Sandy James

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Sandy lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband of over twenty-five years. She is a high school teacher of both Psychology and U.S. History, and also teaches Psychology in the college level. She started writing when empty nest syndrome stared her in the eye, completing her first book the year her youngest graduated from the same high school where she teaches. Her two grown children are also teachers. Heaven help them both.

Sandy and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses and enjoy spending time at the two Indiana racetracks. She’s currently working on stories that introduce readers to the world of racing. You can find Sandy at

Q: What is your writing day like?

A: Um…crazy? I have to literally carve time out of the day to write, but because I love it so much, I find that time. When I get home from school, the Schnauzer’s walk comes first. Then I try to edit some of my work before supper. After that, I usually turn something on the television or fire up my iTunes® and settle down to write new material. More often than not, the time gets away from me and when I look up, it’s miraculously time for bed.

Weekends are better, and I usually split my time between our horses and my stories. Summers are sublime. Writing, writing, and more writing interspersed with Schnauzer walks.


Q: Are you a “fly by the seat of your pants” author or do you plot each story?

A: I’m a “panster” who plots. The best of both worlds. I try to hash out a rough plotusually in the form of a flowchartbefore I begin writing. But so many times, the characters steer me in other directions. They tend to like to talk to me right before I fall asleep at night, but they’ve also been known to whisper in my ear in those pre-dawn hours where you often find yourself more awake than asleep.


Q: Where do you get your story ideas?

A: From life. I glean stories from the people and things I see around me. When something funny or poignant happens, I can’t help but think, “Wow. That would be a fantastic story.” Being a teacher of Psychology also gives me a special insight into what motivates people, so I try to bring that depth of understanding to creating and writing my characters.


Q: Which writers have had the greatest influence on you?

A: The first romance I ever read was written by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I imagine she had a huge influence on many women of my age. When I was twelve, I would sneak into my mother’s books and try to read a chapter of The Wolf and the Dove, hoping she wouldn’t catch me. I fell in love with everything Ms. Woodiwiss wrote. When she passed away, I felt as if I’d lost a family member.

The author whose books I will read over and over is Julie Garwood. I sink into her stories. It’s a bit ironic she’s so very popular because she breaks all the “rules.” And for her it works. When I write, I don’t try to conform to the rules either. I write what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and what I love.


Q: What made you start writing?

A: I was reading a book by a fairly well-known romance writer and I was excited because it was a romance about a married couple. A rarity to say the least. But the author went to great lengths to say the thirty-nine year old heroine still looked seventeen. I think I pitched that book across the room in disgust. Then I set out to write a romance about a married couple with the woman being thirty-nine and having all the same problems as every other woman of that age. Once I started writing, I was hopelessly addicted.

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