morning because I'm a morning person disciplined with what you do. But you said you do research and I am disciplined in my writing. I all right for an hour maybe an hour and a half and then I'll stop. It's like there's a well and it has to fill up again so I'll do something thing else Something sort of mindless and my subconscious will be at work. And then I'll come back and write some more. I also also right only a few sentences at a time. I don't know where the story's going right seen Delia meets kate. And that's that's all I know and then I'll write it and I'll find out what happened. You go onto the long handy doing it on a computer all on the computer. It's made writing writing so much easier exactly. Sometimes you find that when you're writing that you're adding takes you places that you didn't anticipate oh absolutely one of my Tavora characters was one I work. Who drives a communist odor of wagon and Is Blind in one eye until all these weird stories to everybody. Nobody about how it happened. And I didn't know he existed My character had to find a way to get out of town and She loved horses so turned out she went to the stable. I didn't know she was going to do that. And who was there but when I work and the next thing you know I had his whole back story story. I sounds like a character. I'd like to find out more about. So how is writing these books Influenced Your Life made it richer. Well I think it's made a richer because anytime you can cap in tap into your creative subconscious. It adds something to your life. It's made richer because I've gotten to talked to a number of readers I particularly like talking to Charlotte Clemson have book club questions in the back of all the books but the mystery and so I meet people I wouldn't have met and I get insight whether I wanted to not on. How Am I? Books are being received. And what do you hope that careers. Get Out of your books. I hope that they enjoy my characters that my character seem real to them and they think about the characters the choices they made why they made those those choices I should get under the covers hours with me today. My pleasure you can find out more listeners about Sandy at the show notes Charlotte's PODCAST DOT COM. Well that's it for today. Another fun author are giving voice to the written word lands will be back next Friday getting under the covers with another interesting author but before coming on Tuesday we'll have another long form episode. Ah with readings and conversations about the written words and the writing life of a local or regional author Landis loves helping authors give voice to their written words but he can't do it it alone if you're a clown to help me help authors give voice to the written words. Please consider becoming a member supporter. We'd love to have you as a member. Now when you join at certain levels will give you access to member only contact curated by the authors. Would you like to hear more from the authors. Perhaps a variety of presentations on writing craft or additional readings or tips on marketing and social media. Would you like some behind the science insights and reflections from me or edited content from previous episodes without interruptions options. 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